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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 07, 2019

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

U.S. expert agrees with S. Korea's description of N.K. rockets as SRBMs

WASHINGTON -- The guided rockets that North Korea claimed to have fired in recent weeks are no different from missiles, a U.S. expert said Tuesday, endorsing South Korea's assessment that what the communist nation fired were short-range ballistic missiles.

Vann H. Van Diepen, a former U.S. State Department and intelligence official with expertise on weapons of mass destruction issues, made the case on 38 North, a website providing analysis on North Korea.

(3rd LD) N.K. leader says missile launches were 'warning' against S. Korea-U.S. exercise

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the communist nation tested new tactical guided missiles in the firing of two projectiles the previous day as a warning against the joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States.

On Tuesday, North Korea fired two projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the fourth such launch in less than two weeks. From its southwestern county of Kwail, they flew about 450 kilometers across the northern part of the Korean Peninsula at a maximum altitude of 37 km before landing in the waters, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Seoul-Tokyo tensions threaten trilateral cooperation with U.S.: CRS report

WASHINGTON -- Trilateral security cooperation between South Korea, the United States and Japan has become more difficult amid rising tensions between the two Asian nations, according to a U.S. congressional report.

In its latest report updated Aug. 1, the Congressional Research Service noted that four events since last year have caused South Korea-Japan ties to deteriorate: South Korea's effective termination of an agreement on women forced into wartime sexual slavery, incidents involving Japanese reconnaissance planes and South Korean naval vessels, South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms' compensation for forced labor victims, and Japan's adoption of export curbs against South Korea starting in June.

(4th LD) Seoul to take preemptive steps to stabilize markets

SEOUL -- South Korea will take swift and bold steps if necessary to help stabilize the financial markets, the country's finance minister said Wednesday, assuring that the country's economic fundamentals remain strong despite what he called "temporary risks."

In an emergency meeting with other top financial officials, including the head of the Bank of Korea, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the increased volatility in the market was the result of "short-term risks" that happened to overlap.

(LEAD) S. Korea-Japan sports exchanges hit by deteriorating ties

SEOUL -- From cancellation of training camps to withdrawal from competitions, the sports sector is feeling the effects from the deteriorating ties between South Korea and Japan.

Bilateral relations between the neighbors are teetering on the brink after Japan imposed restrictions on South Korea-bound exports in July, in apparent retaliation over a row surrounding wartime forced labor, a move followed later by Tokyo's removal of South Korea from its whitelist of trusted trade partners.

Japan promulgates bill taking S. Korea off export whitelist

TOKYO -- Japan on Wednesday promulgated a revised bill striking South Korea off its list of trusted trading partners, following last week's Cabinet approval of the measure amid an escalating row with Seoul.

The promulgation, by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will put the bill into effect Aug. 28, as the enforcement takes 21 days.

Tax revenue tallied at 156.2 tln won through June

SEJONG -- South Korea collected 156.2 trillion won (US$128.6 billion) in taxes in the first six months of the year, 1 trillion won less compared with a year earlier, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

The government spent 190.7 trillion won in the January-June period, up 28.1 trillion won from the same period last year. The spending in the first six months represents 65.4 percent of this year's planned budget spending of 291.9 trillion won.

Seoul stocks turn lower, won loses further ground late Wednesday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean shares pared earlier gains to turn south late Wednesday morning, as market sentiment still remained fragile over trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, despite some signs of calm after China moved to stabilize its currency.

The Korean won also continued to lose ground against the U.S. dollar.

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