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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:15 January 29, 2019

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

KOSPI to seek upturn this year: Credit Suisse

SEOUL -- South Korea's key stock index is expected to have modest upward momentum this year on the back of a recovery in corporate profits, Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse said Tuesday.

"After experiencing somewhat excessive corrections last year, the benchmark KOSPI is forecast to reach as high as 2,300 points by around July," senior Credit Suisse researcher Park Ji-hoon said in a press briefing.

In 2018, the KOSPI fell 17.28 percent from the end of the previous year, recording the sharpest fall in a decade on global trade frictions and signs of a global economic slowdown, among other things.

Cheong Wa Dae says labor council will launch despite union boycott

SEOUL -- The new presidential council for social dialogue on labor issues will be launched as scheduled despite a boycott from umbrella labor organizations, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.

"Social dialogue and compromise are not a matter of choice that we can choose to have or not," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a released statement.

BMW completes 94 pct of EGR replacement

SEOUL -- BMW Korea has replaced more than 100,000 units of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) component in affected vehicles since a recall started five months ago, the company said Tuesday.

A total of 100,090 BMW vehicles have had the EGR component replaced so far, which translates into a completion ratio of 94 percent. The EGR is one of the principal devices used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines.

N.K. sends back U.S. court verdict ordering payment for student's death: report

SEOUL -- North Korea has sent back a U.S. court verdict ordering the communist nation to pay US$500 million in damages to the parents of an American student for his death shortly after his return from the country in a coma, a news report said Tuesday.

The U.S. District Court for D.C. made the ruling last month, saying Pyongyang was responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who died in 2017 just six days after his return from the North.

N. Korea's newspaper boasts of mobile shopping

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper Tuesday boasted about the growing popularity of mobile shopping among its citizens by drawing attention to one of its e-commerce portal sites.

The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, reported on the wider use of the Manmulsang website, a mobile shopping portal, launched by North Korea's Yonpung Commercial Information Technology Company in late 2016.

Hite Jinro heir, execs indicted for alleged unfair dealings

SEOUL -- The heir to Hite Jinro Co., a major liquor producer, and two other company executives including the CEO will stand trial on charges of arbitrarily making contracts with an affiliate tied to the scion to help boost its sales, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Park Tae-young, head of Hite Jinro's management strategy division and the eldest son of former Chairman Park Moon-deuk, has been indicted without physical detention for violating laws related to fair trading, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said.

Ex-President Lee seeks bail on grounds of health, change of bench

SEOUL -- Jailed former President Lee Myung-bak has applied for bail on grounds of failing health and forthcoming change of the lead judge in his trial following a reshuffle in the court, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Kang Hoon, his legal counsel, said he filed the request at the Seoul High Court handling Lee's appeal against the court decision that found him guilty of corruption.

N. Korea to favorably consider participating in gymnastics event in S. Korea: official

SEOUL -- North Korea will favorably consider participating in an international gymnastics event in South Korea this year, Seoul's gymnastics federation said Tuesday, after discussing its plans with the sport's international governing body.

According to the Korea Gymnastics Association (KGA), North Korea told International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Morinari Watanabe, who visited Pyongyang with a delegation last week, that it will review proposals for competing in the Korea Cup international gymnastics competition on Jeju Island in June.

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