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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 March 31, 2022

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

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. sign military document for war plan update

SEOUL -- The top military officials of South Korea and the United States have signed a document directing the update of joint wartime contingency plans, Seoul officials said Thursday, following North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch last week.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul and his U.S. counterpart, Gen. Mark Milley, inked the Strategic Planning Directive (SPD) during their talks in Hawaii on Wednesday (local time), according to South Korea's JCS.

S. Korea-Japan trust is prerequisite for joint military training: ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan should first restore bilateral trust before staging a joint military exercise, Seoul's foreign ministry said, reaffirming that trilateral training involving the United States is unlikely under the current political conditions.

"As you are well aware, the United States is our sole military ally," Choi Young-sam, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing. "Our government's position remains unchanged that military cooperation between South Korea and Japan should be preceded by the restoration of bilateral trust and public consensus on the issue."

Yoon's firm stance against Japan's distortion of history remains unchanged: spokesperson

SEOUL -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's firm stance against Japan's distortion of history remains unchanged, his spokesperson said Thursday, following criticism he failed to condemn Japan's recent whitewashing in school textbooks.

Kim Eun-hye issued the statement as the ruling Democratic Party has attacked Yoon for failing to condemn the new high school textbooks, which contain expressions such as "mobilization" or "conscription" in place of "forced mobilization" to refer to Koreans forced to work at Japan's mines and industrial facilities during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

(LEAD) Outgoing BOK chief calls for discussions on central bank's roles other than in inflation fight

SEOUL -- The outgoing chief of the Bank of Korea (BOK) called Thursday for serious discussions on the possibility of change in the roles of the central bank beyond its main obligation to keep inflation in check in line with growing demand for it to have more interest in growth, employment and other social issues.

BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol made the call in his farewell speech before leaving office on Thursday after eight years at the helm. He will be replaced by Rhee Chang-yong, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund, who was named to lead the central bank last week. Rhee is preparing for a parliamentary confirmation hearing widely seen as a formality.

BOK logs largest net in 2021 on decreased expenses

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday reported the largest net income in 2021 thanks to a decline in expenses.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) logged 7.86 trillion won (US$6.49 billion) in net profit last year, up from the previous year's 7.37 trillion won, according to the data provided by the central bank.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 3rd day amid Ukraine crisis

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended their winning streak to a third session Thursday amid the geopolitical uncertainties in Ukraine. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 10.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,757.65 points.

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