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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:55 October 13, 2016

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

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BOK slashes 2017 growth outlook to 2.8 pct: BOK chief

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Thursday it has revised down its growth outlook for next year for Asia's fourth-largest economy to 2.8 percent from the 2.9 percent forecast three months earlier.

The outlook is lower than the government's estimate that the local economy could reach the 3 percent range next year.

Still, Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said South Korea will not have difficulties in achieving 2.7 percent economic growth this year.

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(LEAD) Samsung begins exchanges, refunds of Galaxy Note 7 in S. Korea
(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 6-7)

SEOUL -- Owners of the Galaxy Note 7 in South Korea on Thursday started getting refunds or swapping their phones for another smartphone, two days after Samsung Electronics Co. decided to discontinue the device over safety concerns.

Consumers who have a Note 7 in their possession must visit stores where they bought the devices to get a refund or exchange.

The refunds and exchanges in South Korea will be completed by the end of this year, according to local mobile carriers.

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U.S. envoy calls for making outside information available to N. Koreans

SEOUL -- A top U.S. official on the North's human rights Thursday stressed the need to get North Koreans to gain greater access to outside information as the move will help them recognize the reality of their regime.

"The success of the (North Korean) regime in maintaining controls and suppressing its population is very much related to its ability to control media and access to information," Ambassador Robert King told a forum on North Korea's human rights.

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(LEAD) Seoul's JCS chief meets U.S. counterpart over N.K. threats
(ATTN: ADDS Haney's comment and his past trip to Seoul in 5-6 paras)

SEOUL -- South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Lee Sun-jin discussed ways to bolster deterrence against North Korean threats with top U.S. commanders, Seoul's military said Thursday.

Lee met with Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) on Wednesday (U.S. time), to discuss the allies' joint efforts to counter increasing provocations by the North, the JCS said in a statement. He also inspected U.S. strategic assets such as the B-2 stealth bomber and the B-52 strategic bomber.

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S. Korean stocks down on large cap losses

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded sharply lower late Thursday morning as institutions turned to selling after remaining net buyers for three consecutive sessions.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 14.32 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,019.41 as of 11:20 a.m.

Most large caps were in negative terrain.

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(2nd LD) 3 S. Koreans shot to death in Philippines
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, throughout with updated info)

SEOUL -- Three South Koreans have been shot to death in the Philippines, a foreign ministry official said Thursday.

The three -- two male, one female -- were found dead Tuesday with gunshot wounds in their heads, according to the official. Their bodies were found in a sugar cane field in Bacolor, a small city of around 30,000 people.

One victim was found with his feet bound with tape, and the female body lying nearby had tied hands, he said. They have all been confirmed as South Korean nationals in their 40s and 50s. Earlier the nationality of one victim needed to be confirmed.

(END)

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