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Yonhap News Summary

2018/01/31 13:00

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

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Trump says N.K. nukes could 'very soon' threaten U.S.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that North Korea's nuclear weapons could "very soon" threaten the American homeland but that his administration is working to stop that from happening.

In his first State of the Union address before Congress, Trump vowed not to repeat "the mistakes of past administrations" that led to the current nuclear standoff with the North.

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(5th LD) Samsung Electronics splits stocks as Q4 net jumps 72.9 pct on rising chip demand

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that it has decided to dramatically lower the face value of it stocks, as it posted record highs in sales and operating profits in the fourth quarter on rising chip demand.

Net profit came to 12.25 trillion won (US$11.4 billion) in the October-December period, compared with 7.08 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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(3rd LD) S. Korean skiers visit N. Korea for joint training

(ATTN: UPDATES lead paras with departure; CHANGES headline)

YANGYANG/SEOUL -- Two dozen South Korean skiers began a two-day trip to North Korea on Wednesday for a joint training, keeping alive the mood of inter-Korean cooperation ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The South's 45-member delegation left for the Masikryong Ski Resort on a chartered Asiana Airlines jet after the United States approved the flight despite its new sanctions on the nuclear-armed communist nation.

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Prosecution forms inspection team to look into sexual assault allegations

SEOUL -- The Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office decided Wednesday to form a special inspection team to look into sexual assault allegations rocking the office, officials said.

A female prosecutor raised the accusations against a former senior prosecutor on Monday, claiming that he groped her body during a funeral dinner in 2010 and that senior Justice Ministry officials tried to cover it up, transferring her to a remote post.

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(2nd LD) S Korea, U.S. begin 2nd round of FTA talks

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States on Wednesday began their second round of talks to amend their free trade agreement (FTA), amid rising trade tensions between the two nations over Washington slapping steep tariffs on washers and solar panels.

The two-day talks come a week after U.S. President Donald Trump signed safeguard tariffs on foreign washers and solar panels, including those from South Korea, saying the measures would protect American jobs.

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(2nd LD) S. Korea's industrial output falls 0.2 pct in December

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output declined in December from a month earlier on a slump in the automaking and machinery sectors, government data showed Wednesday.

Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries fell 0.2 percent on-month in December, following an adjusted 0.2 percent on-month rise in the previous month, according to the data by Statistics Korea.

From a year earlier, industrial output also sank 6 percent last month, following a 1.7 percent on-year decline in November.

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(3rd LD) U.S. drops Cha as pick for ambassador to S. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The United States has withdrawn former White House official Victor Cha from consideration for ambassador to South Korea, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The official on the White House National Security Council confirmed the decision, which raises new concerns about the Donald Trump administration's policy toward Seoul and Pyongyang.

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U.S. Congress introduces resolutions backing PyeongChang Games

WASHINGTON -- The United States Congress has introduced two resolutions in support of South Korea's hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, expressing hope it will become a platform for peace.

The Senate and House of Representatives introduced two separate resolutions Monday, and each noted North Korea's recent agreement to participate in the Feb. 9-25 Games.

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