The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(LEAD) New justice minister says prosecution reform 'demand of times'
SEOUL -- Incoming Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae on Friday vowed to reform the prosecution in what she called "the demand of the times," adding momentum to President Moon Jae-in's key bid to revamp the organization often criticized for its monopoly on investigative power.
"Reforming the prosecution, which is (seen) as the most difficult (task), has become a demand of the times that nobody can resist," Choo said in her inaugural speech at the ministry building in Gwacheon, south of Seoul.
Four lawmakers-turned-ministers won't run in April's general election
SEOUL -- Four lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), who are concurrently serving as ministers in President Moon Jae-in's Cabinet, said Friday they won't run for reelection in April's general election, vowing to devote themselves to the success of the Moon government.
SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun, Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mi and Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae held a joint news conference at the National Assembly in the morning to announce their decisions not to run in the parliamentary general election slated for April 15.
Moon eyes export growth, 'win-win leap' in economy this year
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in chose South Korea's largest vehicle export port as the venue for his first field visit of the year Friday, a show of his government's resolve to support the development of environment-friendly automobiles and pull off a rally in exports, a key pillar of the country's economy.
"Today, we are starting a new decade to make a leap into the world's big-four export powerhouses by 2030," he said in a speech delivered at the Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port, some 70 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
N. Korean FM not seen at photo session of ruling party's plenary meeting
SEOUL -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was apparently absent from a photo session of a key ruling party meeting held at the end of last year, an official said Friday, raising speculation that he could have been replaced.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over the four-day plenary meeting of the Workers' Party Central Committee through Tuesday and discussed policy directions on key domestic and diplomatic issues. During the event, the North also carried out a major reshuffle of the party leadership.
(4th LD) U.S. defense secretary urges N.K. leader to exercise restraint
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday urged North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to exercise "restraint" after the communist nation threatened to reveal a "new strategic weapon" in protest over stalled nuclear talks.
Kim made the remark in a New Year's message that expressed his frustration over stalled denuclearization talks with the U.S. Experts have said the "strategic weapon" Kim said the world will see in the near future could be an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Deputy FM arrives in U.S. for talks with counterpart
WASHINGTON -- South Korea's deputy foreign minister arrived in Washington Thursday for talks with his U.S. counterpart amid a number of security challenges facing the allies.
Kim Gunn, who took office last month, is scheduled to meet with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell on Friday. He is also expected to meet with White House National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Allison Hooker during his stay.
N.K.'s official newspaper warns of immediate, powerful strike against threats
SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper said Friday that any attempt to infringe upon the communist state's dignity and survival should be met by an "immediate and powerful" strike, calling for all-out efforts to build up its national defense capability.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened at a key party meeting in late December that the world will soon witness a "new strategic weapon," and warned of a "shocking actual action," accusing the United States of stalling for time for its own poltical interests.
Samsung, LG to showcase upgraded AI-powered products at CES
SEOUL -- South Korea's top two electronics giants -- Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. -- will lock horns in the field of artificial intelligence at the upcoming tech expo in the United States, industry observers said Friday, as they pin high hopes on the products powered by human-like algorithms.
AI is one of the key themes set to draw keen attention at the annual four-day Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada, where more than 4,500 firms from around the globe will showcase their latest products and services.
BTS member Jimin's 'hanbok' suit up for auction
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Drunk driver gets 8-yr prison term for hitting and killing Taiwanese student
Biden-Moon summit to highlight importance of U.S.-Korea relationship: Psaki
S. Korea considering various 'vaccine swap' options with U.S.
FM: Seoul, Washington 'earnestly discussing' COVID-19 vaccine swap deal
(LEAD) FM: Seoul, Washington 'earnestly discussing' COVID-19 vaccine swap deal
Girl group TWICE to perform on Kelly Clarkson show next week
New virus cases in 500s for 2nd day, vaccine rollout to gather pace