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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 January 25, 2023

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

Cold wave warnings issued across S. Korea; Seoul witnesses coldest day

SEOUL -- Cold wave warnings were issued across South Korea on Wednesday as the country came under the grip of the season's coldest weather, authorities said.

In Seoul, morning lows plummeted to minus 19.3 C, with an effective temperature of nearly minus 25.7 C, as of 6:29 a.m., the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

U.S. military presence in S. Korea does not bother N. Korea at all: Pompeo

WASHINGTON -- North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un are not bothered at all by the U.S. military presence in South Korea, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued in a memoir published Tuesday.

They rather consider U.S. troops in South Korea as a protection against Chinese dominance, according to Pompeo.

U.S. closely monitoring N. Korea for possible nuclear test: Pentagon

WASHINGTON -- The United States continues to closely monitor North Korea for a possible nuclear test, a Pentagon spokesperson said Tuesday.

The spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, said the U.S. is also working closely with its allies in preparation for a potential nuclear test.

U.S. may appoint special envoy solely dedicated to N. Korea if dialogue resumes: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- The United States may consider appointing a special envoy solely dedicated to issues related to North Korea should there be active dialogue with the reclusive country, a state department spokesperson said Tuesday.

The department spokesperson, Ned Price, also underscored Pyongyang continued disregard for U.S. overtures as a reason for Sung Kim concurrently serving as special envoy for North Korea and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia.

Chinese hackers attack 12 S. Korean academic institutions: KISA

SEOUL -- South Korea's internet safety watchdog said Wednesday a Chinese hacking group has launched a cyberattack against 12 South Korean academic institutions.

The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) said the attackers hacked into the websites of 12 institutions Sunday, which included some departments of Jeju University and the Korea National University of Education.

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases under 20,000 for 4th day on fewer tests during holiday

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 20,000 for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday due to fewer tests during the Lunar New Year holiday that ended a day earlier.

The country reported 19,538 new cases, including 29 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,040,556, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Na bows out of PPP leadership race

SEOUL -- Former lawmaker Na Kyung-won said Wednesday she will not run for leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), giving in to apparent objections from the office of President Yoon Suk Yeol and increasing the chances of the current front-runner backed by the top office.

Na said she made the decision because she does not want to see division in the party.

Seoul stocks sharply up late Wed. morning on tech advances

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Wednesday morning on tech gains, as investors anticipate a slower pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had advanced 33.13 points, or 1.38 percent, to 2,428.39 as of 11:20 a.m., marking the first time since Tuesday last week it surpassed the 2,400 mark.

N.K. propaganda outlet slams S. Korea's plan to hold defense meeting with UNC members

SEOUL -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Wednesday denounced South Korea's plan to hold a defense ministerial meeting with members of the U.S.-led U.N. Command (UNC), accusing it as an attempt to wipe out Pyongyang.

Uriminzokkiri took issue with Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup's remarks earlier this month that Seoul and Washington will host the meeting later this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their alliance, during his report to President Yoon Suk Yeol on major policy tasks.

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