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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 02, 2018

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

S. Korea doing utmost to win release of citizen kidnapped in Libya: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea is doing all it can to win the safe release of a South Korean kidnapped in Libya, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday, noting the country's anti-piracy military unit stationed in the Gulf of Aden was already on its way to the North African country.

"His country and his president have never once forgotten him," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a statement released one day after video footage showed the South Korean captive asking President Moon Jae-in to help win his release.

Prime minister orders stable management of electricity supply amid heat wave

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon ordered government officials Thursday to focus on stably managing the supply and demand of electricity as a record heat wave has continued to scorch the nation.

South Korea has been gripped by extremely hot weather for weeks, with temperatures in Seoul hitting a record 39.6 C on Wednesday. The record-breaking heat wave raised concerns about the stability of electricity management.

U.S. declines to comment on report of N.K. missile activity

WASHINGTON -- The White House on Wednesday declined to comment on a news report that North Korea continues to build intercontinental ballistic missiles following a disarmament deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Washington Post reported Monday that up to two liquid-fueled ICBMs appeared to be under construction at a facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang. The article cited officials familiar with U.S. intelligence.

Samsung beats Apple in Q2 profitability

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. outpaced Apple Inc. in terms of profitability despite its weaker-than-expected smartphone sales, helped by strong sales of chips, industry data showed Thursday.

The South Korean tech giant posted an operating-profit-to-sales ratio of 25.4 percent in the second quarter by posting sales of 58.4 trillion won (US$52.1 billion) and 14.8 trillion won in operating profit.

(LEAD) Foreign ministry raided in probe of judiciary power abuse case

SEOUL -- Prosecutors raided the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday as part of a probe into a massive power abuse scandal involving a former top court chief and the previous Park Geun-hye government.

Prosecutors are investigating allegations the top court's administrative body under then Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae sought to use politically sensitive trials as bargaining chips in its dealing with the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Gov't team launched to craft alternative forms of military service

SEOUL -- The ministries of defense and justice and the military manpower agency launched a joint team Thursday to craft alternative forms of military service for young men who refuse conscription for religious and other reasons, officials said.

The move came after the Constitutional Court ordered the revision of the conscription law in June to allow for alternative service by the end of next year, while upholding the criminalization of "conscientious objectors."

Concerns over low-quality group tours resurface as Chinese visitors increase

SEOUL -- Repeated government efforts to prevent cheap, low-quality package tours to South Korea by Chinese tourists are being questioned again as the number of travelers from the neighboring country increases, industry watchers said Thursday.

The tally for June from the Korea Tourism Organization showed the volume of Chinese visitors to Korea shooting up 49 percent on-year after Beijing began to ease travel restrictions sparked by a bilateral diplomatic row.

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