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Yonhap News Summary

13:39 February 14, 2019

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

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(LEAD) LKP expels one member for making controversial remarks on Gwangju uprising

SEOUL -- The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) decided Thursday to kick out a party member for making controversial comments on a 1980 pro-democracy uprising.

But the party deferred its decision on two other lawmakers accused of making similar statements, helping them keep their candidacies for the party's leadership election slated for late this month.

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(LEAD) Three killed in explosion at Hanwha ammunition factory

DAEJEON -- Three are dead after an ammunition factory run by a major conglomerate exploded and caught fire, firefighters said Thursday.

The explosion occurred at 8:42 a.m. at a Hanwha manufacturing plant in Daejeon, a city located about 143 km south of Seoul.

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S. Korea, U.S. lawmakers meet ahead of 2nd Trump-Kim summit

WASHINGTON -- A group of South Korean opposition lawmakers met Wednesday with a U.S. senator handling Korea issues to discuss the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Rep. Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, led a delegation to a meeting with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific.

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President pledges increased support for small businesses

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in promised additional support for self-employed, small business owners Thursday, calling them an important pillar of the economy, in a rare meeting held at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

In the meeting attended by some 160 self-employed business people and small shop owners, the president said the small business people should be treated as workers instead of employers.

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Moon's approval rating inches down on economic woes

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating dropped slightly from a week earlier this week, a poll showed Thursday, amid concerns over a dip in home prices and a slowing economy.

In the survey conducted by Realmeter, Moon's job approval rating came to 49.6 percent, down 0.8 percentage point from a separate weekly survey conducted last week.

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LG Uplus to buy No. 1 cable TV CJ Hello

SEOUL -- South Korea's No. 3 mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. said Thursday it will buy CJ Hello, the nation's No. 1 cable TV operator, to bolster its presence in the media and content market.

LG Uplus held a board meeting to approve purchase of CJ E&M's 54 percent stake in CJ Hello, a deal worth an estimated 800 billion won (US$711 million). CJ E&M is a unit of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ.

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S. Korean defense chief to visit UAE for talks on defense industry cooperation

SEOUL -- South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week for talks with his counterpart on ways to strengthen military ties and defense industry cooperation between the two countries, his ministry said Thursday.

He plans to depart for the UAE later in the day at the official invitation of the UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs Mohammed Ahmed Al-Bowardi.

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Samsung ranked among top in French consumers' brand rating

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics was placed among the top in a brand rating by French consumers, company officials said Thursday.

The 2019 edition of Best Brands France showed the tech firm at No. 1 in the best product brand category and at No. 2 in best corporate brand after Amazon.

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K-pop boy band GOT7 launches 2nd subunit Jus2

SEOUL -- K-pop boy band GOT7 will launch its second subunit composed of two members, the band's management agency said Thursday.

The new subunit, Jus2, consists of JB and Yugyeom, will become active releasing its first EP "FOCUS" around next month, JYP Entertainment said without giving the exact date of the release.
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