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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:02 May 13, 2022

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

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(2nd LD) Yoon offers to send COVID-19 vaccines to N. Korea

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday offered to send COVID-19 vaccines to North Korea, his spokesperson said, a day after Pyongyang acknowleged an outbreak for the first time since the pandemic began.

After claiming for over two years that it was coronavirus-free, the North reported its first case of COVID-19 on Thursday, saying the country declared the implementation of the "maximum emergency" virus control system.

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Yoon calls for preemptive response to economic challenges

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday called for a preemptive response to various economic challenges facing the country, citing concerns about a trade deficit and an economic slowdown.

Yoon issued the call during a meeting with economic experts and government officials at the Korea Center for International Finance in his first public activity since taking office Tuesday.

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(LEAD) Top S. Korean, U.S. diplomats agree to continue consultations on N.K. humanitarian aid

SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States expressed concerns over recent COVID-19 outbreaks in North Korea and agreed to continue consultations on humanitarian aid to the reclusive country during video talks Friday, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

In their first talks since Foreign Minister Park Jin took office the previous day, Park and Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the North's recent missile launches and agreed to strengthen bilateral coordination to "sternly" deal with North Korean threats, according to the ministry.

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N. Korea appears ready for nuclear test: presidential official

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to be ready for its seventh nuclear test, an official at South Korea's presidential office said Friday.

Before a nuclear test, the North could test-launch ballistic missiles, the official said.

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S. Korea, U.S. resume combined medical support exercise

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States held a combined medical support field training earlier this week after years of suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the former's Army said Friday.

The biannual exercise took place Wednesday and Thursday, with an aim to treat and transport casualties under a chemical warfare scenario, and enhance the allies' interoperability, according to the Armed Forces Medical Command.

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Ruling party slams main opposition over sexual misconduct case

SEOUL -- The ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Friday slammed the rival Democratic Party (DP) as "a party with expertise in sex crimes" after one of the DP lawmakers was expelled over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The DP issued a public apology Thursday after kicking out Rep. Park Wan-joo, a three-term lawmaker, over allegations that he sexually harassed a female assistant late last year.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares sharply rebound on bargain hunting; inflation woes remain

SEOUL -- Seoul shares bounced back to end higher on Friday, snapping an eight-session losing streak, as investors scooped up large-cap stocks on bargain hunting amid inflation concerns. The South Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 54.16 points, or 2.12 percent, to 2,604.24. The main index shed 5.4 percent over the past eight sessions through Thursday.
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