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Yonhap News Summary

2017/12/20 13:34

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

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(LEAD) Delay in military drills requires halt to N. Korean provocations: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States may delay their joint military exercises only for the duration of the Winter Olympic Games to be held here next year and if the North halts its military provocations, a ranking South Korean official said Wednesday.

The remarks came one day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in an interview with U.S. broadcaster NBC he has proposed delaying the military drills, which North Korea accuses of a war rehearsal, as part of efforts to reduce tensions during the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

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S. Korea to expand women's role in military

SEOUL -- South Korea will more than double the number of its female soldiers to 2,450 by 2022 as part of defense reform, the ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

Currently, there are 1,100 active-duty female troops, 5.5 percent of the country's 625,000-strong armed forces.

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Gov't to unveil 3 tln-won subsidy to stabilize impact of minimum wage hike

SEJONG -- The government is set to unveil a subsidy package worth about 3 trillion won (US$2.76 billion) to stabilize the impact of the minimum wage hike next year, according to officials Wednesday.

The subsidy plan is part of the 2018 economic policy initiative, which will be announced by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance next week.

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Gov't urged to levy taxes on Samsung chairman's assets

SEOUL -- An advisory panel set up by the financial regulator on Wednesday called for the government to levy taxes on assets worth 4.4 trillion won (US$4.05 billion) owned by Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who had allegedly withdrawn them from accounts under borrowed names.

Yoon Sun-heun, head of the panel, which was launched by the Financial Services Commission to draw up measures for financial reforms, also urged the government to slap Lee with a fine for violating a law that bans financial transactions with borrowed-name assets.

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Two types of highly pathogenic bird flu detected in S. Korea: quarantine agency

SEOUL -- South Korea's quarantine agency said Wednesday at least two strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza have entered the nation via migratory birds this winter.

The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) announced the results of DNA analysis into viruses detected at two duck farms in Gochang and Yeongam, both in Jeolla Province.

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Ahn proposes internal vote on merger with Bareun Party

SEOUL -- The leader of the center-left opposition People's Party on Wednesday proposed an internal vote on a merger with the conservative Bareun Party, a move to step up his middle-of-the-road campaign despite intense pushback from party seniors.

Ahn Cheol-soo staked his chairmanship on the outcome of the vote, which he apparently believes would strengthen his party's parliamentary foothold ahead of the gubernatorial and mayoral elections slated for next June.

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K-pop stars postpone activities in respect to late Kim Jong-hyun

SEOUL -- A number of K-pop artists have postponed promotional activities amid mourning for the death of boy band SHINee's lead singer Kim Jong-hyun, according to entertainment agencies Wednesday.

Kim died Monday in an apparent suicide.

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FC Seoul top home attendance in S. Korean pro football league

SEOUL -- FC Seoul topped attendance in the top-flight K League Classic for the second straight this year, data showed Wednesday.

The K League, the operator of the nation's pro football leagues, said Seoul have drawn more than 310,061 fans this season, the most among the 12 clubs in the first division. Seoul, which finished fifth in the 2017 season, also led the league in the number of paying spectators, with 265,416.

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