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Yonhap News Summary

Defense 17:01 December 27, 2018

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

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Seoul stocks close nearly flat on ex-dividend day

SEOUL -- South Korea's main bourse edged up after a choppy ex-dividend day session on Thursday, with the South Korean won rising against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 0.43 point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,028.44. Trade volume was moderate at 390 million shares worth 5.28 trillion won (US$4.71 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 521 to 331

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(LEAD) Chinese military plane enters S. Korea's air defense zone

SEOUL -- A Chinese military jet entered South Korea's air defense zone Thursday without notice, defense authorities here said.

The aircraft entered the country's air defense identification zone, called KADIZ, at around 10:21 a.m. from an area near Jeju Island and Ieo Island and exited it half an hour later, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

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Korean Air chief's family members face possible indictment over smuggling

INCHEON -- Customs authorities have referred family members of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho to state prosecutors on smuggling charges, an official said Thursday.

It the latest bout of negative attention to hit South Korea's largest national flag carrier, Cho's wife Lee Myung-hee and their two daughters -- Hyun-min and Hyun-ah -- are accused of smuggling a wide range of goods worth 150 million won (US$134,000) on 260 occasions between April 2009 and May this year, said Ryoo Ha-sun, an official at the spokesman's office of the Korea Customs Service.

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Prosecutors suspend indictment of Samsung chairman on tax evasion, embezzlement charges

SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Thursday suspended the indictment of ailing Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who is accused of evading taxes and embezzling company funds worth over 11.8 billion won (US$10.5 million) in total, largely citing his health conditions.

The decision effectively means they are closing the case against South Korea's richest man, given that he has remained unconscious in bed since suffering a heart attack in 2014.

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Outcome of joint inspections on N. Korea's roads, railways to come out early next year: official

SEOUL -- South Korea will push to draw up an overall timetable on how to modernize and connect roads and railways over the border with North Korea after the outcome of joint inspections come out early next year, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

The two Koreas held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday at the North's border town of Kaesong to mark the symbolic launch of the inter-Korean project that their leaders agreed to in April to foster balanced development and co-prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

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Military reviews OPCON transfer capability

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense chief on Thursday said the coming year will be a starting point for the test of the country's ability to command its own troops in the event of a war.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo made the remark as he presided over a meeting to assess the preparations for the transfer of wartime operational control from the United States.

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(LEAD) Han Kwang-sang returns as handler of N.K. ruling party's finances

SEOUL -- A former North Korean military official was confirmed to have returned as the handler of the ruling party's finances, personnel data on North Korea provided by the unification ministry showed Thursday.

Han Kwang-sang, 61, currently serves as director of the finance accounting department under the Workers' Party of Korea, according to the data. This marked a change from North Korea's leadership data that the ministry provided earlier this year in which the post was occupied by Kim Yong-su.
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