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Yonhap News Summary

Economy 17:11 August 14, 2019

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

Activists hold 1,400th weekly rally against Japan's wartime sex slavery

SEOUL -- The weekly protest rally demanding Japan's apology to victims of its wartime sex slavery marked its 1,400th edition Wednesday amid an escalating diplomatic and trade row between Seoul and Tokyo.

Nearly 20,000 activists, students and other citizens assembled to participate in the 27-year-old protest in front of the former compound of the Japanese Embassy in central Seoul at noon.

(2nd LD) S. Korea to acquire more anti-missile radars, interceptors to counter N.K. threats

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to add two more ground-based anti-missile early warning radars and begin building three Aegis-equipped destroyers in the next five years in an effort to better detect and intercept incoming missiles from North Korea, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The plan was one of the key projects that the ministry unveiled in its five-year defense blueprint for 2020-2024 amid heightened concerns about North Korea's missile capabilities in the wake of a series of test-firings of what Pyongyang claimed were new weapons.

S. Korean Olympic chief says IOC will have answer on Japan's Dokdo labeling, radioactive contamination

SEOUL -- When it comes to Tokyo's labeling of Dokdo as Japanese territory on its Olympic website and concerns of radioactive contamination during the competition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have "definitive answers," the South Korean sports chief said Wednesday.

Lee Kee-heung, president of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) and IOC member, said he has asked the IOC to address Tokyo's marking of Dokdo, South Korea's easternmost islets, as Japanese territory on a map on the Tokyo 2020 website. Separately, the KSCO also raised the issue with the Japanese Olympic Committee.

Japan names Koji Tomita new ambassador to S. Korea: sources

TOKYO -- Japan has named Ambassador Koji Tomita with several years of diplomatic experience in South Korea as its new top envoy in Seoul, informed sources said Wednesday.

Late last month, Tokyo made a request for Seoul's consent to the 62-year-old diplomat's nomination in an "agrement" -- a diplomatic procedure required before his official appointment, the sources said.

(LEAD) (News Focus) Will S. Korea, Japan find momentum to ease tensions?

SEOUL -- With South Korea-Japan ties on a dangerous slippery slope, questions are arising over whether, when and how they can mitigate tensions from their rancorous diplomatic and trade row -- or find an exit from it.

Neither side has shown signs of backing down, as political stakes are high with rising nationalism fanning historical animosity. But observers are pinning hopes on possible diplomatic engagement in the coming months to provide momentum for at least de-escalation.

Senior diplomats to make case against Japan's export curbs ahead of G7 summit

SEOUL -- Two senior South Korean diplomats have left for Europe to highlight the unreasonable nature of Tokyo's recent export restrictions against Seoul ahead of the Group of Seven summit slated to take place in France later this month.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu plans to visit Italy and Germany for talks with his counterparts, while Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon will travel to France and Britain, according to the foreign ministry here.

N.K. says U.S. missile deployment will turn S. Korea into 'bullet-shield'

SEOUL -- North Korea's official news agency on Wednesday warned South Korea not to host U.S. intermediate-range missiles on its soil, saying the deployment would be a "reckless act of escalating tension" in the region.

Earlier this month, the U.S formally pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia and vowed to begin testing new missiles and deploy them around the world.

Opposition leader calls for drastic policy shift by Moon

SEOUL -- The leader of South Korea's main opposition party on Wednesday urged President Moon Jae-in to change policies that he blamed for the economic and diplomatic predicaments faced by the nation.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, chairman of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, issued a rare public statement on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day, which commemorates the nation's independence from Japan's colonial rule in 1945.

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