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Yonhap News Summary

2017/02/28 11:59

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

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BOK cautious about rate change, its chief says

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Tuesday it will maintain an accommodative monetary policy amid concerns about the pace of the U.S. rate hike.

Speaking to lawmakers, Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said it won't rush to raise the country's benchmark rates even if the U.S. increases its own rates again.

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(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S., Japan agree to work closely together in responding to Kim Jong-nam's killing

WASHINGTON -- South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Monday to work closely together in responding to the recent killing of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, an official said.

Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea's chief envoy on North Korea issues, reached the agreement when he held talks in Washington with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi, amid mounting evidence that Pyongyang was behind the death of Kim Jong-nam, the leader's estranged brother.

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S. Korea's biz sentiment improves for March

SEOUL -- South Korean businesses continue to remain pessimistic about their business conditions in the future, but their sentiment improved slightly for the upcoming month, a survey showed Tuesday.

The business survey index (BSI) for March came to 92.1, up from 87.7 registered for this month, according to the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).

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It's impossible to hold negotiations with 'completely unhinged' N. Korea: U.S. lawmaker

WASHINGTON -- North Korea is "completely unhinged" and it's impossible to hold negotiations with the communist nation, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman said Monday.

"The North Korean regime is completely unhinged. They've long been unhinged. And the closer they get to ability to not only detonate a nuclear weapon, but also deliver that nuclear weapon, we have to take that seriously," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told reporters.

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S. Korean firms exhibit tech prowess at MWC

SEOUL -- Over 100 South Korean tech companies, including many small and midsized firms, are showing their advanced technology at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) now being held in Barcelona, Spain, a local trade agency said Tuesday.

About 150 South Korean firms are taking part in the four-day event, marking the largest number of South Korean companies to do so, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

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Seoul's spy agency warned Kim Jong-nam of safety last year

SEOUL -- South Korea's spy agency sent a safety warning last year to the North Korean leader's half brother who was killed earlier this month, lawmakers said Tuesday.

An official from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) was quoted as telling the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee Monday that it sent a message to Kim Jong-nam that he was the target of a possible attack. It was delivered through a third party in the second half of 2016, he added.

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1 in 10 foreigners staying in S. Korea illegally

SEOUL -- One out of 10 foreigners living in South Korea are illegal aliens, government data showed Tuesday.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Justice, 211,320, or 10.5 percent of the total number of foreigners living here as of end-January, are staying without a valid visa.

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(LEAD) FM Yun urges int'l cooperation to punish N. Korean leader

GENEVA/SEOUL -- South Korea's top diplomat on Monday appealed to the international community for close cooperation to punish North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing a recent murder involving the use of a lethal nerve agent.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that the leader's brother was "brutally" murdered with a deadly nerve agent, calling it a violation of international norms and human rights and urging efforts to hold the violators accountable.

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Despite bitter past, Korean brands succeeding in Japan

SEOUL -- Koreans celebrate March 1 every year as the day the country ignited its independence movement against oppressive Japanese colonial rule that had continued from 1910-45. The two nations still have unsettled historical issues stemming from those days, but market trends indicate that on the culture side, Korea is being widely embraced by the Japanese.

"Hallyu," or the Korean Wave, in Japan dates back to the immense local popularity of the Korean drama "Winter Sonata" in 2002. Since then, South Korean cultural content has made a firm and strong landing in Japan with pop music, the film industry and food.

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S. Korean shares up in late morning trading on U.S. gains

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded higher late Tuesday morning, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street ahead of a key congressional address by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.6 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,091.12 as of 11:20 a.m.

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