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Yonhap News Summary

2017/11/30 13:30

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

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S. Korea economy expected to grow more than 3 pct in 2017: BOK

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) forecast Thursday that Asia's fourth-largest economy will likely expand at a faster pace than its earlier growth target of 3 percent this year on a modest upturn in global trade and domestic demand.

"The near-term growth rate is likely to be slightly higher than that forecast in October, supported by sustained trends of moderate improvements in both consumption and facilities investment, while exports also picked up, fueled by the global economic recovery," the central bank said in a statement released after its monetary board meeting, which decided to raise the key rate to 1.5 percent for the first time in more than six years.

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(LEAD) BOK hikes key rate by 0.25 pct point for first time in more than 6 yrs

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday raised the key rate by a quarter percentage point for the first time in more than six years amid clear signs of an economic recovery.

In a widely expected move, the monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) voted to increase the base rate to 1.5 percent from a record low of 1.25 percent, ending 16 straight months of its wait-and-see stance after the last rate cut made in June last year.

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Housing construction growth forecast to decelerate sharply next year: report

SEJONG -- The growth of housing construction in South Korea is expected to decelerate sharply next year, a state-run think tank said Thursday.

According to the Korea Development Institute, the country's housing construction for 2017 is likely to grow by 15.5 percent, but the expansion rate will slow to between 1.3 percent and 2.9 percent next year.

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(News Focus) S. Korea's economic recovery spurs BOK's rate hike

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank raised the base rate for the first time in six years and five months on Thursday as it is confident in Asia's fourth-largest economy that's experiencing a clear recovery pace, analysts said Thursday.

The hike came after the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have recently revised up their growth targets for the South Korean economy to 3.2 percent each in 2017, citing an upturn in global trade will drive up the country's exports and production.

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(LEAD) Opposition leader urges Moon to keep military options against N.K. threats

SEOUL -- The leader of the minor opposition Bareun Party raised pressure on President Moon Jae-in on Thursday to remain open to military options as "strategic cards" to counter North Korea's escalating nuclear threats.

Yoo Seong-min made the remarks a day after Moon clarified his opposition to Washington's possible recourse to a pre-emptive strike following the North's pre-dawn test of another long-range missile capable of striking the continental United States.

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(LEAD) Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. pledge strong diplomatic efforts after N.K. missile test

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States had an emergency phone conversation Wednesday on North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and pledged to make all diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the country, the foreign ministry said.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talked for 20 minutes earlier in the morning and had an in-depth discussion about their future response to the missile test, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

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S. Korean shares down as tech companies decline

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded lower late Thursday morning as declines in market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. and other technology stocks weighed on the main index

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 15.93 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,496.97 as of 11:15 a.m.

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(2nd LD) Haley: Trump demands China cut off oil supply to N. Korea after missile test

NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping cut off the country's oil supply to North Korea in response to Pyongyang's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said.

"President Trump called Chinese President Xi this morning and told him we have come to the point that China must cut off its oil from North Korea," Amb. Nikki Haley said during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC). "That will be a pivotal step in the world efforts to stop this international pariah."

  

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(3rd LD) Military: N. Korea's Hwasong-15 seems newly developed

SEOUL -- South Korea's military said Thursday the North Korean ballistic missile launched earlier this week was apparently a newly developed one, rather than a variant of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The assessment came as the North released photos of what it introduced as a new, more powerful ICBM earlier in the day, which features a different warhead shape from the previous version.

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(4th LD) Trump vows 'major sanctions' against N. Korea Wednesday

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday more "major sanctions" will be imposed on North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launch.

"Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!"

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