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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 April 29, 2022

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

Transition team chief discusses supply chain cooperation with British envoy

SEOUL -- Transition team Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo met with the British ambassador to South Korea on Friday and discussed bilateral cooperation on supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine.

Ambassador Colin Crooks paid a visit to Ahn at his office, saying he is pleased South Korea was the first Asian country to sign a free trade agreement with Britain following its exit from the European Union.

37 pct say Han unfit to be PM: poll

SEOUL -- Thirty-seven percent of South Koreans believe Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo is not fit for the country's No. 2 job, according to a poll released Friday.

The Gallup Korea survey of 1,003 adults, conducted from Tuesday to Thursday, also showed 30 percent saying Han is fit to be prime minister in the incoming government. Thirty-three percent of respondents declined to answer.

Public firms' debt hits fresh high in 2021

SEOUL -- South Korean public firms' liabilities rose for the fourth straight year last year to hit another record high as they borrowed more to make investments amid the economic recovery, the finance ministry said Friday.

Of 350 state-run companies, the combined debt of 347 firms reached 583 trillion won (US$463.4 billion) at the end of last year, up 41.8 trillion won from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Seoul to open a massive green space in city center

SEOUL -- A large plot of public land in the heart of Seoul, designated as the site of a museum for the donated artworks of late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, will turn into a green resting space for citizens this year, the city government said Friday.

The 37,117-square-meter plot in Songhyeon-dong of the central ward of Jongno will be opened to the public as an "open space for rest and culture" in the second half in time for the reopening of the adjacent Gwanghwamun Square currently under renovation, the government said.

S. Korea calls for China's support for resumption of S. Korean plants

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade minister on Friday asked Beijing's support for the resumption of South Korean plants suspended in China over COVID-19 lockdowns.

Yeo Han-koo made the request during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Surviving family of official killed by N. Korea files damages suit against Pyongyang

SEOUL -- The surviving family of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korean soldiers in 2020 filed a lawsuit Friday seeking compensation from Pyongyang for psychological pain due to the fatal incident.

In September 2020, North Korea fatally shot the 47-year-old official, who was adrift on its side of the Yellow Sea, and burned his body, according to the South Korean military. He went missing the previous day while on duty near the western border island of Yeonpyeong.

Citizens welcome lifting of outdoor mask mandate, some still on edge about lingering risks

SEOUL -- South Koreans on Friday welcomed the government's decision to lift the outdoor mask mandate, voicing hopes for a complete return to maskless normalcy, but some remain wary about lingering COVID-19 infection risks.

Starting Monday, mask wearing will no longer be mandatory in outdoor places, except when people attend gatherings of 50 or more or use multiuse facilities, the government announced in the latest in a series of decisions to roll back social distancing rules.

Moon calls for watertight defense posture over N. Korea's weapons testing

SEOUL -- Outgoing President Moon Jae-in called Friday for the military to maintain a watertight defense posture, expressing concerns that North Korea's continued testing of weapons may put the Korean Peninsula back into crisis at a time when incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol takes office.

Moon, who is set to leave office on May 9, made the remarks as he held a luncheon meeting with high-ranking military officials, Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.

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