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Yonhap News Summary

Defense 13:33 November 29, 2019

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

(LEAD) S. Korean economy expected to grow around 2 pct in 2019: BOK

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) on Friday again slashed its growth outlook for Asia's fourth-largest economy in 2019 and 2020, citing sluggish demand at home and abroad.

"Korea's economic growth is projected to rise at a moderate pace to 2.3 percent and 2.4 percent in the next two years from 2 percent this year," the central bank said in a press release.

(2nd LD) N. Korea says it tested super-large multiple rocket launcher under leader's guidance

SEOUL -- North Korea said Friday it successfully tested a super-large multiple rocket launcher's successive firing system under leader Kim Jong-un's guidance in the launch of two projectiles the previous day.

On Thursday, South Korea's military said the North fired two projectiles from what is presumed to be a super-large multiple rocket launcher from Yeonpo in the country's eastern South Hamgyong Province toward the East Sea.

(LEAD) BOK keeps base rate steady, waiting for previous rate cuts to kick in

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) on Friday left the base interest rate unchanged at a record low, at least for the remainder of the year, stressing the need to first see the effect of its two previous rate reductions this year.

The central bank's rate-setting body's decision to keep the rate steady came about one month after the seven-member board voted to slash the policy rate to a record-low 1.25 percent in its second rate reduction in just three months.

(LEAD) Seoul, Tokyo to hold high-level talks over bilateral trade row in Dec.

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan will hold high-level talks with Japan in December, the first step toward resolving their bilateral trade row, Seoul's trade ministry said Friday.

On Thursday, working-level trade officials from South Korea and Japan met in Seoul, apparently to discuss the schedule and agenda for director-general level talks.

Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold phone talks on N.K. firing

SEOUL -- South Korea's chief nuclear envoy has held telephone talks with his counterparts of the United States and Japan and discussed North Korea's latest firing of projectiles, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, spoke by phone with Steven Biegun, special representative for North Korea, on Thursday (Seoul time). He then spoke to Shigeki Takizaki, head of the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, early Friday.

Imports of Japanese beer in freefall on boycott

SEOUL -- South Korean imports of Japanese beer tumbled more than 99 percent on-year in the past two months due to a boycott of Japanese products amid a bilateral trade row, data showed Friday.

South Korea brought in Japanese beer worth US$38,000 in October, down 99.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea International Trade Association.

S. Korea vows better biz environment for European firms

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday vowed to provide foreign companies operating in the country, including European enterprises, with a better business environment by revamping related policies and cutting red tape.

"The government will continue to make efforts to improve local policies to help foreign firms to better contribute to innovation-led growth," Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said during a meeting with members of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK).

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