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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 October 22, 2018

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

(LEAD) Koreas, UNC to hold talks over JSA disarmament

SEOUL -- The two Koreas and the U.S.-led U.N. Command will hold the second round of their working-level talks Monday over disarming the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Seoul's defense ministry said.

The trilateral talks are set to take place at the Freedom House, a South Korea-controlled building at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ, at 10 a.m.

(LEAD) Koreas hold talks on forestry cooperation

SEOUL/KAESONG -- The two Koreas held talks Monday to discuss fighting tree disease as part of efforts to step up their forestry cooperation.

The talks began at around 10 a.m. at their joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong. It was the first meeting to discuss cooperation after the two Koreas' high-level talks last week.

KDB not 'unconditionally' opposed to GM Korea's spin-off plan

SEOUL -- The head of the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) said Monday he is not "unconditionally" opposed to a controversial plan by General Motors Co.'s Korean unit to spin off its research unit.

Lee Dong-gull, governor of the KDB, also told a parliamentary audit meeting that GM Korea notified the KDB of the spin-off plan earlier this year when the two sides were in talks over a rescue package for GM Korea.

BOK chief signals future rate hike

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank chief on Monday again hinted at a future rate hike in the coming months to solve financial imbalances and secure wider policy tools.

"It is necessary to adjust the (current) accommodative monetary policy in a way that eases the financial imbalances and have policy room to deal with a future economic cycles, if external downside risks do not weigh heavily on economic growth and inflation," Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said in a parliamentary audit.

1 pct-point rate hike may drag down economic growth by 0.2 pct point: BOK

SEOUL -- A 1 percentage-point rise in the interest rate would drag down the South Korean economy by 0.2 percentage point due to a decline in corporate investment and private consumption, the central bank said Monday.

"If the base rate increases 1 percentage point, the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to go down by 0.2 percentage point," the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a parliamentary report.

Opposition parties to jointly propose parliamentary probe into hiring scandal

SEOUL -- Opposition parties will submit a joint motion calling for a parliamentary investigation into alleged nepotism at public corporations, the main opposition party's floor leader said Monday.

Opposition lawmakers have claimed that public corporations, including Seoul Metro, which is run by the city government, have given unfair hiring favors to relatives of current and former employees in what the media dubbed "hereditary succession of jobs."

S. Korea's exports up 26 pct in first 20 days of October

SEJONG -- South Korea's exports shot up 26 percent on-year during the first 20 days of October, due to a rise in outbound shipments of chips and petrochemical goods, customs data showed Monday.

The country's outbound shipments reached US$33.4 billion in the October 1-20 period, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

Majority of S. Koreans back Kakao's carpool: poll

SEOUL -- More than half of South Koreans back the planned launch of Kakao Corp.'s carpool service, which sparked angry protests from the taxi industry, a survey showed Monday.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter with 500 adults across the country Friday, 56 percent of the respondents said they agree with the service because it benefits citizens. Those who oppose it accounted for 28.7 percent, while 15.3 percent said they were unsure or they refused to answer.

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