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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:02 September 23, 2022

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

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(LEAD) BOK, state pension fund to open currency swap line to ease dollar demand in market

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Friday that it has agreed to open a temporary dollar-for-won currency swap line with the state pension fund in a bid to ease demand for dollars in the domestic foreign exchange market and support the rapidly weakening local currency.

The swap deal will allow the National Pension Service (NPS) to borrow up to US$10 billion from foreign reserves held by the Bank of Korea (BOK) in exchange for its local currency holdings, the BOK said in a press release. The NPS said in a separate release that the deal is expected to be signed next month.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks crash to yearly low amid deepening recession fears

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks dropped to the lowest level this year on Friday on mounting fears that the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes would further exacerbate a global recession. The local currency went up against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 42.31 points, or 1.81 percent, to 2,290, extending its losing streak to a third session and marking the lowest point so far this year.

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S. Korea, U.S. agree on joint efforts for swift solution of EV tax credit law

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States agreed Friday to make joint efforts to seek solutions regarding a new U.S. law that gives tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles assembled only in North America.

The consensus was reached during a meeting between Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai in Bali on the sidelines of the Group of 20 trade, investment and industry ministerial meeting, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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Yoon's approval rating falls below 30 pct: poll

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol's approval rating fell below 30 percent, a poll showed Friday, amid public criticism over his handling of diplomatic affairs in his ongoing three-nation trip.

In the poll of 1,000 adults conducted by Gallup Korea from Tuesday to Thursday, 28 percent positively assessed Yoon's job performance, down 5 percentage points from the previous week.

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Prison term increased to 40 yrs for man in brutal stalking murder case

SEOUL -- An appellate court on Friday handed out a 40-year prison sentence to a 36-year-old man for stalking and brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend last year after the couple broke up, a sentence heavier than a lower court's 35-year term.

Kim Byung-chan was convicted of stabbing the ex-girlfriend in her 30s multiple times at her studio apartment in central Seoul in November of last year. He had stalked her since their breakup in the second half of 2020.

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N. Korea demolishing more S. Korean-built facilities at Mt. Kumgang resort: ministry

SEOUL -- North Korea is continuing to dismantle South Korean-built facilities at the Mount Kumgang resort on its east coast in breach of inter-Korean accords, the unification ministry said Friday.

Citing satellite images taken by Planet Labs, the Voice of America, a U.S.-based news outlet, earlier reported that the North appears to have taken down the dome-shaped roof of the House of Culture, a 620-seat indoor performance hall with investments from the South reaching around 30 billion won (US$21.3 million).

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(LEAD) DP slams Yoon for alleged use of foul language

SEOUL -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung on Friday slammed President Yoon Suk-yeol's alleged use of foul language, saying it is a disgrace that made people deeply mortified and hurt their dignity.

Yoon was caught on video making a remark privately to aides in New York on Wednesday that appeared to include vulgar words. Though the recording was not clear, many thought Yoon was talking about U.S. Congress and U.S. President Joe Biden.

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S. Korea vows steps to stabilize bond market over growing volatility

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to take measures to stabilize the bond market if necessary as market volatility has grown over the U.S.' recent rate hikes, a senior finance ministry official said Friday.

On Thursday, the yield on three-year Treasuries rose 25.7 basis points to 4.104 percent, the highest level in more than 12 years, after the Federal Reserve raised its target interest rate by 75 basis points for a third straight time.

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Disposable cup deposit-refund scheme to go into effect in December in Jeju, Sejong

SEOUL -- A deposit-refund scheme aimed at reducing the use of disposable cups at cafes and restaurants will go into effect in early December in the two regions of Sejong and Jeju, the environment ministry said Friday.

The decision marks a scale-back of the ministry's initial plan for a nationwide implementation of the compulsory scheme mandating a surcharge of 300 won (21 US cents) per drink a consumer buys in a takeaway cup, refundable upon the return of the package for recycling.
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