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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:12 January 03, 2019

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

Seoul expects N.K. leader's letter to Trump to play positive role for peace

SEOUL -- South Korea expressed hope Thursday that a letter written by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to U.S. President Donald Trump will play a positive role for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Trump said Wednesday that he received a "great letter" from Kim and expects the two will have another meeting soon following their historic summit in June last year in Singapore.

S. Korea to review resumption of inter-Korean projects at NSC meeting

SEOUL -- South Korea was set to hold a National Security Council meeting Thursday to discuss North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's offer to resume two inter-Korean economic cooperation projects, a unification ministry official said.

In his New Year speech Tuesday, Kim said he is willing to reopen the shuttered industrial park in the North's border town of Kaesong and resume the suspended tourism program to Mount Kumgang on its east coast without any preconditions.

(LEAD) S. Korea striving for US$700 bln in exports: finance minister

SEJONG -- South Korea's top economic policymaker on Thursday unveiled an ambitious goal to push up the country's exports to top the US$700 billion mark per annum in the near future.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki made the comments in a meeting with the heads of small exporters in Bupyeong, located west of Seoul.

Brokerages cut outlook for exports in 2019

SEOUL -- South Korea's major securities firms have revised down their forecasts for the growth of the country's exports in the new year, citing signs of a global economic slowdown and weaker demand.

In a report issued on Wednesday, Samsung Securities Co. forecast that the country's outbound shipments would expand 2.5 percent in 2019, down from its previous projection of 5.5 percent.

(2nd LD) Moon's chief policy adviser met with conglomerates' executives last year

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's chief policy adviser held a closed-door meeting with senior executives of Samsung Group and other conglomerates in late December, the presidential office said Thursday, in an apparent effort to prop up the slowing economy.

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has been spurring efforts to boost the slowing economy and increase cooperation with the corporate sector, with Moon entering the third year of his presidency. Moon took office in May 2017.

BOK chief calls for tougher risk management

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank chief on Thursday called on financial leaders to toughen risk management this year in the face of a global slowdown.

"There are concerns over a clearer slowdown in the global economy," Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said in a meeting with leaders from the financial industry. "We have to put more emphasis on risk management."

(LEAD) Seoul shares close sharply lower on fears over economic slowdown

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks plunged to a more than two-year low on Thursday on ballooning fears over a global economic slowdown. The local currency sharply lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 16.30 points, or 0.81 percent, to end at 1,993.70. It marked the lowest closing price since Dec. 7, 2016, when the index was 1,991.89.

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