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


BOK freezes key rate for 3rd month in Aug.

   SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank froze the key interest rate for the third straight month on Thursday as Asia's fourth-largest economy is showing signs of improvement.

   Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Kim Choong-soo and his six fellow policymakers held steady the benchmark seven-day repo rate, dubbed the base rate, at 2.5 percent, as widely expected.


80 pct of N. Koreans suffer food shortages: WFP
SEOUL -- Eight out of 10 North Korean people are suffering from food shortages this year, with nearly 20 percent of children younger than five severely malnourished, a report by the U.N. food body has said.

   According to the quarterly report the World Food Program (WFP) published on its assistance project for the communist country, 81 percent out of 115 households there were found to be in the category of "poor food consumption" or fall in the category between having adequate and poor food consumption in the second quarter of this year.


Exports to drive economic recovery in H2: minister
SEOUL -- South Korea's economic recovery will be driven by exports during the second half of this year, the finance minister said Thursday, pointing to growing demand for the country's major export items.

   "Considering the improving U.S. economy and growing demand for our flagship products such as tech items, exports will stand at the center of the economic recovery during the second half," Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok told a meeting with other policymakers in Seoul.


LG rolls out latest G2 smartphone in S. Korea
SEOUL -- South Korean tech giant LG Electronics Inc. released its latest flagship smartphone, the LG G2, on its home turf on Thursday, in a bid to further shore up its presence in the global high-end smartphone market.

   The 5.2-inch smartphone by the world's third-largest smartphone maker made a debut in New York on Wednesday to take on its rivals, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.


N. Korea doubles floor space of uranium facility in Yongbyon
WASHINGTON -- North Korea appears to have doubled the floor size of its uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon, apparently in line with its stated plans to advance related technology and production, a U.S. research center said Wednesday, citing recent satellite imagery.

   The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said the North seems to have expanded a building in the fuel fabrication complex that houses a gas centrifuge plant for uranium enrichment.