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Yonhap News Summary

2018/02/09 12:06

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


Pence may encounter N. Korea's ceremonial leader at Olympic reception

SEOUL -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence may encounter North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam on Friday as both will attend a reception hosted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, officials from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

The dinner meeting will be held in Yongpyeong, just east of PyeongChang, hours before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. It will involve 200 other dignitaries, including nearly two dozen global leaders. They include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a ranking official of the Communist Party of China.


S. Korea completes consultation with int'l community over fuel supply to N.K. ship

SEOUL -- South Korea has completed its consultation with the international community over whether to provide fuel to a North Korean ship that carried its art troupe earlier this week, a government official said Friday.

North Korea has asked that the South refuel the Mangyongbong-92, which has been anchored at the South Korean eastern port of Mukho since Tuesday after transporting its art troupe to the South.


German president calls for dialogue, pressure to build peace with N. Korea

SEOUL -- German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday that dialogue is the only way to ease tensions and seek peace and reunification between the two Koreas.

In his speech at a forum held in Seoul, he also emphasized the importance of continued pressure and strong multilateral sanctions to bring the North to meaningful talks on its nuclear program.


Defense chief makes first-ever apology for military's bloody crackdown on 1980 Gwangju uprising

SEOUL -- South Korea's defense minister offered an official apology Friday for the military's brutal use of force against pro-democracy protesters in Gwangju in 1980.

"As the minister of national defense, I offer a sincere apology and (words of) comfort to Gwangju citizens that our military has left suffering in the process of the May 18 Democratization Movement 38 years ago," Song Young-moo said in a statement.


(News Focus) Firms pin hope on Olympics for restarting Kaesong complex

SEOUL -- South Korean companies that operated factories at the now-shuttered joint industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong said Friday they hope the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will help pave the way for the resumption of operations.

Saturday will mark two years since South Korea abruptly pulled the plug on the special industrial complex just north of the demilitarized zone that had been hailed as a key symbol of economic cooperation between the two Koreas. The action was taken to punish Pyongyang for its fourth nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch.


(Olympics) S. Korea's Cha Jun-hwan ranks 6th in short program at figure skating team event

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- South Korea's teenage figure skater Cha Jun-hwan performed a clean short program Friday to record his season best at the first figure skating competition of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Skating to "Gypsy Dance" from the ballet "Don Quixote," Cha scored 77.70 points to rank sixth in the men's singles for the team event held at the Gangneung Ice Arena on the opening day of the PyeongChang Games.


(Olympics) IOC President Bach carries torch for PyeongChang on day of opening ceremony

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach carried the torch for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Friday, the day of its opening ceremony.

Bach, a former Olympic fencing champion for West Germany, joined the torch relay on its final day, running a route stretching from the International Broadcasting Centre to the Main Press Centre inside the Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang.


(Olympics) Iranian athletes to receive Samsung phones without condition

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Organizers for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics said Friday they have decided to provide free Samsung smartphones to Iranian athletes without the condition of returning them, amid looming anti-Samsung sentiment in Tehran.

"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to allow the provision of the Galaxy Note 8 smartphones to four Iranian athletes without the condition of handing them back," an official from the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games said.


Output, investment signal economic recovery to continue in coming months

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is expected to maintain its current recovery pace going forward after industrial output and facility investment rose for the second straight month, a government report said Friday.

However, a weaker job market and ongoing trade issues are likely to weigh on the nation's economy, the finance ministry said in its monthly economy assessment report.


'Along With the Gods' becomes second-most-viewed movie in Korea

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- The local fantasy blockbuster "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" has become the second-most-viewed film of all time in South Korea.

According to the real-time box-office tally from the Korean Film Council, the megahit movie reached 14,259,394 in total attendance as of 6 p.m. Thursday, the 51st day of its run. It edged out "Ode to My Father," the Korean film seen by 14,257,115 people in 2014.


(Yonhap Feature) Female chefs strive to expand presence in Korean food scene

SEOUL -- Cooking for family comes natural for many South Korean women, but few, if any, have demonstrated their culinary talent beyond their homes in professional kitchens.

Among 24 restaurants that received stars for top quality cuisine by the Michelin Guide 2018, only three were headed by female chefs in the male-dominated Asian country.


(Yonhap Interview) When painting sky becomes Sunday 'ritual'

   SEOUL -- There is hardly anything that looks big or significant under the overwhelmingly vast sky. Or is there?

   Artist Byron Kim's "Sunday Paintings" series, which he began in 2001, is an artistic and intellectual quest to look for a metaphor where a small part stands for the whole thing by observing his mundane daily life against the indifference of the celestial sphere.