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Yonhap News Summary

2017/11/29 18:07

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

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Speaker urges parties to meet Saturday deadline for budget approval

SEOUL -- National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday exhorted rival parties to pass the government's 2018 spending plans by the deadline this week, as they dug in their heels on many sticking points, such as proposed outlays for job creation.

Ahead of Saturday's deadline, the ruling and opposition parties engaged in grueling negotiations over a raft of disputed budget proposals, many of which are key to funding President Moon Jae-in's priority policies to spur growth and enhance public welfare.

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(LEAD) China expresses strong objection after N. Korean missile test

BEIJING/SEOUL -- China voiced its strong objection and concerns over North Korea's latest missile test Wednesday, joining South Korea, the United States and Japan in denouncing the North's first weapons test in nearly 11 weeks.

"China expresses its grave concerns about and opposition to North Korea's missile launch activities," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a press briefing.

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(2nd LD) Ex-Park aide grilled over fresh suspicions related to NIS scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors questioned one of former President Park Geun-hye's closest aides Wednesday as a suspect involved in the alleged illegal surveillance by the spy agency on people deemed obstacles to the previous government.

Woo Byung-woo, ex-senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, appeared at around 10 a.m. for what was his fourth prosecution interrogation since he was implicated in a massive influence-peddling scandal that removed Park from office early this year, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office. He served in his post from 2015-2016.

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(3rd LD) N.K. declares completion of nukes with new ICBM test

SEOUL -- North Korea said Wednesday that it has successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting anywhere in the U.S., declaring that the launch marks the completion of its nuclear armament.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the country launched a Hwasong-15 ICBM capable of carrying a "super-large heavy warhead" and "striking the whole mainland of the U.S."

  

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Ruling party chief to meet Chinese leader Xi this week

SEOUL -- Choo Mi-ae, the leader of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party, will meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping for talks during her trip to Beijing this week, her aide said Wednesday.

The meeting is slated to take place on the sidelines of an international conference of political parties in the Chinese capital Friday, amid heightened tensions sparked by North Korea's long-range ballistic missile launch on Wednesday.

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(LEAD) S. Korean shares end lower on foreign selling

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended lower Wednesday as foreign selling of market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. and other large-cap stocks weighed on the main index. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 1.29 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,512.90.

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(2nd LD) PyeongChang Paralympics 100 days away with host eyeing top-10 finish

SEOUL -- The countdown to the first Winter Paralympics in South Korea reached 100 days Wednesday, with the host eyeing a top-10 finish at the multisport competition for disabled athletes.

PyeongChang, an alpine resort town 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, will host the Winter Paralympic Games from March 9 to 18 next year, under the slogan "Passion. Connected."

  

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(3rd LD) N. Korea missile launch to have limited impact on financial market: finance minister

SEJONG -- North Korea's latest missile launch is expected to have a limited impact on South Korea's financial market, but authorities vowed to take swift action, if necessary, to cushion any fallout from the latest provocation, Seoul's top economic policymaker said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, North Korea fired an apparent long-range missile from an area north of Pyongyang, resuming its provocations after a 75-day lull, according to the South Korean and U.S. militaries.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to provide 1 mln homes for young people, underprivileged

SEOUL -- The Korean government will provide 1 million homes as part of its "housing welfare" road map for young people, newlyweds, the elderly and the underprivileged, the infrastructure ministry said Wednesday.

The Moon Jae-in government, which seeks a paradigm shift from a provider-oriented housing market to one that focuses on the needs of homebuyers, announced the housing road map to give customized support for people in different stages of life, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

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Spy agency seeks to change name, delegate investigative authority

SEOUL -- South Korea's spy agency will seek to change its name and relinquish all of its investigative authority this year as part of efforts to revamp the institution long accused of political interference and to restore public trust, officials said Wednesday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said it will push for a revision to the law governing its operations.

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(8th LD) N. Korea claims new ICBM, completion of nuclear development

SEOUL -- North Korea said Wednesday it has successfully test-fired a new long-range ballistic missile with the whole U.S. mainland in range, rekindling sharp military tensions in the region.

It announced the Hwasong-15, an upgrade of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), can carry a super-sized nuclear warhead, a feat the North's leader described as the final touches on the country's nuclear weapons development.

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S. Korea, U.S. vow close coordination against N.K. threats

SEOUL -- The top military officers of South Korea and the United States agreed Wednesday to strengthen close coordination against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats after the North's launch of a long-range missile.

Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), held phone talks with his U.S. counterpart, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, hours after North Korea's provocations, the South's military said.

(END)

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