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Yonhap News Summary

2017/12/20 17:30

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

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U.S. forces in Korea says it is committed to allies' decision over joint drills

SEOUL -- The United States forces stationed in South Korea said Wednesday it is committed to the two countries' decision on whether to delay their annual military drills and announce their final decision in an appropriate time.

"We want the PyeongChang Olympics to be successful and have committed to our ally that we will aid their success," the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) said in a short press release. The CFC is led by Vincent Brooks, the commanding general of the U.S. Forces Korea.

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Prosecutors bust multimillion dollar cryptocurrency scam

INCHEON -- Prosecutors said Wednesday they have uncovered a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme by a cryptocurrency mining agency based here and in the United States that has incurred huge losses for investors around the world.

The Incheon District Prosecutors' Office indicted 21 suspects associated with U.S.-based Mining Max LLC on fraud and other charges including the violation of the commercial law related to door-to-door sales, according to the office.

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S. Korea urged not to turn Olympic facilities into white elephants

SEOUL -- South Korea should come up with plans to ensure that stadiums and other facilities built for the country's first Winter Olympics will not become white elephants, a private think tank said Wednesday.

South Korea invested 880 billion won (US$813 million) in either building or renovating stadiums and other facilities for the Olympics to be held in South Korea's eastern alpine city of PyeongChang in February.

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S. Korea's greenhouse gas emissions rise 0.2 percent in 2015

SEOUL -- South Korea's greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.2 percent in 2015 from a year ago, marking the fourth year the carbon emissions grew slower than the country's gross domestic product, the government announced Wednesday.

The country emitted 690.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of such heat-trapping gases, up 1 million tons from 2014, according to data compiled by the greenhouse gas information center under the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

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(LEAD) Culture ministry finds 2,670 instances of damage to artists from gov't blacklisting

SEOUL -- A government panel probing the past governments' blacklisting of artists and cultural figures said Wednesday it has detected some 2,670 cases of damage, six times more than previous reports.

The culture ministry's fact-finding team announced the tentative result of its monthslong probe into 12 secret registers and relevant documents written over the past 10 years under then-Presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak to bar artists deemed critical of the government from state support.

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N.K. may not make provocations around Olympics, likely to seek talks after May: think tank

SEOUL -- North Korea may refrain from making provocative acts around the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and may seek dialogue with South Korea and the United States after May, Seoul's state-run think tank said Wednesday.

The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) said that the North will likely seek to "manage" the security situation in the first half as it would hope to use its latest announcement of completing its nuclear force as a "strategic repose" for its next step.

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China restricts S. Korea-bound group tour: sources

BEIJING/SEOUL -- Chinese authorities have rejected a request by a group of Chinese nationals to visit South Korea later this week, industry sources said Wednesday.

The tourists were supposed to leave for South Korea on Friday in a trip arranged by Haitao Travel, a Chinese tour operator, according to the sources.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower on foreign profit hunting

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished a tad lower Wednesday as foreign investors locked in profits ahead of the fourth-quarter corporate earnings season, analysts said. The local currency gained ground against the U.S. dollar to reach a 21-day high.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 6.16 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 2,472.37. Trade volume was moderate at 303.4 million shares worth 5.06 trillion won (US$4.68 billion) changing hands, with losers far outnumbering gainers 647 to 172.

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S. Korea to sell 106 tln won Treasurys next year

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to sell 106.4 trillion won (US$98 billion) worth of Treasurys in 2018, up 2.7 trillion won from this year's estimated 103 trillion won, the country's finance ministry said Wednesday.

The finance ministry plans to refinance 69.7 trillion won worth of state bonds due next year, up 3.6 trillion won from 2017, with a net 36.7 trillion won worth of state bonds to be sold next year, down 0.9 trillion won on-year.

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