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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 December 30, 2022

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

(LEAD) Ex-President Lee says sorry for causing concern to people upon return home following pardon

SEOUL -- Former President Lee Myung-bak said Friday he is sorry for causing concern to people as he returned home after a special presidential pardon canceled his remaining prison term for corruption.

Lee was put into detention in March 2018 for alleged bribery and embezzlement before the Supreme Court finalized a 17-year prison term in 2020. Since June this year, he had been staying at a hospital after the prosecution suspended his prison term for health reasons.

Mastermind behind 'Discovery fund' fiasco acquitted

SEOUL -- A Seoul court on Friday acquitted the chief of a local asset management firm indicted on charges of selling fraudulent funds worth 134.8 billion won (US$107.1 million) and causing huge losses to customers.

The Seoul Southern District Court delivered a not guilty verdict for Jang Ha-won, saying it has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he had deceived the victims or lied about crucial facts about the funds.

Executive at Bithumb-affiliated firm found dead while under prosecution probe

SEOUL-- An executive at a company closely connected with the crypto exchange Bithumb was found dead at his home Friday while under a prosecution probe on embezzlement and stock market manipulation suspicions involving the chief of the firm's parent company.

The vice president of Vidente Co., surnamed Park, was found dead in front of his house in southern Seoul in the morning in what police said was an apparent suicide, officials said.

Travel to Japan booms on visa-free entry, yen's weakness

SEOUL -- Travel demand to Japan has exploded in South Korea amid a weak yen and Japan's easing of virus restrictions, industry data showed Friday.

Japan resumed visa-free entry of international travelers in early October, after two years of strict border control to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Japanese yen also touched a 32-year low against the U.S. dollar in October. The yen was trading at 132.6 against the dollar as of 2:12 p.m.

S. Korean foreign minister, Japanese party chief discuss bilateral relations

SEOUL -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Friday met with the head of Japan's Komeito Party, the junior party in Tokyo's ruling coalition, in Seoul to exchange views on the neighboring countries' bilateral ties, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

In his meeting with Natsuo Yamaguchi, Park evaluated that the two summits between South Korea and Japan, in September and November, respectively, provided a turning point in improving relations and resolving pending issues, according to the ministry.

Jeonbuk top K League's payroll for 9th consecutive year

SEOUL -- They may have fallen short of winning a championship this year, but Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors led South Korean football in payroll yet again.

The Korea Professional Football League (K League) released salary figures for 11 of the 12 clubs in the top-flight K League 1 on Friday, with an exception of the military club, Gimcheon Sangmu FC.

Hybe CEO Park Ji-won, 'Squid Game' director Hwang Dong-hyuk on Variety500 list

SEOUL -- Park Ji-won, CEO of South Korean entertainment company Hybe, and Hwang Dong-hyuk, writer-director of the hit Netflix series "Squid Game," have been included on the U.S. entertainment magazine Variety's annual list of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry.

According to the Variety500 released Thursday (U.S. time), the two people put their names on the list, along with Scooter Braun, the CEO of Hybe America, and Kim Minyoung, Netflix's vice president of content for the Asia Pacific region, excluding India.

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