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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 January 10, 2020

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

S. Korea closely monitoring tension in Middle East: finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea is closely monitoring tensions in the Middle East, although a conflict between the United States and Iran is not escalating, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Friday.

Hong said volatility at local financial markets showed signs of easing as the U.S. and Iran moved to defuse tension, but uncertainties remain.

(2nd LD) Trump meets top Seoul official amid N.K. tensions

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump met with the top national security advisers of South Korea and Japan in Washington on Wednesday, the White House said, as nuclear talks between Washington and North Korea remain deadlocked.

Trump met briefly with Chung Eui-yong, director of Cheong Wa Dae's national security office, and his Japanese counterpart, Shigeru Kitamura, and noted that the two countries are among the strongest U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific, according to a White House readout sent late Wednesday.

Official reiterates top priority on citizens' safety in consideration of Hormuz dispatch

SEOUL -- A foreign ministry official has reiterated South Korea's top priority on the safety of its citizens in the Middle East, as it explores the possibility of a troop dispatch to the Strait of Hormuz amid high military tensions between the United States and Iran.

Last week's killing of a top Iranian general and Tehran's retaliatory attacks this week have sharply raised tensions in the region and reinforced speculation that Washington will ramp up calls for its allies to contribute to maritime security operations in the vital waterway off Iran.

BTS unveils teaser video for new album

SEOUL -- K-pop boy band BTS on Friday released the first teaser video for its new album slated for Feb. 21.

The group uploaded "Interlude: Shadow," the first trailer of its fourth full-length album "Map of the Soul: 7" on its YouTube channel at 12 a.m. Friday.

Prosecution raids presidential office in election-meddling probe

SEOUL -- State prosecutors on Friday raided a division at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae as part of its ongoing probe into an election-meddling case involving the incumbent Ulsan mayor, a close presidential confidant.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said it launched a raid on a Cheong Wa Dae unit that covers policies on supporting provincial governments in relation to election-meddling allegations in the industrial city 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

(CES 2020) LG, Microsoft join hands on infotainment, building management solutions

LAS VEGAS -- LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it has joined hands with Microsoft Corp. to develop advanced automotive infotainment and building management solutions.

The two sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation in automotive and business-to-business (B2B) solutions after signing a strategic partnership Wednesday on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Korean man gets one-year prison term for beating Japanese woman

SEOUL -- A South Korean man was sentenced to one year in prison on Friday for insulting and beating a Japanese woman in Seoul last August.

The Seoul Western District Court handed out the jail term to the man identified only as Bang.

N.K. newspaper urges self-reliance in food production against 'murderous' sanctions

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper called for increased production of food Friday, saying self-reliance in its food supply is instrumental in ensuring the communist state's existence and dignity in the face of "murderous" global sanctions.

North Korea's media outlets have called for "self-reliance" in various areas, including food production, since leader Kim Jong-un urged construction of an economy independent of outside help to brace for a protracted fight against sanctions and pressure by the United States.

Seoul stocks trade higher late Friday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks continued to trade higher late Friday morning as investors welcomed the eased concerns over the military tensions in the Middle East and the upcoming trade deal between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 8.93 points, or 0.41 percent, to reach 2,195.38 as of 11:20 a.m.

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