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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 01, 2022

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

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SK, Tokuyama start off construction for semiconductor cleaning agent plant in S. Korea

SEOUL -- SK Geocentric Co., a chemical unit of South Korea's SK Group, said Monday the construction began for the joint factory with Japan's Tokuyama Corp. to produce a high-purity cleaning agent for semiconductors.

SK Geocentric CEO Na Kyung-soo, Hiroshi Yokota, president of Tokuyama, and other officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony that took place in the South Korean industrial city of Ulsan, about 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, where SK runs its key chemical manufacturing complex, SK Geocentric said.

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Subject to trade speculation, Rays' Choi Ji-man tops 2021 RBI total

SEOUL -- Amid rumors that he could be dealt ahead of the annual trade deadline this week, Tampa Bay Rays infielder Choi Ji-man has surpassed his RBI total from last season.

Choi collected two RBIs despite going hitless in four at-bats in a 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Guardians at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday (local time).

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(LEAD) Exports up 9.4 pct in July; trade deficit extended for 4th month

SEOUL -- South Korea suffered a trade deficit for the fourth consecutive month in July over high global energy prices, though its exports rose 9.4 percent on-year on solid demand for chips, data showed Monday.

Outbound shipments stood at US$60.7 billion last month, up from $55.5 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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(LEAD) Yoon's approval rating falls to 28.9 pct

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating sank below 30 percent in the wake of the embarrassing disclosure of a controversial text conversation with the ruling party floor leader, a poll showed Monday.

In the poll of 1,003 voters nationwide conducted by pollster Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI), 28.9 percent said Yoon was doing well on state affairs, down 3.3 percentage points from the previous week, while those who gave a negative assessment rose 4 percentage points from a week ago to 68.5 percent.

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(LEAD) BOK sees small incremental rate increases as 'appropriate'

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Monday it is "appropriate" to raise its key interest rate in small increments going forward as long as inflation and growth trends do not deviate much from the expected paths.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) provided the broad guidance on the future trajectory of monetary policy in a report to the National Assembly after it delivered an unprecedented 0.5 percentage-point rate increase last month to rein in surging inflation.

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Yoon calls off travel plans, stays at home during vacation

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol has decided not to travel to provincial regions for this week's vacation and will instead remain in Seoul to mull how to navigate through the current political turmoil, officials at the ruling party and the presidential office said Monday.

The decision came as Yoon's approval ratings have been unusually low -- below 30 percent in some surveys -- for a president less than three months in office, as the economic situation worsens and leadership turmoil deepens at the ruling People Power Party.

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(LEAD) Upcoming S. Korea-U.S. training involves drills on repelling attacks, staging counterattacks

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States plan to conduct an array of drills, including repelling attacks and mounting counterattacks, as part of their major combined training set to kick off later this month, Seoul's defense ministry said Monday.

In a written parliamentary briefing, the ministry said the Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) training consists of three main parts -- the crisis management staff training, the first segment on repelling attacks and defending the greater Seoul area, and the second segment on counterattack operations.

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Online shopping up around 10 pct in June amid eased virus curbs

SEOUL -- Online shopping in South Korea rose around 10 percent in June from a year ago as the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions boosted demand for travel and leisure services and food, data showed Monday.

The value of online shopping transactions came to 16.8 trillion won (US$12.9 billion) in June, up 10.4 percent from 15.2 trillion won from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
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