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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 March 23, 2022

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

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N. Korea works with all kinds of cyber criminals, including Russians: Sullivan

WASHINGTON -- North Korea possesses significant cyber capabilities and works with all kinds of cyber criminals including those from Russia, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.

The remarks came after President Joe Biden warned of Russian cyber attacks.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's daily coronavirus cases spike to near 500,000; total caseload surpasses 10 mln

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases spiked to near 500,000 on Wednesday, adding to concerns that infections continue to spike again as the accumulated caseload surpassed 10 million.

The country had reported 490,881 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight, raising the total caseload to 10,427,247, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to ease property-related tax burdens of owners of one home

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday it plans to ease tax burdens on owners of a single home amid growing public discontent about the government's housing policy amid skyrocketing home prices in recent years.

The measures -- which are set to be announced at 11 a.m. -- are meant to prevent the owners of one home from additionally shouldering the burden of paying real estate-related taxes.

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Former U.S. envoy for N. Korea tapped to lead Pacific Island talks

WASHINGTON -- Joseph Yun, a former U.S. point man on North Korea, has been appointed to lead the Joe Biden administration's negotiations with three small Pacific Island countries, according to the Department of State on Tuesday.

Biden picked the former Korean-American career diplomat as Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations, it said in a press release.

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BTS wins two prizes at iHeartRadio Music Awards

SEOUL -- South Korean boy group BTS has taken home two prizes from the iHeartRadio Music Awards, one of the American music industry's award shows.

The septet won best music video for its 2021 megahit single "Butter" and best fan army for its international fandom ARMY during the awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on Tuesday (U.S. time).

It marks the third consecutive year for the group to win in the best music video category, following 2020 for "Boy With Luv" and 2021 for "Dynamite."

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53.7 pct oppose Yoon's plan to relocate presidential office

SEOUL -- More than half of South Koreans are against President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's plan to move the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae, while some 44 percent support the idea, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to the poll of 500 adults, conducted by pollster Realmeter on Tuesday, 53.7 percent said the presidential office should remain at Cheong Wa Dae, and 44.6 percent said they back the relocation plan.

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S. Korea pushes to unveil secret dossiers on key inter-Korean talks

SEOUL -- The South Korean government is seeking to reveal historic records on inter-Korean talks that have been kept secret for half a century, an informed source said Wednesday, a move that could offer a chance for the public to get a better glimpse into some watersheds in tumultuous ties between the two Koreas.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Unification set up a guideline to establish a legal basis on disclosing the documents on past inter-Korean talks, and it is currently conducting an internal review, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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Yoon's spokesperson says U.S., Cheong Wa Dae to decide on allied exercise

SEOUL -- Any decision on upcoming military exercises between South Korea and the United States will be made by Washington and the current Cheong Wa Dae, a spokesperson for President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday.

Kim Eun-hye made the remark when asked by a reporter whether Yoon and his transition team have expressed their views on the combined exercise reportedly planned for next month.

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S. Korean Marine in Poland refuses to return home

SEOUL -- South Korea's efforts to secure and bring home a Marine draftee who is currently in Poland without overseas travel permission have stalled due to his refusal to return, a Seoul official said Wednesday.

South Korean Embassy personnel are waiting to contact the Marine outside a checkpoint in a Polish border region to which the man was taken after he was denied access to Ukraine on Tuesday.

(END)

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