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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 June 14, 2022

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

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S. Korea cautious about whether N. Korea's replacement of top diplomat heralds policy change

SEOUL -- North Korea's promotion of veteran diplomat Choe Son-hui, known for her experience in negotiations with the United States, to the post of foreign minister is not necessarily an indication of a shift in its external policy, a government official here said Tuesday.

Pyongyang announced the pick of Choe, vice foreign minister, for the position in a decision made at the plenary meeting of the ruling party's Central Committee last week. The move has raised speculation about the possibility of the reclusive North changing tack to seek to restart denuclearization talks with Washington that have been stalled for more than three years.

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N. Korea asks S. Korean church to build hospitals in 260 counties

SEOUL -- North Korea has asked Yoido Full Gospel Church, South Korea's biggest Protestant church, to build hospitals in 260 counties across the country, a church official said Tuesday.

"There was a request from North Korea to establish 'people's hospitals' in 260 counties after the construction of a cardiac hospital in Pyongyang is complete," Lee Young-hoon, senior pastor of the church, told reporters at a hotel in downtown Seoul.

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S. Korean FM calls for 'future-oriented' cooperation with Japan, China

SEOUL -- South Korea's top diplomat on Tuesday emphasized the importance of trilateral cooperation among his country, China and Japan, citing the regional powers' stature and potential.

"Given the stature and economic and cultural potential of the three countries, should we continue our future-oriented cooperation, it would be an important driving force for peace and prosperity in the world beyond the East Asia level," Foreign Minister Park Jin said in a written message to the International Forum on Trilateral Cooperation.

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(2nd LD) Gov't, BOK guard against market volatility ahead of Fed policy meeting

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry and the central bank on Tuesday raised their guard against an increase in market volatility, as the financial market was hit hard by fears about the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes.

Global financial markets have been roiled this week amid the growing prospect that the Fed may hike interest rates by a larger-than-expected margin of 0.75 percentage point this week to tame high flying inflation.

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(LEAD) 2 defense units searched over illegitimate business order allegations

SEOUL -- Police raided the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Defense Communication Command (DCC) on Tuesday in connection with allegations that an unqualified company won a contract to supply information modules to the military.

The National Police Agency sent investigators to search the DIA office in Seoul's Yongsan district and the DCC office in Gwacheon, just south of the capital, for materials related to the allegations, officials said.

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DP lawmakers propose bill for greater parliamentary clout

SEOUL -- Lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Party on Tuesday proposed a bill aimed at strengthening parliamentary oversight of the government despite objections from the ruling People Power Party.

Rep. Cho Eung-chon and 13 other DP lawmakers proposed revising the National Assembly Act in a way that empowers parliamentary standing committees to request revisions to presidential decrees or enforcement ordinances if they are deemed incompatible with the law.

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Korean cinematographer infuses 'Oldboy' style into Disney+'s new Star Wars spin-off series

SEOUL -- South Korean director of photography (DP) Chung Chung-hoon said Tuesday he has tried to use some cinematographic styles of the award-winning thriller "Oldboy" (2003) in working Disney+'s new "Star Wars" spin-off series "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"When I met film directors, they always told me they wanted to put some 'Oldboy'-like scenes in their upcoming project. But it's hard," Chung, who participated in the series as DP, said in an online interview with Korean media. "This time with director Deborah Chow, we talk a lot about lighting and the mood of the show."

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 6th day on rate hike woes; Korean won further losing ground

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks fell to a fresh 19-month low Tuesday to extend their losing streak to a sixth day as investors were wary of a larger-than-expected interest rate hike in the U.S. and a global economic recession. The local currency continued to slide against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 11.54 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 2,492.97 after falling to as low as 2,457.39 at one point.

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