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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 17:30 October 02, 2019

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks dip 2 pct, Korean won drops on global economic woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks sank by nearly 2 percent Wednesday on concerns over a global economic slowdown following weak manufacturing data from the United States and Europe. The weaker-than-expected data also sent the Korean won fall sharply against the U.S. dollar on reduced appetite for risky assets.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 40.51 points, or 1.95 percent, to close at 2,031.91. Trading volume was moderate at 406 million shares worth 3.8 trillion won (US$3.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 650 to 182.

(LEAD) S. Korea likely to miss growth target: finance minister

SEJONG -- South Korea is unlikely to achieve its growth target this year, the finance minister said Wednesday, as exports slowed amid trade tensions with Japan and an ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China.

When asked by a lawmaker whether South Korea can pull off its 2.4 percent or 2.5 percent growth target, Hong Nam-ki said in a parliamentary audit that "it appears difficult to achieve it."

(LEAD) Japan OKs 7 shipments of industrial materials under restriction to S. Korea

SEOUL -- Japan has approved only seven shipments of sensitive industrial materials under restriction to South Korea since the neighbor implemented its export curbs in July. Seoul's trade minister said Wednesday.

In July, Tokyo abruptly adopted strict regulations on South Korea-bound exports of three industrial items -- fluorine polyimide, photoresist and hydrogen fluoride -- vital for the production of chips and displays.

N. Korea appoints new head of U.S. affairs department

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to have appointed a new head of its foreign ministry's North American affairs department, according to the Russian mission in Pyongyang on Wednesday, as the North is set to resume denuclearization talks with the United States this weekend.

Jo Chol-su's appointment was made known in a Facebook post by the Russian embassy as it reported Jo's meeting with Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora, where Jo was referred to as the "Director-General of the North American Department" and "President of the Institute of American Studies" under the North's foreign ministry.

(News Focus) N.K. ups ante with new rocket launch ahead of nuke talks with U.S.

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to have timed Wednesday's firing of a presumably submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) to bolster its bargaining leverage ahead of nuclear talks with the United States later this week, analysts said.

The latest launch could also be a display of its anger over South Korea's showcase of F-35A radar-evading fighters and other leading-edge weapons systems at its 71st Armed Forces Day ceremony on Tuesday.

(News Focus) N. Korea's longer-range SLBMs seem in final stage of development: experts

SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- What North Korea fired from waters off its east coast on Wednesday appears to be a newer, longer-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that could pose greater threats to global security, experts said.

According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the missile, believed to be a type of the North's Pukguksong SLBM, was fired from waters off the east coast near Wonsan in an easterly direction at around 7:11 a.m. It flew around 450 kilometers at a maximum altitude of about 910 km, it added.

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