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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 January 20, 2023

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

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Yoon reaffirms commitment to nuclear treaty in Davos

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol reaffirmed South Korea's commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying it would be "realistic" and "rational" to abide by the nuclear treaty.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Yoon said he remains committed to working closely with Washington against North Korea's nuclear threats.

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(2nd LD) About 500 people evacuated after fire rages through slum in Seoul

SEOUL -- About 500 people were evacuated from homes Friday due to a fire in Guryong Village, the last remaining slum in Seoul, fire authorities said.

The blaze broke out at 6:28 a.m. in the fourth district of the village, located in Seoul's Gangnam Ward, they said.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to lift mask mandate for most indoor spaces Jan. 30

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday that South Korea plans to lift the mask mandate for most indoor spaces from Jan. 30, dropping its last remaining pandemic restriction as the daily caseload continues to decline.

The policy will, however, remain in place at hospitals, pharmacies and public transportation.

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(LEAD) Court issues arrest warrant for ex-Ssangbangwool chief over corruption allegations

SUWON -- A business tycoon who was nabbed in Thailand after months on the run was formally arrested Friday over high-profile corruption allegations.

The Suwon District Court issued an arrest warrant for Kim Seong-tae, former chairman of underwear maker Ssangbangwool Group. He is facing multiple charges, including embezzlement, bribery and the illegal transfer of cash to North Korea.

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Yoon's office blames Iran's protest over his remark on 'misunderstanding'

ZURICH -- The office of President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday there appeared to have been a "misunderstanding" behind Iran's protest over the president's earlier remark on the country's relations with the United Arab Emirates.

Yoon told South Korean troops of the Akh unit in the UAE earlier this week that the UAE's "enemy and biggest threat is Iran," leading Tehran to lodge a protest through its ambassador to Seoul.

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SK chief meets leaders of Serbia, Montenegro at Davos forum

SEOUL -- The chief of energy-to-telecom conglomerate SK Group has met with the leaders of Serbia and Montenegro in Switzerland, and discussed ways to reinforce cooperation in such areas as global supply chains, South Korea's third-largest conglomerate said Friday.

During the meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the margins of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Wednesday (local time), SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won highlighted that the two countries can explore many possibilities to promote the business relationship, citing South Korea's strengths in electric vehicles (EV), EV batteries, digital transformation and bio.

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(LEAD) Iconic S. Korean actress Yun Jung-hee dies in Paris at 79

SEOUL -- Iconic South Korean actress Yun Jung-hee, who had long suffered Alzheimer's disease, has died in France at the age of 79.

She died in Paris on Thursday (local time), a movie industry official said. Her family did not release an official statement.

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S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 30,000 for 2nd day

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 30,000 for the second straight day Friday as the country prepares to lift the mask mandate for most indoor spaces.

The policy will take effect Jan. 30, but it will remain in place at hospitals, pharmacies and public transportation. In May, South Korea lifted the outdoor mask mandate in a major step toward regaining normalcy.
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