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Yonhap News Summary

Defense 17:00 December 01, 2022

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

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(LEAD) Gov't considering issuing return-to-work order to striking fuel tanker drivers

SEOUL -- The government is considering issuing an additional return-to-work order to striking truckers, this time on fuel tanker drivers, officials said Thursday, as their walkout in its eighth day has taken a toll on gasoline supplies.

Unionized truckers went on a nationwide strike last Thursday, demanding the government make a minimum freight rate system permanent, citing surging fuel costs. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Tuesday ordered cement truck drivers to resume work or face penalties.

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(LEAD) Chinese Embassy in Seoul to open memorial alter for late Jiang

SEOUL -- China plans to set up memorial altars for late leader Jiang Zemin at the country's embassy in Seoul and consular offices in three other South Korean cities, embassy officials said Thursday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin is considering visiting the embassy to pay his respects to Jiang and sign a guest book, ministry officials said.

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S. Korea, U.S. discuss enhanced cooperation in chips sector

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States discussed ways Thursday to boost cooperation in the semiconductor industry and to ensure stable supply chains for chips, Seoul's industry ministry said.

The discussions were made during the virtual working group meeting on semiconductors under the Korea-U.S. Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue (SCCD), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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S. Korean military rejects call for recognizing transgender soldier's case as 'on-duty death'

SEOUL -- The Army has decided not to recognize Byun Hee-soo, a transgender soldier in her 20s who was found dead last year after being forcibly discharged from service, as having died in the line of duty, military authorities said Thursday.

In a committee meeting held earlier in the day, the Army classified Byun's case as a "general death," a distinction referring to those in mandatory military service who died due to negligence or misconduct and are not recognized as an on-duty death, they said.

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Arrest warrants sought for 4 police officers as part of Itaewon crush probe

SEOUL -- The police sought warrants to detain four senior officers Thursday as part of their investigation into the bungled response to the deadly crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood.

The four are Lee Im-jae, former head of the Yongsan Police Station covering the Itaewon district; Park Sung-min, former high-ranking intelligence officer; Kim Jin-ho, former intelligence officer at the Yongsan Police Station; and Song Byung-joo, former emergency monitoring officer at the Yongsan Police Station.

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S. Korea submits bid for Czech nuke plant project

SEOUL -- South Korea's nuclear power plant operator said Thursday it has made an initial bid for the Czech Republic's Dukovany nuclear power plant project.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) said it is expected to vie with U.S. Westinghouse and France's EDF for the project to build a 1,200-megawatt reactor in the southern region of Dukovany to be operational by around 2036.

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Rival parties clash over dismissal motion for interior minister, budget plan

SEOUL -- Rival political parties on Thursday clashed over whether to hold a plenary session of the National Assembly amid disagreements over a national budget bill and a dismissal motion against the interior minister over the deadly crowd crush in Seoul.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) have been in a political deadlock after the DP put forth a motion calling for Interior Minister Lee Sang-min's dismissal the previous day to hold him accountable for the bungled emergency response to the Oct. 29 tragedy that killed at least 158 people in the Itaewon district.
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