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Yonhap News Summary

2017/03/16 13:53

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


Pro-Park protester formally arrested for attacking reporters during rally

SEOUL -- Police said Thursday they have formally arrested a protester who attacked two journalists during a violent street rally last week against the Constitutional Court's decision to dismiss Park Geun-hye as president.

The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant on Wednesday night to detain the 55-year-old man, identified only by his last name Lee, on charges of striking the reporters with a ladder during the rally Friday, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).


Exports of S. Korean cosmetics to China jumps 5-fold in 3 yrs

SEOUL -- Exports of South Korea-made cosmetics to China jumped by more than five-fold over the past three years, industry data showed Thursday, as the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, fueled robust demand.

Outbound shipments of makeup products shipped to China reached US$1.56 billion in 2016, compared to $300 million tallied in 2013, according to the data by the Korea Cosmetic Association.


S. Korea to take timely market stabilizing measures if necessary: vice finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's vice finance minister said Thursday that the government will take appropriate market-stabilizing measures in case of a wide fluctuation in the local financial market following the latest U.S. rate hike.

"The government and related agencies will strengthen monitoring of the financial and foreign exchange markets in preparation for possible volatility sparked by a higher U.S. rate," Vice Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok said in a meeting in Seoul. "We will take swift and appropriate action to stabilize the market in a timely manner."



Moon widens lead after acting president bows out

SEOUL -- Moon Jae-in, the front-runner presidential hopeful from the Democratic Party, remained the most favored contender for the May 9 election, a poll showed Thursday, with South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo rising as a strong conservative figure after the acting president decided not to enter the race.

Moon posted an approval rating of 37.1 percent in the survey conducted Wednesday by Realmeter right after Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn declared a decision not to run for president.


(LEAD) (News Focus) S. Korean economy faces challenges amid U.S. rate hike

SEOUL -- Experiencing stiff challenges at home and abroad stemming from rising tensions with China and the latest U.S. rate hike, South Korea is entering a phase where it must overcome headwinds while handling the transition in the government, experts here said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 to 1 percent, citing the strengthening labor market and a moderate increase in inflation.


BOK rules out 'mechanical' reaction to U.S. rate hike

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank assured the market Thursday that it won't overreact to the latest U.S. interest rate increase, saying it won't "mechanically" alter Seoul's monetary policy.

Jang Byung-wha, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Korea (BOK), stressed that the Fed's decision to increase the base rate by a quarter percentage point was widely anticipated.


(LEAD) SK senior officials questioned over scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Thursday grilled three former and incumbent senior executives of SK Group in connection with an ongoing investigation into ousted President Park Geun-hye over bribery charges.

The nation's third-largest business group donated a total of 11.1 billion won (US$9.82 million) to two dubious foundations allegedly controlled by Park's friend Choi Soon-sil between 2015 and 2016.


Military begins environmental impact assessment on THAAD site

SEOUL -- South Korea has begun an environmental impact assessment of a local golf course ahead of the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system there, the military said Thursday, speeding up the deployment amid growing threats from North Korea.

The defense ministry picked a firm in December to conduct the assessment of the site in Seongju in the southeast, which will host the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Late last month, the company began looking into the location to see if THAAD will affect the environment, farming and the health of nearby residents, a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency.


Trump likely to use secondary boycott to press China over N.K. nukes: think tank

SEOUL -- The Donald Trump administration may go ahead with imposing secondary sanctions on Chinese companies and build up U.S. military power to increase pressure on the Asian rival in a bid to rein in an increasingly wayward North Korea, a South Korean think tank predicted Thursday.


Tickets for U-20 World Cup in S. Korea go on sale

SEOUL -- Tickets for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea went on sale on Thursday.

The local organizing committee said the price will range from 7,000 won to 50,000 won (US$6.20 to US$44.20). In "double header" deals, fans can purchase one ticket to enjoy two consecutive matches at a single venue. That covers all group stage matches, two of the round of 16 matches, the third-place match and the final.