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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 June 09, 2016

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


(LEAD) BOK cuts key rate to 1.25 pct for June

SEOUL -- In a surprise move, South Korea's central bank slashed its policy rate by 25 basis points Thursday, apparently anticipating a further delay in what many believe an imminent U.S. rate hike.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) slashed the key rate to a new record low of 1.25 percent for June, marking the first rate cut in 12 months.


(3rd LD) N.K. to hold major parliamentary meeting in late June

SEOUL -- North Korea plans to convene a major parliamentary meeting in late June, the North's state media said Thursday, amid the possibility that the country's leader Kim Jong-un could take another title to further solidify his grip on power.

The Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) has decided to hold the fourth session of the 13th assembly on June 29, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).


(LEAD) U.S. views N.K. with 'great concern' amid reports of reprocessing: State Department

WASHINGTON -- The United States views North Korea's actions with "great concern," the State Department said Wednesday, following reports that the communist nation has begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to harvest plutonium.

A senior State Department official was quoted by Reuters as saying Tuesday that the North took spent fuel from the 5-megawatt reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear complex and took it to the reprocessing facility to produce the element that can be used for nuclear weapons.


S. Korean economy expected to improve further in Q2: finance minister

SEOUL -- The South Korean finance minister said Thursday that Asia's fourth-largest economy will show far clearer signs of recovery in the second quarter helped by government-led stimulus policies.

"The South Korean economy has been in a modest recovery mode in recent months, rebounding from a slowdown in the beginning of the year," Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in a meeting of economy-related ministers in Seoul.


S. Korea's dessert market grows fast

SEOUL -- The South Korean market for desserts has been expanding rapidly over the past years despite the country's prolonged economic slump, industry data showed Thursday.

The dessert market was estimated at 1.5 trillion won in 2015, up a whopping 90 percent from the previous year. Last year, the market more than doubled to 800 billion won from 300 billion won in 2013.


(LEAD) Uganda halts military exchange with N. Korea

SEOUL -- Uganda has told North Korea that it won't renew its military contracts with the communist nation, a government source said Thursday, carrying out its pledge to sever their military ties.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni made the pledge during a summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye last month in what was seen as a diplomatic victory for Seoul.


N.K. claims S. Korea violated its territorial waters, airspace

SEOUL -- North Korea on Thursday threatened to make a "merciless" retaliation against South Korea, claiming that Seoul repeatedly violated its territorial waters and airspace off its western coast.

South Korea's reconnaissance drones made flights over the Yellow Sea along the de facto western maritime boundary on Tuesday and intruded three times into North Korea's territorial airspace to carry out aerial reconnaissance, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.


Car exports dip for seventh consecutive month in May

SEJONG -- South Korea's automobile exports fell for the seventh straight month in May due to faltering demand from emerging markets, the government said Thursday.

Outbound shipments of vehicles came to 218,655 units last month, down 11.6 percent from 247,343 units tallied a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.


Police raid Seoul subway operator over maintenance worker's death

SEOUL -- Police raided the headquarters of a Seoul subway operator Thursday as part of their probe into the cause of the accident that killed a 19-year-old maintenance worker on a station platform late last month.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) dispatched around 100 officers to raid some 10 organizations, including the head offices of Seoul Metro in the southern part of the capital. Eunsung PSD, a subcontractor who had hired the victim -- identified only by his surname Kim - was also included on the raid list.


(Yonhap Interview) Wyndham Hotel Group to triple presence in S. Korea by 2018

SEOUL -- Wyndham Hotel Group, the world's largest hotel chain by room count, plans to triple its footprint in South Korea with mid-tier Ramada and Days Inn brands to fill fast-growing demand through local partnerships, its senior official said.

With a diverse portfolio of 16 brands all over the world, the U.S.-based group operates 13 hotels in South Korea and plans to increase the number to 40 by 2018 through franchise agreements with local developers and partners, adding 8,670 rooms to its portfolio.


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