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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 17:08 December 05, 2022

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

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(LEAD) Yoon likens truckers' strike to N. Korea's nuclear threat

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol has likened the ongoing truckers' strike to North Korea's nuclear threat, saying condoning illegal actions will only lead to a vicious cycle, officials said Monday.

Yoon made the comparison during a recent closed-door meeting with his aides, saying the country would not be facing the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program it is today had it dealt with Pyongyang under a no nuclear weapons principle, multiple presidential officials told Yonhap News Agency.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to strengthen N.K. sanctions in case of nuke test: ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea will strengthen sanctions against North Korea in cooperation with such other countries as the United States and Japan if Pyongyang carries out another nuclear test or other grave provocations, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.

In a report submitted to the National Assembly's foreign affairs and unification committee, the ministry pointed out the level of North Korea's missile provocations this year has been more serious than ever.

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Ruling party lawmaker suggests lifting indoor mask mandate

SEOUL -- A ranking lawmaker of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) called Monday for the immediate launch of preparations to lift the indoor mask mandate, raising questions over its efficacy and saying most advanced nations have already done away with it.

The remark by Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, a former PPP floor leader considered one of the PPP lawmakers closest to President Yoon Suk-yeol, marks the first time that a senior PPP member has called for lifting the requirement.

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(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower amid U.S. rate hike worries

SEOUL -- Seoul shares closed lower on Monday as investors remain concerned that the Federal Reserve may continue its aggressive monetary tightening following a stronger-than-anticipated U.S. jobs report. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 15.01 points, or 0.62 percent, to 2,419.32. Trading volume was moderate at 379.8 million shares worth 7.6 trillion won (US$5.87 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 446 to 407.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to report best ever exports performance this year: trade ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea is expected to log a record annual value of exports this year to become the world's sixth-largest exporter despite a global economic slowdown, the trade ministry said Monday.

The country, however, is experiencing extended trade deficit over high global energy prices and sluggish global demand in recent months, and the government vowed all-out effort to boost growth momentum for exporters facing multiple challenges.

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4 police officers attend court hearing on possible arrest over Itaewon crush probe

SEOUL -- Four senior police officers separately attended a court hearing on Monday to determine whether they will be arrested for their alleged 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 Yongsan Police Station.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases at around 23,000 as talk over mask mandate removal resumes

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases rose at a moderate pace Monday from a week earlier, as the virus spread held steady, with attention being drawn to the possible removal of the indoor mask mandate.

The country reported 23,160 new COVID-19 infections, including 80 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 27,331.250, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(END)

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