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Yonhap News Summary

2018/01/29 13:30

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

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(LEAD) S. Korea to have its largest-ever Winter Olympics team at PyeongChang

PYEONGCHANG -- Host South Korea will have its largest team ever for a Winter Games with 144 athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The organizing committee for PyeongChang confirmed Monday that 2,925 athletes from 92 nations -- both Winter Olympics records -- will participate in the Feb. 9-25 competition. The host country contributed to the record total with 144 athletes in all 15 sports, topping 71 athletes who competed in six sports at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

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26 foreign leaders to visit S. Korea during PyeongChang Olympics

SEOUL -- A total of 26 leader-level officials from 21 countries, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will visit South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.

President Moon Jae-in plans to host a reception for the foreign dignitaries on the opening day of the Olympics, and hold separate one-on-one meetings with 14 of them, Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, said during a briefing.

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(LEAD) S. Korea considers temporary visa waivers for Chinese, Southeast Asian visitors to Olympics

SEOUL -- The government will consider limited or temporary visa waiver programs for Chinese nationals and Southeast Asian group tourists during next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the ruling Democratic Party said Monday.

During a policy coordination meeting, the government and ruling party also agreed to make all state-managed highways across the country toll-free during the Feb. 15-18 Lunar New Year's holiday, officials said. During the Feb. 9-25 Olympics, they agreed to allow people to use highways in eight regions of Gangwon Province free of charge.

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S. Korea to use chartered flight for ski training with N.K.

SEOUL -- South Korea will use a chartered plane to fly its skiers to North Korea for joint training and will not pay the airport fee to the North, as such a payment would violate international sanctions, Seoul officials said Monday.

The South plans to use Kalma Airport, a military airfield in the North's eastern port city of Wonsan, to transport South Korean non-Olympic skiers to Masikryong Ski Resort, a roughly 45-minute drive from the airport. The two-day training is likely to take place as early as Wednesday.

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(LEAD) Seoul, Beijing to hold economy minister meeting this week

SEJONG -- The economic chiefs from South Korea and China will meet in Beijing this week to discuss an array of issues, including further boosting economic cooperation.

During the gathering slated for Friday, Seoul's Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and his Chinese counterpart He Lifeng, chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, will seek ways to flesh out the outcome of December summit talks between leaders of the two countries, according to the ministry.

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Defense Minister says N. Korea's use of nuke would be 'suicidal'

   SEOUL -- South Korea's top defense official voiced doubt Monday that North Korea will use its nuclear weapons, saying that such an act would be "suicidal."

   "The North Korean regime will probably be removed from the map if it uses developed nuclear weapons against South Korea or the United States," Defense Minister Song Young-moo said at a security forum in Singapore, which was webcast live.

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BTS: Secret behind our success is not social media, but sincerity and quality

SEOUL -- Many have attributed the high popularity of the K-pop boy band BTS to its clever use of social media, but the group said its sincerity and quality were more integral to its success.

"People pay attention only to the fact that we have well communicated with our fans on social media. But more important is that since we're singers the quality of our music and performance should be unconditionally good," RM, leader of the group, said during a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.

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Chung Hyeon becomes S. Korea's highest-ranked tennis player

SEOUL -- Australian Open semifinalist Chung Hyeon became South Korea's highest-ranked tennis player Monday after he cracked the top 30.

Chung jumped from 58th to 29th in the latest men's singles rankings released by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) after earning 720 ranking points for his historic semifinals run at the season's first Grand Slam event.

(END)

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