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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:00 November 23, 2018

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

Int'l marriages in S. Korea edge up in 2017

SEJONG -- The number of international marriages between a South Korean national and a foreigner inched up last year, ending six consecutive years of decline, government data showed Friday.

There were 21,709 international marriages last year, up 1 percent, or 208, from a year earlier, according to the data by Statistics Korea. Those marriages accounted for 8.3 percent of the country's total marriages of 264,455 in the same year, up from 7.7 percent tallied in the previous year.

(2nd LD) Samsung delivers apology to victims of work-related diseases

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. made a formal apology Friday to all victims of work-related diseases who were employed at the company's chip and display production lines, settling the long-standing dispute that lasted for more than a decade.

Samsung Electronics President and CEO Kim Ki-nam, who heads the tech giant's crucial device solution division, expressed deep regrets on behalf of the company to the victims, claiming that Samsung will make every effort to comply with the compensation plan prepared by the mediation committee.

(LEAD) Koreas hold talks about modernizing direct phone lines

SEOUL -- Officials of South and North Korea held talks Friday about modernizing underground cables set up across the border village of Panmunjom for direct phone and other communication lines.

The meeting at the joint liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong, focuses on replacing the current copper phone cables with fiber-optic ones, officials at the unification ministry said.

Parliament opens plenary session after deadlock broken

SEOUL -- The National Assembly opened a plenary session Friday to handle key economic bills as rival parties put parliament back on track this week after a weeklong hiatus amid partisan conflicts.

The parties sent around 90 bills linked to the livelihoods of ordinary people to the session, which started at 10 a.m.

(LEAD) Ex-Supreme Court justice quizzed in power abuse probe

SEOUL -- Ko Young-han, a retired former Supreme Court justice, appeared for prosecution questioning on Friday as a key suspect in the alleged power abuse by previous top court leadership.

Ko arrived at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office at about 9:10 a.m. The former head of the National Court Administration (NCA), the top court's governing body, is the third former NCA chief to undergo an interrogation over the widening probe.

(Yonhap Interview) New IMO head vows to finish action plan on climate change

LONDON -- Lim Ki-tack, the newly elected South Korean head of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has said he will seek to complete the U.N. body's action plan on climate change during his extended tenure.

Lim made the remarks in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Thursday shortly after earning his second term. At its 121st IMO Council held in London, Lim received a unanimous vote from the 40 member states on its ruling council for his second term as secretary-general.

S. Korea's household medical costs higher than OECD median

SEOUL -- South Korean households' medical expenses are much higher than the average for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development despite a continued downturn, data showed Friday.

Households' expenditures accounted for 33.3 percent of South Korea's total medical expenses in 2016, according to the data from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs based on an analysis of the 2018 OECD health statistics.

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