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Yonhap News Summary

2017/03/15 17:52

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

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(2nd LD) Prosecution summons Park to face questioning Tuesday

SEOUL -- South Korean prosecutors summoned ex-President Park Geun-hye to undergo questioning early next week, a prosecution official said Wednesday, as she was removed from office over a string of corruption allegations.

"The prosecution team has sent a summons to former President Park Geun-hye's legal representative, asking her to appear at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office at 9:30 a.m. on March 21 to be questioned," an official at a special task force under the district office told reporters. The summons was delivered to Park at around 9:40 a.m.

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(LEAD) S. Korea vigilant as China's travel ban takes effect

SEOUL -- South Korea is keeping a close watch on China's next moves that may work to further hurt its industries, as Beijing's travel ban to its neighboring country came into effect Wednesday, the latest hostile measure taken in protest of Seoul's stationing of a U.S. anti-missile system.

China-based travel agencies, both online and offline, are now forbidden to sell trips to South Korea, including group tours, cruise stopovers and individual travels booked through agencies, following an instruction from the China National Tourism Administration announced March 2.

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(LEAD) Free trade pact mutually benefits S. Korea, US: KITA

SEOUL -- The bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the United States has been a "win-win" arrangement for both countries over the past five years, a Seoul-based trade organization said Wednesday, dismissing a recent claim by the Donald Trump administration that it hurts the American economy.

The share of South Korean goods exported to the U.S. stood at 3.19 percent at the end of 2016, rising 0.62 percentage point from 2.57 percent in 2011, a year before the bilateral trade pact took effect, according to a latest report by the Institute for International Trade, a research unit of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

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(2nd LD) Hwang announces decision not to run for president

SEOUL -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Wednesday announced his decision not to run in the presidential election slated for May 9, dealing a blow to the conservative bloc on the lookout for viable contenders to take on more popular liberal rivals.

During a Cabinet meeting, Hwang made the announcement, ending the months-long speculation over his presidential ambitions that emerged after he took over as acting president in December following former President Park Geun-hye's impeachment over a corruption scandal.

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(LEAD) Carl Vinson enters Busan to join annual drills

BUSAN -- The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier arrived at South Korea's southern port of Busan on Wednesday to participate in the ongoing joint exercises by Seoul and Washington in the latest show of force against North Korea, the U.S. military said.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier plans to conduct bilateral exercises with forces from the South Korean Navy in the waters around the Korean Peninsula during the Foal Eagle field training exercise that runs through the end of April, the U.S. Navy said in a press briefing held in the port city.

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(LEAD) Expert calls for inter-Korean summit after May election

SEOUL -- South Korea should seek summit talks with the North under the next government in order to keep the North's nuclear threats in check through negotiations and dialogue, a North Korea expert here said Wednesday.

South Korea will hold an election to choose its new president on May 9 following the Constitutional Court's ruling last week to unseat Park Geun-hye from office over a massive corruption scandal.

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Malaysia confirms Kim Jong-nam's identity with child's DNA sample: report

SEOUL -- Malaysia has confirmed the identity of the slain half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un using a DNA sample from his child, foreign media reported Wednesday.

Investigators "confirmed the identity of the body as Kim Jong-nam based on the sample obtained from his child," Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying by AFP.

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Gov't set to lift sunken Sewol ferry next month

JINDO, South Korea -- South Korea's maritime ministry said Wednesday that it is ready to lift a sunken ferry from the ocean floor next month in which more than 300 people died, a deadly disaster in the country's history.

The 6,825-ton ship, the Sewol, sank off the country's west coast on April 16, 2014, while en route to the southern resort island of Jeju.

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(Yonhap Interview) How art helps Korean adoptee connect, overcome traumatic experiences

SEOUL -- Hojung Audenaerde met her birth mother for the first time in 2014, almost 40 years after she was sent away for adoption. As if the reunion was not dramatic enough, her mother was in a semi-paralyzed state, unable to speak and give her side of the story.

Her mother's physically challenging condition and the sad life story she heard from her biological uncle, who happened to be blind, initially left her in a state of devastation, shock and bitterness.

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