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Yonhap News Summary

2018/02/13 13:47

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

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(2nd LD) GM to close one S. Korean plant by May on lower demand

SEOUL -- General Motors Co. will shut down one of its four car assembly plants in South Korea by the end of May due to lower demand for its vehicles, the local unit of the U.S. carmaker said Tuesday.

The plant to be closed is in Gunsan, 270 kilometers south of Seoul. It has been underutilized, running at 20 percent of its capacity for the past three years. GM has five production facilities in Korea -- four car assembly plants and one transmission factory.

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(LEAD) Kim Jong-un vows to continue reconciliation between Koreas

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged efforts to continue the reconciliatory mood with South Korea as he welcomed back a high-ranking North Korean delegation from their trip to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, the North's state-run news agency said Tuesday.

"It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum," Kim was quoted in English by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying in a meeting with the delegation.

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Tillerson: Up to N. Korea to choose talks with U.S.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday left open the door to dialogue with North Korea, saying it will be up to Pyongyang to decide when they are ready.

Tillerson was speaking at a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo, where he was asked whether he sees the start of a diplomatic process with North Korea.

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(LEAD) Kia aims to sell 150,000 K3 units globally this year

SEOUL -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-largest carmaker by sales, said Tuesday it is aiming to sell 150,000 units of the all-new K3 compact globally this year.

Kia Motors said its target is to sell 50,000 units domestically and to export 100,000 vehicles to places like the United States and emerging markets.

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Seoul to review plan to bankroll N. Korea's Olympic participation

SEOUL -- South Korea will this week review a motion to bankroll North Korea's ongoing participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, the unification ministry said Tuesday.

The South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council will convene on Wednesday morning to deliberate on the motion to pay about 2.9 billion won (US$2.7 million) worth of Olympic bills for Pyongyang, the ministry said. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will chair the council meeting.

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Military talks likely to be first inter-Korean dialogue following visit by N.K. leader's sister: official

SEOUL -- Military talks are expected to be the first formal dialogue between South Korea and North Korea following an unprecedented visit to the South by a high-level delegation that included the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a presidential official said.

While agreeing to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the North also agreed during last month's talks with the South to hold military talks. But the two sides haven't decided when to hold what is expected to be a working-level military meeting.

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(Olympics) S. Korea says norovirus likely from food at private accommodation

SEOUL -- South Korea's health authorities said Tuesday the outbreak of norovirus infections in the Olympic host town of PyeongChang was likely caused by contaminated water from a lodging facility where private security staff for the Winter Games stayed.

The cooking water at the facility in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, was possibly contaminated, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in its interim report.

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(News Focus) N. Korea's summit offer builds pressure on Moon

WASHINGTON -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's surprise invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang has created additional pressure for the South to be tough with the provocative regime.

Moon responded cautiously, saying that the two sides should build the conditions for a future summit. The liberal leader has long embraced a policy of engagement with Pyongyang to peacefully end the impasse over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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S. Korean shares up 1.09 pct in late morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose late Tuesday morning as foreigners turned to net buyers on upbeat investor sentiment after Wall Street extended its rebound from last week's massive selloff.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index had advanced 25.94 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,411.31 as of 11:20 a.m.

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(Olympics) (Yonhap Interview) IOC boss discussed N. Korean sports with Pyongyang's top Olympic delegation

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said he discussed the state of sports in North Korea with a top delegation from Pyongyang, which included North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, at the PyeongChang Winter Games in South Korea.

Bach sat next to Kim Yong-nam, president of North Korea's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a joint Korean women's hockey team match against Switzerland on Saturday in Gangneung, sub-host city of the PyeongChang Winter Games. South Korean President Moon Jae-in also attended the game.

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(Olympics) U.S. snowboard sensation Chloe Kim wins women's halfpipe gold

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- U.S. snowboard sensation Chloe Kim stormed to victory in the women's halfpipe at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in her parents' homeland on Tuesday.

Kim, born to South Korean immigrants in the United States, won her first Olympic gold medal at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, with the top score of 98.25 points.

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(Olympics) Sporting rivals on collision course for 1st win in women's hockey

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- The long and storied sporting rivalry between Korea and Japan will add a new chapter this week when their women's hockey teams collide at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, with each seeking its first victory.

The joint Korean team and Japan have both lost their first two games and have been eliminated from medal contention in Group B. Only the top two teams from that group advance to the quarterfinals, and Sweden and Switzerland, with two victories apiece, will make it to that stage.

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