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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 March 24, 2022

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

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Moon calls for meeting with Yoon without conditions

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in called Thursday for an unconditional meeting with his successor-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, urging Yoon to make a decision on his own without listening to other people as pre-meeting discussions between their aides have stalled.

"I am an outgoing president and President-elect Yoon is an incoming president. What negotiations are needed in order for the two of us to exchange greetings and words of advice. It's not like we're negotiating," Moon was quoted as saying by Park Soo-hyun, Moon's senior secretary for public communication.

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(2nd LD) N. Korea to hold major festivals for late founding leader's birth anniversary

SEOUL -- North Korea plans to hold various large-scale celebratory events, both online and offline, on the occasion of the 110th birth anniversary of its late founding leader next month, according to its state media Thursday.

The North will hold a major spring festival in Pyongyang with magic shows and performances by art troupes around mid-April to commemorate Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un, on April 15, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

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Hyundai Motor chairman reelected as executive director

SEOUL -- Shareholders of Hyundai Motor Co. have reelected Chairman Euisun Chung as executive director for another three years, the company said Thursday.

Chung will begin his extended director role on April 1 to lead the South Korean automotive group's transition into the provider of future mobility solutions, such as autonomous driving and electric vehicles, Hyundai said.

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(3rd LD) Ex-President Park heads to Daegu after hospital release

SEOUL -- Former President Park Geun-hye was discharged from the hospital Thursday, saying her health has recovered a lot thanks to concerns from people, but she did not make any political message.

Park, who was pardoned in December after spending four years and nine months in prison on a 22-year sentence for corruption, left Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, where she has received treatment for a chronic illness since November.

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Transition team refuses justice ministry briefing amid rift over Yoon's pledges

SEOUL -- The transition team of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol refused to hear a policy briefing from the justice ministry Thursday after Justice Minister Park Beom-kye objected to Yoon's campaign promises for judicial reform.

The transition team's subcommittee for political, judicial and administrative affairs said it informed the ministry early Thursday, hours before the briefing was scheduled to take place, the session had been postponed.

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POSCO breaks ground on lithium plant in Argentina

SEOUL -- South Korean steel giant POSCO said Thursday it has broken ground on a lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina.

The US$830 million project calls for the establishment of the plant near the Salar del Hombre Muerto salt lake in northern Argentina, with an annual production capacity of 25,000 tons of lithium hydroxide.

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Moon offers condolences to China's Xi over plane crash

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to express condolences over the recent crash of a Chinese airliner, Moon's office said Thursday.

In the letter, Moon offered deep sympathy to victims and their bereaved families, presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a statement.

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(LEAD) Relocation of allies' combined command to Pyeongtaek likely to be delayed to autumn: sources

SEOUL -- The South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) will likely start relocating to a key U.S. military base south of Seoul this fall, a few months later than expected, with the completion of a related construction work apparently delayed, informed sources said Thursday.

The relocation of the Seoul-based CFC headquarters to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of the capital, had been forecast to begin this summer following the construction of its new building.

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Marking 20th anniv., Tongyeong music fest to return this week

SEOUL -- The Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF), a leading annual classical music gala in South Korea, will begin this year's edition Friday as it marks its 20th anniversary.

The 2022 festival will run through April 3 in Tongyeong, on the southern coast, presenting some 30 classical concerts and performances under the theme "Vision in Diversity."

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BOK chief nominee vows to consider growth, inflation, financial instability 'in balancing manner'

SEOUL -- Rhee Chang-yong, the nominee for chief of the Bank of Korea (BOK), said Thursday he will carry out monetary policy by taking into account economic growth, inflation and financial stability "in a balancing manner," if confirmed to lead the central bank.

Rhee, director of the Asia and Pacific department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was nominated as new central bank chief Wednesday to replace Lee Ju-yeol, who is to leave office later this month. Rhee is currently in Washington and expected to return to South Korea next week to prepare for a confirmation hearing.
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