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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:11 January 13, 2020

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

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S. Korea urges N. Korea to refrain from harsh words for better inter-Korean relations

SEOUL -- South Korea urged North Korea on Monday to respect each other and refrain from offensive language after a senior North Korean official derided Seoul's efforts to help stalled denuclearization talks move forward.

On Saturday, former North Korean chief nuclear envoy Kim Kye-gwan hurled harsh invective against the South, ridiculing Seoul's efforts to mediate between Washington and Pyongyang as "presumptuous," and urging it to "behave prudently not to be reduced to a fool heading nowhere."

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(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae conveys petition on prosecution's Cho Kuk probe to rights panel

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae said Monday it has submitted a formal document to a state human rights panel that includes a public petition calling for a probe into whether prosecutors violated relevant rules in their sweeping investigation into suspicions involving former Justice Minister Cho Kuk and his family.

Cheong Wa Dae earlier received the online petition amid debates over the prosecution's way of investigating the allegations of crimes related to his children's schooling and a family investment in a private equity fund.

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(News Focus) Tensions over prosecution reform deepen after reshuffle of senior prosecutors

SEOUL -- Tensions over prosecution reform have intensified, highlighted by the government's replacement of senior prosecutors in charge of a probe into scandals involving ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk and some presidential officials.

The Ministry of Justice replaced 32 senior prosecutors on Wednesday in a reshuffle that relegated two top prosecutors close to Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl to provincial and less important posts.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit 9-month high ahead of Sino-U.S. trade deal, Korean won sharply up

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks jumped more than 1 percent Monday to extend their winning streak to a third day, as foreign investors scooped up major chip shares as the signing of a Sino-American trade deal nears. The South Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 22.87 points, or 1.04 percent, to close at 2,229.26, marking its highest point since April 17, when it reached 2,245.89 points.

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(LEAD) EXO's Chen breaks surprise marriage news, hints at fiance's pregnancy

SEOUL -- Chen, a member of K-pop boy band EXO, made a surprise announcement Monday that he will get married soon, hinting that his fiance is pregnant.

"Chen decided to get married after getting into a precious relationship," EXO's management agency, SM Entertainment, said.

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Air Force abolishes 'shaved head' rule for new recruits

SEOUL -- The Air Force said Monday it has abolished a regulation that forces new conscripts to have their heads fully shaved as part of efforts to better guarantee their human rights.

The decision was made upon the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, which said that such an "excessive" regulation could violate conscripts' rights.

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Korea's minting agency sees sales rise 9.1 pct in 2019

SEJONG -- South Korea's state-run minting agency said Monday its sales rose 9.1 percent on-year in 2019, as it expanded overseas sales of gold and silver bar products.

The Korea Minting, Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corp. (KOMSCO) reported sales of 524.6 billion won (US$454.1 million) last year, the company said in a statement.

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S. Korea earns Olympic volleyball berth with total team effort

SEOUL -- Volleyball is obviously a team sport, though it didn't seem that way for the South Korean women's national team in the recent past.

For years, the all-world outside hitter Kim Yeon-koung has been both a blessing and a curse for South Korea. She has been bailing out her team time and time again with her sheer skills. But at the same time, because the team has relied on Kim so much, it has prevented the growth of other attacking players, and the lack of depth has been a real concern for the long-term health of the program.

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K-pop stars temporarily leaving music scene over anxiety disorders

SEOUL -- At the height of their high-profile K-pop careers last year, Kang Daniel and Mina, a member of sensational girl group TWICE, temporarily left show business, complaining of anxiety and other mental disorders.

The Japanese K-pop star, Mina was suffering from an anxiety disorder and suspended her stage career amid her group's globe-trotting concert tour in July. Kang abruptly withdrew from the public eye in early December due to depression and a panic disorder, one week after his second music release as a soloist.

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