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Yonhap News Summary

2017/07/26 12:19

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


Childbirths dip for 6th straight month in May

SEJONG -- The number of newborn babies in South Korea plunged at a double-digit rate for the sixth straight month in May despite yearslong efforts to boost the country's low birthrate, a government report showed Wednesday.

About 30,300 babies were born in May, down 11.9 percent, or 4,100, from 34,400 tallied a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.


N.K. servicemen vow war readiness ahead of armistice anniv.

SEOUL -- Servicemen from North Korea's military have vowed their firm readiness to fight with the United States ahead of the 64th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, Pyongyang's state media said Wednesday.

Military officers from the army, navy, and air and anti-air force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) held an oath-taking meeting Tuesday, two days before the anniversary of what the North claims is its victory in the war, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).


Olympic trials in figure skating to get under way this week

SEOUL -- The national Olympic trials in figure skating will get under way this week, kicking off a series of three competitions that will determine who will represent the host nation at next year's PyeongChang Winter Games.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) will host the "Figure Skating Korea Challenge" at Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul starting Thursday, the first leg of the Olympic trials.


S. Korea to remove regulations in service sector

SEJONG -- The South Korean government said Wednesday that it will remove legal and administrative regulations in the local service sector as part of its efforts to promote fair market competition and boost growth.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the country's antitrust watchdog, said it checked 39 restrictions that restricted competition in the sectors of food, leisure and public services.


Park Tae-hwan finishes eighth in 200m freestyle at swimming worlds

SEOUL -- South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has finished eighth in the men's 200m freestyle at the ongoing world championships.

With a time of 1:47.11, Park came in last among eight finalists at the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships at Danube Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday (local time).


(2nd LD) U.S. House passes new sanctions on Russia, Iran, N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a package of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, in a possible blow to President Donald Trump.

The House voted 419-3 in support of the controversial bill that seeks to prevent Trump from unilaterally lifting sanctions on Russia. The legislation also calls for fresh sanctions on Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


Online sales of smartphones sluggish in S. Korea: data

SEOUL -- Sales of smartphones through online platforms in South Korea remain sluggish compared with other countries, data showed Wednesday, due mainly to strong dominance of mobile carriers in the mobile phone market.

According to the data compiled by Strategy Analytics, the sales of smartphones through online platforms in the country are expected to take up 17.2 percent, or 3.8 million units of the total sales estimated at 22.1 million units in South Korea this year.


'The Battleship Island' headed towards big opening at box office

SEOUL -- "The Battleship Island," a new South Korean World War II blockbuster film, is set to make an opening day splash on Wednesday, with nearly 600,000 tickets having been reserved on the release date.

According to the computerized tally from the Korean Film Council, the number of ticket reservations for the film stood at 594,370 as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, accounting for 70.1 percent of all movie reservations for the day.


(Yonhap Feature) Separated families voice hope for reunions with their kin in N. Korea

SEOUL -- Chung Wang-ok, 78, never thought that he would not be able to see his eldest brother again when his sibling was forcibly enlisted and taken by North Korea's army during the 1950-53 Korean War.

It was not a temporary farewell, but a decades-long painful wait with no promise of reunion as the devastating conflict left South and North Korea technically at war.