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

  
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(LEAD) U.N. team to begin probe on N. Korean ship in early August
WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK -- A five-member U.N. team is scheduled to arrive in Panama in early August for an on-site examination of a North Korean ship seized for carrying weapons from Cuba, officials said Thursday.

   Panama raided the 14,000-ton Chong Chon Gang ship last week as it tried to pass through the Panama Canal. It is alleged to be transporting contraband weapons in violation of U.N. sanctions.

  
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S. Korea, U.S. to discuss OPCON transition in high-level meeting
SEOUL -- Senior South Korean and U.S. military officials will meet later this month for a high-level defense meeting here, the defense ministry said Friday, which is widely expected to address another delay in Washington's planned transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) to Seoul.

   The Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) will be held on July 30-31 in Seoul as the two countries are preparing to transfer OPCON to South Korea in December 2015 and draft a new joint military structure.

  
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(LEAD) Dempsey says 'some setbacks' in OPCON transfer plan
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's top military officer said Thursday there are "some setbacks" in efforts to get South Korea ready for the takeover of wartime operational control (OPCON) of its troops by the agreed-upon date of Dec. 1, 2015.

   But Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), said he still supports the OPCON transition as scheduled.

   "From a military perspective, the timing of the transfer of wartime OPCON is appropriate," he said in a written answer submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

  
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S. Korean businesses say exports will likely grow in H2
SEJONG -- South Korean businesses believe their exports will likely grow in the second half with outbound shipments by the shipbuilding and information-technology companies further strengthening their global dominance, the government said Friday.

   They, however, believe exports by the petrochemical and steel manufacturers may shrink from a year earlier during the remainder of the year due partly to growing competition from their Chinese competitors, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

  
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Global LED market grows 9.9 pct in 2012
SEOUL -- The global market for light-emitting diodes (LED) grew 9.9 percent last year from a year earlier, driven by a surge in demand for LED lighting, industry data showed on Friday.

   The global LED market reached US$13.8 billion last year, compared with $12.5 billion the previous year, according to data compiled by research firm Strategies Unlimited.

  
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S. Korea to conduct annual drill next month against N.K. threats
SEOUL -- South Korea plans to carry out an annual civilian exercise next month to better prepare for emergency situations such as provocations by North Korea, the home affairs ministry said Friday.

   The "Ulchi Exercise" set for Aug. 19-22 will involve 410,000 officials at some 4,000 government offices and state-controlled civilian firms, according to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

  
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Reports on stock price-rigging plunge in H1
SEOUL -- South Korea's financial watchdog said Friday it has received fewer tip-offs on stock price-riggings in the first half of 2013 from a year earlier, mostly as the economic slump dented investors' sentiment.

   The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said the number of reports on share price manipulations came to 79 cases in the January-June period, down 49.3 percent from 156 cases tallied a year earlier.

  
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New coach's leadership to face early test at East Asian Cup football tourney
SEOUL -- South Korea will host a continental football tournament starting this weekend, as the leadership of the new men's national team head coach faces an early test.

   The July 20-28 East Asian Cup will bring together South Korea, Australia, China and Japan on the men's side, and South Korea, North Korea, China and Japan in the women's competition.

  (END)
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