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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:20 September 13, 2021

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, Japan hold talks amid renewed tensions over N.K. missile launch

TOKYO/SEOUL -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo on Monday to discuss cooperation in resuming dialogue with North Korea, amid renewed tensions caused by Pyongyang's recent cruise missile launches.

The talks between Seoul's chief nuclear negotiator, Noh Kyu-duk, and his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, came on the eve of their trilateral meeting with the U.S. special representative for the North, Sung Kim.

S. Korea eyes leading role in fighting infectious diseases with vaccine hub creation: Moon

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday that South Korea aims to lead international efforts against COVID-19 and other new infectious diseases, reaffirming the country's goal of becoming an international vaccine production hub.

"As one of the global vaccine production hubs, we will spearhead the efforts to prepare for new infectious diseases that can hit us anytime in the future," Moon said in a prerecorded speech to celebrate the opening of the annual Global Bio Conference 2021.

(LEAD) Finance chief calls for beefed-up monitoring of housing markets

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki on Monday raised the need to strengthen the monitoring of the property market as the latest rate hike and the talks of U.S. tapering could increase market volatility.

The minister also called for ways to encourage the private sector to take part in the government's efforts to increase the home supply.

Nat'l Assembly OKs opposition lawmaker's resignation over father's alleged land speculation

SEOUL -- The National Assembly on Monday approved the resignation of Rep. Yun Hee-suk of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), who offered to resign following speculation allegations over her father's past real estate transaction.

Yun, a former economist and a rising PPP freshman member, had offered to give up her seat and presidential bid last month after being included in a group of main opposition lawmakers who either themselves or their families were suspected of being linked to speculative real estate deals in the past in a probe by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission.

Pandemic cuts S. Korea's 2021-22 potential growth rate by 0.2 percentage point

SEOUL -- The COVID-19 pandemic slashed South Korea's 2021-22 potential growth rate by 0.2 percentage point to 2 percent, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Monday.

South Korea's potential growth rate, which refers to the maximum possible rate an economy can grow without triggering inflation, has been on a steady decline due to a shrinking working-age population and mounting household debts.

Opposition lawmaker's office raided again over political meddling allegations

SEOUL -- The state anti-corruption agency on Monday raided the office of an opposition lawmaker at the center of an alleged political meddling scandal potentially involving Yoon Seok-youl, a former prosecutor general and leading presidential hopeful.

The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) sent investigators to the office of Kim Woong of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) for a search operation, after making a unsuccessful attempt last Friday, to search and seize documents in connection with the scandal.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks inch up after choppy trading amid inflation, political woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks edged up after choppy trading Monday as investors remained cautious after a fall on Wall Street last week amid concerns about rising inflation. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.1 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,127.86 points.

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