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Yonhap News Summary

2018/01/31 17:49

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

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(4th LD) S. Korean skiers visit N. Korea for joint training

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

The South's 45-member delegation arrived at 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. The delegation is comprised of 24 skiers on the substitute roster for the national team, several coaches, supporting staff and pool reporters.

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S. Korea wins U.S. sanctions exemption to fly its skiers to N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea won an exemption from United States sanctions Wednesday to fly its athletes on a chartered passenger jet so the two Koreas could conduct joint ski training in North Korea, according to the foreign ministry.

Earlier in the day, a chartered Asiana Airlines flight left for an airfield near North Korea's Masikryong Ski Resort carrying dozens of Korean skiers and government officials for a two-day joint training with North Korean athletes. It was one of the two countries' reconciliatory gestures to celebrate the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

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N. Korea blames critical media coverage for cancellation of joint Olympic event

SEOUL -- North Korea on Wednesday blamed South Korean media coverage critical of the regime's upcoming army anniversary parade for its recent cancellation of a joint Olympic celebration event with South Korea.

Having agreed to host a joint cultural event at the North's at Mount Kumgang along with a joint ski training with the South in its Masikryong Ski Resort ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the regime abruptly called off on Monday the cultural fair slated for Feb. 4 in a telegram sent to the South.

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(News Focus) Samsung's stock split move to make it possible for ordinary investors to buy-sell shares

SEOUL -- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. on Wednesday took a dramatic move to enhance shareholders' value on the heels of posting robust 2017 earnings fueled by strong demand for semiconductors.

Samsung Electronics' board of directors approved a 50:1 stock split earlier in the day, an unprecedented step by the South Korean tech giant which in the past had brushed off such calls.

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(2nd LD) Hoban Construction picked as preferred bidder for Daewoo Engineering

SEOUL -- State-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) said Wednesday it has chosen Hoban Construction Co. as a preferred bidder to sell a controlling stake in Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co.

The decision comes after Hoban Construction, a mid-sized builder, made a solo bid for the stake earlier this month.

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Victor Cha opposes military strike against N.K.

SEOUL -- Victor Cha, a North Korea expert whom the United States withdrew from consideration as ambassador to South Korea, has voiced strong opposition to preventive strikes against North Korea.

In an op-ed posted on The Washington Post late Tuesday (U.S. time), he advocated an "alternative coercive strategy" that emphasizes the U.S. and its regional partners' enhanced pressure to force Pyongyang to denuclearize.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks inch down on foreign sell-off

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks fell slightly Wednesday as foreign investors remained net sellers of local stocks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 1.28 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,566.46. Trade volume was moderate at 396 million shares worth 10.7 trillion won (US$10 billion).

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