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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:34 May 06, 2022

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

(LEAD) U.S. Senate unanimously approves Goldberg as new ambassador to S. Korea

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Philip Goldberg, a career diplomat, as new U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

The confirmation came as Seoul and Washington seek to reinforce their alliance for stronger deterrence against North Korea's evolving military threats -- an issue likely to figure prominently in the upcoming summit between President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and President Joe Biden slated for May 21.

DP selects ex-presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung as candidate for parliamentary by-election

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Friday selected its former presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung as a candidate for parliamentary by-elections that will be held concurrently with the June 1 local elections.

Lee, who lost to now President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol only by 0.73 percentage point in the March 9 presidential election, will run for a National Assembly seat representing a constituency in Gyeyang, Incheon, the DP said.

Seoul shares sharply down in late Fri. morning trade

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded 1.46 percent down late Friday morning, driven by steep falls in large-cap tech and bio companies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) sank 39.19 points to 2,638.38 as of 11:20 a.m.

S. Korea vows 'preemptive' steps against market volatility after Fed's rate hike

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry vowed Friday to seek preemptive measures, if needed, to tackle market volatility "in an aggressive and swift manner" following the U.S. central bank's half-point rate hike.

On Wednesday (U.S. time), the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates by a half-percentage point to curb the country's worst inflation in about four decades. The increase was the sharpest in 22 years.

(LEAD) Chinese VP known as Xi's right-hand man to attend Yoon's inauguration

SEOUL -- Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, considered one of the closest aides to Chinese President Xi Jinping, will be among the foreign guests attending incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol's inauguration ceremony next week, the organizing committee said Friday.

Wang will be the highest-ranking Chinese official ever to attend a South Korean president's inauguration, indicating Xi's desire to foster good relations with the incoming government in Seoul.

PM says current government's antivirus measures deserve recognition

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Friday the current government's antivirus measures should be recognized as "successful" as he thanked people for their cooperation in the virus fight in his last COVID-19 response meeting before leaving office.

"Some people say our return to normal was late compared with other countries, but if you look at objective data, our virus preventive measures deserve to be called successful," Kim said.

(LEAD) New COVID-19 cases fall to 20,000s amid efforts to regain normalcy

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the 20,000 level Friday from above 40,000 the previous day amid eased antivirus restrictions designed to return the nation to normalcy.

The country added 26,714 new COVID-19 infections, including 28 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 17,464,782, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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