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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 January 09, 2023

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

Seoul stocks extend gains late Tues. morning on possible Fed slowdown

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares extended gains late Monday morning as investors expect a slowdown in U.S. wage growth and contraction in the services sector may prod the Federal Reserve to go easy on its aggressive rate hike plans.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 47.20 points, or 2.06 percent, to 2,337.17 points as of 11:20 a.m.

S. Korea's COVID-19 cases down to 9-week low

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in nine weeks Monday amid the government's efforts to contain the inflow of the virus from China.

The country reported 19,106 new COVID-19 infections, including 109 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 29,539,706, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

N. Korea again on virus alert as cases rise in S. Korea, China

SEOUL -- North Korea has called for strengthening quarantine measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, citing the fast spread of the virus in such neighboring countries as South Korea and China, according to its state media Monday.

The state-run Korean Central Television reported Sunday that virus cases shot up in the winter season in the South, China and Japan due to the fast spread of omicron subvariants, saying, "The virus situations in those regions are the most serious in the world."

Senior U.S. State Department official due in Seoul to discuss supply chain, IRA issue

SEOUL -- Jose Fernandez, the U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Monday for consultations on a range of bilateral economic issues.

Fernandez is the first senior U.S. official to visit Seoul this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance.

3.7 magnitude earthquake strikes off Ganghwa

SEOUL -- A 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the western county of Ganghwa early Monday, the first quake stronger than 3.0 magnitude to hit South Korea this year, but no damage was reported, the state weather agency said.

The quake occurred at 1:28 a.m. and was centered in waters 25 kilometers west of Ganghwa with a depth of 19 km, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

U.S. satellite may possibly fall around Korean Peninsula

SEOUL -- The South Korean science ministry on Monday warned that a retired U.S. satellite could possible fall on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinities later this day.

Launched in 1984, the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) is falling to Earth after completing its decadeslong mission to study how the Earth absorbed and radiated energy from the sun.

Don Spike gets suspended prison term on drug charges

SEOUL -- A Seoul court gave a suspended prison term Monday to Don Spike, a well-known K-pop composer and TV celebrity, on charges of purchasing and using methamphetamine on multiple occasions last year.

The 46-year-old, whose real name is Kim Min-su, was apprehended at a hotel in southern Seoul last year on charges of buying methamphetamine worth 45 million won (US$36,037) and repeatedly using it at hotels in Seoul alone or with other people.

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