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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 July 31, 2019

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

(2nd LD) Cheong Wa Dae voices 'strong' concerns over N.K. missile launches

SEOUL -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday expressed "strong" concerns that North Korea's latest firing of short-range ballistic missiles could hamper efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier in the day, the North fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. They flew some 250 kilometers, marking the second such launch in less than a week.

(LEAD) New N. Korean submarine seen as capable of carrying 3 SLBMs: S. Korea

SEOUL -- A newly constructed North Korean submarine seems to be capable of carrying three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), South Korea's defense ministry was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The defense ministry determined that the North's submarine is ready to be deployed soon, Rep. Lee Hye-hoon, the chief of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told reporters after the ministry's closed-door briefing.

(LEAD) S. Korea, Japan to hold FM talks in Bangkok amid trade row

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan will hold one-on-one talks in Bangkok on Thursday on the sidelines of a regional security forum, the foreign ministry said, amid deepening tensions over Tokyo's retaliatory measures in a row over wartime forced labor.

The meeting, set to take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), will be the first time that Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, have met since Japan slapped export restrictions on South Korea in a row over wartime forced labor.

Seoul warns of stern action over Japan export curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea warned of a stern response Wednesday unless Japan withdraws its export restrictions on high-tech exports.

The presidential National Security Council (NSC), which convened an emergency meeting following North Korea's missile launches earlier in the day, also discussed the deepening trade dispute with Japan.

(News Focus) Latest N.K. missile firings underscore discontent over S. Korea-U.S. drills: experts

SEOUL -- North Korea's recent missile launches appear to be aimed at displaying discontent with next month's joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States and strengthening its negotiating power before resuming nuclear talks with the United States, experts said Wednesday.

Wednesday's launches of two short-range ballistic missiles off the east coast marked the second time in less than a week that the communist nation has fired missiles. Experts warn that yet more missile launches could take place until the exercise, codenamed "19-2 Dong Maeng," is over.

Hungarian swimmer charged with sexual harassment in Gwangju

GWANGJU -- The prosecution in the southwestern city of Gwangju said Wednesday it has asked the court to summarily fine a Hungarian swimmer 3 million won (US$2,542) on charges of sexual harassment.

The 22-year-old athlete, who competed in the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, was accused of touching the body of an 18-year-old woman at a club in the city early Sunday.

Police search Mnet headquarters over audition show's alleged vote rigging

SEOUL -- Police raided the headquarters of CJ ENM Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations that the entertainment firm's cable music channel rigged the results of its fan-voted idol competition show, "Produce 101."

Cyber investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency stormed the program's production office in western Seoul on Wednesday morning to secure related documents and information, according to the police.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down amid trade row, rate cut hope

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines amid the intensifying trade row with Japan and dimmed hopes for a sharper rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved down 14.13 points, or 0.69 percent, to 2,024.55. Trading volume was moderate at 578 million shares worth 5.41 trillion won (US$4.57 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers at 464 to 361.

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