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Yonhap News Summary

2017/08/09 17:37

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


Seoul says fundamental resolution of N. Korean issues 'highly possible'

   SEOUL -- Tensions around the Korean Peninsula remain high after North Korea's recent missile tests followed by its provocative threat Wednesday to engulf a U.S. territory in a barrage of missiles, a ranking South Korean official said.

However, the situation does not represent a crisis, the official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said, noting the North Korean threat may have been multipurposed but not to incite an actual conflict.


Moon introduces new, improved health care to lessen medical expenses

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday introduced a government move to significantly reform the state-run health care program that will greatly reduce the medical expenses of patients, especially those in the low-income bracket, while providing new and enhanced benefits.

At the same time, the president vowed to keep the rise in insurance payments at a minimum.


(LEAD) 2 B1-B bombers return to Guam after Korea sortie

SEOUL -- Two U.S. B-1B strategic bombers, newly deployed to Guam, trained in the sky over Korea earlier this week in a show of force and the ironclad alliance against North Korea's threats, the Air Force announced Wednesday.

The sortie, made public a day later, was followed by the North Korean military's threat of ballistic missile attacks aimed at blockading the Pacific island.


Gov't begins running aid fund for humidifier disinfectant victims

SEOUL -- The government said Wednesday it has started to run a relief fund for victims of a toxic humidifier disinfectant, as part of its compensation measure after the scandal resulted in some 70 deaths amid intense public scrutiny.

The Ministry of Environment said its committee handling the management of the relief fund decided to charge 18 firms that had produced the deadly product a total of 125 billion won (US$110 million) to share the expenses for the relief fund.


Moon offers gov't apology to victims of toxic humidifier disinfectants

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday offered an official apology on behalf of the government to dozens of victims and families of people who lost their lives due to a once hot-selling product used to disinfect household humidifiers that turned out to be toxic.

"I offer my sincere consolation to parents who had to face long and arduous times without any help or comfort, those who are facing difficult times after losing their health and their suffering families," the president said in a meeting with 15 victims and their families at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.


(LEAD) Moon invites ruling party lawmakers for luncheon later this month

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has invited ruling party lawmakers for a luncheon later this month, party officials said Wednesday, an apparent move to strengthen cooperation ahead of a possible legislative battle over his key policy initiatives.

Moon plans to meet the Democratic Party lawmakers on Aug. 26 before the parliament begins its 100-day regular session next month, when parties are expected to wrangle over Moon's push to revise the tax code and reform the prosecution and spy agency, and other plans.


S. Korea retakes top spot in global ship orders in July

SEOUL -- South Korean shipyards recaptured the No. 1 position in new orders worldwide in July amid a plunge in overall numbers, outpacing Chinese rivals, industry data showed Wednesday.

According to the data compiled by global research firm Clarkson Research Institute, local shipbuilding companies clinched new orders worth a combined 306,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) last month to build nine vessels.

Chinese rivals came next with 295,000 CGTs, or 13 ships. Japanese shipyards' orders came to nil.


Currency market volatility rises in July

SEOUL -- Volatility in South Korea's currency markets rose in July from a month earlier, though the stability of the global financial markets continued, the central bank said Wednesday.

The session-over-session changes in the dollar-won exchange rates averaged 0.42 percent in July, compared with 0.28 percent a month earlier, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement.


(LEAD) S. Korean stocks down 1.1 pct on heightened tensions over N. Korea

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended lower Wednesday morning as foreign investors offloaded large-cap stocks amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 26.34 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,368.39.