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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:08 May 18, 2022

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

S. Korea, U.S. have 'plan B' ready in case of N.K. provocation during Biden's visit

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States have a "plan B" ready in case North Korea carries out a provocation during U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Seoul this week, a presidential official said Wednesday.

"At the moment, we assess that the possibility is relatively low of North Korea carrying out a nuclear test by the weekend, but preparations for an intercontinental ballistic missile launch are believed to be imminent," Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy chief of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters

Yoon vows to uphold spirit of 1980 pro-democracy uprising

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol vowed Wednesday to firmly uphold the spirit of a 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju, saying freedom, human rights and liberal democracy were the values the revolt sought to defend with blood.

Yoon made the remark during a ceremony marking the 42nd anniversary of the Gwangju Democratization Movement after traveling by high-speed KTX train to Gwangju, some 330 km southeast of Seoul, together with nearly all lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party in an effort to promote national unity.

(LEAD) Seoul shares up for 2nd day amid rate hike woes
(ATTN: UPDATES with final figure in 4th para; ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished higher Wednesday amid lingering uncertainty over higher inflation and combative monetary tightening in major economies. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 5.54 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,625.98.

(LEAD) Young investors panic-stricken over crash of TerraUSD, Luna cryptocurrencies
(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in para 15)

SEOUL -- The shocking implosion of the TerraUSD and Luna cryptocurrencies threw many young investors into a panic, some of them saying their entire assets were blown up or even leaving suicidal messages.

In a crash starting a week earlier, the once bullish TerraUSD and sister coin Luna had lost almost all their value as of Tuesday, sending shock waves across the world.

(LEAD) N. Korea silent on S. Korea's offer for COVID-19 talks for 3rd day: official
(ATTN: UPDATES with details on UNICEF's aid in paras 5-9)

SEOUL -- North Korea has remained unresponsive to South Korea's attempt to propose working-level consultations on its push to extend help to the neighbor in its fight against the COVID-19 outbreak for the third day, a ministry official here said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Unification had sought to deliver a related message to the North on Monday through their liaison office to hold the talks and offer assistance in medical supplies to the neighbor, known for its dilapidated medical system.

(LEAD) KDI cuts 2022 growth outlook to 2.8 pct, ups inflation estimate to 4.2 pct
(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 18, 26-27)

SEOUL -- The Korea Development Institute (KDI) on Wednesday lowered its 2022 growth forecast for the South Korean economy to the 2 percent range, while sharply raising its inflation outlook to over 4 percent amid heightened economic uncertainty.

The state-run think tank cut its growth estimate for Asia's fourth-largest economy to 2.8 percent this year from its November estimate of 3 percent.


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