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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:03 November 21, 2022

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

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(3rd LD) Yoon indefinitely suspends routine Q&As with reporters

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol will stop holding routine Q&As with the press starting Monday, his office said, after a reporter got into a shouting match with one of his aides during a session last week.

The quarrel happened Friday after Yoon said it was "unavoidable" that his office barred local broadcaster MBC's reporters from boarding the presidential plane to cover his Southeast Asia trip earlier this month, given that it showed "very malicious behavior" with its "fake news."

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(LEAD) Opposition leader accused of holding stake in scandal-ridden land development project

SEOUL -- A lawyer standing trial in a land development corruption scandal in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, said Monday that he had heard that opposition leader Lee Jae-myung held a stake in one of the partners in the project.

Nam Wook made the allegations during a hearing at the Seoul Central District Court on the so-called Daejang-dong development scandal, hours after being released from prison at midnight Sunday due to the expiration of his detention period.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower amid rate hike, China's COVID-19 worries

SEOUL -- Seoul shares ended lower Monday amid concerns that the Federal Reserve may continue its aggressive monetary tightening and China could return to harsh restrictions after COVID-19-related deaths. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 24.98 points, or 1.02 percent, to close at 2,419.50.

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(LEAD) S. Korea releases booklet with details on Yoon's 'audacious plan'

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said Monday it will create a "strategic environment" for North Korea to return to the negotiating table in a booklet detailing the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's stated "audacious" proposal designed to help Pyongyang improve its economy in exchange for denuclearization.

The government will also provide support for eventually "normalizing" diplomatic ties between the North and the United States, according to the booklet released earlier in the day.

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Finance minister renews need to delay new financial tax law

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho on Monday reiterated his call to delay the implementation of a new investment tax policy that may hurt the local stock market already hit hard by global economic uncertainties.

"I hope opposition parties consider the challenging economic situations and join us in reviewing the delay of the implementation of the financial investment income tax for two years," Choo told reporters during an event in Seoul.

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S. Korean economy forecast to grow 1.9 pct in 2023: think tank

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is expected to expand 1.9 percent on-year in 2023 over aggressive monetary tightening policy by major economies and a global economic slowdown, a local think tank said Monday.

The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) forecast South Korea's gross domestic product to expand 1.9 percent on-year next year, compared with its forecast for this year of 2.5 percent.

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S. Korea puts off air drills after KF-16 crash

SEOUL -- South Korea's Air Force on Monday postponed a biannual air exercise, initially planned for this week, due to the grounding of its warplanes caused by a fighter jet crash the previous day, its officials said.

The Soaring Eagle exercise was set to kick off Monday, but the Air Force decided to reschedule it after the KF-16C jet crashed due to an engine issue Sunday, leading the armed service to halt the operation of all aircraft except for surveillance and emergency assets.

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S. Korea signs 1st digital partnership pact with Singapore

SEOUL -- South Korea and Singapore officially signed a bilateral digital partnership pact Monday that aims to boost digital trade and industry cooperation, Seoul's trade ministry said.

The signing ceremony for the Digital Partnership Agreement (DPA) took place in Singapore earlier in the day, as Seoul's Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun is visiting the country, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases at around 23,000 amid virus resurgence worries

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases hit around 23,000 on Monday, on par with the level a week earlier, amid growing worries over yet another virus wave in the winter.

The country reported 23,091 new COVID-19 infections, including 61 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 26,581,856, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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S Korea's NATO mission set to begin operations this week

SEOUL -- South Korea's newly-established mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels was scheduled to begins its official operations this week, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

According to the ministry, Ambassador Yoon Soon-gu, who has been named as the head of the mission, will present his credentials to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday (local time) and begin his official duties.

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