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Yonhap News Summary

2018/03/02 16:54

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

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(LEAD) President Moon to retain central bank chief

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in decided Friday to retain Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol for a new four-year term, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

The announcement somewhat came as a surprise as Lee was appointed by the ousted former President Park Geun-hye. His first four-year term is set to expire next month.

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Gov't seeks to take Ko Un's poetry out of textbooks amid sexual misconduct allegations

SEJONG -- The government has begun to take steps to remove works by world-renowned South Korean poet Ko Un from school textbooks amid growing sexual misconduct allegations, multiple industry sources said Friday.

The Ministry of Education sent an official letter earlier in the day to the Korea Authorized & Approved Textbooks, in which it requested the association to ask its member publishers if they have plans to delete any of the content in the textbook that belongs to a person of "public controversy."

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Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ex-defense chief over alleged political meddling

SEOUL -- Prosecutors said Friday they filed for a court warrant to arrest former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on suspicion that he tried to undermine the ministry's internal probe into the military cyber command ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Kim, who headed the ministry from 2010-2014, is suspected of pressuring his ministry's officials into toning down and covering up an inquiry into a massive political maneuver carried out by the military's cyber command. The operations were aimed at influencing public opinion online in favor of the then-ruling party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye.

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FM Kang to visit Singapore, Vietnam next week

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will visit Singapore and Vietnam next week to discuss regional and bilateral cooperation, a ministry official said Friday.

During the four-day trip that will start on Wednesday, Kang is expected to discuss detailed schedules for this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore, as it is the chair for the organization.

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(LEAD) S. Korean stocks end lower on foreign, investor selling

SEOUL -- South Korean shares ended lower Friday on increased selling by foreign and institutional investors as they were spooked by looming U.S. steel tariffs. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index dropped 25.2 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,402.16.

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S. Korea launches squad for PyeongChang Paralympics

SEOUL -- The South Korean squad for the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics was launched on Friday as athletes vowed to give their best at the quadrennial event.

The delegation of 83 members, including 36 athletes, held the ceremony for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games at Sejong Center in Seoul with some 180 guests, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Culture and Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan and Korean Paralympic Committee President Lee Myung-ho.

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NK estimated to have made up to US$210 mln with bitcoin: report

SEOUL -- North Korea is believed to have raked in more than US$200 million via digital cryptocurrency transactions last year amid international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, a U.S. broadcaster reported Friday, citing a former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) cyber security official.

The North is estimated to have obtained at least 11,000 bitcoins via mining or hacking last year, Radio Free Asia cited Priscilla Moriuchi, the ex-NSA official in charge of cyber security in the Asia and Pacific region, as saying in an e-mail.

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(News Focus) Moon's special envoy facing tough task of persuading N.K. to hold talks with U.S.

SEOUL -- A special envoy that President Moon Jae-in is planning to send to North Korea should focus on figuring out ways to narrow the seemingly unbridgeable gap between Washington and Pyongyang on nuclear issues and persuade the reclusive country to step out for talks to discuss its nuclear and missile programs, experts said Friday.

They cautioned against expecting too much from the envisioned visit and instead called for the government to take a more realistic short-term approach to coax it out of its long isolation and toward negotiation, rather than something that the North could find hard to swallow.

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