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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 September 22, 2022

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

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(2nd LD) Won hits over 13-year low against dollar after Fed's rate hike

SEOUL -- The South Korean currency on Thursday sank below the 1,400 mark against the U.S. dollar for the first time in more than 13 years as the Federal Reserve delivered another sharp rate hike and signaled further large increases.

The Korean currency closed at 1,409.70 won per dollar, down 15.50 won from the previous session. The won dipped to as low as 1,413.40 against the greenback at one point.

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Seoul official addresses concerns on possible USFK deployment in case of Taiwan crisis

SEOUL -- South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul sought Thursday to assuage public concerns here about the possibility of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) troops being deployed in the event of a Taiwan-related contingency.

USFK Commander Paul LaCamera said earlier this week that commanders do "contingency planning" for "anything," in response to a forum question on the potential role of South Korea in case of China's military movement against Taiwan.

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(2nd LD) N. Korea's military denies exporting weapons, ammo to Russia

SEOUL -- North Korea's military said Thursday it has never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia and does not plan to do so, according to its state media, rejecting accusations of arms trade between the two countries amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, a U.S. state department spokesperson said Russia may be in the process of purchasing "millions of rockets and artillery shells" from North Korea, which would violate multiple U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on the North.

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FSS probe found 10 tln won involved in abnormal overseas money transfers

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial regulator said Thursday that it has found around 10 trillion won (US$7.22 billion) worth of dubious funds sent abroad via local banks in transactions suspected of being linked to cryptocurrency markets.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said that it has conducted a probe in which it has found that 82 firms have been involved in abnormal overseas money remittance worth a combined 10.1 trillion won abroad for abnormal reasons.

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630 suicides reported among elementary to high schools students over past 4 yrs: education ministry

SEOUL -- A total of 630 elementary to high school students took their own lives over the past four years, due mainly to family feuds, an education ministry report showed Thursday.

According to the report submitted to Rep. Kim Byong-wook of the People Power Party, 388 high school students died by suicide between 2018-2021, followed by 216 middle school students and 26 elementary school kids.

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Seoul's stocks down, currency dips to over 13-yr low following Fed's rate hike

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed down on Thursday, as investors were spooked by growing worries over a global economic recession following the U.S. Federal Reserve's sharp rate hike decision. The Korean won fell to a 13-year low against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 14.9 points, or 0.63 percent, and closed at 2,332.31.

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PPP lawmaker given 7-yr prison term in bribery case

SUWON, South Korea -- A district court on Thursday handed out a seven-year prison term to Rep. Jung Chan-min of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) in a bribery case, a sentence heavy enough to remove him from parliament if confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Jung was charged with taking some 350 million won (US$247,770) worth of bribes from a real estate developer between 2016 and 2017 in return for business favors while he was serving as the mayor of Yongin in Gyeonggi Province.

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Slain fisheries official's family to file complaint against ex-President Moon

MOKPO, South Korea -- The family of a South Korean government official killed by North Korea in 2020 plans to file a complaint against former President Moon Jae-in next week accusing him of mishandling the death, a family member said Thursday.

The 2020 death of the 47-year-old fisheries official, Lee Dae-jun, near the western sea border is being revisited under the Yoon Suk-yeol government after the Coast Guard in June overturned its earlier conclusion that he was killed while attempting to defect the North.

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Appellate court upholds life sentence for ex-convict for killing 2 women

SEOUL -- An appellate court on Thursday upheld a life sentence for a murder suspect charged with killing two women last year while he was under a location monitoring program for sexual offenses.

The Seoul High Court approved a district court's earlier sentence of life imprisonment for 57-year-old Kang Yoon-seong, who stunned the nation in August last year for killing one woman before cutting off his electronic ankle monitor and another afterward.

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S. Korea plans to lift mask mandate for outdoor sporting events, concerts

SEOUL -- The government plans to lift the mask wearing requirement for large outdoor gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, as early as this week amid a steady decline in new COVID-19 cases, according to officials Thursday.

The decision came after an experts' advisory committee on the government's infectious disease response policy recommended the lifting of the mask mandate in outdoor gatherings of over 50 people.

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