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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:31 October 25, 2019

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea decides to give up developing country status at WTO

SEOUL -- South Korea said Friday it has decided to give up its developing country status at the World Trade Organization in a concession to the United States over reform of the global trade body.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said there is little possibility that the international community can recognize South Korea as a developing country in future WTO negotiations and said a delay in South Korea's decision could undermine its negotiating power.

N.K. sends notice to discuss removal of facilities on Mt. Kumgang: minister

SEOUL -- North Korea has sent a notice to discuss ways to remove facilities built by South Korea at Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast, the unification minister was quoted as saying Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticized his late father's policy of depending on the South for the development of the Mount Kumgang resort, ordering the removal of "all the unpleasant-looking facilities" built by the South.

(LEAD) N.K. leader inspects spa resort, signals intention for independent tourism development

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a spa resort under construction, touting it as much better than the South Korean-built resort at Mount Kumgang, state media reported Friday, in an indication of his intention to develop the tourism industry without outside help.

The "field guidance" trip to the Yangdok County Hot Spring Resort in central North Korea came just days after Kim visited Mount Kumgang and ordered the removal of the long-abandoned resort facilities while criticizing his father's decision to open the area to South Korean developers.

Samsung heir appears before court in bribery case

SEOUL -- Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong appeared again before a court Friday for a Supreme Court-ordered reconsideration of his bribery case that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye in 2017.

Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone and chip maker, said he "feels very sorry for causing concern to many people" before entering the Seoul High Court to attend the first hearing. The grim-faced Lee arrived at the court compound in a black suit at 9:29 a.m.

Moon calls for 'drastic' change in college entrance exam system

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in stressed the need Friday to overhaul South Korea's education system, especially in relation to the controversial admission policies of local universities, reaffirming his commitment to addressing one of the toughest social issues here.

Promoting fairness has emerged as a key task for the latter half of Moon's five-year presidency.

S. Korea's consumer sentiment climbs to 6-month high in October

SEOUL -- South Korea's consumer sentiment continued to improve for the second consecutive month in October, climbing to the highest level in six months, central bank data showed Friday.

The composite consumer sentiment index (CCSI) came to 98.6 in the month, up 1.7 from a month earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.

Apple launches iPhone 11 series in S. Korea

SEOUL -- American tech giant Apple's latest iPhone 11 series officially hit the shelves in South Korea on Friday, targeting consumers looking for premium phones available in 4G models.

Apple released its iPhone, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in South Korea about one month after their launch in other markets, including the United States, China and Japan.

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