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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 March 29, 2022

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

(LEAD) S. Korea aims to underpin recovery, strengthen fiscal health in 2023 budget

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it plans to focus its fiscal policy for next year on propping up the economic recovery and strengthen fiscal soundness amid mounting national debt.

Under the 2023 budget guidelines, approved by the Cabinet, the government plans to normalize COVID-19 related emergency spending to pre-pandemic levels and make efforts to secure fiscal space to support new policy goals by the incoming government, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Eximbank suffers huge loss from loan to U.S shale gas investor: state auditor

SEOUL -- The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) has suffered a loss of about 220 billion won (US$180 million) after granting a huge loan to a local investor in an American shale gas project without conducting a sufficient due diligence review on its investment risk, the state auditor said Tuesday.

According to a report from the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), Eximbank loaned $217 million (about 260 billion won) to the Seoul-based Atinum Energy, which took part in a U.S. shale gas project, from 2015 to 2016 but has failed to recover 220 billion won of the loan.

N. Korea seems to have fired Hwasong-15 ICBM last week, S. Korea's military tells lawmakers

SEOUL -- North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched last week is assessed to be the same type it test-fired in 2017, Seoul's defense ministry told lawmakers here Tuesday, formally dismissing Pyongyang's claim that it was a brand-new one.

In a briefing to the National Assembly, the ministry said the ICBM in question is more similar to the Hwasong-15 missile than the newest Hwasong-17. It cited an analysis of the missile's flight characteristics and footage released by the North's state media.

Supreme Court panel raises sentencing guidelines for child abuse

SEOUL -- A Supreme Court panel has raised the sentencing guidelines for child abuse, recommending at least life imprisonment or 20 years in prison for those convicted of murder by abuse, sources said Tuesday.

The non-binding guidelines, which were revised during a meeting of the Supreme Court's Sentencing Commission on Monday, also call for up to 22 1/2 years in prison for those convicted of child abuse resulting in death, according to the sources.

The new guidelines will go into effect in June.

Samsung asks U.S. to ensure equal chance for CHIPS Act incentives

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. called on the United States to give foreign chipmakers an equal chance to compete for state incentives to expand production capacity and solve a continuing chip shortage, a document showed Tuesday.

Washington should "ensure that all qualifying companies should be able to compete for CHIPS Act incentives to pursue semiconductor projects in the U.S. on an even playing field, irrespective of their country of incorporation," Samsung said in a response submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department.

(2nd LD) S. Korea voices 'deep regrets' over Japan's history textbooks

SEOUL -- South Korea lodged a strong protest against Japan on Tuesday over its new school textbooks that have deleted words that show the coercive nature of its World War II atrocities against Koreans.

In a statement, Seoul's foreign ministry expressed "deep regrets" and urged Tokyo to address the problem, describing the move as a distortion of historical truths.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks climb on hopes for Russia-Ukraine peace talks

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks climbed Tuesday as investors were buoyed by prospects for ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine and lower oil prices. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) went up 11.51 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 2,741.07 points.

BTS' Jungkook tests positive for COVID-19 in U.S. ahead of Grammys

SEOUL -- Jungkook, a member of K-pop supergroup BTS, has tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, his agency said Tuesday.

"Jungkook was confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in Las Vegas," Big Hit Music said on Weverse, the group's fan community platform.


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