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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 December 27, 2022

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

S. Korean military apologizes over failure to shoot down N. Korean drones

SEOUL -- The South Korean military offered a public apology Tuesday for its botched operation to shoot down five North Korean drones that violated the country's air space the previous day. It also vowed to redouble efforts to bolster counter-drone capabilities.

"We feel sorry that although our military detected and tracked the drones, we failed to shoot them down," Lt. Gen. Kang Shin-chul, chief director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), said in a statement, acknowledging "insufficiency" in military readiness against threats stemming from North Korean drones.

(News Focus) N. Korean drone incursions pose complex security challenge to S. Korea

SEOUL -- North Korean drones' infiltrations into South Korea's airspace this week have demonstrated a new layer of complexity in its national security posture that has focused largely on the recalcitrant neighbor's missile and nuclear threats rather than such small, hard-to-intercept flying objects, analysts said Tuesday.

The South's defense authorities were caught off guard by five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that flew across the Military Demarcation Line on Monday, with one of them having even penetrated northern Seoul. It marked the first time in five years that a sortie of the North's drone across the heavily fortified inter-Korean border has been detected and publicly known.

(3rd LD) Ex-President Lee granted special presidential pardon

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday granted wide-ranging special pardons to former President Lee Myung-bak and a series of high-profile politicians and former officials convicted of corruption and other irregularities during the previous administrations.

Former South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo, a close confidant of former President Moon Jae-in, was also pardoned with about five months left in his prison term, though the pardon fell short of reinstating his rights.

S. Korea's growth rate forecast to slow to 1.4 pct in 2023: think tank

SEOUL -- South Korea's economic growth rate is expected to slow to 1.4 percent in 2023 amid slumping exports and sluggish domestic demand, a leading think tank said Tuesday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is projected to expand 1.6 percent on-year in the first half of next year and 1.3 percent in the latter half, according to LG Business Research.

S. Korea eyes record exports next year despite gloomy outlook

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it will make all-out efforts to win major overseas nuclear power plant projects and boost arms sales next year in a move to prop up declining exports and generate growth momentum.

The goal -- part of the industry ministry's 2023 policy plan that President Yoon Suk Yeol was briefed on -- came as the country's exports are forecast to fall 4.5 percent on-year next year due to a decrease in semiconductor prices and a global economic slowdown.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on China reopening hopes

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks closed higher for a second consecutive day on Tuesday on solid buying by foreign and institutional investors on hopes for China's reopening, with eyes on the U.S. Federal Reserve's next policy direction. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 15.65 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 2,332.79 points.

(LEAD) S. Korea to increase gov't support for broadcasting industry to nurture next 'Squid Game'

SEOUL -- South Korea will render full-scale support to the broadcasting industry so it can produce more global megahits, such as "Squid Game" and "Extraordinary Attorney Woo," the government said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a mid- and long-term plan aimed at growing the market from 22.8 trillion won (US$18 billion) in 2021 to about 30 trillion won by 2027 in terms of sales.

S. Korea aims to cut ultrafine dust by 30 pct by 2032

SEOUL -- South Korea aims to cut the country's annual average level of ultrafine dust particles by 30 percent by 2032, the environment ministry said Tuesday.

Under the latest countermeasure to tackle the nation's worsening air pollution problem, the government aims to reduce the annual average density of ultrafine dust particles to 12 micrograms per cubic meter by 2032 from 18 micrograms per cubic meter tallied in 2021.

Another wartime sex slave dies, reducing total surviving victims to 10

SEOUL -- Another South Korean woman who was forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II has died, a civic group said Tuesday, reducing the total number of the country's registered surviving victims to 10.

Lee Ok-seon died at the age of 94 late Monday night, according to the House of Sharing, a facility in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, that supports sex slave victims.

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