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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:06 January 05, 2022

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

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Moon rebukes military for failing to detect border crosser, calls for special sense of alert

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday rebuked the military for failing to detect a man who crossed the eastern inter-Korean border into North Korea over the weekend, calling for the military to have a special sense of alert in border security.

The man, who was found to be a North Korean defector, crossed the heavily fortified border on Saturday despite surveillance cameras having caught him as many as five times in a major security failure, according to the military.

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S. Korean, U.S. nuclear envoys hold phone call over N. Korea's projectile

SEOUL -- Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States had phone talks Wednesday over North Korea's latest launch of what is presumed to be a ballistic missile and the allies' response, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Noh Kyu-duk, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and his American counterpart, Sung Kim, discussed the issue hours after the North fired a projectile into the East Sea.

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Lee renews call for universal COVID-19 relief grants

SEOUL -- Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), on Wednesday renewed his call for providing COVID-19 relief grants to all people, saying it is an effective way to help pandemic-hit small businesses.

"Basically, all people have suffered (from COVID-19), so opportunity should be given to all of them," Lee told reporters after a campaign event in Gwangju, 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul. "I am not saying it needs to be done immediately but in principle it is the right way."

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Regulator looking into market interest rates amid complaints over widening deposit-loan rate spread

SEOUL -- South Korea's chief financial regulator said Wednesday that he is looking into loan and interest rates set by financial institutions amid complaints that their spread is widening, deepening the financial burden on many consumers.

Jeong Eun-bo, head of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), made the remarks as criticism has grown that banks and other financial firms are quicker to increase their loan rates than raise rates on deposits.

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Seoul urges N. Korea to respond to calls for dialogue following projectile launch

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry on Wednesday urged North Korea to respond to calls for dialogue after the North launched what appears to be a ballistic missile toward the East Sea in its latest show of force.

The North fired the missile at around 8:10 a.m. from the northern province of Jagang where it claimed to have fired a hypersonic missile in September last year, according to the South Korean military.

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(LEAD) KTX train derails in central S. Korea, injuring 7 passengers

SEOUL -- A KTX bullet train en route to Busan from Seoul derailed in central South Korea on Wednesday, injuring seven passengers, the operator said.

Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) and firefighters said the derailment occurred at 12:58 p.m., when the KTX-Sancheon train was just passing a tunnel in Yeongdong of North Chungcheong Province, 214 kilometers south of Seoul.

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Short tracker preparing for Olympic swan song in Beijing

JINCHEON, South Korea -- Just over a week after his 32nd birthday, South Korean short track speed skater Kwak Yoon-gy is ready to call it a career on the international stage.

Kwak said Wednesday the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be his last.

"I want to have a good finish to my international career and not embarrass myself out there," Kwak said at a joint press conference with other Beijing-bound athletes at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south of Seoul.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks sink over 1 pct. on U.S. bond yield woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks retreated Wednesday on worries the rising long-term bond yields in the United States may hasten the Federal Reserve's tapering move. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 35.27 points, or 1.18 percent, to close at 2,953.97 points.
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