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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 January 13, 2023

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

(2nd LD) BOK delivers yet another quarter-point rate hike to fight inflation

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank delivered a quarter percentage-point interest rate hike Friday as it focuses on tackling persistently high inflation despite mounting worries over an economic slowdown.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) convened this year's first rate-setting monetary policy board meeting early in the day and lifted the benchmark seven-day repo rate from 3.25 percent to 3.5 percent.

Police wrap up monthslong probe into Itaewon crush; 23 officials referred to prosecution

SEOUL -- Police wrapped up a monthslong investigation Friday into the deadly crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood last year, with 23 government officials referred to the prosecution on fatal professional negligence and other charges.

The special police investigation team concluded the crowd crush was a "man-made" disaster caused by authorities' failure to come up with disaster prevention measures and respond promptly to an emergency situation.

N.K. science commission's 2023 research to focus on agriculture, key industries

SEOUL -- North Korea's commission in charge of science and technology has set the development of agriculture and the country's key industries as its main research goals for the new year, Pyongyang's main newspaper said Friday.

In an interview carried by the Rodong Sinmun, Seng Kyong-chol, the vice chair of the State Science and Technology Commission, said the agency aims to put the priority of its research areas on the 12 major goals for the national economic development laid out at a recent party meeting.

BLACKPINK nominated for International Group of Year at BRIT Awards

SEOUL -- K-pop girl group BLACKPINK has been nominated for this year's BRIT Awards in the International Group of the Year category, its agency, YG Entertainment, said Friday.

BLACKPINK was chosen along with four other groups -- Drake & 21 Savage, First Aid Kit, Fontaines D.C. and Gabriels -- for the annual music awards hosted by the British Phonographic Industry. The ceremony will be held Feb. 11 in London.

N. Korea stresses Cabinet's role as economic command tower

SEOUL -- North Korea on Friday stressed the Cabinet's role as a control tower for economic policy as it pushes to implement economic goals laid out for this year, according to its state media Friday.

At a plenary meeting of the North's ruling Workers' Party in late December, North Korea set out its key policy tasks for the new year, such as increasing economic production and building more homes in Pyongyang.

Concerns loom for S. Korean economy on weak consumption, exports: Green Book

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is feared to face a bumpy road ahead on high inflation, slowing domestic consumption as well as sluggish exports, the finance ministry said Friday.

"Recently, the South Korean economy's inflation continued to stay at a high plateau, and the recovery of domestic consumption has slowed. The weak economic sentiment has continued on weak exports as well, leading to concerns over an economic slowdown," the Ministry of Economy and Finance said.

S. Korea's COVID-19 cases fall to lowest Fri. tally in 11 weeks

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest Friday tally in 11 weeks, with health authorities staying on high alert over rising imported cases from China and other regions.

The country reported 39,726 new COVID-19 infections, including 137 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 29,737,769, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Seoul shares up late Fri. morning on weak U.S. inflation data

SEOUL -- Seoul shares traded higher late Friday morning despite the central bank's rate hike decision, largely due to the weak inflation data in the United States.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had added 21.15 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,386.25 as of 11:20 a.m.

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