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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:24 October 26, 2018

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

(LEAD) Seoul shares tumble again to fall to 21-month low

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks plunged again to a 21-month low Friday as foreigners offloaded local shares amid a series of factors that are undermining investors' sentiment, analysts said. The local currency declined against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 36.15 points, or 1.75 percent, to close at 2,027.15, extending its losing streak to four straight sessions. Trading volume was moderate at 422 million shares worth 6.19 trillion won (US$5.4 billion), with losers overwhelming winners 720 to 143.

(LEAD) KRX holds meeting to check stock market on recent rout

SEOUL -- South Korea's bourse operator said Friday it held a meeting of relevant officials to evaluate the current status of the stock market and discuss ways to better deal with greater volatility.

On Friday, the country's benchmark KOSPI fell 1.75 percent to 2,027.15, the lowest level since January 2017, on a selling binge by foreign investors. The figure is 21.27 percent below the yearly high of 2,607.10 reached in January.

Seoul to open bank branches in N.K. only after sanctions are lifted

SEOUL -- South Korea will open bank branches in North Korea only after international sanctions are lifted in return for irreversible steps by the North to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, the top financial regulator here said Friday.

Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), told a parliamentary audit meeting that Seoul has not discussed cooperation with North Korea in the financial sector.

Incheon City mulls taking back GM Korea's vehicle test site

SEOUL -- The Incheon Metropolitan City said Friday it is considering a move to take back the vehicle test site it provided to GM Korea Co. as it claims the carmaker violated a bilateral agreement.

In GM Korea's shareholders meeting held last week, General Motors Co., the largest shareholder in the carmaker with a stake of 77 percent, approved its plan to spin off GM Korea's engineering and research divisions into a separate R&D corporation. The test site will be part of the new R&D company.

S. Korea, U.S. to hold annual defense ministers' talks next week

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States will hold their annual defense ministers' talks in Washington, D.C. next week to discuss the fate of this year's combined air exercise, the transfer of wartime operational control and other issues, Seoul officials said Friday.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis will attend the 50th Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) on Wednesday amid the allies' efforts to ensure cooperation over denuclearization and a lasting peace regime on the peninsula.

Minister: S. Korea expects N. Korean leader's Seoul trip by year end

SEOUL -- Despite no report of progress in North Korea-U.S. dialogue, South Korea wants the North's leader to visit Seoul before the end of this year, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers Friday.

Kang also said her government maintains the goal of declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War within the year.

Players hoping to send off departing manager with championship

INCHEON -- Players of the SK Wyverns will enter the second round of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason on Saturday knowing they'll have a new manager next season.

And they want to make sure they send off the current skipper with a championship.

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