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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 June 23, 2022

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

(LEAD) PPP ethics committee defers decision over possible discipline of party chief

SEOUL -- The ethics committee of the ruling People Power Party has deferred a decision until next month on whether to take disciplinary action against party chairman Lee Jun-seok over allegations he received sexual services as a bribe about 10 years ago and attempted to cover up the case.

The committee, however, decided at Wednesday's meeting to begin the process of reprimanding Kim Cheol-geun, a key aide to Lee, over allegations that he met with Lee's accuser earlier this year and attempted to silence him with a promise of investment.

(2nd LD) Won falls to 13-yr low against dollar in intraday trading

SEOUL -- South Korea's currency on Thursday fell below the 1,300-won level against the U.S. dollar for the first time in about 13 years amid growing concerns about global monetary tightening and an economic recession.

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho made a verbal intervention to forestall further decline, saying that forex authorities will take steps to stabilize the currency market, if needed, to minimize market jitters caused by the won's weakness.

S. Korea successfully deploys precision navigation satellite to boost GPS accuracy, flight safety

SEOUL -- South Korea successfully launched a precision aviation satellite Thursday to improve the accuracy and reliability of global positioning system (GPS) signals and better ensure flight safety, the government said.

The satellite for the Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), the country's first precision GPS location augmentation system, lifted off from Guiana Space Center in Kourou in French Guiana, at 6:50 a.m. Thursday (Seoul time), according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Producer prices grow for 5th month in May on high energy, service costs

SEOUL -- South Korea's producer prices grew for the fifth straight month in May, driven by rising prices of coal, oil and services, central bank data showed Thursday.

The producer price index, a major barometer of consumer inflation, stood at 119.24 in May, up 0.5 percent from a revised 118.59 a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Yoon declines to get ahead on question of alternative military service for BTS

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol declined to get ahead on the question of allowing alternative military service for K-pop group BTS, saying any decision should be based on public opinion.

The issue has reemerged in political circles after the septet announced its suspension of group activities last week.

BOK official stresses efforts to tame inflation expectations amid rising prices

SEOUL -- A senior central bank official on Thursday underscored the importance of preventing inflation expectations from rising as the country is grappling with rising prices amid high energy and commodity costs.

Bank of Korea (BOK) Deputy Gov. Lee Seung-heon voiced concerns that inflation pressure remains high for the time being, citing such factors as the ongoing war in Ukraine that has exacerbated supply-chain disruptions.

(LEAD) New COVID-19 cases below 10,000 for 14th day amid slowing omicron

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 10,000 for the 14th straight day Thursday amid a steady omicron downtrend, though the country remains vigilant against any potential virus resurgence.

The country reported 7,497 new COVID-19 infections, including 92 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,305,738, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(2nd LD) N. Korea discusses revising operational plans of its front-line military units

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other top officials had discussions on adding missions and revising operational plans of front-line military units during a major party meeting, according to state media Thursday.

The news came two months after the Kim regime openly hinted at deploying tactical nuclear weapons in front-line artillery units. The secretive nation has reportedly completed preparations for a nuclear test seen as part of efforts to develop smaller nuclear warheads to fit on tactical guided weapons and upgraded short-range ballistic missiles.

(LEAD) Presidential Archives rejects request for disclosure of record on fisheries official's death

SEOUL -- The Presidential Archives on Thursday rejected a request by the family of a fisheries official killed by North Korea in 2020 to disclose confidential records on the controversial death, according to the family's lawyer.

The family has demanded access to classified presidential documents from the previous administration related to the death of the late fisheries ministry official, Lee Dae-jun, who was shot and killed by North Korea's military near the western sea border on Sept. 22, 2020.

Financial regulator warns of 'unprecedented perfect storm,' amid high market volatility

SEOUL -- A top financial regulator on Thursday warned of an "unprecedented economic perfect storm" amid growing uncertainties at home and abroad, vowing utmost efforts to maintain the stability of the financial system.

Lee Bok-hyun, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), made the remark during a meeting with top officials of economic think tanks in Seoul to discuss policy responses amid surging inflation and worries over a possible recession.

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