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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:06 November 23, 2018

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


(LEAD) Seoul shares close lower on lingering uncertainties

SEOUL –– The South Korean stock market extended its losing streak to four-straight sessions Friday as lingering uncertainties over U.S.-China trade issues made investors more cautious, analysts said. The South Korean currency declined against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 12.47 points, or 0.60 percent, to 2,057.48. Trading volume was light at 221.5 million shares worth 3.69 trillion won (US$3.26 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 595 to 233.

Institutional investors offloaded a net 138.3 billion won worth of local shares, while foreigners scooped up a net 31.9 billion won, the first time since Nov. 12 that foreign investors turned to net buyers.

"Uncertainties stemming from Washington-Beijing trade issues linger as the two sides have been exchanging criticism over each other's trade measures," Seo Sang-young, from Kiwoom Securities Co., said. "Ahead of the U.S.-China summit meeting next week, therefore, investors have mixed sentiments."

Cube Entertainment launches joint label with Universal Music Japan

SEOUL -- South Korea's Cube Entertainment on Friday launched a joint venture record label with the Universal Music Japan, seeking greater global reach for K-pop artists managed by the agency.

The two companies held a formal ceremony to celebrate the launch of the new label called U-Cube at a hotel in southern Seoul.

"Since we forged ties with a partner that will give a boost to the company's solid system with a history spanning 10 years and its talented artists, I think it won't take long for us to grow to be a global entertainment company," Hong Seung-sung, chairman of Cube Entertainment, said in a speech read by vice president Hong Il-hwa during the ceremony. "I hope the company will take one step after another along with Universal Music Japan in search of a new paradigm of hallyu," he said, referring to the Asianwide fever of Korean pop culture.


Ministry says smooth inter-Korean projects hinge on denuclearization, cross-border ties

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Friday that smooth inter-Korean economic projects are linked to progress in the denuclearization of the peninsula and improvement in cross-border ties.

The ministry gave a policy briefing to the National Assembly's special panel on inter-Korean economic projects amid criticism that bilateral cooperation outpaces the efforts to denuclearize the North and could unravel international sanctions against it.

"Smooth economic cooperation projects between the South and the North are possible when the denuclearization of the peninsula moves along with the development of inter-Korean relations in a virtuous cycle," the ministry said.

"The government will foster the virtuous cycle while trying to create an opportunity for the second North and U.S. summit and the smooth sailing of the dialogue between the North and the U.S.," it added.

The ministry, in addition, reiterated that it will push for inter-Korean projects within the confines of international sanctions.


(LEAD) Parliament passes economic bills after deadlock broken
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL -- The National Assembly passed bills linked to livelihoods of ordinary people Friday as rival parties put parliament back on track after a weeklong hiatus amid partisan conflicts.

Lawmakers approved 90 proposals, including a revised bill aimed at protecting and supporting small merchants, at a plenary session earlier in the day.

A session was originally slated for last Thursday, but the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party boycotted it to protest President Moon Jae-in's appointment of the environment minister without parliamentary consent.

The deadlock was broken as the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the two conservative parties agreed Wednesday to conduct a parliamentary probe into allegations of nepotism at public firms.
The assembly's review of the government's 2019 budget proposal hit a snag as rival parties sparred over an estimated shortfall in tax revenue at a meeting of the sub-panel on the budget earlier in the day.


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