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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:29 December 17, 2018

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

(LEAD) Seoul shares rise on bargain hunting

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Monday on bargain hunting, with investors looking ahead to the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, analysts said. The South Korean won firmed against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 1.71 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,071.09. Trading volume was moderate at 438.22 million shares worth 4.63 trillion won (US$4.09 billion), with losers outpacing winners 464 to 362.

(News Focus) N. Korea shifting gears up in criticism of U.S. in sign of thinning patience

SEOUL -- After months of restraint, North Korea is gradually shifting gears up in its criticism of the United States over their deadlocked denuclearization negotiations, apparently signaling that its patience is wearing thin.

Since June's historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the regime in Pyongyang has refrained from criticizing Washington as their denuclearization negotiations progressed, even though propaganda media outlets continued their routine, lightweight criticism.

(LEAD) Regulator bolsters guidelines on equity-tied securities to better protect investors

SEOUL -- The financial watchdog said Monday it has strengthened guidelines on sales of equity-tied securities to better protect investors.

Equity-linked securities (ELS), which are hybrid debt securities whose returns are determined by the performance of underlying equities, have become one of best-selling alternative investment products in South Korea amid record-low interest rates.

(LEAD) Concrete voids found in two UAE reactors: ENEC

SEOUL -- Two nuclear reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were found to have voids in their concrete walls and have been undergoing repairs, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has said.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation, which is in charge of the construction of four reactors at the Barakah nuclear power plant, verified the presence of voids in Units 2 and 3 that were then confirmed by the plant operator, the ENEC said on its website on Dec. 4.

(3rd LD) S. Koreans return home after 10-day inspection of N. Korea's eastern rail line

SEOUL/GOSEONG -- A group of South Korean officials and railway experts returned home Monday after completing a 10-day inspection of the rail along North Korea's east coast, the unification ministry said.

The 28-member team crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) in the eastern region of the peninsula at around 1:40 p.m. by bus, according to the ministry.

(LEAD) S. Korea confirms disablement of N.K. DMZ guard posts

SEOUL -- South Korea's military on Monday confirmed the demolition and disablement of some North Korean border guard posts (GPs) through its onsite verification last week and days of subsequent analysis.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced the results of its Dec. 12 work to verify the demolition of 10 North Korean GPs in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the disarmament of another. The North's military also carried out the verification work on the same day.

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