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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:01 October 18, 2018

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

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Army chief vows firm border security despite tension-reducing measures

SEOUL -- South Korea's top Army commander voiced confidence Thursday that his front-line troops will keep a close watch on North Korea in spite of a recent inter-Korean deal on easing border tensions.

Gen. Kim Yong-woo, the Army chief of staff, was responding to lawmakers' concerns about border security, after the two Koreas agreed last month to create a no-fly buffer zone over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

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(LEAD) Taxi drivers stage massive rally against Kakao's carpool service

SUWON/INCHEON/SEOUL -- Tens of thousands of taxi drivers staged a massive rally in central Seoul on Thursday as part of their one-day strike against IT giant Kakao Corp's plan to start a commercial carpool service.

Approximately 60,000 taxi drivers from across the country gathered in Gwanghwamun Square at around 2 p.m.

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FM Kang to meet U.N. refugee agency chief next week

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will meet with the chief of the United Nations refugee agency in Seoul next week, her ministry said Thursday, as Seoul's policy on global refugees has drawn keen attention since the arrival of hundreds of Yemeni people on its soil in May.

Kang is scheduled to sit down with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Tuesday. It will be his second trip here since taking office in 2016.

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KDB to consider veto of GM's plan to spin off its research unit in S. Korea

SEOUL -- State-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) said Thursday it will consider vetoing General Motors Corp.'s proposed spin off of its research unit in South Korea if the automaker pushes ahead with the plan.

KDB, the second-largest shareholder of GM's Korean unit, issued a statement one day after a court in South Korea rejected an injunction against a shareholders' meeting of GM Korea Co., set for later this week, that could allow GM Korea to set up a separate research entity.

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Distance education boom rapidly spreading in N. Korea: report

SEOUL -- Web-based distance learning is growing in popularity in North Korea, a magazine report said Thursday, as the North's regime has stressed the importance of education after declaring a shift in its policy focus to the economy early this year.

The October issue of Pyongyang's monthly propaganda magazine Kumsugangsan ran a special report on the spread of online learning among North Koreans and a related interview with Ri Yong-chol, deputy chief of the Education Commission.

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Shipbuilding industry urged to keep up restructuring efforts

SEOUL -- South Korea's top financial regulator on Thursday called on shipbuilders to keep up their restructuring efforts, saying that the recent recovery in orders may be short-lived amid a trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), made the remarks at a meeting to assess the situation of the shipbuilding industry earlier in the day.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares fall on hawkish Fed, BOK rate freeze

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks lost ground Thursday as rising odds of interest rate hikes in the United States weighed on investor sentiment, while the Bank of Korea froze the key interest rate. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 19.2 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 2,148.31. Trading volume was moderate at 317.73 million shares worth 4.15 trillion won (US$3.65 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 568 to 256.

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(LEAD) S. Korean Im Sung-jae named top player, best rookie on Web.com Tour

SEOGWIPO, South Korea -- South Korean Im Sung-jae was named both the Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year for the 2018 season on the second-tier Web.com Tour on Thursday.

Im received his trophies for both awards after the first round at the PGA Tour's CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju lsland. Im earned his full-fledged PGA Tour status for the 2018-2019 season, after leading the Web.com Tour in money. This is Im's second PGA tournament, and he finished one stroke out of a playoff at his debut, the Safeway Open, earlier this month.

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(Yonhap Interview) Photography as a way of healing personal wounds, honoring victims of state power

SEOUL -- It was one day in his early 20s that Kwon Sun-kwan realized he could see things through a camera lens that his bare eyes could have easily overlooked.

That day, he spotted through the lens a tramp dressed in rags wandering around the streets of his neighborhood. Intrigued, he followed him to his house to learn that the man and his brother, both mentally challenged, lived in a very unsanitary, inhuman environment and that their family had neglected them.

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