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

  
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Joe Yun all set for work as U.S. ambassador to Malaysia
WASHINGTON -- Joseph Yun, a Korean-American diplomat, plans to begin his work as the new top U.S. envoy in Malaysia in late August or early September, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

   Yun, principal deputy assistant secretary of state handling Southeast Asian affairs, underwent a Senate confirmation hearing last week for his nomination as ambassador to Malaysia.

  
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S. Korea, U.S. to boost ties to combat transnational crimes
WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States signed an agreement Tuesday to strengthen cooperation between their major law-enforcement authorities in fighting transnational crimes.

   Top officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) signed a six-page memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at supporting the exchange of law-enforcement information, the sharing of relevant techniques and cooperative investigative efforts, according to ICE.

  
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Intel seeking trademark protection in N. Korea
WASHINGTON -- North Korea is apparently no exception for efforts by U.S. firms to take every pre-emptive measure to protect their intellectual property rights worldwide.

   American tech giant Intel Corp. is trying to lay the legal groundwork for possible business in the communist nation some day.

  
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Sci-fi film 'Snowpiercer' tops 4 mln viewer mark in record time
SEOUL -- South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's English language debut film, "Snowpiercer," has attracted more than 4 million viewers in seven days of opening, its local distributor said Wednesday.

   The film, starring top Korean actor Song Kang-ho alongside Hollywood thespians Chris Evans, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton, attracted an accumulated total of just over 4 million viewers on Tuesday, according to CJ Entertainment.

  
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Navy to seek injunction against documentary on Cheonan sinking
SEOUL -- A group of Navy officers and families of fallen soldiers will seek a court injunction against a controversial documentary that casts doubts on a multinational team's conclusion that North Korea was responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan warship, a senior official said Wednesday.

   "Project Cheonan Ship," which is directed by independent filmmaker Baek Seung-woo and produced by Chung Ji-young, challenges the South Korean government's claim that the North is responsible for torpedoing a navy vessel with 104 crew members on board while it was patrolling the tensely guarded western sea border on March 26, 2010.

  
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Samsung Electronics sees its assets top 200 tln won
SEOUL -- Assets held by Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea's top conglomerate by market cap, topped 200 trillion won (US$180 billion) as of end-June this year mainly due to its stellar business performance, data showed on Wednesday.

   Samsung's assets reached 203.76 trillion won at the end of June, up 12.92 trillion won from three months earlier. The end-June figure is also up 37.46 trillion won from a year earlier, according to its financial statement.

  
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More S. Korean firms face global patent rows in H1
SEOUL -- South Korean firms saw the number of patent disputes with overseas rivals rise in the first half from a year earlier, data showed Wednesday, casting clouds over the export-reliant country's economy.

   The number of patent litigations between local and foreign firms came to 210 cases in the January-June period, posting a sharp increase from 91 cases tallied a year earlier, the Korean Intellectual Property Office's data showed.

  
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Duty-free shops not allowed to open in arrival terminals: minister
SEOUL -- South Korea has decided not to allow duty-free shops to open in arrival terminals of its international airports, the country's top economic policymaker said Wednesday, putting an end to a years-old controversy over the issue.

   "We have held talks among related ministries (on this issue), in which we came to an agreement that it is not desirable to open duty-free shops in the arrival terminals at least at this moment," Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok told a meeting with other policymakers in Seoul.

  
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N. Korea's public food rations up in 2013: report
SEOUL -- North Korea is providing more food rations to its people in 2013 than in the year before despite a drop in aid from abroad, a media report said Wednesday.

   The report by Radio Free Asia, based on data provided by the World Food Program (WFP), showed that Pyongyang provided roughly 400 grams of food per person on a daily basis in the first five months of the year.

  
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S. Korea, Australia agree to expand cooperation in military logistics
SEOUL -- Senior officials of South Korea and Australia have agreed to expand mutual cooperation in military logistics and defense industry in a bilateral meeting Wednesday, Seoul's defense ministry said.

   South Korean Army Maj. Gen. Lee Sang-wook met with his Australian counterpart Rear Adm. Clint Thomas, commander of Joint Logistics, to discuss ways to expand mutual military exchanges and share repair parts and tools for equipment being used in both countries.

  
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Macquarie to withdraw investment in Seoul subway
SEOUL -- A South Korean affiliate of Australia's Macquarie Group is set to pull its investment in a Seoul subway line this month after a year-long dispute with the municipal government over fare hikes, city officials said Wednesday.

   The Macquarie Korea Infrastructure Fund (MKIF) is the second-largest shareholder of the Seoul Metro Line9 Corp. with a 24.53 percent stake, behind Hyundai Rotem, which has a 25 percent stake. Shinhan Bank is the No. 3 shareholder with a 14.9 percent stake, followed by POSCO ICT with 10.2 percent.

  
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Seoul shares down 1.06 pct in late-morning trade
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks fell 1.06 percent late Wednesday morning, as large-cap auto and tech firms widened losses, analysts said.

   The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 20.14 points to 1,886.48 as of 11:20 a.m.

  (END)
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