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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:40 July 06, 2018

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

(LEAD) Gov't proposes real estate tax hike, cautious about tough taxation on financial income

SEJONG, July 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government said Friday that it plans to raise real estate taxes in a move that it claims will reduce the widening income gap, help level off housing prices and improve fair taxation.

The finance ministry said the proposed tax hike centers around raising the tax burden on owners of high value houses and multiple homes, and increasing the taxable amount of a property.

(3rd LD) Samsung's operating profit up 5.19 pct in Q2

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its second-quarter operating profit advanced 5.19 percent from a year earlier, but it failed to post record-breaking earnings apparently due to weaker-than-expected smartphone sales.

Operating profit for the three-month period came to 14.8 trillion won (US$13.2 billion), compared with 14.07 trillion won reported a year earlier, the company said in its earnings guidance report.

(LEAD) Basketball games broaden inter-Korean sports exchanges: ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea said Friday the resumption of basketball diplomacy with the North this week has helped expand the two sides' sports exchanges and that such exchanges are also conducive to carrying out summit commitments.

The South's basketball players are scheduled to return home later in the day after a series of friendly games in Pyongyang.

(2nd LD) Pompeo due in Pyongyang for continued momentum of summit deal

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday he's visiting North Korea this week to maintain the momentum of a June 12 Singapore summit deal on improving bilateral ties and denuclearizing the communist nation.

"On this trip I'm seeking to fill in some details on those commitments and continue the momentum toward implementation of what the two leaders promised each other and the world," he was quoted as telling pool reporters during a brief stopover in Japan.

Seoul shares narrow losses as institutions turn buyers

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks narrowed earlier losses late Friday morning as institutional investors bought up shares, offsetting net selling by foreigners and individuals. The South Korean won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index was down 4.60 points, or 0.20 percent, from the previous session's close and stood at 2,252.95 as of 11:20 a.m.

S. Korea braces for fallout from U.S.-China trade war

SEOUL -- The South Korean government on Friday said a trade dispute between the United States and China will have a limited impact on the local economy in the short term but vowed to prepare for a wider, protracted war between the world's two biggest economies.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy convened a meeting with the state-run trade promotion agencies and industry associations to discuss the escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, and its impact on the local economy, hours ahead of the tariffs going into effect.

N. Korea slams U.S. over human rights report ahead of Pompeo's visit

SEOUL -- North Korea's media on Friday resumed its criticism of Washington ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's arrival in Pyongyang, warning against any argument over its human rights conditions.

Uriminzokkiri, the North's external propaganda website, said in a commentary that the U.S. government should immediately abandon any attempt to irritate and deride Pyongyang over its human rights issue.

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