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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 December 09, 2022

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea current account remains in black but shrinks sharply on-year amid slumping exports

SEOUL -- South Korea posted a current account surplus in the black for the second consecutive month in October, but the amount dwindled sharply from the previous year amid expanded imports, slumping exports and a rise in outbound travel, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$880 million in October, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

(LEAD) Striking cargo truckers vote to decide whether to end weekslong walkout

SEOUL -- Striking cargo truckers voted Friday to decide whether to end their weekslong walkout following the government's two rounds of back-to-work orders.

The plenary vote began at 9 a.m. in 16 locations nationwide, a day after the executive committee of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union held an emergency meeting to decide whether to continue the strike but failed to reach an agreement.

(LEAD) S. Korea discusses policy blueprint to improve N. Korea's human rights situation

SEOUL -- South Korea's vice unification minister said Friday the government plans to map out a three-year blueprint to improve North Korea's human rights situation by taking into account its policy stance and the North's rights conditions.

Vice Unification Minister Kim Ki-woong made the remarks at an interagency meeting on North Korea's human rights situation to discuss ways to establish the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's first basic policy plan to enhance the North's rights conditions.

(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases over 60,000 for 4th day as virus continues to spread

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases continued their weekly climb Friday, as the government mulls adjusting the indoor mask mandate even as the virus spreads.

The country reported 62,734 new COVID-19 infections, including 50 from overseas, bringing the total to 27,611,555, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Samsung Electronics to hold strategy meeting next week amid macroeconomic woes

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. will hold a company-wide global strategy meeting starting next week, industry sources said Friday, amid stiff headwinds from the uncertain macroeconomic environment.

The company's device experience division, which oversees the business of mobile phones and home appliances, will convene the meetings next Thursday and Friday, while the device solutions division, in charge of Samsung's mainstay chip business, is said to hold the meetings around Dec. 22.

Nuclear agency approves Hanbit 4 reactor restart after maintenance

SEOUL -- South Korea's nuclear safety agency said Friday that it has approved the restart of the Hanbit 4 reactor upon the completion of maintenance inspections, after the reactor was idle for five years.

The 1,000-megawatt pressurized water reactor, which started commercial power generation in 1996, has been offline since May in 2017 as a number of cracks were found during a regular inspection.

(LEAD) PM says government to set criteria this month on lifting indoor mask mandate

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday that the government will set criteria within this month on determining whether to lift the indoor mask mandate.

"The specific criteria for judgment will be finalized through a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters this month after an open debate and discussion by the advisory committee," Han told a response meeting.

U.S. envoy for N. Korea holds rare talks with Chinese counterpart over recent provocations

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim held talks this week with his Chinese counterpart to discuss North Korea's increasingly provocative behavior, the state department said Thursday.

The rare meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, according to department spokesperson Ned Price.

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