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Yonhap News Summary

2018/02/14 13:30

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


White House: U.S. open to engaging N. Korea on denuclearization

WASHINGTON -- The United States is willing to engage North Korea to make clear the regime must give up its nuclear weapons, a White House National Security Council spokesperson said Tuesday.

In emailed comments to Yonhap, the spokesperson said on background that the "maximum pressure campaign" will also continue to bring North Korea to the negotiation table.


S. Korea to counter U.S. anti-dumping duties on steel, transformers at WTO

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Wednesday it will challenge the United States' slapping anti-dumping duties on Korean steel and transformers at the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming the rates were set unfairly high.

The move comes after Washington slapped duties of up to 60.8 percent on Korean steel products from May to September 2016 and large power transformers in March 2017 using the Adverse Facts Available (AFA) provision.


Seoul approves fund to pay N. Korea's Olympic bills

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday approved a plan to use a government fund to support North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, officials said.

The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council passed 2.86 billion won (US$2.64 million) in spending from the government budget for inter-Korean cooperation to pay the Olympic bills for Pyongyang.


Leader of new party calls for sending special envoy to U.S. before N. Korea

SEOUL -- A leader of the newly created minor opposition Bareun Future Party said Wednesday the government should send a special envoy to the United States first to further solidify the alliance with Washington before sending one to North Korea.

Rep. Yoo Seong-min, a co-leader of the centrist party created through a merger of the People's Party and the Bareun Party, also said South Korea should conduct the postponed joint military exercises with the U.S. immediately after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.


(LEAD) S. Korea's jobless rate unchanged at 3.7 percent in Jan.

SEJONG -- South Korea's jobless rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent in January, government data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people reached 26.21 million in January, up 334,000 from a year earlier and accelerating from the previous month's on-year rise of 257,000, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.


(Olympics) Father of Swiss skier travels 17,000km on bike to see his son in PyeongChang

PYEONGCHANG -- Parents of athletes come from many countries to see their children compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games but not like Guido Huwiler, who traveled 17,000 kilometers on a bike to see his son's performance in South Korea.

Guido and his wife, Rita Ruttimann, started their bike tour in March 2017 from Olten, Switzerland, to see Mischa Gasser, a Swiss athlete who will compete in the men's aerials at the 23rd Winter Games in PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul.


Big conglomerates post 46 pct jump in 2017 operating profit

SEOUL -- South Korea's 81 business groups posted a 46 percent on-year jump in their combined operating profit last year, helped by strong results on the part of leading players, a local corporate monitoring website said Wednesday.

As of Friday, businesses that have released their preliminary earnings reports and are among the country's 100 largest conglomerates posted 155.06 trillion won (US$143 billion) in operating profit on sales of 1,525.25 trillion won, CEO Score said in a statement.


Army Colonel indicted for blocking probe into military's political operation

SEOUL -- A South Korean Army colonel was indicted Wednesday for obstructing the military's investigation into the alleged involvement of its cyber warfare unit in domestic politics, the defense ministry said.

The arrested officer, identified only by his surname Kim, impeded or manipulated the military police's probe while serving as chief of the ministry's criminal investigation team from 2013-2014, according to a task force.