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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 November 08, 2022

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

Investigators raid 55 locations, including police chief's office, over Itaewon crowd crush

SEOUL -- A special investigation team raided the office of the national police chief and dozens of other offices Tuesday as part of an investigation into the deadly Itaewon crowd crush that killed at least 156 people.

A total of 55 offices were raided, including the offices of National Police Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun and Kim Kwang-ho, the chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), according to officials.

(2nd LD) Sept. current account turns to surplus, sharply drops on-year amid high import, travel bills

SEOUL -- South Korea posted a current account surplus in September, swinging from the previous month's shortfall, but it was much smaller than a year earlier as import bills remained high and outbound travel grew due to eased pandemic-related curbs, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$1.61 billion in September, compared with a deficit of a revised $3.05 billion a month earlier, which marked the first shortfall since April, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases top 60,000 as fears of virus resurgence mount

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases swelled to over 60,000 on Tuesday, with a possible winter surge of the virus on the horizon.

The country reported 62,273 new COVID-19 infections, including 52 from overseas, bringing the total to 25,919,183, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(LEAD) N. Korea's military denies U.S. accusation it supplied weapons to Russia

SEOUL -- North Korea's military said Tuesday it has never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia and has no plans to do so, accusing the United States of spreading "groundless" rumors aimed at tarnishing its image.

In a statement issued by the vice director of the Military Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of National Defence the previous day, Pyongyang warned Washington against "persistently" coming up with such a "plot-breeding story."

U.S. urges Russia, China to hold N. Korea accountable for recent provocations

WASHINGTON -- A state department spokesperson called on China and Russia on Monday to hold North Korea accountable for its missile launches in violation of U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, insisting failure to do so will not be in their interest.

The call from state department press secretary Ned Price came after Moscow and Beijing blocked U.S.-led efforts to punish North Korea for its recent provocations that included the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, along with more than a dozen short and intermediate range ballistic missiles.

N. Korea voices 'strong regret' over U.N. chief's criticism of recent missile launches: state media

SEOUL -- North Korea on Tuesday voiced "strong regret" that the head of the United Nations has denounced Pyongyang's recent barrage of missiles, according to its state media.

Last week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement "strongly" condemning the North's missile launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and urged the reclusive country to immediately cease provocations.

S. Korea's economy to grow 0.5 pct in 2050 on low birth rates

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is expected to rise 0.5 percent on-year in 2050 due to the country's aging population and chronically low birth rates, a state-run think-tank said Tuesday.

The South Korean economy is expected to grow around 2 percent annually from 2023 to 2027, but it will continue to lose steam starting in the 2030s due to a sharp demographic change, according to the report by the Korea Development Institute (KDI).

No unusual activity detected at N.K. nuclear testing site: U.S. monitor

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to have completed its preparation for a nuclear test, but there is "no new activity of significance" observed at the country's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site, a U.S. monitor said Tuesday.

Recent satellite imagery, obtained a day before U.S. mid-term elections on Nov. 8, shows there is no significant activity detected at or around Tunnel No. 3 of the Punggye-ri site, according to Beyond Parallel, a project of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Yoon moves into new presidential residence

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee have moved into the new presidential residence in Hannam-dong, Seoul, officials said Tuesday, following months of renovation and other preparation.

Yoon left for work from the new residence Tuesday morning and went straight to an undisclosed location for a private event, according to the officials.

'Squid Game' star Lee Jung-jae cast for Disney+ original Star Wars series

SEOUL -- Smash-hit Netflix series "Squid Game" actor Lee Jung-jae will star in "The Acolyte," an upcoming Star Wars series to be streamed on Disney +, according to production company Lucasfilm.

"The Acolyte" is a mystery thriller written and directed by Leslye Headland for Disney+ and has begun production in Britain, Lucasfilm said in a release posted on its website Monday (local time).

Ex-defense minister released after arrest in fisheries official death case

SEOUL -- A Seoul court approved the release of former Defense Minister Suh Wook on Tuesday, 17 days after he was arrested in connection with the 2020 death of a fisheries official at the hands of North Korea.

Suh, 59, was arrested on Oct. 22 as part of the prosecution investigation into the previous Moon Jae-in administration's alleged mishandling of the fisheries official's death near the Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas by the North's coast guard.

Prosecution raids bakery giant SPC in probe into alleged unfair practices

SEOUL -- Prosecutors raided the offices of the nation's largest bakery chain SPC Group on Tuesday as part of an investigation into alleged unfair practices of awarding business contracts to affiliates.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office probing the case obtained relevant documents from the headquarters and offices for allegedly violating a law that bans unfair business practices among the group's affiliates.

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