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Yonhap News Summary

2017/09/13 17:44

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

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(LEAD) Taking China to WTO is one option being considered: trade minister

SEJONG -- South Korea's trade minister said Wednesday that taking China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is one option being considered in response to that country's apparent retaliatory actions against Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. missile shield.

The Beijing government slammed the deployment of the defense system, called THAAD, on South Korean soil, claiming that the system will threaten its national security.

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Seoul to return body of presumed N. Korean found near maritime border

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to return to North Korea next week a body presumed to be that of a North Korean man who drifted over to the South Korean side of the inter-Korean maritime border last month, the Ministry of Unification said Wednesday.

The body was found in the waters near South Korea's front-line island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea by the Coast Guard on Aug. 30, Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, said.

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(LEAD) Moon calls for thorough reform of Coast Guard

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday the Coast Guard should revamp itself to regain public trust after mishandling the deadly 2014 ferry sinking that claimed the lives of more than 300 people.

Moon made the remarks during a ceremony marking the 64th anniversary of the establishment of the Coast Guard, formerly known as the Maritime Police Agency, saying the agency should take the sinking of the ferry Sewol as an "eternal lesson" and carry out deep reforms.

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Finance minister hints at slowing pace of minimum wage hike

SEJONG -- Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Wednesday that the government will carefully review how much it will raise the minimum wage from 2019, indicating that the government may slow the growth pace to reflect various conditions.

In July, the government decided to raise minimum wage by 16.4 percent to 7,530 won (US$6.67) per hour next year, marking its biggest jump in nearly two decades.

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SK hynix silent on Toshiba deal

SEOUL -- SK hynix Inc. remained silent Wednesday over reports that Japan-based Toshiba Corp. is reconsidering South Korea's No. 2 tech giant as a potential buyer of its memory chip division.

Earlier in the day, Japanese media reported Toshiba has signed a memorandum that includes SK hynix as part of its preferred-bidder consortium. The memorandum, however, is not legally binding.

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S. Korean consul-general in Japan faces probe over alleged abuses

SEOUL -- Seoul prosecutors have launched a probe into a South Korean consul-general in Japan over allegations of verbal abuse and violence against a subordinate, the prosecution office said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office last week to investigate the senior diplomat, who is suspected of having habitually used swear words when talking to her female secretary.

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Adjusted wages of S. Korean big biz workers much higher than U.S., Japan: report

SEOUL -- The average adjusted monthly wage for workers at South Korea's big businesses far exceeds those of their U.S. and Japanese counterparts, although South Korea's per capita GDP is much lower than the two advanced economies, a report showed Wednesday.

The average South Korean employee at companies with more than 500 workers earned US$6,048 per month last year when adjusted by the purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the report written by the Korea Small Business Institute.

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iPhone X likely to land in S. Korea in December: sources

SEOUL -- The U.S. tech giant Apple Inc.'s highly anticipated iPhone X is likely to be launched in South Korea in December to take on its archrival Samsung Electronics Co.'s smartphones -- the Galaxy S8 series and the Galaxy Note 8 -- industry sources said Wednesday.

On Tuesday (local time), Apple unveiled its super-premium model, the latest generation of its flagship device, starting at US$999 for the base 64GB edition and $1,149 for the 256GB edition, the most expensive smartphone yet.

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