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IMF says Korean currency should be further appreciated

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean currency is undervalued in the range of 2 percent to 8 percent, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest report, encouraging further appreciation of the won over the medium term. The IMF report dated Thursday said the won remained moderately undervalued by as much as 8 percent, with the upper end of the range seeming more plausible given the current account surplus run.

Japan, U.S. still "in stalemate" on key TPP issues: Amari

Japan and the United States are still "in stalemate" over key items in protracted negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact during a fresh round of ministerial talks, Japanese TPP minister Akira Amari said Thursday. Amari told reporters that he and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will meet again Friday in Washington, but there are "fairly big" gaps over thorny issues such as Japan's tariffs exceptions for some agricultural produce.

Global economy's focus shifting to raising economic growth: BOK head

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- The focus of the global economy is shifting from coping with the financial crisis to boosting economic growth, South Korea's top central banker said Friday, describing the discussions at last week's G20 meeting. Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said that participants at the G20 meeting called the shift "the great transition," adding that means to bolster the economic growth was the main agenda.

Global economy's focus shifting to raising economic growth: BOK head

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- The focus of the global economy is shifting from coping with the financial crisis to boosting economic growth, South Korea's top central banker said Friday, describing the discussions at last week's G20 meeting. Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said that participants at the G20 meeting called the shift "the great transition," adding that means to bolster the economic growth was the main agenda.

Six CF-18s headed to Europe to bolster NATO forces response to Ukraine

OTTAWA - Canada announced Thursday it will contribute six CF-18 jet fighters to a NATO air-policing mission in response to the crisis in Ukraine, just as top diplomats from the troubled east European country, the U.S. and Russia announced steps that could ease tensions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the military contribution, which included the dispatch of up to 20 staff officers to bolster the Canadian presence at NATO headquarters. NATO requested Canadian participation, the prime minister said.

Putin says annexation of Crimea partly a response to NATO enlargement

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Russia had been forced to respond to NATO enlargement and that its annexation of Crimea, home to its Black Sea Fleet, was partly influenced by the Western military alliance's expansion into eastern Europe. Putin said Moscow will respond if the United States moves ahead with plans to base elements of a missile defense shield in eastern Europe, accusing Washington of fuelling a Cold War-style arms race.

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. Zdravko Mustac, accompanied by German police, left the Croatian capital on a regular Lufthansa flight for Munich, the state-run HINA news agency reported. Germany was seeking the 72-year-old Mustac under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which regulates extradition between European Union member states.

Canada sends fighter jets to Eastern Europe

Canada is deploying six CF-18 fighter jets to Eastern Europe as part of NATO's response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine was on the brink of civil war, stoking fears of outright Russian intervention. NATO has increased air sorties and additional navy ships in the region as Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces face off.

NATO denies Putin's allegation Rasmussen secretly taped conversation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO dismissed as "complete nonsense" on Thursday an allegation by Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his previous role as Danish prime minister, had secretly taped and leaked a private conversation between them. "These accusations are complete nonsense. During his term in office as Danish prime minister, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen never brought a dictaphone to record meetings with Mr. Putin or anybody else," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in response to a query from Reuters.

NATO denies Putin's allegation Rasmussen secretly taped conversation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO dismissed as "complete nonsense" on Thursday an allegation by Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his previous role as Danish prime minister, had secretly taped and leaked a private conversation between them. "These accusations are complete nonsense. During his term in office as Danish prime minister, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen never brought a dictaphone to record meetings with Mr. Putin or anybody else," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in response to a query from Reuters.
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