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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:34 October 31, 2019

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

(LEAD) New S. Korean ambassador expects U.S.-N.K. talks to resume this year

WASHINGTON -- South Korea's top envoy to the United States said Wednesday that he expects the U.S. and North Korea to resume denuclearization negotiations before the end of the year.

Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck made the remark to reporters in his first briefing since taking office last week, noting that his prediction is based only on the South Korean government's assessment of the last round of negotiations that took place in Sweden early this month.

N. Korea's top girl band to go on concert tour in China: sources

BEIJING -- North Korea's best-known girl band is expected to go on a one-month concert tour in China later this year, sources said Thursday, in a sign of strengthening relations between Pyongyang and Beijing.

Moranbong Band plans to start the tour in Beijing in December at the invitation of a Chinese international culture exchange center, which will be followed by concerts in other major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Changsha, according to the sources.

Moon's approval rating rises to 48.5 percent: Realmeter

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has ascended to 48.5 percent amid news of his mother's death and some positive impact from his recent economy-related activities, Realmeter said Thursday.

According to its three-day poll from Monday, the rating gained 2.8 percentage points from last week's poll. It conducted a phone survey of 1,503 adults nationwide.

(LEAD) Samsung Electronics Q3 net more than halves on weak chip prices

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday its net profit more than halved in the third quarter from a year earlier due to weak memory chip prices.

The net profit of the world's largest memory chip and smartphone maker tumbled 52.3 percent to 6.3 trillion won (US$5.4 billion) in the July-September period, the company said in a regulatory briefing.

(LEAD) Sept. industrial output falls 0.4 pct on service sector

SEOUL -- South Korea's industrial output fell in September from a month earlier due mainly to declines in the services sector, government data showed Thursday.

The country's overall industrial production saw a 0.4 percent on-month decline last month after posting on-year gains in the previous two months, Statistics Korea said in a statement.

(News Focus) Possibility of S. Korean rate cut looms after U.S. rate reduction

SEOUL -- The U.S. Federal Reserve has again slashed its policy rate, boosting the chances of another rate cut in South Korea to bolster its slowing economy, analysts said Thursday.

At its latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which ended Wednesday (U.S. time), the Fed cut its base rate by 25 basis points to a range of between 1.50 percent and 1.75 percent.

(News Focus) Moon's November summit diplomacy in disarray after Chile cancels APEC

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in was gearing up for a round of hectic summit diplomacy in November, but it faces some uncertainty from Chile's abrupt announcement to call off an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.

Moon planned to attend the two-day session, supposed to open in Santiago on Nov. 16, following a one-night stopover in Mexico for bilateral summit talks with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Court to decide whether to issue arrest warrant for ex-justice minister's brother

SEOUL -- A Seoul court will review another prosecution request to issue an arrest warrant for the younger brother of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Thursday over alleged wrongdoing involving a private school foundation run by the family.

The Seoul Central District Court began a hearing at 10:30 a.m. to decide whether to issue the arrest warrant for the 52-year-old, who showed up in court in a wheelchair, after an initial request by prosecutors was rejected earlier this month.

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