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Yonhap News Summary

Defense 13:30 April 12, 2022

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

USS Abraham Lincoln in East Sea in apparent show of force

SEOUL -- A U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has entered the international waters of the East Sea, informed sources said Tuesday, in an apparent show of America's military might amid concerns over possible North Korean provocations.

The USS Abraham Lincoln strike group is currently in waters east of South Korea's southeastern city of Ulsan -- the first such maneuvers in the waters since late 2017, when tensions remained high due to Pyongyang's saber-rattling.

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases bounce back to more than 200,000

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases bounced back to more than 200,000 on Tuesday after falling to the lowest level in seven weeks a day earlier amid the government's efforts to return to normalcy.

The country reported 210,755 new COVID-19 infections, including 33 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 15,635,274, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Yoon to pay visit to ex-President Park

SEOUL -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol was to pay a visit to former President Park Geun-hye in her hometown of Daegu on Tuesday amid attention over whether they will be able to patch up their troubled relationship.

Yoon led an investigation team in 2016 into Park's corruption scandal that led to her impeachment, ouster from office and imprisonment. Yoon said during the election campaign that even though he did what he was supposed to do as a prosecutor, he feels apologetic toward Park.

U.S. envoy for N. Korea to visit Seoul next week

SEOUL -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim will visit South Korea next week to coordinate policy ahead of the launch of the new administration of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, sources said Tuesday.

Kim is expected to arrive in Seoul around Monday and stay for four days to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk, and other officials of the outgoing and incoming administrations. Kim's deputy, Jung Pak, is also expected to visit Seoul during the same period.

DP aims to promulgate prosecution reform bill before Yoon takes office: floor leader

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) aims to complete all legislative procedures for a bill depriving the prosecution of its investigative power and promulgate it into a law at the outgoing administration's last Cabinet meeting, the party's floor leader said Tuesday.

The DP has been pushing for what it calls a "complete deprivation of the prosecutorial investigative right" as part of efforts to reform the powerful law enforcement agency that has long been accused of abusing its power for political purposes.

Forest fire extinguishing rate reaches 95 pct in Gangwon border town

SEOUL -- Firefighting authorities on Tuesday mobilized all available manpower and equipment to contain the main fires in the northeastern border town of Yanggu hit by a large-scale forest fire for the third day.

According to the Korea Forest Service (KFS), the fire extinguishing rate reached 95 percent as of 6:30 a.m. in Yanggu, 175 kilometers northeast of Seoul and about 20 km south of the border with North Korea.

N.K missile tests aimed at defeating U.S. missile defense: CRS report

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's recent missile tests appear to be aimed at developing capabilities to evade U.S. missile defense systems deployed in the region, a U.S. congressional report suggested.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), however, said the actual capabilities of North Korean missiles remain uncertain in the report released Friday.

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