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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 March 24, 2022

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

(LEAD) N. Korea fires suspected long-range ballistic missile toward East Sea: S. Korean military

SEOUL -- North Korea fired an apparent long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea on Thursday, South Korea's military said.

The North appears to have launched the projectile at a lofted angle, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). It did not provide other details.

Moon to hold NSC meeting over N. Korea's long-range missile launch

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in is set to preside over a National Security Council (NSC) meeting Thursday, shortly after North Korea fired an apparent long-range ballistic missile toward the East Sea, Cheong Wa Dae said.

North Korea appears to have launched the projectile at a lofted angle, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

BTS' J-Hope tests positive for COVID-19

SEOUL -- J-Hope, a member of K-pop supergroup BTS, has become the sixth member of the group to test positive for COVID-19, according to the group's agency Thursday.

The 28-year-old singer, whose real name is Jung Ho-seok, visited a hospital to take a coronavirus test Wednesday after experiencing a sore throat, which returned a positive result, the group's agency Big Hit Music said on Weverse.

Yoon meets with Israeli ambassador, assures ratification of FTA

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Thursday met with the top Israeli envoy to Seoul and assured a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two nations will be ratified.

"I believe the FTA passage will be done well in a bipartisan manner, because it helps our national interest," Yoon said during the meeting with Amb. Akiva Tor after the envoy said Israel ratified the pact last week.

(2nd LD) New cases below 400,000; COVID-19 deaths hit all-time high as omicron tightens grip

SEOUL -- South Korea reported nearly 400,000 new cases and record high deaths Thursday as the omicron variant is tightening its grip on the country, sickening nearly 20 percent of the 52 million population.

The country reported 395,598 new infections as of midnight, raising the total caseload to 10,822,836, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(2nd LD) Moon-Yoon row intensifies amid no progress on meeting

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.

Yoon's spokesperson hit back, saying it was "extremely regrettable" that Moon implied Yoon had difficulty making his own decisions. She also said Moon had the wrong idea about what the meeting entails and what his responsibilities are as the outgoing president.

(5th LD) Ex-President Park arrives home after hospital discharge

SEOUL/DAEGU -- Former President Park Geun-hye said Thursday she will contribute "whatever little strength I have" to the country's development as she arrived in her hometown for the first time since her imprisonment about five years ago.

Park, who was pardoned in December after spending four years and nine months in prison on a 22-year sentence for corruption, left a Seoul hospital earlier in the day before arriving at her new residence in the southeastern city of Daegu around noon.

S. Korean actor Gang Dong-won signs with Hollywood agency

SEOUL -- South Korean star actor Gang Dong-won has signed with the American talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for international representation.

According to a report by the U.S. entertainment news media Variety on Wednesday (U.S. time), he will be represented by the CAA outside Korea, with his activities in Korea still under management of YG Entertainment.

S. Korea, Australia to launch joint carbon capture project this year

SEOUL -- South Korea and Australia will push to launch a joint project on carbon capture and storage worth 5.8 billion won (US$4.76 million) this year as part of efforts to boost bilateral cooperation in new energy fields, Seoul's industry ministry said Thursday.

The envisioned joint research and development project on Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) technologies was a key agenda item during a meeting between South Korea's Vice Industry Minister Park Ki-young and Australian Ambassador to South Korea Catherine Raper held in Seoul earlier in the day, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Seoul shares down on high global oil prices, Ukraine woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks fell to end its two-day winning streak Thursday as investors weighed a fresh spike in global oil prices and lingering geopolitical concerns surrounding Ukraine. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 5.39 points, or 0.20 percent, to close at 2,729.66 points.

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