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Yonhap News Summary

2017/12/06 12:01

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

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(LEAD) National Assembly approves government budget for next year

SEOUL -- The National Assembly approved the government's budget for next year early Wednesday as the main opposition party boycotted the vote to express its objection to some contentious points in the bill, such as the creation of thousands of new government jobs.

The 428.8 trillion won (US$394.4 billion) budget, which passed in a 160-15 vote, centers on creating thousands of new government jobs, expanding welfare programs, and increasing the minimum wage. To fund the increased spending, it calls for raising the corporate and income tax rates for big businesses and top earners.

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Opposition lawmakers boycott parliamentary committee meeting to protest budget's passage

SEOUL -- Members of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party boycotted a parliamentary committee meeting Wednesday in protest at the ruling party-led passage of next year's government spending plan, which the opposition party claims is a populist budget.

The budget of 428.8 trillion won (US$394.4 billion) passed through the National Assembly in a 160-15 vote during a late-night session early Wednesday as the ruling Democratic Party and the minor opposition People's Party joined forces to approve it while the LKP boycotted the vote to express its objection.

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U.S. has no plan to move military dependents out of S. Korea: Pentagon

WASHINGTON -- The United States currently has no plan to move military dependents out of South Korea despite rising tensions with North Korea, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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Economic growth to slow to 2.9 pct in 2018: KDI

SEJONG -- The South Korean economy is expected to grow 2.9 percent next year, slowing down from this year's estimate of a 3.1 percent expansion, as export growth and domestic consumption recovers, while facility investment declines.

"Our economy's export growth will be maintained and domestic consumption should recover, but a growth of facility investment and construction will slow down," the KDI said in its latest outlook report.

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BOK forecast to conduct another rate hike in July

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank is expected to carry out another rate raise in July next year in light of its guarded stance and the country's mild inflation, a private think tank said Wednesday.

In a monthly policy meeting last week, the Bank of Korea (BOK) hiked the so-called base rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5 percent amid clear signs of an economic recovery, snapping the 16-month run of its wait-and-see stance.

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Seoul expresses 'deep' regret over inclusion on EU tax haven blacklist

SEOUL -- South Korea slammed the European Union (EU)'s decision on Wednesday to put Asia's fourth-largest economy on a new EU blacklist of tax havens, saying that its inclusion is "not in accordance with international standards" and poses the risk of "violating taxation sovereignty."

   On Tuesday, the EU disclosed a blacklist of 17 countries, including Macau, the Marshall Islands and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in what it claims is a substantive step to deter worldwide tax avoidance.

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