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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:39 August 06, 2018

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

9 suspected N.K. coal shipments under investigation: official

SEOUL -- Nine suspected North Korean coal shipments are under investigation for allegedly entering South Korean ports in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions, a foreign ministry official said Monday.

Concerns have flared recently that South Korean entities could face U.S. sanctions following reports that vessels carrying North Korean coal entered South Korean ports in breach of a U.N. ban on exports of coal from the communist nation.

Media reports said Monday that the United States is taking a serious look at those suspected shipments, raising speculation that South Korean entities, including one affiliated with the state-run power supplier, could be blacklisted.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close tad lower on foreign, institutional selling
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at the bottom)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished mildly lower Monday as institutional and foreign buyers offloaded large-cap shares, partially offsetting heavy buying by individuals. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched down 1.18 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,286.5. Trade volume was moderate at 241.15 million shares worth 4.5 trillion won (US$4 billion) changing hands, with gainers outpacing losers 452 to 364.

Foreigners and institutions offloaded a net 46 billion won and 600.1 billion won, respectively, while individual investors purchased a net 17.2 billion won.

(LEAD) S. Korea consumer association prepares suit against BMW amid fire concerns
(ATTN: ADDS gov't demand for explanation from BMW Korea CEO in 2nd para from bottom)

SEOUL -- A South Korean consumer association said Monday it has formed a group of experts to help the owners of BMW vehicles jointly file a lawsuit against the German carmaker amid a string of cars catching fire while being driven.

The Korea Consumer Association will invite consumers who drive BMW cars to file a joint suit against the luxury carmaker for two weeks from Aug. 13, a KCA spokesman said by phone. The association has already gathered 100 BMW owners for the joint suit.

"BMW owners feel uneasy about driving their cars due to safety worries even after the recall of a faulty component (that BMW says appears to be the main cause of recent fire incidents)," the spokesman said.

Moon urges efforts to boost economy, remove excessive regulations

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in called for stepped-up efforts Monday to further remove unnecessary government regulations, stressing the need to quickly revitalize the economy amid growing public concern about a slowdown.

"We must at least be able to give hope to the people that our economy will recover. I ask all economic teams of our government to further step up efforts as to remove any concerns over an economic slump and revitalize our economy," the president said in a weekly meeting with top presidential aides held at his office Cheong Wa Dae.

The president's call comes after the central bank, the Bank of Korea, revised down its 2018 growth forecast for Asia's fourth-largest economy to 2.9 percent from the previous 3 percent.

(2nd LD) ARF ministers call on N.K. to fulfill commitment to complete denuclearization
(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 9-12)

SEOUL -- The foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 17 other countries urged North Korea to fulfill its commitment to complete denuclearization during their Singapore talks last week, their chair statement showed Monday.

Singapore, this year's chair of the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), published its statement summarizing the foreign ministers' meeting, which took place Saturday. The annual ARF is the sole regional forum in which the North's top diplomat participates.

"The ministers urged all concerned parties to continue working towards the realization of lasting peace and stability on a denuclearized Korean Peninsula," the statement reads.

(2nd LD) Finance minister calls for corporate support in job creation, innovative growth
(ATTN: ADDS more details in para 7, last 2 paras)

PYEONGTAEK -- South Korea's top economic policymaker on Monday urged Samsung Group, the country's leading conglomerate, to do more to create jobs and spearhead innovative growth in the latest appeal to the business community to join the government's job-first policy.

In a meeting with Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of Samsung Group, and other top executives in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon stressed the importance of cooperation between the private sector and the government to usher in innovative growth for the company and job creation.

"Samsung is a leading player for our economy and has contributed much to our growth," Kim said during the meeting. "At a time when we are in the process of changing our economic paradigm, Samsung's role, as a leading player, is very important."


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