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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 November 04, 2022

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

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. codify 4 categories of 'extended deterrence' cooperation against N.K. nuke threats

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States agreed Thursday on specific categories of "extended deterrence" cooperation against North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats, in a move to fortify the credibility of America's security commitment to its Asian ally.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, reached the agreement at their annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) at the Pentagon amid worries that Pyongyang is ready for a fresh nuclear test that will further compound security challenges facing the allies.

(LEAD) Allies to hold joint air drills through Saturday: minister

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States have agreed to extend their large-scale joint air exercise by another day, Seoul's defense minister said Thursday following his talks with the Pentagon chief.

The allies were scheduled to end the five-day Vigilant Storm practice on Friday, with around 240 aircraft, including F-35 stealth fighter jets, mobilized around the Korean Peninsula.

S. Korean, U.S. defense chiefs visit U.S. air base with B-1, B-52 bombers

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Maryland -- The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States visited a U.S. air base operating nuclear-capable B-1B and B-52 strategic bombers Thursday in a highly choreographed move to highlight America's military might amid evolving North Korean threats.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, toured the Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County, Maryland, and were briefed on key features of the bombers and their firepower.

Whereabouts of 2 senior police officers under question in Itaewon crush investigation

SEOUL -- The whereabouts of two senior police officers at the time of the deadly Halloween crowd crush have emerged as a focal point of an investigation into the tragedy that killed more than 150 people in Seoul's Itaewon district.

A special investigation team is currently looking into what went wrong and who was responsible for the police's crisis response fiasco amid criticism that the accident could have been avoided or minimized had police responded in a timely manner.

Son Heung-min suffered 4 fractures to eye socket, surgery pushed up to Friday: report

SEOUL -- Son Heung-min's surgery on his facial injury has been pushed up to Friday, as the South Korean captain tries to keep alive his hopes of competing at the upcoming FIFA World Cup, a report out of London said.

The Telegraph reported that Son, the Tottenham Hotspur forward, had suffered four fractures to his eye socket after colliding with an opposing defender during a UEFA Champions League match at Marseille on Tuesday. Tottenham announced the following day that Son would require surgery, without revealing the exact nature of his injury or timetable for his return.

Yoon pays 5th visit to mourning altar for Itaewon crush victims

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol paid his fifth visit to a mourning altar for victims of the Halloween crowd crush on Friday in what has become a daily routine for the president.

Yoon arrived in front of City Hall with his aides and laid a chrysanthemum on the altar before burning incense and bowing his head in silent prayer.

(News Focus) Allies' defense chiefs highlight watertight alliance based on full extended deterrence against N. Korean threats

WASHINGTON -- From bolstering deterrence cooperation to visiting a strategic U.S. air base, choreographed moves by the South Korean and U.S. defense chiefs sent an unmistakable message: Unceasing North Korean provocations will only reinvigorate the bilateral alliance.

The message reverberated throughout Thursday, as Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, held their annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) at the Pentagon, laid a wreath at a Korean War monument, and toured the Joint Base Andrews operating B-1B and B-52 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 50,000 for 2nd day amid 'twindemic' worries

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 50,000 for the second straight day Friday amid concerns over a possible outbreak of a "twindemic" of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza this winter.

The country reported 43,449 new COVID-19 infections, including 49 from overseas, bringing the total to 25,760,701, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Finance minister vows to support shipping firms, startups amid recession woes

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to provide a wide array of support to local shippers and venture companies to add vitality to the weak investment sentiment amid the looming global recession, the finance minister said Friday.

"Recently, external and internal uncertainties have been rising due to the growing concerns over a global slump and expanding volatility in the financial market," Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during an emergency meeting with economy-related ministers.

Ruling party says not time for parliamentary probe into Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL -- The floor leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) said Friday it is not time to conduct a parliamentary probe into the deadly Itaewon crowd crush, saying an ongoing police investigation should be the priority.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) has called for a parliamentary probe into the tragedy that killed at least 156 people, saying it makes no sense for police to investigate themselves over allegations they failed to respond properly to the disaster.

Seoul stocks eke out gains after volatile trading on monetary tightening woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks gained ground late Friday morning after volatile trading amid growing uncertainty over the pace of the U.S. monetary tightening.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had added 5.23 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,334.42 as of 11:20 a.m.

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