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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 January 13, 2022

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

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(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. mull delaying combined drills to April due to presidential election: sources

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States are considering postponing their combined springtime military exercise, usually held in March, to April due to the March 9 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple sources said Thursday.

The allies have been discussing the possible delay in consideration of the virus' unabated spread and the need to ensure South Korean troops can exercise their voting rights in the election unhindered by the round-the-clock command post training, the sources said.

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(3rd LD) U.S. designates six N. Koreans over WMD, ballistic missile programs

WASHINGTON -- The United States said Wednesday that it is designating six North Korean individuals related to North Korea's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs.

The Department of Treasury said it is designating five North Korean individuals -- one based in Russia and four in China -- for illegally procuring materials for the North's WMD and ballistic missile programs.

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Daily infections over 4,000 for 2nd day; imported cases hit record high

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily coronavirus cases stayed above 4,000 for the second consecutive day Thursday, deepening concerns over a possible resurgence amid the continued spread of the omicron variant.

The country added 4,167 new COVID-19 infections, including 3,776 local infections, raising the total caseload to 679,030, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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S. Korea to spend 6.3 tln won for corporate investment in vaccine development

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday the government plans to spend 6.3 trillion won (US$5.3 billion) to support corporate facility investment in vaccine development by 2024.

The move is aimed at nurturing the vaccine industry as a key sector at a similar level to the semiconductor industry as South Korea seeks to foster new industries to secure engines of growth, according to the finance minister.

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(LEAD) Tax revenue rebounds in Nov.

SEOUL -- South Korea's tax revenue rebounded in November last year from a year ago as corporate income tax increased amid the economic recovery, the finance ministry said Thursday.

The government collected 16 trillion won (US$13.5 billion) in taxes in November, compared with 14 trillion won a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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Genesis eyes 10 pct increase in global sales this year

SEOUL -- Genesis, the luxury brand of Hyundai Motor Co., said Thursday it is targeting a 10 percent on-year increase in sales this year spurred by new models.

Genesis aims to sell 220,000 units globally in 2022, up from 200,000 sold last year, Hyundai Motor President and CEO Chang Jae-hoon told reporters on the sidelines of the G90 sedan's launching event.

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K-pop album sales increased 37 pct last year led by Hybe, SM

SEOUL -- The K-pop album market has been experiencing an unprecedented boom but the sales of digital music have been sluggish amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the year-end data released by Korea's album sales tracker Gaon Chart on Wednesday, the nation's top 400 albums sold 57 million copies in and out of the country in 2021, up 36.9 percent from 41.7 million the previous year.

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'Squid Game' creator Hwang Dong-hyuk says he still believes in humanity

SEOUL -- "Squid Game" creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has said he still believes in a humanity that moves people to put confidence in a better and more just society even under the life-and-death pressure of social survival games.

"We are living in a society where people dare to tread on other people to survive," he said Wednesday in a pretaped interview by the Seoul-based Corea Image Communication Institute. "But I still believe that this society doesn't have to be one where we need to kill others and override them to go up."

(END)

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