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

U.S. hails Panama inspection of N. Korean ship
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government voiced strong support Tuesday for Panama's move to interdict a North Korean cargo ship allegedly carrying missile system parts.

   "The United States strongly supports Panama's decision to inspect the DPRK (North Korea) flagged vessel," State Department deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at a press briefing.

S. Korea's producer prices fall for 9th straight month in June
SEOUL -- South Korea's producer prices declined for the ninth consecutive month in June, largely due to a drop in prices of agricultural and fishery products, the central bank said Wednesday.

   The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, edged down 1.4 percent in June from a year earlier, after dipping 2.6 percent on-year in May, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(LEAD) Two opposition lawmakers quit probe into spy agency scandal
SEOUL -- Two opposition lawmakers quit a parliamentary investigative committee Wednesday in a move aimed at breaking an impasse in a probe into allegations that the state spy agency meddled in last year's presidential election.

   The investigation, which began early this month for a 45-day run, has been in limbo while the rival parties have wrangled over who should represent each side on the committee.

Trade minister calls for active investment by Japanese businesses
SEOUL -- South Korea's trade minister urged additional investment by Japanese businesses and investors here Wednesday, calling for increased trade between South Korea and Japan.

   The call from Minister Yoon Sang-jick came at a meeting with some 30 members of the Seoul Japan Club, a private group of some 1,700 Japanese businesspeople and investors in South Korea, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Gov't to unveil long-term guidelines for taxation policies
SEJONG -- The government plans to unveil long-term guidelines on how it should collect and manage its tax revenue over the next five years as part of efforts to better manage its budget, government sources said Wednesday.

   The guidelines are similar to the ones the government draws up for its long-term spending plan every five years, a move aimed at improving the efficiency of the national budget management.

Koreas kick off 4th-round talks on Kaesong complex
SEOUL -- South and North Korea opened their fourth round of working-level talks Wednesday on the resumption of a shuttered joint factory park, a major symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement.

   During their first round of talks in early July, the two countries agreed to work toward reopening the joint economic project in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, forged after the landmark inter-Korean summit in 2000.

Watchdog likely to fine carmakers 100 bln won for price fixing
SEOUL -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog appears likely to fine the country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and local units of four foreign carmakers a combined 100 billion won (US$89 million) for allegedly colluding to fix prices, an industry official said Wednesday.

   The move comes as the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has confirmed after a two-year probe that Hyundai, Volvo Truck Korea, Scania Korea, MAN Truck & Bus Korea and IVECO Korea conspired to fix prices of their trucks, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the issue's sensitivity.