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Yonhap News Summary

2017/10/12 17:00

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

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(2nd LD) Lotte's holding firm sets sail

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SEOUL -- South Korean retail giant Lotte announced the launch of its holding company Thursday in a move to help the chief of the country's fifth-largest conglomerate solidify his leadership and boost the group's transparent management.

Lotte Corp., co-headed by Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and its innovation office chief Hang Kag-gyu, has 42 affiliates -- 138 including foreign subsidiaries -- under its wing, according to the group.

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S. Korean economy strong enough to ward off possible financial crisis: vice finance minister

SEJONG -- The South Korean economy is strong enough to ward off a financial crisis and reach 3 percent growth this year amid rising geopolitical tensions, a senior government official said Thursday.

"Due to escalating North Korean risks, some are concerned that the South Korean economy will be adversely affected," Vice Finance Minister Ko Hyoung-kwon told reporters. "No need to worry. The economy is on course for 3 percent growth, led by brisk exports."

   Recently, some economists noted that Asia's fourth-largest economy may suffer another financial crisis like the one it experienced 20 years ago, as the latest North Korean provocations weigh more heavily on the economy. In 1997, South Korea saw its currency slump and stock markets and asset prices devalue along with other Asian countries, and it was forced to turn to a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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(LEAD) S. Korea's agro-trade deficit with U.S. 'serious': minister

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SEOUL -- South Korea has posted a huge trade deficit with the United States in the agricultural sector, so there's not much to surrender when the two nations hold talks to amend the bilateral trade pact, Seoul's farm minister said Thursday.

Agriculture minister Kim Young-rok said Washington can call on Seoul to lift more tariffs in the agriculture sector as the two nations last week agreed to renegotiate terms of the five-year trade pact, known as "KORUS FTA."

  

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Documents indicate former president lied about her role during Sewol sinking: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday that it has found documents from the former administration that show the former president may have lied about her role in dealing with the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry, which, if proven true, may directly contradict the former leader's claim that she had done everything she was required to.

The documents, found in the crisis management office at Cheong Wa Dae, included a daily journal from the office drafted April 16, 2014, when the passenger ferry sank in waters off the country's western coast, killing more than 300 people, according to Im Jong-seok, the presidential chief of staff.

Im said the daily log showed the first report of the accident was made to then-President Park Geun-hye at 9:30 a.m., instead of at 10 a.m., as earlier claimed by the ousted leader and her aides.

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114 police officers booked for investigation of buying sex in past 10 years

SEOUL -- More than 100 police officers were booked for investigation of allegedly buying sex in the past 10 years, police data showed Thursday.

A total of 114 officers were booked for the violation between 2007 and May this year, according to the data submitted to Rep. Hong Chul-ho of the minor opposition Bareun Party as part of a parliamentary audit of the government.

The number has been on the rise in recent years, with four in 2014, five in 2015 and 34 in 2016. Three were accused of the violation between the start of the year and May.

Seoul had the most such officers with 17, followed by 16 in the western city of Incheon, 14 in South Gyeongsang Province, 10 in southern Gyeonggi Province; eight each in Busan and South Chungcheong Province, and six each in Gwangju and South Jeolla Province.

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S. Korea to hold forum on peace, unification next week

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Thursday it plans to hold a forum next week to discuss ways to bring peace to the divided peninsula and resolve North Korea's nuclear issues.

The ministry will hold the Korea Global Forum next Tuesday at the Westin Chosun hotel under the title of "New paths to peace on the Korean Peninsula through international cooperation."

   Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon plans to deliver a keynote speech at the eighth annual forum.

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Chaebol owners' children control 100 bln won worth of stocks: data

SEOUL -- Scores of children of the owners of nine conglomerates in South Korea have more than 100 billion won (US$88.2 million) worth of stocks in related companies, government data showed Thursday, amid the owners preferring the early transfer of assets to their offspring to reduce inheritance tax down the road.

The amount of stocks held by 25 children of the nine chaebol, or family-run conglomerates, reached 103.2 billion won as of the end of September, according to data by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

The figure translates into an average stock ownership of 4.1 billion won for each child affiliated with chaebol owners.

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