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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:10 June 15, 2022

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

(LEAD) Unexpected launch pad problem discovered during space rocket launch preparation

SEOUL -- Preparations to launch South Korea's homegrown space rocket Nuri were delayed at Naro Space Center on Wednesday due to a technical problem with the launch pad, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, was transported from the assembly building to the launch pad at the state-run space center operated by KARI in Goheung, a southern coastal village some 470 kilometers south of Seoul, ahead of Thursday's scheduled launch.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks dive to fresh 19-month low amid woes over Fed's rate decision

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks sank to a fresh 19-month low Wednesday to extend their losing streak to a seventh day ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate decision amid high inflation and concerns over a global recession. The local currency also fell against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 45.59 points, or 1.83 percent, to close at 2,447.38. It is the lowest figure since Nov. 10, 2020, when the index closed at 2,452.83.

U.N. rapporteur calls on Seoul to promptly redress legacy of human right violations

SEOUL -- U.N. Special Rapporteur for truth and justice Fabian Salvioli called on the South Korean government Wednesday to double efforts to promptly compensate victims of serious human rights violations connected to the country's colonial and authoritarian legacies.

The special rapporteur made the call during a press conference at the end of his eight-day visit aimed at examining progress made in redressing the legacy of serious human rights violations committed during Japan's colonial rule, the Korean War and the country's authoritarian period.

Seoul Queer Culture Festival allowed to resume after 3 years

SEOUL -- The LGBTQ community in South Korea has been conditionally allowed to resume an annual festival in the heart of Seoul next month after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city government said Wednesday.

Organizers of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival have been permitted to hold the annual festivity at Seoul Plaza for one day on July 16 on the condition that participants refrain from excessive body exposure as well as selling or exhibiting harmful pornography banned under the Juvenile Protection Act, the government said.

Finance minister to meet with heads of BOK, regulators over Fed's looming rate hike

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho plans to meet with the chiefs of the central bank and the financial regulators this week to discuss the impact of the Federal Reserve's looming rate hike, his office said Wednesday.

Choo will hold a meeting on Thursday with Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Rhee Chang-yong, Lee Bok-hyun, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service, and Kim So-young, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), according to the finance ministry.

PPP to legislate extension of basic freight rate system for truck drivers

SEOUL -- The ruling People Power Party (PPP) said Wednesday it will seek legislation to extend a freight rate system guaranteeing basic wages for truck drivers after differences are sorted out over whether the system should be renewed permanently or for a set period of time.

Members of the 22,000-strong Cargo Truckers Solidarity, under the wing of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, ended their weeklong walkout late Tuesday after reaching an agreement with the transport ministry to extend the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of the year.

Unification minister vows consistent N.K. policy, marking key summit anniv.

SEOUL -- South Korea will continue to pursue dialogue with North Korea in line with the spirit of reconciliation rooted in the first-ever summit of their leaders over two decades ago, Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said Wednesday.

Kwon stressed the need to maintain a consistent policy toward the North to achieve stable inter-Korean relations amid such "hard times," as he delivered a speech to mark the 22nd anniversary of the June 15 Declaration adopted at a historic summit in 2000 between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

First direct flight service between Jeju, Singapore opens

JEJU -- The southern resort island of Jeju welcomed the first direct flight from Singapore on Wednesday as part of efforts to revive its pandemic-hit tourism industry.

Singaporean budget carrier Scoot's Airbus A321neo aircraft arrived at Jeju International Airport early in the morning as the airline inaugurated its non-stop service between the island and Singapore.

S. Korean, Swedish defense officials hold talks on regional security

SEOUL -- Senior defense officials of South Korea and Sweden held talks in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss regional security and bilateral defense cooperation, Seoul's defense ministry said.

The meeting between Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul and his Swedish counterpart, Jan-Olof Lind, came amid the two countries' shared concerns over North Korea's continued missile provocations and Russia's war in Ukraine.

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