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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:37 April 05, 2018

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

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(3rd LD) S. Korean F-15K fighter crashes, two pilots missing
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details; CHANGES headline, dateline)

SEOUL/CHILGOK -- A South Korean fighter jet crashed into a mountain in a southern region Thursday, leaving two pilots missing, the Air Force said.

The F-15K Slam Eagle crashed at around 2:38 p.m. in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province, on its way back to the Daegu Air Base after an hourlong mission, according to the Air Force.

The Air Force is trying to confirm the fate of the two pilots aboard the aircraft. It's having difficulty conducting the search due to thick fog, although the local fire authorities have found the debris of the plane.

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S. Korea ranks almost bottom of child welfare spending among OECD

SEOUL -- South Korea was nearly at the bottom of child and family welfare rankings among other major economies, a government report showed Thursday.

In 2017, South Korea spent 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product on child and welfare costs, including maternity leave, according to the report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

That placed Asia's fourth-largest economy 31st among the 35 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the ministry said.

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Court rejects 2nd injunction against live broadcast of Park's sentencing trial

SEOUL -- A Seoul court on Thursday turned down another injunction filed by former President Park Geun-hye against a court decision to allow the live broadcast of her sentencing hearing set for the following day.

The Seoul Central District Court dismissed the request, saying it does not constitute grounds for reconsideration.

This is the second injunction rejected by the court regarding the high-profile bribery and corruption trial of the ousted leader. On Wednesday, the court denied the first injunction filed the previous day by one of Park's private lawyers.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on eased tension over U.S.-China trade row
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished higher Thursday after a three-day losing streak, as fear over a full-blown trade war between the United States and China receded, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 29.46 points, or 1.22 percent, to close at 2,437.52. Trade volume was high at 574.6 million shares worth 7.2 trillion won (US$6.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 472 to 326.

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S. Korean trade minister draws line between FTA, currency deal

SEJONG -- A recently revised trade deal between South Korea and the United States and currency policy are separate matters, but Washington's associating the two may be aimed at highlighting its achievement during the negotiations, Seoul's trade minister said Thursday.

South Korea said last week it will further open its auto market to the U.S. in exchange for an exemption from steel tariffs during negotiations to amend their six-year-old free trade agreement (FTA).

Washington later said the revised FTA will include a side deal prohibiting both countries from deliberately devaluing their currencies for trade advantages, sparking speculation here that South Korea has caved in to U.S. pressure on the currency market in order to win an exemption from steep steel tariffs.

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S. Korea strongly condemns nerve agent attack in Britain

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday strongly condemned the recent poisoning attack on Russians in Britain, calling for punishment for those responsible.

In Salisbury on March 4, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with what Britain said was a military-grade nerve agent made by Russia. They fell unconscious and were taken to hospital, where Sergei Skripal remains in a critical condition.

Britain retaliated by expelling 23 Russian diplomats, holding the Russian government accountable for the use of the chemical weapon. Russia responded by expelling British diplomats from the country and is denying responsibility for the attack.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to place orders for 200 vessels by 2020
(ATTN: UPDATES with more details of restructuring plan in last 8 paras; ADDS photo)

SEJONG -- South Korea will place orders for about 200 vessels in the next three years to help the ailing shipping and shipbuilding industry tide over weak global demand, the oceans ministry said Thursday.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries unveiled the mid-term restructuring plan for the nation's shipbuilding and shipping sector, which has been undergoing a bruising time following massive losses and Hanjin Shipping Co.'s bankruptcy in 2016.

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Gov't proposes 3.9 tln won extra budget to boost job creation

SEJONG -- South Korea's government on Thursday proposed 3.9 trillion won (US$3.69) in extra budgetary funds to help boost the country's dire youth unemployment problem, which it warned could lead to a catastrophic situation.

Despite various measures taken in the past, youth unemployment has consistently worsened, due mainly to structural changes in the country's industrial, educational and labor markets. This in turn has led to many young people to put off marriage, which thereby leads to the very low birth rate.

The finance ministry said it will submit the supplementary budget proposal to the National Assembly for approval on Friday.

The ruling Democratic Party holds 41 percent of the 293 parliamentary seats.
(END)

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