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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:30 August 23, 2019

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

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S. Korea, Japan to return to indirect way of sharing intelligence

SEOUL -- Despite South Korea's decision to terminate its bilateral intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, their exchange of military secrets will continue to be possible mainly through an existing trilateral mechanism involving the United States.

But the roundabout way of exchanges via Washington and its non-binding feature could prevent them from actively sharing their classified information, experts said Friday.

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(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae: S. Korea has talked enough with U.S. on GSOMIA issue

SEOUL -- South Korea consulted with the United States often and adequately on the fate of a bilateral pact with Japan on sharing military intelligence, Cheong Wa Dae said Friday, as Washington has voiced "strong concern" and "disappointment" over Seoul's decision to discard the key tool for strengthening trilateral security cooperation in Northeast Asia.

"It's true that the U.S. hoped for the extension of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)," South Korea's Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong said in a press briefing.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day ahead of Fed chief's speech

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed slightly lower Friday as investors took to the sidelines amid uncertainty over the U.S. Federal Reserve's much-awaited rate cuts and concerns over the escalating tension with Japan. The Korean won lost ground against the U.S. dollar for a second consecutive session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 2.71 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 1,948.30. Trading volume was slim at some 365 million shares worth 3.27 trillion won (US$2.7 billion), with losers greatly outnumbering winners 589 to 246.

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(2nd LD) Troubled minister nominee vows donations amid corruption scandals

SEOUL -- The troubled Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk said Friday he will make a social donation with an equity fund and a private school foundation, both of which are implicated in corruption allegations involving his family.

In an apparent bid to allay negative public sentiment, Cho said he will donate to society the private equity fund (PEF) in which his family has made hefty investments and hand over the operation of the school foundation that his family runs.

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(2nd LD) Seoul to minimize economic fallout from trade row with Japan

SEJONG -- South Korea said Friday it will take steps to try to minimize any possible fallout from the trade row with Japan, which may further escalate down the road after its decision to terminate a military information-sharing pact with the neighbor.

"We will closely manage the situation to make sure that the negative economic impact is minimized under all circumstances," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a meeting with reporters in Sejong.

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Ethiopian prime minister to visit Seoul for talks with Moon

SEOUL -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali will travel to South Korea next week for talks with President Moon Jae-in on a broad range of partnerships between their countries, Moon's office said Friday.

Arriving Sunday for the three-day trip, he will become the first leader of Ethiopia to visit South Korea in eight years. It also marks the first trip to South Korea by an African leader since the launch of the Moon administration in May 2017.

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(News Focus) BOK has room for rate cuts but will likely save for later

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank is again faced with a dilemma over when and how to trim its key rate, just one month after it delivered a widely unanticipated rate cut to boost the growth of Asia's fourth-largest economy.

A need to support the local economy has been stressed over and over since early on after the Bank of Korea (BOK) cut its 2019 growth outlook to 2.6 percent in January, down from a 2.7 percent forecast three months earlier and slower than the 2.7 percent on-year expansion posted in 2018.
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