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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:30 September 30, 2019

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

(LEAD) Industrial output up for 2nd consecutive month in August

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output advanced for the second straight month last month on the back of a rise in the service sector, government data showed Monday.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed the country's overall industrial output rose 0.5 percent in August from a month earlier.

Ruling party proposes agency to probe education privilege for lawmakers' children

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Monday proposed setting up a special agency under parliament to probe into whether children of lawmakers received undue preferential treatment in gaining admission to colleges.

DP floor leader Lee In-young said he wants bipartisan agreement to his party's proposal to establish a joint agency involving the private and public sectors to look into possible educational privileges for lawmakers' children.

With no new ASF confirmed for 3rd day, S. Korea revs up containment efforts

SEOUL -- South Korea has ratcheted up quarantine efforts to prevent additional outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF), though no new confirmed cases have been reported for three days, as a typhoon is on course to hit the southern part of the country this week.

The country's quarantine authorities have been implementing disinfection operations at major roads and rivers near the inter-Korean border, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Monday.

Seoul to discuss food aid to N. Korea with WFP amid Pyongyang's silence

SEOUL -- South Korea said Monday it will discuss with the World Food Programme (WFP) what to do with promised food aid to North Korea as the communist nation remains unresponsive to the offer.

In June, South Korea announced the plan to provide 50,000 tons of rice to the North via the WFP to help the impoverished country address its worsening food shortages. Seoul's original plan was to complete the delivery by the end of this month.

S. Korea-C. America FTA to partially take effect

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Monday that the bilateral free trade agreement with a group of Central American countries will partially go into effect this week in the latest in a series of free trade deals that help Asia's No. 4 economy diversify its export portfolio in the face of growing protectionism and uncertainties in the trade environment.

South Korea's free trade pact with Honduras and Nicaragua will go into effect on Tuesday as the first step of the comprehensive FTA covering five Central American countries, also including Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Biz sentiment for Oct. still remains weak: survey

SEOUL -- South Korean corporate sentiment still remains weak for October due to the slowing global economy and ongoing trade tensions, a local think tank said Monday.

The business survey index (BSI) of the country's top 600 companies by sales came to 97.2 for next month, up from 87.8 this month. But it was still below 100, the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) said in a statement.

Seoul, Moscow to hold 2nd round of FTA negotiations on service sector

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade ministry said Monday it plans to hold the second round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with Russia in the service and investment segments, in line with the government's efforts to deepen bilateral economic ties.

The two countries will hold the meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday in Seoul, where they plan to exchange ideas on the overall details of the agreement with a goal to strike the deal next year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

IPO market predicted to gather steam in Q4

SEOUL -- South Korea's initial public offering (IPO) market is expected to gather ground in the fourth quarter as several large companies are seeking to make debuts on the local stock market, an industry source said Monday, although investors remained bearish on stocks.

About 10 companies have applied or plan to apply for regulatory approval to go public on the main KOSPI market, according to the source.

Goseong to halt east coast DMZ trail program to deter spread of ASF

SEOUL -- A Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) hiking trail on the east coast will be closed indefinitely this week as part of the government's efforts to fight the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in inter-Korean border areas, officials said Monday.

The Gangwon Province county of Goseong, about 160 kilometers northeast of Seoul, said it will shut down the Goseong DMZ Peace Trail program on Tuesday, following similar decisions by two other border towns in the central and western border regions on Sept. 19 to halt their own DMZ trail programs.

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