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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 June 21, 2022

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

S. Korea prepares to launch homegrown space rocket after failed attempt last year

SEOUL -- South Korea was preparing Tuesday to launch its homegrown space rocket Nuri in the second attempt to put satellites into orbit, a critical mission for the country's space program.

The 200-ton Nuri is set to blast off from the Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung at around 4 p.m., the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said.

Yoon suggests possible probe into 2019 repatriation of N.K. sailors

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol suggested Tuesday his administration could investigate the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean sailors, saying many people have questions about the then government's decision to send them back.

Yoon was referring to the repatriation of two North Korean sailors who tried to defect to South Korea after allegedly killing 16 fellow crew members on a fishing boat, which happened under the previous administration of Moon Jae-in.

(LEAD) Exports down 3.4 pct during first 20 days of June

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports fell 3.4 percent in the first 20 days of June from a year earlier due mainly to fewer working days, and its trade deficit widened on higher global energy costs, customs data showed Tuesday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$31.28 billion in the June 1-20 period, compared with $32.4 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

S. Korea to extend rental-related loans for tenants, tax incentives for landlords

SEOUL -- The government on Tuesday vowed to relax regulations on loans for "jeonse" home rentals and to raise tax deduction rates for monthly rental contractors in a move to help ease financial burdens on tenants and stabilize the housing market.

Under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's first package of measures on the property market, the government also pledged to reform the presale price cap scheme imposed on private apartments and offer a tax cut to landlords who sell their homes after long-term leases in a move to expand the housing supply.

N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases stay below 20,000 for 3rd day: state media

SEOUL -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 20,000 for the third consecutive day, according to its state media Tuesday.

More than 17,250 people showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.

(LEAD) BOK expects 2022 inflation to grow faster than anticipated, hit highest point in 14 years

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Tuesday it expected inflation to grow at a faster pace than previously anticipated and possibly hit the highest level in 14 years for this year as price pressures are mounting from rising demand and a tight supply.

In an apparent forward guidance, Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Rhee Chang-yong said the central bank will carry out its monetary policy with a priority on price stability until inflation ends its upward trend, hinting that it will likely continue to raise its key policy rate in the months to come.

(2nd LD) Teen swimmer reaches next level in burgeoning career with world championships silver

SEOUL -- For a few months now, South Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo, still just 19, has been carrying the weight of a nation thirsty for a new star in the pool. And with aplomb and poise rare for athletes his age, Hwang has delivered.

The country and the rest of the swimming world got their first glimpse into Hwang's considerable promise at last year's Tokyo Olympics. A fuller version of the still-improving athlete was on display Monday in Budapest, where Hwang captured his first long course world championship medal with a silver in the 200m freestyle.

BTS tops Billboard Global, Japan's Oricon weekly charts with 'Yet To Come'

SEOUL -- K-pop giant BTS' new single "Yet To Come" has topped the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, becoming the group's sixth No. 1 debut on the chart, Billboard said on social media.

The song is from the septet's new album, "Proof," which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 main albums chart for this week, according to Billboard on Monday (U.S. time).

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