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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:39 November 28, 2019

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

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(LEAD) Supreme Court orders retrial of former President Park in NIS fund case

SEOUL -- The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a retrial of former President Park Geun-hye for acceptance of off-the-books funds from the National Intelligence Service (NIS), saying her acquittals by lower courts on bribery and state fund loss charges should be reversed.

The top court instructed the Seoul High Court to retry Park's case, raising legal questions about the appellate court's decision in July to reduce her prison sentence in the NIS fund scandal by one year to five years.

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(LEAD) Moon, Mahathir agree on 'strategic partnership' between S. Korea, Malaysia

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad agreed Thursday to elevate relations between their countries to a "strategic partnership" next year, noting that bilateral ties have deepened in various fields such as cutting-edge industries, energy, arms projects, health care and the environment.

During Cheong Wa Dae talks in Seoul, Moon suggested a concerted effort for a solidified "synergy of policy cooperation" by harmonizing the New Southern Policy of his government and Malaysia's Look East Policy, Moon's office said.

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Vice minister to visit Kaesong liaison office, no weekly meeting planned

SEOUL -- Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho will visit the inter-Korean liaison office in North Korea's border town of Kaesong this week, though there will be no meeting with his North Korean counterpart, a ministry official said Thursday.

Suh's trip to the office on Friday comes at a time when inter-Korean relations remain stalled, with Pyongyang threatening to end their joint tour program to Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast.

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U.S. flies another spy plane over S. Korea

SEOUL -- A U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Korean Peninsula, an aviation tracker said Thursday, the second such flight detected in less than a day, in an apparent sign of ramped-up surveillance of North Korea.

The plane, believed to be an E-8C, was spotted in skies above the Korean Peninsula, Aircraft Spots said on its Twitter account, without giving details about the exact time of the operation.

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(LEAD) Pentagon budget estimate suggests why Trump seeks $5 bln from S. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Defense Department has estimated it will cost nearly US$4.5 billion to station troops in South Korea in fiscal year 2020, suggesting why President Donald Trump reportedly seeks $5 billion from Seoul next year.

According to the Pentagon's budget estimate drawn up in March, the total payment toward military personnel, operations, maintenance and family housing in South Korea amounts to $4.46 billion in the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2020.

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S. Korea has spent 90.7 pct of extra budget

SEJONG -- South Korea has used almost 91 percent of this year's extra budget, to boost economic growth and support the parts and materials sector, the finance ministry said Thursday.

The implementation of 5.3 trillion won (US$4.5 billion) is equal to 90.7 percent of the 5.8 trillion-won extra budget, according to the ministry.

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Opposition leader regains consciousness after being taken to hospital due to hunger strike

SEOUL -- The chief of South Korea's main opposition party regained consciousness Thursday after he was taken to a hospital a day earlier following eight days of hunger strike, officials said.

Liberty Korea Party (LKP) chairman Hwang Kyo-ahn lost consciousness on Wednesday night while fasting in protest of controversial bills on election reform and a corruption probe unit. He was immediately sent to Severance Hospital in west Seoul, according to party officials.
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