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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 30, 2019

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

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(2nd LD) BOK freezes key rate at 1.5 pct, October rate cut expected
(ATTN: UPDATES with BOK chief's remarks in paras 7-10; ADDS photo; AMENDS headline, lead para)

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank left its policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent Friday, but a rate cut is expected in October as two BOK board members cast dissenting votes in the rate-freeze decision.

The Bank of Korea's monetary policy board voted to leave the bellwether rate steady, after a quarter percentage-point reduction for the first time in three years in July.

The BOK's wait-and-see stance had been widely expected as it needs to gauge the impact of the rate cut on Asia's fourth-largest economy amid protracted U.S.-China trade tensions and another trade friction between South Korea and Japan.

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U.S. withholds criticism of N.K. as it marks anti-nuke day

WASHINGTON -- The United States withheld criticism of North Korea on Thursday as it marked an international day against nuclear tests, possibly showing restraint ahead of the expected resumption of denuclearization talks.

The statement was notable because North Korea is the only country to have conducted a nuclear test in the 21st century, most recently in 2017.

"On this International Day Against Nuclear Tests, we call on the international community to ensure that the world's most dangerous regimes, like the one in Iran, never attain the world's most dangerous weapons," the State Department wrote in a tweet.

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Former YG chief said to deny charges in overnight police questioning

SEOUL -- Yang Hyun-suk, the scandal-ridden former CEO of YG Entertainment, returned home early Friday morning after undergoing a daylong questioning by police about the allegations that he engaged in habitual gambling abroad and arranged sex services for foreign investors.

The 49-year-old Yang emerged from the office of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's Intellectual Crime Investigation Team in Seoul at around 8:30 a.m., about 23 hours after he was summoned there Thursday as a criminal suspect.

Yang was asked by reporters multiple questions about his charges but simply said he faithfully underwent police grilling. "I answered police questions faithfully and gave a detailed explanation," he told reporters.

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(2nd LD) Industrial output rebounds in July
(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES with growth outlook by central bank and background in paras in paras 7,10-13; ADDS byline)

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output rose 1.2 percent in July from a month earlier, rebounding from a two-month slump, due mainly to increased production of cars, government data showed Friday.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that auto output increased 6.3 percent last month, helped by recent launches of new models, including Hyundai Motor's entry-level Venue SUV and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors' all-new Seltos SUV.

Kim Bo-kyoung, director of Statistics Korea's industry statistics division, said "cars contributed most to increased output" in July and chemical output also rose due to the completion of facility maintenance.

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SK Innovation to sue LG Chem, LG Electronics in U.S. over battery tech

SEOUL -- SK Innovation Co., a major electric vehicle (EV) battery maker in South Korea, said Friday it will file lawsuits against its local rival LG Chem Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc. in the United States for patent infringement over EV battery technology.

SK Innovation said it plans to file lawsuits against LG Chem and its U.S. subsidiary, LG Chem Michigan Inc., with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. federal court, claiming that the two companies infringed on its patents in lithium-ion batteries.

SK Innovation will also file a lawsuit against LG Electronics for the same reason. LG Electronics sells battery modules and packs using LG Chem's battery cells, the company said.

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Seoul shares extend gains in late Friday morning

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks extended gains late Friday morning, led by gains in techs, financials and refiners, amid hopes for U.S.-China trade talks. The Korean won sharply advanced against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 34.12 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,967.53 as of 11:20 a.m. The main index rebounded from a 0.4 percent loss in Thursday's session.

Institutional and foreign investors bought a combined 204 billion won (US$170 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' sell-offs valued at 201 billion won.

(END)

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