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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 June 17, 2022

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

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(LEAD) S. Korean economy feared to lose steam amid external uncertainty: gov't

SEJONG -- The South Korean economy is at the risk of losing steam as deteriorating external economic conditions are feared to dent investment and export growth amid high inflation, the finance ministry said Friday.

Market volatility and global economic downside risks further expanded due to the Federal Reserve's accelerating monetary tightening and global supply chain disruptions, the ministry said in its monthly economic assessment report, called the Green Book.

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(LEAD) Yoon says U.N. Security Council should resolutely respond to N.K. provocations

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol told U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the U.N. Security Council should respond in a resolute and united manner to North Korea's provocations.

Yoon made the remarks in a phone call with Guterres, saying North Korean provocations pose a serious threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the international community, an official at Yoon's office said.

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BTS' Jungkook to release collaborative single with U.S. singer-songwriter

SEOUL -- Jungkook, a vocalist of K-pop giant BTS, will drop a collaborative single with U.S. singer-songwriter Charlie Puth next Friday.

Puth unveiled a video of Jungkook and him humorously discussing their plans to release "Left and Right" on TikTok on Friday.

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(LEAD) Gov't to extend quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients for 4 more weeks: PM

SEOUL -- The government will extend the current seven-day quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients for four more weeks because rolling back the obligation could accelerate a resurgence of the virus, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday.

The current level of virus spread is within the country's capacity to manage, but infection concerns linger and the number of COVID-19 deaths has not sufficiently reduced, Han said in a virus response meeting.

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Yoon says cutting corporate tax could help raise competitiveness

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Friday that the government's plan to cut the corporate tax will help companies raise their competitiveness.

Yoon made the remarks as he arrived for work, a day after the finance ministry proposed lowering the maximum corporate tax rate to 22 percent, the average rate in countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), from 25 percent.

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Seoul shares down late morning on deepening recession woes

SEOUL -- Seoul shares traded lower late Friday morning as concerns deepened over a global economic recession amid the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening to tame surging inflation.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 32.89 points, or 1.34 percent, to 2,418.52 points as of 11:20 a.m. The index once tumbled below the 2,400 mark for the first time in about 19 months.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 10,000 for 8th day

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases remained below 10,000 for the eighth day in a row Friday, as the spread of the coronavirus is apparently slowing down.

The country added 7,198 COVID-19 infections, including 68 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,263,643, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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N. Korea remains unresponsive to U.S. overtures: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- North Korea continues to remain unresponsive to U.S. overtures for dialogue, a state department spokesperson said Thursday.

Ned Price also reaffirmed U.S. commitment to diplomatically engage with North Korea without any preconditions.

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Panel votes not to differentiate minimum wage by industry next year

SEOUL-- A tripartite panel tasked with determining next year's minimum wage has agreed not to apply different rates to different industries, maintaining the current system, officials said Friday.

The Minimum Wage Commission, which is composed of 27 representatives, nine each from labor, business and the general public, met at the government complex in Sejong for its fourth plenary session this year to negotiate next year's minimum wage.

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(LEAD) N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases below 30,000 for 3rd day: state media

SEOUL -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 30,000 for the third consecutive day, its state media said Friday.

More than 23,160 people showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.
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