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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:00 December 12, 2018

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

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(2nd LD) FM Kang calls for Japan's prudence on wartime labor rulings

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called on the Japanese government Wednesday to be prudent in responding to recent court rulings in Seoul against its wartime slave labor program.

Kang delivered the message to her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in phone talks, according to her ministry.

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(3rd LD) Koreas verify DMZ guard post pullout

SEOUL -- South and North Korea carried out a one-day process Wednesday to verify their recent work to withdraw some guard posts (GPs) in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in another show of their will for cross-border reconciliation.

Seoul and Pyongyang initially agreed to demolish 11 GPs each in the DMZ but decided later to keep one apiece, albeit unarmed, in light of their historical value.

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S. Korea, U.S. discussing sanctions exemption for video reunions of separated families

SEOUL -- South Korea is talking to the United States about a possible sanctions exemption for video reunions Seoul hopes to hold with North Korea for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, the head of the South's Red Cross said Wednesday.

Speaking at a peace forum in Seoul, Park Kyung-seo also said that he expects the issue will be resolved when the U.S. pointman on Pyongyang, Stephen Biegun, visits Seoul later this month for a meeting of the bilateral joint working group on North Korea.

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S. Korea seeks to boost trade volume with Russia to US$30 bln by 2020

SEOUL -- South Korea is pushing to boost trade volume with Russia to US$30 billion by 2020, the head of a presidential committee said Wednesday, a move that underscores Seoul's commitment to strengthening ties with Moscow.

Kwon Goo-hoon, the head of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, made the comments in a meeting with relevant officials and experts in central Seoul.

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Tax agency probing Google Korea: sources

SEOUL -- South Korea's tax agency launched an investigation into a local office of U.S. tech giant Google Inc. amid rumors of tax evasion by some YouTubers here, industry sources said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the National Tax Service (NTS) sent auditors and investigators to the headquarters of Google Korea in Gangnam, southern Seoul, to secure accounting books and other financial records, they said.

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Unified Korean ping pong team gets 1st practice before season-ending tourney

INCHEON-- The unified Korean mixed doubles table tennis team of Jang Woo-jin (South) and Cho Hyo-sim (North) had their first practice ahead of the season-ending tournament near Seoul on Wednesday.

Jang and Cha are back together for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Grand Finals, which will start Thursday at Namdong Gymnasium in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of the capital.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares spike 1.4 pct on eased trade concern

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks soared Wednesday as signs of progress in trade talks between the United States and China helped investors brush aside concerns over the global economic slowdown, experts said. The South Korean won strengthened against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 29.60 points, or 1.44 percent, to 2.082.57. Trading volume was moderate at 439.40 million shares worth 5.29 trillion won (US$4.69 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 652 to 190.
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