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Yonhap News Summary

2017/11/09 17:00

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


(LEAD) S. Korean president vows to upgrade ties with Indonesia

JAKARTA -- President Moon Jae-in promised Thursday to upgrade South Korea's partnership with Indonesia by further enhancing already vibrant trade ties and expanding cooperation in defense, culture, technology and other areas.

South Korea and Indonesia have been actively expanding their economic cooperation since establishing a strategic partnership in 2006, the South Korean leader said while meeting with a group of 350 business people from both countries in Jakarta.


S. Korea, Indonesia sign business deals potentially worth $1.9 bln

JAKARTA -- South Korea and Indonesia reached a series of business cooperation agreements Thursday that could be worth nearly US$2 billion if finalized.

The agreements were signed before the start of a business forum attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


Parliament endorses tax hike for HNB e-cigarettes

SEOUL -- South Korea's parliament passed a bill Thursday to raise the tax on heat-not-burn (HNB) e-cigarette products amid a lingering dispute over whether they should be treated differently from conventional cigarettes.

The revision bill calls for increasing the individual consumption tax rate for HNB tobacco products -- such as Phillip Morris' iQOS and British American Tobacco's Glo -- to 90 percent of the tax levied on ordinary products.


Defense chief discusses N. Korea's cyber threats with U.S. commander

SEOUL -- South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo met the head of U.S. Cyber Command in Seoul on Thursday for discussions on North Korea, his ministry said.

Song and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who doubles as director of the National Security Agency (NSA), agreed on the importance of close coordination between the allies in the cybersecurity sector based on mutual trust and a close bond, according to the ministry.


(LEAD) Former sex slave, 'Dokdo Shrimp' at Trump dinner spark new S.Korea-Japan row

SEOUL -- A fresh diplomatic spat is brewing between South Korea and Japan over the presence of a victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery at the recent state dinner in Seoul for the visiting U.S. President Donald Trump.

Japanese officials reacted angrily, saying the invitation of the "comfort woman" breaches the spirit of a 2015 agreement to settle the longstanding dispute between the two neighbors.


Mercedes, BMW, Porsche fined 70 bln won for false emissions reports

SEOUL -- The local units of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche have been fined a combined 70.3 billion won (US$63.1 million) for falsifying reports on the emissions levels of their vehicles sold here, the environment ministry said Thursday.

The three foreign automakers were found to have forged documents regarding tests on the exhaust control of emissions and submitted them to the government for sales approval between 2010 and 2015, according to the Ministry of Environment.


(2nd LD) Kakao reports forecast-beating Q3 results

SEOUL -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger, KakaoTalk, reported a forecast-beating performance for the third quarter Thursday, apparently helped by robust revenues.

Operating income jumped 57 percent on-year to 47.4 billion won (US$42.5 million) in the July-September period, and sales also soared 32 percent to 515.4 billion won.


(2nd LD) NCsoft reports record-high performance in Q3

SEOUL -- NCsoft Corp., South Korea's biggest online game publisher, reported record-breaking quarterly performance for the third quarter Thursday on the back of the global popularity of its mobile game "Lineage M."

   Operating income jumped 403 percent on-year to 327.8 billion won (US$294 million) in the July-September period, and sales soared 234 percent over the year to 727.3 billion won, the company said in a regulatory filing.


Asiana Airlines Q3 net plunges 81 pct due to lower China demand

SEOUL -- Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea's second-largest airline by sales, said Thursday its third-quarter net profit plunged 81 percent, hit by lower demand from China.

Its heavy dependence on travel demand from China and other Asian countries resulted in poor performance in the July-September period.


iPhone 8 with swelling battery reported in S. Korea

SEOUL -- A South Korean smartphone retailer on Thursday reported that a new iPhone 8 smartphone produced by U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. was found to have a seemingly swollen battery, causing concerns about safety.

There have been a number of reports related to battery-swelling problems surrounding Apple's new flagship smartphone since its global release in September. The iPhone 8 was launched in the South Korean market earlier this month.