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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 January 14, 2022

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

(2nd LD) N. Korea fires 2 suspected ballistic missiles eastward: S. Korean military

SEOUL -- North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles eastward Friday, South Korea's military said, after Pyongyang publicly warned earlier in the day of a "stronger and certain" response to the United States' imposition of new sanctions.

The North launched the projectiles from a site in North Pyongan Province, a northwestern region bordering China, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a text message sent to reporters. It did not elaborate.

Lee leads Yoon 37 pct to 31 pct: poll

SEOUL -- Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung is leading his main opposition rival Yoon Suk-yeol by 37 percent public support to 31 percent, a survey showed Friday.

Lee's support rose 1 percentage point from last week, while Yoon's rose 5 points, according to the Gallup Korea survey conducted on 1,001 adults from Tuesday to Thursday.

LG Energy Solution to raise 12.75 tln won in S. Korea's largest-ever IPO

SEOUL -- South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) is expected to raise 12.75 trillion won (US$10.7 billion) this month in what will be the country's largest-ever initial public offering (IPO).

LGES said in a regulatory filing Friday it set the IPO price at 300,000 won per share, the top end of the 275,000-300,000 won range it offered.

(LEAD) Search resumes for 4th day at Gwangju apartment building collapse site

GWANGJU -- Search and rescue operations resumed at an apartment building collapse site in the southwestern city of Gwangju for a fourth day Friday.

According to the Gwangju Fire and Safety Headquarters, the search for six missing persons resumed at 7 a.m. with 71 rescue workers aided by 43 instruments and eight rescue dogs.

Regulator to end review of Hyundai Heavy's proposed takeover of shipbuilder

SEOUL -- South Korea's antitrust regulator said Friday it will end its deliberation of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group's proposed acquisition of its smaller rival Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., as the company withdrew its tie-up review proposal following the veto by European authorities.

The European Commission vetoed Hyundai's proposed merger late Thursday on concerns that the combination of the two major shipbuilders could hurt competition in the market of liquefied natural gas carriers.

Unfriendly thank-you letter sparks criticism, question about letter-writing campaign to soldiers

SEOUL -- An unfriendly letter that a high school girl wrote to a soldier in the mandatory military service surprised many this week, not only because of the letter's sarcastic tone but also due to the fact that the practice of having students send thank-you letters to troops still exists.

In a nation facing a belligerent North Korea across the world's most heavily fortified border, writing letters to soldiers used to be a fixture for students in South Korea, especially elementary school pupils, when Cold War tensions were high until the late 1980s.

Former USFK chief says N.K. hypersonic launches, if true, can be reason to be 'very concerned'

SEOUL -- A former U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) chief said Friday that North Korea's recent self-proclaimed hypersonic missile launches, if true, can be a reason for South Korea and the United States to be "very concerned," citing the absence of "sure means" to counter them.

Curtis Scaparrotti, who led the USFK from 2013-2016, made the remarks after Pyongyang claimed to have successfully test-fired hypersonic missiles on Jan. 5 and Tuesday.

(4th LD) BOK chief hints at more hikes after raising policy rate to pre-pandemic level

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank chief Friday hinted at the possibility of more rate hikes in the months to come even after raising borrowing costs to a pre-pandemic level to ease inflationary pressure and rein in rising household debt.

Earlier in the day, the monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) convened its first rate-setting meeting of this year and voted to raise the benchmark seven-day repo rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.25 percent.

Lee calls for bigger extra budget to support small merchants

SEOUL -- Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung on Friday showed his discontent over the government's plan to draw up a supplementary budget of 14 trillion won (US$11.8 billion) for helping small merchants, saying the extra budget should be bigger.

"The finance ministry today announced it would draw up an additional supplementary budget to support small merchants, but its size is small again," Lee told reporters during his campaign event.

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