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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 January 08, 2020

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

(CES 2020) Samsung sells at least 400,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones in 2019: exec

LAS VEGAS -- Samsung Electronics Co., sold at least 400,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones last year, the company's mobile business chief said Tuesday, denying earlier media reports that it sold one million foldable handsets.

"I think we've sold 400,000 to 500,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones," Koh Dong-jin, President and CEO of Samsung's IT & Mobile Communication division, told reporters at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas.

Prosecutors demand 23-year jail term for ex-President Lee Myung-bak

SEOUL -- State prosecutors on Wednesday requested that an appeals court sentence former President Lee Myung-bak to 23 years in prison on bribery and embezzlement charges.

The requested sentencing by the prosecution is heavier than the 15-year jail term that a lower court handed down to Lee, president from 2008-2013, in October 2018.

S. Korea defeats India for 1st win at Olympic men's volleyball qualifying tournament

SEOUL -- South Korea beat India in straight sets for its first victory at the Asian Olympic men's volleyball qualifying tournament on Wednesday in China.

Jung Ji-seok led the way with 12 points, as the 24th-ranked South Korea got past the 131st-ranked India 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) in Pool B action at Jiangmen Sports Center Gymnasium in Jiangmen, China.

Ministry to widen democratic citizen education following voting age lowering

SEJONG -- Educational authorities will make sure high school students can receive education about how to exercise their rights as democratic citizens after the country's minimum voting age was lowered to 18 last month, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae has said.

"The voting age reduction is meaningful, and we will provide democratic citizen education even to students who have yet to receive suffrage," Yoo, who doubles as the deputy prime minister for social affairs, said in a press conference near the government complex in Sejong, central South Korea, on Tuesday.

N.K. official blames S. Korea for 'serious debacle' in inter-Korean relations

SEOUL -- A North Korean official lashed out at South Korea on Wednesday for causing a "serious debacle" in inter-Korean relations, calling for an end to joint military drills with the United States as a first step to end its "paranoia."

Ri Kum-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party, a minor political party, made the remarks in an interview carried by Uriminzokkiri TV, a North Korean propaganda outlet.

(2nd LD) LG Electronics expects poor Q4 earnings

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. on Wednesday estimated lower than expected earnings for the fourth quarter of last year due to its sluggish smartphone business, but its sales reached a record-high last year.

In an earnings guidance, the South Korean electronics maker said it expects 98.6 billion won (US$84.2 million) in operating income during the Oct.-Dec. period, up 30.3 percent from a year earlier.

(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae says it's receiving real-time briefings on Iran situations

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday it's keeping a close watch on the current situations involving Iran, taking relevant reports on a real-time basis.

With regard to what's going on there, the government, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is "in close consultations" with local authorities with a top priority on the security and safety of South Korean nationals, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said in a statement.

(LEAD) SK hynix hits all-time high on improved market outlook

SEOUL -- Shares in SK hynix Inc., the world's second-largest DRAM maker, traded at an all-time high on Wednesday on expectations that the chipmaking sector is set to improve this year after bottoming out in the fourth quarter of last year.

SK hynix finished at 97,400 won (US$83.18) on Wednesday, up 3.62 percent from the previous session's close, bucking a 1.11 percent dip in the benchmark KOSPI.

Military closely watching N.K. moves on leader Kim's birthday: Seoul officials

SEOUL -- No unusual military moves in North Korea have been detected so far, officials said Wednesday, amid speculation that Pyongyang could undertake provocations to mark leader Kim Jong-un's birthday.

But the military has maintained a staunch readiness posture in case of unforeseen provocations, they added.

(5th LD) Samsung beats Q4 earnings estimate, set for better performance in 2020

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. expected market estimate-beating fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday on a slight recovery in chip prices but suffered its worst performance in four years in 2019 due to a prolonged slump in the chipmaking sector.

The world's No. 1 memory chipmaker estimated its fourth-quarter operating income at 7.1 trillion won (US$6.1 billion), down 34.26 percent from a year earlier, but the reading was well above the median market estimate of 6.5 trillion won, as chip prices bottomed out and its smartphones drew better-than-expected market response.

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