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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 January 10, 2020

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

(LEAD) Prosecution raids presidential office in election-meddling probe
(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 3-5, 8-9)

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.

S. Korea, U.S. to hold defense cost talks next week after Washington hints at compromise

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States will hold a new round of talks in Washington next week on sharing the cost for stationing American troops here amid expectations the two sides are closer to a deal.

Jeong Eun-bo, South Korea's chief negotiator for the talks, is set to meet his U.S. counterpart, James DeHart, for two-day talks starting on Tuesday (U.S. time), the foreign ministry said Friday.

S. Korea to speed up budget spending in Q1: vice finance minister

SEJONG -- South Korea will speed up its budget spending in the first quarter as it seeks to revitalize the economy through large-scale investment projects, a vice finance minister said Friday.

Vice Finance Minister Koo Yun-cheol said it is most important for the economy to gain recovery momentum this year, backed by the government's expansionary fiscal policies.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks continue to jump on eased concerns over U.S.-Iran conflict
(ATTN: ADDS details in 3rd para, bond yields at bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed sharply higher for the second consecutive session Friday amid the outlook that the United States and Iran may avoid an all-out war despite persisting tensions between them, analysts said. The local currency closed slightly lower against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 19.94 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 2,206.39. Trading volume was moderate at 584 million shares worth 6.32 trillion won (US$5.44 billion), with winners far outnumbering losers 569 to 265.

BTS' 'Map of the Soul: Persona' becomes most-sold album in Gaon chart history

SEOUL -- BTS sold more than 3.71 million copies of its latest "Map of the Soul: Persona" album last year, breaking the all-time record for the most annual album sales on Gaon Charts, the band's management agency said Friday.

Sales of the "Persona" album, released in April last year, came to 3,718,230 copies, Big Hit Entertainment said, quoting data by Gaon Charts, the country's main music chart operated by the Korea Music Content Association.

'Parasite' likely to be remade into drama series on HBO

SEOUL -- Bong Joon-ho's sensational thriller "Parasite" will be made into a TV series on U.S. premium cable channel HBO, the film's production house said Friday.

"Director Bong and Adam McKay will participate in the project as executive producers, with HBO," said an official from the film's investor-distributor CJ ENM. The film won the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

U.S.-N. Korea talks unlikely to resume this year: expert

SEOUL -- Nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea are unlikely to resume this year as chances are low that Washington will come up with major concessions ahead of its upcoming presidential election, an expert said Friday.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University, made the case during a seminar in Seoul, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have calculated this when he warned of a protracted deadlock in U.S.-North Korea relations in an address to a key party meeting last month.


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