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Yonhap News Summary

Economy 17:10 September 28, 2022

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

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(LEAD) N. Korea may conduct 7th nuclear test between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7: spy agency

SEOUL -- North Korea has readied an underground nuclear test tunnel at its Punggye-ri site and a test blast could take place sometime between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7 if the regime decides to go ahead with it, South Korea's spy agency was quoted as saying Wednesday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) gave the assessment during a closed-door briefing to lawmakers of the parliamentary intelligence committee, citing a window of time between October's National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and November's U.S. midterm elections, according to briefed lawmakers.

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Yoon vows to raise S. Korea's AI competitiveness to 3rd in world

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol vowed Wednesday to raise the country's artificial intelligence (AI) competitiveness to No. 3 in the world as part of efforts to rebuild the nation.

Yoon made the promise while presiding over a regular economic meeting in Gwangju, 268 kilometers south of Seoul, saying he will also double the size of the country's data market to over 50 trillion won (US$35 billion).

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(3rd LD) PM meets with Japan's Kishida, calls for improved relations

TOKYO -- South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Wednesday and called for improved relations between the two countries, saying it serves their common interests.

South Korea and Japan "are close neighbors and important cooperative partners who share democratic values and principles of market economy," Han said during the meeting with Kishida held a day after he attended the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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S. Korea aims to take up 12 pct of world's EV market by 2030

SEOUL -- South Korea seeks to significantly boost production of electric vehicles to more than double domestic carmakers' global market share to 12 percent by 2030 and to be a global car industry powerhouse, the industry ministry said Wednesday.

For the goal, the government vowed to provide tax incentives and various supportive measures to promote carmakers' investment worth about a combined 95 trillion won (US$66.03 billion) by 2026, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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Defense chief says indigenous KF-21 fighter will play key role for N.K. deterrence

SEOUL -- South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup expressed expectations Wednesday that the country's homegrown KF-21 fighter under development will play a "great" role in deterring evolving North Korean threats.

Lee made the remarks at a ceremony celebrating the first flight of the jet that the country has been pushing to develop by 2026 under the 8.8 trillion-won (US$6.15 billion) project aimed at replacing the aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighters and bolstering air power.

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(LEAD) Fitch keeps S. Korea's credit rating unchanged at 'AA-,' outlook stable

SEOUL -- Global credit appraiser Fitch Ratings said Wednesday it has reaffirmed South Korea's sovereign rating at "AA-" with a stable outlook.

Fitch's rating for South Korea has been AA-, the fourth-highest level on the agency's table, since September 2012.

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Population mobility hits 46-year low in Aug.

SEJONG -- The number of South Koreans who moved to different residences in the country fell to a 46-year low in August due to population aging and sluggish housing transactions, data showed Wednesday.

The number of people who changed their residences came to 519,000 last month, down 12.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
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