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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:30 May 16, 2022

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea attempts to send message to North over aid; Pyongyang unresponsive: ministry

SEOUL -- The South Korean government has attempted to send a formal message to North Korea through their liaison office for cooperation against the COVID-19 outbreak, with Pyongyang unresponsive, a related ministry said Monday.

The unification ministry said it had sought to deliver the fax message, signed by its chief Kwon Young-se, to the North's head of the United Front Department, Kim Yong-chol, at 11 a.m. the same day. But the North has not yet clarified its intention on whether to "accept" the notification, it added.

N.K. nuke test possible in 'short period': S. Korean military official

SEOUL -- The South Korean military is not ruling out the possibility of North Korea conducting a nuclear test in a "short period of time," an official here said Monday.

The defense official's remarks came amid concerns the North could conduct what would be its seventh nuclear test around the time when South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, meet in Seoul for a summit set for Saturday, or afterward.

(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower amid fears over rate hike

SEOUL -- Seoul shares finished lower Monday amid investors' jitters over possibly aggressive rate hikes in major economies. The South Korean won slightly rose against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 7.66 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 2,596.58.

New land minister vows supply of over 2.5 mln new homes to stabilize housing market

SEOUL -- New South Korean Land Minister Won Hee-ryong vowed Monday to announce soon a detailed road map for providing more than 2.5 million new homes with a focus on increasing supplies in metropolitan areas to stabilize the housing market.

"Over the past five years, housing prices have skyrocketed, and the gap in assets of households has widened. Real estate now became a social status. I will abolish this modern-time status system by stabilizing the market for middle-class, ordinary people," Won said in his inauguration speech.

S. Korean biz groups examine U.S. operations, investments ahead of Biden visit

SEOUL -- Major South Korean business groups were reassessing their U.S. operations and investments, industry officials said Monday, as the upcoming summit between South Korea and the U.S. is expected to strengthen cooperation in key sectors and global supply chains.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is set to hold his first summit talks with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Saturday in Seoul.

(LEAD) Yoon asks ruling, opposition parties to approve PM nominee

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday asked leaders of the ruling and opposition parties for cooperation in approving Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo, the head of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) said.

Yoon's request was made as he met leaders of the PPP, the Democratic Party (DP) and the Justice Party, as well as National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug, before he delivered a budget speech, PPP Chairman Lee Jun-seok told reporters.

(LEAD) Airlines to levy record fuel surcharges on int'l routes in June

SEOUL -- South Korean airlines are set to impose record fuel surcharges on international routes in June in the wake of soaring jet fuel prices, industry sources said Monday.

Starting June 1, top air carrier Korean Air Lines Co.'s surcharge for one-way tickets on international routes will range from 37,700 won (US$29.4) to 293,800 won, depending on the route, a company official said.

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