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

(2nd D) KB Financial Q2 net tumbles 70.4 pct
SEOUL -- KB Financial Group Co. said Friday its second-quarter earnings fell 70.4 percent on-year due to a fall in its profit margin and one-off valuation loss from its investment in a foreign bank.

   Net profit amounted to 163.5 billion won (US$147 million) in the April-June period, compared with 551.6 billion won the previous year, South Korea's No. 2 banking group said in a regulatory filing. In the first half, the group's earnings declined 50.3 percent to 575 billion won.

U.S. Treasury sanctions chief to visit S. Korea next week
SEOUL -- The United States official in charge of imposing sanctions on North Korea will visit South Korea next week to discuss bilateral cooperation, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

   David S. Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Department of the Treasury, will visit South Korea on Monday for a two-day trip," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Cho Tai-young said in a briefing.

Park holds summit with New Zealand PM ahead of armistice anniversary
SEOUL -- South Korea President Park Geun-hye held a summit with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday as the leader of a former wartime ally visited Seoul to attend the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

   New Zealand is one of the 21 countries that helped South Korea repel invading troops from the communist North. About 6,000 New Zealand troops were dispatched to fight alongside the South as part of the U.S.-led Allied Forces, and about 40 of them were killed.

(LEAD) Seoul shares edge up 0.06 pct on improved economic outlook
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed 0.06 percent higher Friday on improved economic outlook for advanced countries, analysts said. The local currency traded higher against the U.S. dollar.

   The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 1.2 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 1,910.81. Trading volume was moderate at 316 million shares worth 3.75 trillion won (US$3.37 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 415 to 384.

Samsung Lions sign ex-major league pitcher Caridad
SEOUL -- The Samsung Lions, the two-time defending South Korean baseball champions, announced on Friday they have signed former big league pitcher Esmailin Caridad.

   The right-hander will be the new foreign pitcher for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club and is signed for the rest of this season at US$120,000, with no signing bonus.

Ruling party official called in over missing summit transcript
SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Friday called in a ruling party official for questioning as part of their probe into a missing 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript that has set off an intense political tussle.

   The governing Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) have been wrangling for months over whether late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun from the opposition bloc seriously undermined the country's sovereignty during his 2007 summit with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il by offering to surrender the western maritime border with the North.

(LEAD) Samsung clinches one-third of all smartphone volumes worldwide in Q2
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest smartphone maker, posted a record shipments in the second quarter of the year, data showed on Friday.

   According to the data compiled by research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung Electronics shipped a record 76 million smartphones in the second quarter, compared with 69.4 million in the previous quarter.

U.N. body on N. Korean human rights to begin probe next week in South
SEOUL -- Officials from the United Nations-commissioned body to investigate human rights violations in North Korea will visit South Korea next week as the recently launched commission kicks off its mission, a government source said Friday.

   The U.N. established the Commission of Inquiry (COI) under the U.S. Human Rights Council in March, the first-ever U.N.-approved body to investigate human rights conditions in the reclusive country, amid increasing international concerns about the dire human rights environment in the communist North.

Chinese VP reaffirms commitment to Korean Peninsula denuclearization in meeting with NK leader
SEOUL -- Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao reaffirmed his country's commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, media reports said Friday.

   The meeting took place while Li visited the isolationist country as head of a Chinese delegation to mark the 60th anniversary of the truce of the Korean War (1950-53). The signing of the Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953 is celebrated as a holiday in the North as a day of victory in the "Fatherland Liberation War."