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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 September 07, 2022

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

(2nd LD) Russia asks N. Korea for ammunition, indicating challenges in Ukraine war: Pentagon

WASHINGTON -- Russia has reached out to North Korea and Iran, a U.S. defense department spokesperson said Tuesday, in its apparently desperate search for ammunition.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted Moscow's request for ammunition from North Korea demonstrates the difficulties Russia now faces due to its ongoing war against Ukraine.

U.S. stands ready for talks with S. Korea on EV tax credits: NSC spokesperson

WASHINGTON -- The United States stands ready to engage in serious consultations with South Korea on concerns over the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that Seoul believes would place South Korean automakers at a serious disadvantage, a White House official said Tuesday.

John Kirby, National Security Council (NSC) coordinator for strategic communications, however, noted that the IRA does offer benefits to foreign manufacturers.

Yoon says to designate typhoon-hit Pohang as special disaster zone

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday he will designate the southeastern city of Pohang hit by Typhoon Hinnamnor as a special disaster zone as early as possible.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival for work, Yoon said he will get all procedures necessary for the designation done as soon as possible and provide emergency funds to people in Pohang.

(LEAD) Won dips below 1,380 level per dollar for 1st time in more than 13 years

SEOUL -- The South Korean currency on Wednesday declined below the 1,380-won level against the U.S. dollar for the first time in more than 13 years during intraday trading amid a sharp decline in the country's current account surplus.

The local currency had been trading at 1,387.30 won per dollar as of 11:25 a.m., down 15.60 won from the previous session's close.

S. Korea's current account surplus plunges as goods balance turns red amid soaring import bills

SEOUL -- South Korea posted a current account surplus for the third straight month in July, but the surplus plunged as the goods balance turned red for the first time in about 10 years due to fast-rising import costs of energy and other commodities, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$1.09 billion in July, compared with a surplus of $5.61 billion posted a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korean biz circles campaign across globe for Busan Expo bid

SEOUL -- Major South Korean business enterprises, including Samsung, SK and Hyundai, are stepping up their campaign across the globe for Korea's bid to host the World Expo in the southern port city of Busan in 2030.

The moves come as part of South Korea's full-fledged efforts to host the world event that is expected to create huge economic effects for the host country, similar to the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases hit 7-week low for Wednesday count amid slowing virus

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest for a Wednesday figure in seven weeks, as the virus trend is weakening at a mild pace.

The country reported 85,540 new COVID-19 infections, including 343 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 23,791,961, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

N. Korea calls U.S. human rights abuse accusations 'grave provocation'

SEOUL -- North Korea bristled Wednesday at the United States having taken issue with its human rights situation, calling the move a "grave provocation."

In July, a U.S. State Department spokesperson expressed concerns over the North's rights situation following Seoul's appointment of a new envoy for the reclusive state's human rights.

Opposition leader Lee's wife asked to appear before prosecutors over credit card allegations

SUWON -- The wife of Democratic Party (DP) Chairman Lee Jae-myung has been asked to appear before prosecutors for questioning about allegations on her personal use of a provincial government's corporate credit cards years ago, informed officials said Wednesday.

The Suwon District Prosecutors Office in Suwon, 50 kilometers south of Seoul, sent the summons to Kim Hye-kyung on the day, the officials said, adding the requested attendance date has yet to be confirmed.

(LEAD) 2 rescued, 7 dead from submerged parking garage in Pohang
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with tally in last para)

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- Nine people have been pulled from a flooded parking garage in the southeastern city of Pohang, two of them alive, with the seven others having died after being found in cardiac arrest, as the search continued for any remaining victims in the wake of Typhoon Hinnamnor.

All of them had been trapped in the underground parking lot at an apartment complex in Pohang, about 270 km southeast of Seoul, after going there to move their cars amid heavy downpours brought on by the typhoon.

Seoul shares, local currency tumble amid woes over rate hikes, recession

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks tumbled late Wednesday morning on foreign and institutional selling amid concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's additional rate hikes to tackle inflation and their impact on the global economy.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) opened lower, tracking losses on Wall Street, and the losses extended, with the index falling 1.55 percent, or 37.40 points, to trade at 2,372.62 as of 11:20 a.m.

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