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Yonhap News Summary

2018/02/05 16:52

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

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Samsung heir released on suspended sentence in appeals trial

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was released Monday after an appellate court handed him a suspended sentence dismissing most of his key charges in a bribery and corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye last year.

The Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to 2 1/2 years in prison with a stay of execution for four years. He was immediately freed from a nearly yearlong incarceration.

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(LEAD) Moon orders gov't to prepare own bill for constitutional revision

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has instructed the government to prepare its own bill for a constitutional amendment, his office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday, amid an apparent failure in efforts by ruling and opposition parties to move forward with their own discussions.

The president's order came in a weekly meeting with his presidential aides. The move is apparently aimed at pressuring the opposition parties to come to the dialogue table as they, especially the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, had been boycotting discussions on a constitutional change.

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(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae welcomes planned visit by N. Korea's titular head of state

SEOUL -- South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Monday welcomed North Korea's plan to send its nominal head of state as leader of a high-level delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, saying it shows the communist state's sincere efforts to improve inter-Korean ties.

"We believe it reflects North Korea's determination to improve the South Korea-North Korea relationship and make the Olympic Games successful and that the North has shown sincere and earnest efforts toward such an end," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.

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(2nd LD) N. Korea appoints top defense official to lead its military's General Political Bureau

SEOUL -- North Korea has appointed a senior defense official to lead the military's powerful General Political Bureau after dismissing its former head following an inspection, Seoul's spy agency said Monday.

During a parliamentary briefing, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) said Kim Jong-gak, a vice chief of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, was picked as the director of the bureau, while Hwang Pyong-so and Kim Won-hong, its former head and vice chief, respectively, have been dismissed.

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(2nd LD) S. Korean, U.S. nuke envoys meet to discuss N.K.

SEOUL -- Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States met in Seoul on Monday to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile problems, the foreign ministry here said.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, held talks with his U.S. counterpart, Joseph Yun.

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FTC to assess conglomerates' voluntary changes to ownership structures

SEJONG -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Monday it plans to release regular reports that assess large business groups' moves to improve their complicated ownership structures and check if they are refraining from unfairly exercising their market dominance.

The country's family-controlled conglomerates have been under fire for years for largely relying on controversial cross-shareholding arrangements among their affiliated companies to strengthen their owner families' control over entire business groups.

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(LEAD) S. Korean shares end lower on foreign selling

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended lower Monday on foreign and institutional selling. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 33.64 points, or 1.33 percent, to 2,491.75.

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