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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:32 July 29, 2022

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumption falls for 4th month amid high inflation

SEOUL -- South Korea's industrial output rose in June from the previous month, but retail sales declined for the fourth straight month as high inflation and rising interest rates weighed on consumption, data showed Friday.

Industrial output grew for the second straight month in June as it rose 0.6 percent on-month, following a 0.8 percent increase in May, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

(LEAD) USFK chief highlights importance of Korea-U.S. alliance in dealing with challenges

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera stressed the importance of strengthening the U.S.-South Korea alliance Thursday, one day after the countries marked the 69th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War.

The four-star U.S. general insisted the alliance provides the "strategic depth" and "legitimacy" to deal with any global challenges, including North Korea.

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 90,000 for 2nd day

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 90,000 for the second consecutive day Friday but were sharply up from a week ago, in an upward trend in the curve amid a resurgence in the virus.

The country added 85,320 new COVID-19 infections, including 439 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 19,620,517, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

S. Korean Navy to allow female sailors to serve as submarine personnel

SEOUL -- South Korea's Navy has decided to allow female sailors to serve on submarines for the first time, starting in 2024, its officials said Friday, a move to broaden their military roles amid prospects of troop shortages caused by the country's low birthrate.

The Navy made the decision during Thursday's key policy meeting, making South Korea the world's 14th nation with a personnel assignment policy enabling female service members to join the submarine crew, according to the armed service.

N.K. leader says blood-sealed ties with China will develop for generations

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country's ties with China, "sealed in blood," will further develop for generations to come as he marked the anniversary of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, state media said Friday.

On Thursday, Kim visited the Friendship Tower in Pyongyang and paid tribute to the fallen Chinese soldiers that fought in the war, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Korean Air to resume routes to Rome and Barcelona in Sept.

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest carrier, said Friday it will resume flights to Rome and Barcelona next month as travel demand grows amid eased virus curbs.

It will operate three flights a week on the Incheon-Rome route starting Sept. 1 and three weekly flights on the Incheon-Barcelona route from Sept. 2, the statement said.

Yoon's approval rating sinks below 30 pct amid inflation, controversy over personnel appointments

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating fell to a new low, going below 30 percent for the first time, amid soaring inflation and controversy over personnel appointments, a poll showed Friday.

In the poll of 1,000 voters nationwide conducted by pollster Gallup Korea between Tuesday and Thursday, 28 percent said Yoon was doing well on state affairs, while 62 percent gave a negative assessment.

'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' rises to third on global Netflix chart

SEOUL -- South Korea's legal drama series "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" is becoming a sensation in a growing number of foreign countries, having cracked the top five in a global Netflix TV program chart.

The 16-part series placed third on the streaming analytics company FlixPatrol's daily global chart for popular TV programs on Netflix on Thursday, about a month after it went on air.

S. Korea seeks to overhaul public firms to prevent lax management

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday unveiled guidelines to overhaul operations of public firms in a bid to improve their productivity and prevent lax management amid a sharp rise in personnel and debt.

The guidelines called for a total of 350 public firms to reduce their non-core business and lower the maximum number of employees for 2023, according to the finance ministry.

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