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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:01 July 27, 2022

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

(LEAD) PM says he will ask Yoon to pardon Samsung heir Lee

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Wednesday he will ask President Yoon Suk-yeol to pardon Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, who is currently on parole from a prison term for bribery and embezzlement.

Han was responding to a question during a parliamentary interpellation session about whether he has any intention to propose pardons for Lee, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and other business executives.

Prosecution raids unification, ICT ministries over 'blacklist scandal'

SEOUL -- Prosecution investigators raided the unification ministry and the ICT ministry on Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations that state agency chiefs under the ministries were forced to step down during the previous administration.

Investigators from the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors Office seized documents from the Ministry of Unification in central Seoul, the Ministry of Science and ICT in Sejong and two state institutions under the ministries.

(2nd LD) PPP floor leader apologizes over text conversation with president

SEOUL -- The acting chairman of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) has apologized after a text conversation he had with President Yoon Suk-yeol was caught on camera, in which Yoon was seen backbiting about suspended party chief Lee Jun-seok.

PPP floor leader Kweon Seong-dong took over as acting leader of the party early this month after the party's ethics committee suspended Lee's party membership for six months over allegations of sexual bribery and a cover-up.

(LEAD) New Korean War monument to be unveiled in Washington D.C. this week

SEOUL -- A new Korean War monument is set to be unveiled in Washington, D.C. this week, the veterans affairs ministry said Wednesday, as South Korea and the United States mark the 69th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 conflict.

Some 3,000 people, including Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, will attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of the Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (local time).

Opposition party launches task force to oppose police bureau plan

SEOUL -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) vowed Wednesday to derail the planned establishment of an interior ministry bureau overseeing police, with some lawmakers suggesting impeaching Interior Minister Lee Sang-min.

The Cabinet approved the establishment of a police bureau under the ministry Tuesday despite criticism that it would put the law enforcement agency under political influence and could lead to politically biased investigations.

(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases top 100,000 in over 3 months

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases surpassed the 100,000 mark for the first time in more than three months on Wednesday as the new wave of an omicron subvariant is spreading fast.

The country added 100,285 new COVID-19 infections, including 532 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 19,446,946, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(LEAD) Seoul shares up for 3rd day ahead of Fed's rate decision

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks advanced for a third straight session on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-decision meeting slated for later this week. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged up 2.57 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,415.53 points.

Anti-corruption commission chief refuses to buckle under pressure to step down

SEOUL -- The head of an anti-corruption commission appointed by the preceding Moon Jae-in government on Wednesday rejected calls from the ruling People Power Party to step down, saying serving out her term is not a personal issue, but a matter related to the rule of law.

Jeon Hyun-heui, chair of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission and a former two-time Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker, has been under pressure to leave office, along with other state agency chiefs appointed under the previous administration, since President Yoon Suk-yeol came to power.

(LEAD) Abnormal overseas money transfers at 2 banks valued at 4.1 tln won: watchdog

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial watchdog said Wednesday its probe found abnormal foreign exchange transactions reported by two major banks, Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, were valued at 4.1 trillion won (US$3.2 billion).

Unspecified local cryptocurrency exchanges were involved in the suspicious foreign currency transactions, and most of the money was remitted abroad, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

U.N. Command holds Korean War armistice anniv. event

SEOUL -- The U.N. Command (UNC) held a ceremony Wednesday commemorating the 69th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, stressing its steadfast focus on maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Deputy UNC Commander Lt. Gen. Andrew Harrison hosted the event that brought together officials from the United States, South Korea and "Sending States" that provided troops and other forms of support during the war.

(2nd LD) LG Energy Solution eyes double-digit margins, triple sales growth in 5 years

SEOUL -- LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) said Wednesday it aims to boost annual sales by more than threefold and achieve double-digit operating profit margins in the next five years through active foreign expansion and by securing stable supply.

Unveiling the mid-to long-term strategies, the South Korean battery maker said it will expand its North American foothold to as much as 45 percent in terms of portion in regional portfolio by 2025, from the current 7 percent.

LGES said it will boost the global production capacity to 540 gigawatt hours by the end of 2025.

(LEAD) S. Korea to open 1st hydrogen production base in metropolitan area

SEOUL -- South Korea held a ceremony to mark the completion of a new hydrogen production plant in the city of Pyeongtaek, the first such facility in the metropolitan area, the industry ministry said Wednesday.

The base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, is the country's second hydrogen production plant following the first one in the southeastern city of Changwon, which has been in operation since the end of last year.

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