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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:45 April 14, 2016

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

Think tank slashes growth outlook for 2016

SEOUL -- A South Korean think tank on Thursday slashed its growth outlook for Asia's fourth-largest economy this year, citing a prolonged slump in exports and slowing consumer spending.

The Korea Institute of Finance (KIF) said the South Korean economy was expected to grow 2.6 percent this year, down from a 3-percent expansion forecast six months earlier.

Bizman referred to prosecutors over alleged assault of security guard

SEOUL -- Police said Thursday they will refer to prosecutors this week a 67-year-old business tycoon suspected of assaulting a janitor, a recent incident that has stirred up public anger.

Jung Woo-hyun, chairman of MPK Group which runs the nation's leading pizza franchise Mr. Pizza, was been booked without detention after allegedly hitting the guard on the cheek twice at a restaurant in Seoul's Seodaemun Ward early this month.

Jang Keun-suk watches his new TV series live with 1,100 fans

SEOUL -- South Korean actor Jang Keun-suk watched "The Royal Gambler" live with 1,100 fans, his management company said on Thursday.

On April 5, fans from Korea, Japan and China got together at the Walker Hill Hotel in eastern Seoul to support the star's new SBS TV Monday-Tuesday series and watched the 4th episode at the hotel, said Tree J Company.

(3rd LD) U.S. human rights report markedly dry on N. Korea's situation

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- North Korea continues to control political activity and ban or limit political opposition, while maintaining a network of political prison camps, the U.S. State Department said in its annual human rights report.

But the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 released Wednesday was markedly dry, compared with previous ones, about the North, and did not use expressions like "deplorable," "grim" or "among the worst in the world" to portray the situation.

N. Korea highlights late founder's feats ahead of his birthday

SEOUL -- North Korea on Thursday highlighted accomplishments by its late founder Kim Il-sung as it is set to celebrate the 104th birthday of the current leader's grandfather, the North's state media showed.

The North is poised to commemorate the "Day of the Sun" on Friday, the birthday of the North's founder Kim who died in 1994. Since 1997, Pyongyang has celebrated the anniversary with lavish festivals after designating his birthday a two-day national holiday.

1 out of 3 lawmakers-elect booked over election law violations

SEOUL -- Over one-third of lawmakers-elect who won at this week's parliamentary polls have been booked for election-related offenses, up sharply from the 2012 polls, prosecutors said Thursday.

A total of 104 lawmakers-elect out of the 300-member National Assembly have been booked for charges related to irregular election campaign activities as of Wednesday, according to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office (SPO).

(2nd LD) Minjoo Party stresses its rival's failure to retain parliamentary majority

SEOUL -- The main opposition Minjoo Party on Thursday highlighted its rival Saenuri Party's loss of a parliamentary majority as it emerged victorious from the general elections, while the ruling party was put into a soul-searching mode, struggling to shore up public support.

Capitalizing on its triumph over the ruling party and government for "botched economic policies," the Minjoo Party's leader Kim Jong-in said the most substantial meaning of Wednesday's elections was the fact that the Saenuri Party failed to retain its legislative majority.

(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. take first step in implementation of nuclear energy accord

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States on Thursday took their first step in implementing a bilateral nuclear energy accord that opens a pathway for the Asian ally to develop key technologies and ensure a secure supply of nuclear fuel.

After more than four years of negotiations, the two sides struck a deal last April to revise their 1974 nuclear cooperation pact to reflect South Korea's growing status in the global atomic power industry.

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