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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 January 03, 2022

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

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(2nd LD) Weekend border crosser identified as N. Korean defector: S. Korea's military

SEOUL -- The man who crossed the eastern inter-Korean border into North Korea over the weekend was found to be a North Korean defector, an official at South Korea's defense ministry said Monday.

Citing surveillance footage, the official said the man is the 30-something defector who had also used an eastern front-line route to reach the South in November 2020 but stressed no evidence of espionage has been found.

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2 omicron-linked deaths reported in S. Korea: officials

GWANGJU -- Two deaths in connection with the omicron variant of the coronavirus were reported in South Korea on Monday, reportedly the first deaths in the country linked to the highly transmissible variant, officials said.

Health authorizes in Gwangju, 329 kilometers south of Seoul, said two recently deceased coronavirus patients in the city, both in their 90s, have posthumously tested positive for the omicron variant.

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BTS' Suga fully recovers from COVID-19, released from isolation

SEOUL -- Suga of K-pop supergroup BTS has fully recovered from the new coronavirus and been released from isolation, his agency said Monday.

"Suga was released from isolation at noon as he was confirmed to have fully recovered from COVID-19," Big Hit Music said on the agency's fan community platform Weverse.

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Finance minister sees urgent need to stabilize inflation, housing market

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the government needs to mobilize all available policy means to tame inflationary pressure and stabilize the housing market in the new year.

Hong also said the country will prioritize supporting small merchants hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and vulnerable people and strengthen social safety nets.

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(LEAD) PPP overhauls leadership, campaign as Yoon's support drops

SEOUL -- The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) on Monday promised a sweeping overhaul of its campaign committee and shed a feminist politician unpopular among young male voters as the party scrambled to stop the declining support of its presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol.

The party's floor leader, Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon, and its chief policymaker, Rep. Kim Do-eup, also offered to leave their positions in a demonstration of their commitment to overhauling the campaign plagued by factional feuding.

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Lee, Yoon vow to upgrade S. Korea's financial market

SEOUL -- Leading presidential candidates on Monday vowed to dispel the undervaluation of local stocks as they promoted their election pledges to upgrade the country's financial market.

Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) introduced their plans for investors as they attended a New Year opening ceremony of the Korea Exchange in Seoul.

(END)

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