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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:05 March 23, 2022

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

(LEAD) Moon names IMF official as BOK chief amid tensions with Yoon

SEOUL -- The office of President Moon Jae-in announced the nomination of an International Monetary Fund official as the next chief of the Bank of Korea on Wednesday, saying the selection was discussed with the side of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol.

But Yoon's office refuted the claim, saying there were no prior consultations or recommendations, as tensions between Moon and Yoon deepened over sensitive issues, such as whether it's right for the outgoing president to

S. Korea approves MSD's oral COVID-19 pill for at-risk patients

SEOUL -- South Korea's drug safety agency on Wednesday granted an emergency authorization of multinational pharmaceutical company MSD's oral drug to treat COVID-19, making it the second such pill to be used in the country.

Lagevrio is the antiviral pill for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients at increased risk of hospitalization or death, according to MSD and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

(LEAD) Outgoing BOK chief calls for more rate hikes, warns of bigger consequences from missing right timing

SEOUL -- South Korea's outgoing central bank chief called Wednesday for more interest rate hikes as part of efforts to tamp down inflation, saying such measures must be "unpopular" for the public but missing the right timing could bring about more serious consequences later.

Gov. Lee Ju-yeol of the Bank of Korea (BOK) made the remarks during a farewell online meeting with reporters as his term is set to end on March 31 following eight years at the helm of the central bank.

S. Korea seeks Vietnam's support for envisioned CPTPP membership

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday asked for Vietnam's support for its push to join a mega free trade deal in the Asia-Pacific region, Seoul's trade ministry said.

South Korea's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo made the request during telephone talks with Vietnam's deputy trade minister Tran Quoc Khanh, as Seoul is working to apply for a membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Transition team says unification ministry won't be abolished

SEOUL -- The incoming government of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will not abolish the unification ministry handling relations with North Korea but help restore its "proper function," the transition team said Wednesday.

The unification ministry has been talked about as one of the ministries that could be abolished under the incoming administration's government reorganization plan, along with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

Security strengthened around ex-President Park's new home on eve of hometown return

DAEGU -- Security around the new residence of former President Park Geun-hye was strengthened Wednesday as supporters prepared to welcome her on the eve of her arrival.

Park has been staying in a hospital in Seoul for treatment even after she was set free under the presidential pardon in December. She plans to leave the hospital Thursday and move into the residence in the city, 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

S. Korea reaffirms support for U.S. initiative for Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

SEOUL -- South Korea reaffirmed its support Wednesday for the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) during a high-level economic dialogue between the allies, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Yun Seong-deok, Seoul's deputy minister for economic affairs, held a video meeting with Ramin Toloui, U.S. assistant secretary of state for the bureau of economic and business affairs, to discuss ways to expand bilateral economic ties and cooperation in the fields of supply chain and fair trade, according to the ministry.

Yoon to hold inauguration ceremony at National Assembly plaza in line with tradition

SEOUL -- The inauguration ceremony of incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol will take place at a plaza in front of the National Assembly, as was the case with his predecessors, the chief of his inaugural ceremony committee said Wednesday.

"As is customary, we thought it is realistically better to hold the ceremony at the National Assembly and the president-elect gladly said, do that," said Park Joo-sun, who is in charge of Yoon's inauguration preparations.

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