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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 17:03 August 30, 2019

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

(LEAD) Seoul eyes additional 1.6 tln won for tourism and smaller firms

SEJONG -- South Korea will inject 1.6 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) in more than two dozen projects to counter growing downside risks, the finance ministry said Friday.

The projects are designed, among other things, to help attract more foreign tourists and extend loans to struggling smaller firms, according to the ministry.

(LEAD) (News Focus) N.K. constitutional revisions signal Kim's more active involvement in diplomacy, domestic affairs

SEOUL -- North Korea's latest constitutional amendments appear to signal that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will get more actively involved both in domestic and diplomatic affairs with his tighter grip on power, experts said Friday.

Kim's expanded authority could also serve as a positive factor in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington as he is expected to have more leeway and more responsibility in future negotiations, they added.

U.S. again flies spy plane over S. Korean capital area

SEOUL -- A U.S. reconnaissance plane flew over Seoul and surrounding regions Friday, following a similar flight a day earlier, an aviation tracker said, on an apparent mission to collect intelligence regarding North Korea.

The plane, believed to be an RC-135W Rivet Joint, was detected in the skies above Seoul and the western port city of Incheon, Aircraft Spots posted on Twitter.

Gallup poll shows 57 percent oppose Cho Kuk as justice minister

SEOUL -- Nearly 6 in 10 South Koreans consider former presidential secretary Cho Kuk as unsuitable for the post of justice minister, according to a Gallup Korea poll released Friday.

The poll of 1,004 adults conducted from Tuesday to Thursday nationwide found 57 percent opposed Cho's appointment as justice minister, whereas 27 percent expressed support for him. The remaining 16 percent said they don't have an opinion. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

(3rd LD) BOK signals rate cut after standing pat at 1.5 pct

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank has room for a further rate cut to deter a longer skid in Asia's fourth-largest economy, the bank's chief said Friday, with analysts eying a rate reduction in October.

The Bank of Korea (BOK)'s monetary policy board voted to leave the bellwether rate steady, after in July the bank carried out the first quarter percentage-point reduction in three years.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks sharply up on U.S.-China talk hopes, won advances

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks spiked by almost 2 percent Friday as investor sentiment turned positive 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 34.38 points, or 1.8 percent, to close at 1,967.79. Trade volume was moderate at 302 million shares worth 4.18 trillion won (US$3.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 695 to 135.

(LEAD) 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.

Hanwha Systems wins contract to upgrade Philippine naval vessels

SEOUL -- Hanwha Systems Co., a major South Korean defense firm, has signed a deal with the Philippines to export a ship combat system, an arms procurement agency official said Friday.

Under the 30 billion-won (US$24.82 million) contract signed Tuesday, Hanwha will supply the ship combat system to the Philippine Navy for its project to upgrade three 3,000-ton frigates, according to the official of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

(LEAD) Chung Hyeon stages huge comeback to win 2nd round match at U.S. Open

SEOUL -- South Korean tennis player Chung Hyeon has completed a big comeback to reach the third round at the U.S. Open.

Chung, world No. 170, defeated the 34th-ranked Fernando Verdasco 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Thursday (local time).

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