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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:45 September 02, 2016

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

(LEAD) S. Korea's economy grows in Q2: BOK

SEOUL -- South Korea's economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the second quarter from three months earlier on increased local demand and exports, central bank data showed Friday.

In the April-June period, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.8 percent from the previous quarter, accelerating from a 0.5 percent on-quarter expansion three months earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Ruling party slams parliament speaker on THAAD remark

SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party continued to protest strongly against the parliamentary speaker on Friday, adding his remark on the controversial deployment of a U.S. missile defense system violated the legal obligation of the office to maintain political neutrality.

"It was a reckless remark that hurts our national interest," Chung Jin-suk, the floor leader of Saenuri said, adding the party will continue to seek the resignation of National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun.

China could have provided N. Korea with submarine missile: U.S. expert

WASHINGTON -- China could have provided North Korea with the submarine-launched ballistic missile that the regime in Pyongyang successfully test-fired last week, a U.S. expert claimed Thursday.

Bruce Bechtol, a North Korea expert at Angelo State University in Texas, made the remark during an interview with the John Batchelor Show radio news program, calling the North's SLBM, known as KN-11, a "carbon copy" of China's JL-1 submarine missile.

Park defends THAAD deployment plan ahead of Russia visit

SEOUL -- President Park Geun-hye on Friday defended the planned deployment of an advanced U.S. antimissile system on South Korean soil, reiterating it is an "inevitable, self-defense" measure to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

In an interview with Russia's state-run news agency, Rossiya Segodnya, Park stressed that if Pyongyang's escalating military threats are eliminated, the need for the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will "naturally" dissipate.

N. Korea's largest naval base on east coast undergoing significant upgrades: 38 North

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's largest naval base on the east coast has been undergoing significant facility and weaponry upgrades that could pose increased threats to South Korean and U.S. navies in the region, a U.S. report said Thursday.

Since 2014, the North has been making aggressive efforts to upgrade the Munchon Naval Base, north of the east coast city of Wonsan, to "enhance training facilities, upgrade conventional naval weapons systems, improve special operations capabilities, and develop new ship support facilities," 38 North said in a report.

N.K. seeks to build finance complex, luxury hotel in eastern port city

SEOUL -- North Korea will seek to build a finance complex and five-star luxury hotel in an effort to attract foreign investment into its eastern port city of Wonsan, the North's portal site said Friday.

North Korea has unveiled a proposal to lure foreign investment to develop central areas of Wonsan into a trade and finance mecca, a project worth US$196 million, according to Naenara.

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