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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 13:30 February 10, 2023

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

(2nd LD) Opposition leader appears for questioning in corruption probe

SEOUL -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung appeared before prosecutors for questioning in a development corruption investigation Friday, accusing the Yoon Suk Yeol government of orchestrating a politically motivated investigation aimed at removing a "political enemy."

Lee showed up at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office about 20 minutes later than the scheduled time of 11 a.m. in connection with the investigation into corruption-ridden property development projects in the city of Seongnam, south of Seoul, launched while he was mayor.

(2nd LD) S. Korea to resume short-term visa issuance for travelers from China
(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in 4th, 6th paras)

SEOUL -- South Korea will resume issuing short-term visas for travelers from China this weekend, a ranking government official said Friday.

The government made the decision to restart issuing visas Saturday as China's COVID-19 infection wave has peaked and begun to subside, Kim Seong-ho, an interior ministry official, said during a government meeting.

(3rd LD) Hybe to become largest shareholder in SM Entertainment
(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 4, 15-16)

SEOUL -- Hybe, the Korean entertainment agency behind supergroup BTS, said Friday it will acquire a 14.8 percent stake in its rival K-pop agency SM Entertainment to become its largest shareholder, a deal expected to have deep repercussions on the K-pop industry.

Hybe said in a regulatory filing that it has agreed to buy the shares from SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man for 422.8 billion won (US$335.8 million) and the deal will be sealed on March 6. Lee currently holds an 18.46 percent stake in SM Entertainment.

(2nd LD) Kakao 2022 net down 38 pct due to base effect
(ATTN: ADDS Kakao's plan on new AI service in last 6 paras)

SEOUL -- Kakao Corp., the operator of the country's top mobile messenger, said Friday its 2022 net income fell 38 percent due to a base effect.

The company's net profit totaled 1.02 trillion won (US$810.2 million) on a consolidated basis in 2022, compared with a profit of 1.64 trillion won a year ago, according to Kakao in a regulatory filing.

(LEAD) N.K. leader calls for stronger military power in photo session with parade participants
(ATTN: ADDS photo, more info in paras 5-6, 9-11)

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for bolstering the country's military strength at an unprecedented pace, during a photo session with the participants of a military parade held earlier this week, Pyongyang's state media reported Friday.

Speaking on Thursday, Kim stressed that the prosperity of the North depends on a "powerful army" and noted "one can demonstrate one's dignity and honor only when one is strong," according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 20,000 for 9th day

SEOU -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 20,000 for the ninth consecutive day Friday amid a downward trend in new infections.

The country reported 13,504 new cases, including 38 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,325,483, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).


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