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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:20 March 14, 2018

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

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(3rd LD) Ex-President Lee grilled over corruption allegations

SEOUL -- Former President Lee Myung-bak was grilled by prosecutors on Wednesday over a string of corruption allegations including bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

During the interrogation, Lee denied that he is the secret owner of his brother's auto parts maker, which is at the center of the scandal, as well as his involvement in the alleged slush funds formed through the company, prosecutors said.

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Kang to visit U.S. as planned despite Tillerson's dismissal

SEOUL -- South Korea's top diplomat will go ahead with a plan to visit the United States this week to discuss North Korea's nuclear issue despite the announcement of her counterpart's dismissal, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is to leave for the U.S. on Thursday for a three-day stay during which she plans to meet with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, according to the official.

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(LEAD) Gov't says GM's 'sustainable' plan for S. Korean unit essential for financial support

SEOUL -- The chief of South Korea's financial regulator said Wednesday the government's financial support will be possible if General Motors Co. outlines a "long-term and sustainable" plan to turn its loss-making Korean unit around.

In a press conference held in Seoul, Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku said the government and the state-run Korea Development Bank understood that GM strongly wants to maintain its production facilities in Korea.

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Ministry picks candidate sites to relocate Daegu air base

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense ministry on Wednesday selected two candidate sites to host a military airport, which is currently in the southeastern metropolis of Daegu, a project that has been slow moving due to budget concerns and differing interests.

In a meeting chaired by Defense Minister Song Young-moo, a related committee chose the Ubo area and the Bian-Sobo area, both in North Gyeongsang Province, the ministry said. The candidate sites are in rural regions just north of Daegu.

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(News Focus) Tillerson's dismissal spawns speculation on impact on U.S.-North Korea summit

SEOUL -- Following U.S. President Donald Trump's dismissal of his top diplomat, speculations are rising here as to what ramifications, if any, the sudden decision could have on the planned summit between the U.S. and North Korea.

On Tuesday night (Seoul time), Trump tweeted that he will replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The move came days after the president accepted an invitation from the North to hold an unprecedented summit by May to discuss denuclearization.

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Governor candidate quits race amid allegations of extramarital affairs

CHEONAN, South Korea -- A leading candidate for South Chungcheong Province governor in June's local elections quit the race on Wednesday amid allegations of extramarital affairs.

Park Soo-hyun, who served as President Moon Jae-in's first presidential spokesman, decided to accept a recommendation from his party, the ruling Democratic Party, to voluntarily withdraw from the race, an official of Park's election campaign told Yonhap News Agency.

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Another victim accuses ex-Gov. An of multiple sexual assaults

SEOUL -- Another alleged victim of former provincial governor An Hee-jung's sexual misconduct filed a complaint with the prosecution on Wednesday, asking that her case be included in the ongoing probe against him, prosecution officials said.

Two lawyers representing the victim, whose identity is being withheld, submitted the complaint to the Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office, requesting a probe into An on charges of adultery and sexual harassment by force, according to the office.

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(News Focus) Actor Bae Yong-joon makes exit from own 14-year-old company

SEOUL -- Actor and businessman Bae Yong-joon's sale of his entire stake in Keyeast Co. to South Korean entertainment giant S.M. Entertainment has raised questions in the industry over the rationale and circumstances behind the unexpected disposal.

S.M. Entertainment said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it will purchase Bae's 25.12 percent stake in Keyeast Co. for 50 billion won (US$47 million). Bae is the largest stakeholder in Keyeast.

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Korean romance film sold to 17 foreign countries

SEOUL -- A local romance movie starring So Ji-sub and Son Ye-jin has been sold to 17 countries around the world, its local distributor said Wednesday.

Theatrical distribution rights to "Be With You" were sold to the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and eight other countries, Lotte Entertainment said.

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