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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:39 July 12, 2018

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

(LEAD) BOK revises down 2018 growth forecast to 2.9 pct

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) on Thursday revised down its earlier growth forecast on the South Korean economy to 2.9 percent for 2018 due to rising economic uncertainties at home and abroad.

In the monetary policy meeting for July, the central bank slashed 0.1 percentage point from its earlier growth outlook of 3.0 percent published in April.

Defense chief cautions against rising speculation over arms control, stresses trust building

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Song Young-moo on Thursday cautioned against rising speculation over conventional arms control with North Korea, stressing that the "first step" toward the goal is building confidence with the communist state.

Song made the remarks amid a flurry of reports on possible measures for arms control, such as relocating the North's long-range artillery away from the border and suspending the construction of the South's front-line military facilities.

Leaders of S. Korea, Singapore agree to boost economic, diplomatic cooperation

SINGAPORE -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed Thursday to further strengthen the countries' economic and diplomatic cooperation while also working to promote free trade and peace in their region.

The joint call for efforts to expand trade and economic cooperation between the countries came in a bilateral summit held at the Istana, Singapore's presidential palace.

Int'l migrant numbers hit record high in 2017

SEJONG -- The number of South Koreans going overseas and foreigners on extended stays in the country reached record high levels last year thanks to a rise in more inbound travelers, a government report showed Thursday.

The number of international migrants, referring to those who stay in South Korea or go abroad for 90 days or more, stood at a record 1.41 million people in 2017, up 4.2 percent, or 57,000, from a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

Presidential panel chief's N.K. trip unrelated to inter-Korean economic cooperation: official

SEOUL -- A planned trip by the head of a presidential panel this week has nothing to do with the Seoul government's preparations to resume inter-Korean economic cooperation, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

The ministry recently approved a request by the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation's plan to visit North Korea for two days from Friday.

S. Korea, U.S. to hold talks on sharing defense costs

SEOUL -- South Korea said Thursday its negotiators will meet with U.S. officials next week in a bid to narrow differences over the sharing of the cost of maintaining American troops on the peninsula.

The fifth session of the 10th Special Measures Agreement (SMA) is to take place in Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

S. Korea cautious over full-blown trade war between U.S., China

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Thursday it is preparing for fallouts from the flaring trade dispute between the United States and China as the world's two largest economies are seemingly on a collision course that could have global repercussions.

Concerns are rising that Asia's fourth-largest economy could be among the losers of the protracted trade war between its top two trading partners after the Donald Trump administration unveiled an additional list of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Head of home-grown coffee franchise quizzed over embezzlement allegations

SEOUL -- Prosecutors questioned the chief of a local coffee franchise on Thursday over allegations that he siphoned off company funds.

Kim Do-kyun, head of Tom N Toms, is being probed at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, its officials said.

Pence: U.S. won't be sidelined in N. Korea negotiations

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has said the United States will not be "sidelined or sidetracked" in negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Pence made the remark in an interview with Fox News Channel late Tuesday as skepticism about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize has grown following last month's summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Samsung says QLED TVs 'burn-in' free

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its QLED TVs were acknowledged as burn-in free by German tech magazine Video, apparently seeking to distinguish its OLED TVs from those of rivals that have been facing barriers due to the image retention.

Burn-in refers to a situation in which certain areas of displays suffer discoloration when kept on for long periods.

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