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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 12:02 November 22, 2018

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

(LEAD) S. Korea in consultations with U.S., relevant countries on sanctions exemptions for railway project

SEOUL -- South Korea is in consultations with the United States and other relevant countries to discuss temporary sanctions exemptions for a joint railway field study with North Korea, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

On Wednesday, the U.S. expressed "strong support" for South and North Korea to conduct a field study on their railways as part of efforts to modernize and eventually connect them over their border.

Minister: Various options considered over Japanese funds for comfort women foundation

SEOUL -- South Korea is considering various possibilities for how to handle the funds provided by Japan to establish a foundation on wartime sexual slavery, Seoul's top diplomat said Thursday.

The government said a day earlier it would dissolve the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation.

(LEAD) S. Korea's exports up 4.7 pct on-year as of Q3

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports in the first nine months of the year reached an all-time high, led by upbeat sales of memory chips and petroleum products, government data showed Thursday.

The outbound shipments reached US$450.33 billion in the first three quarters, a 4.7 percent surge from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Number of foreign tourists to S. Korea soars 31 pct in October

SEOUL -- The number of foreigners who visited South Korea rose 31.1 percent in October from a year earlier mainly due to a base effect after visits by Chinese nationals plunged in 2017, the local tourism promotion agency said Thursday.

A total of 1.53 million foreigners visited South Korea last month, up from 1.17 million tallied the same month a year ago, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

Manufacturers shift investment focus to Vietnam from China

SEOUL -- South Korean manufacturers have been shifting the focus of their overseas direct investment to Vietnam from China thanks to tax benefits, cheaper labor and other favorable conditions, a report said Thursday.

Vietnam accounted for 17.7 percent of South Korean manufacturing companies' total direct overseas investment in 2017, up sharply from 3.7 percent in 1990, according to the report by the Federation of Korean Industries.

(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. to scale back military drill next spring: Mattis

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States will scale back a joint military exercise next spring to facilitate negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday.

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that the Foal Eagle exercise will be "reduced in scope," the AFP reported.

(Yonhap Interview) IOC official calls joint Korean Olympic bid 'interesting concept'

SEOUL -- South Korea hosted its second Olympics this year, with the eastern resort town of PyeongChang staging the 18th Winter Games in February, 30 years after Seoul held the Summer Olympics.

And the country is hoping PyeongChang 2018 won't be its last Olympics. South Korea and North Korea have agreed to put together a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics. No Olympic Games, summer or winter, have been shared by two countries before.

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