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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:14 January 17, 2023

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

(LEAD) Seoul foreign ministry seeks to defuse controversy over Yoon's Iran remark

SEOUL -- The South Korean foreign ministry on Tuesday said President Yoon Suk Yeol's recent remark about Iran during his visit to the United Arab Emirates was "irrelevant" to Seoul's relations with Tehran, in an apparent effort to prevent it from spilling into a diplomatic controversy.

While speaking to South Korean troops in the UAE earlier this week during his state visit there, Yoon compared the UAE-Iran relations to that of South and North Koreas, and said the UAE's "enemy and biggest threat is Iran."

S. Korea's homegrown KF-21 fighter achieves supersonic speeds: arms agency

SEOUL -- A homegrown KF-21 fighter prototype achieved supersonic speeds in a test flight Tuesday, South Korea's state arms procurement agency said, in a key milestone for the high-profile warplane development project.

The first KF-21 prototype reached the speed of Mach 1, or 1,224 kilometers per hour, at an altitude of 40,000 feet at 3:15 p.m. as it flew over the country's southern waters following a takeoff from the Air Force's 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 km south of Seoul.

DP floor leader threatens special counsel probe of first lady

SEOUL -- The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) threatened Tuesday to pursue an independent counsel investigation of first lady Kim Keon Hee, accusing the prosecution of conducting a politically motivated probe against party leader Lee Jae-myung.

Rep. Park Hong-geun made the remark a day after Lee was asked to appear for questioning, claiming the prosecution is fabricating charges against Lee while turning a blind eye to allegations of stock price manipulation involving the first lady.

Chief justice acquitted of charges linked to son's use of official residence

SEOUL -- Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su has been acquitted by the prosecution of corruption charges in connection with his son's family once living in his official residence, judicial officials said Tuesday.

Kim was under investigation on suspicion of violating an anti-corruption law for public officials by allowing his son's family to stay in the chief justice's official residence in central Seoul for free from January 2018 to April 2019.

Seoul city to provide monthly subsidy to grandparents, relatives providing child care

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government will provide a monthly subsidy of 300,000 won (US$242) to families relying on grandparents or relatives for child care as part of a project to help relieve the burden of raising children, officials said Tuesday.

The city plans to invest a total of 14.7 trillion won over the five years until 2026, including 200 billion won for 2023, for a comprehensive child care assistance project pushed by Mayor Oh Se-hoon, the officials said.

(LEAD) Seoul shares snap 9-day rise on profit-taking; won declines

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks snapped their nine-day winning streak Tuesday, as investors took a breather from recent rallies and went on a profit-taking dive, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 20.47 points, or 0.85 percent, to finish at 2,379.39. Trading volume was moderate at 529.4 million shares worth 6.2 trillion won (US$5.04 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 618 to 250.

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