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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:33 March 02, 2023

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

(LEAD) Export slump to continue without recovery in chip shipment: finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's export slump will continue unless chip sales rebound, the finance minister said Thursday, amid the protracted downturn in outbound shipments of the mainstay product.

The country's exports decreased 7.5 percent on-year to US$50.1 billion in February, falling for the fifth consecutive month. It was the first time since 2020 that exports have declined for five months in a row.

(LEAD) N. Korean leader calls for attaining grain production goal amid reports of severe food shortages

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called on all farms across the country to focus on stepping up their grain production and meeting their goals for this year "without fail," wrapping up a four-day session of a key party meeting, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday.

Kim ardently urged its people to overcome the agricultural challenge for this year to achieve the future goals of development during the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) held the previous day, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

U.S. supports Yoon's vision for S. Korea-Japan relations: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- The United States supports South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's vision for cooperative relations between Seoul and Tokyo, a state department spokesperson said Wednesday.

Department Press Secretary Ned Price said the U.S. also applauds both South Korea and Japan for their recent efforts to improve their bilateral relations.

U.S. lawmakers reintroduce bill on ending Korean War, improving relations between U.S., N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- A group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday reintroduced a bill calling for U.S. efforts to declare a formal end to the Korean War and improve relations with North Korea.

The bill, "Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act," was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and 19 other House members.

JCS chief inspects allies' special ops drills, calls for accurate strike capabilities

SEOUL -- South Korea's top military officer has inspected combined special operations drills with the United States and called on the troops to maintain their capabilities to "strike the enemy's critical facilities without fail," his office said Thursday.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum checked their readiness during Monday's segment of the Exercise Teak Knife involving the two countries' special commandos, a AC-130J gunship and a MC-130J multi-mission combat transport aircraft.

First lady visits school for blind

SEOUL -- First lady Kim Keon Hee on Thursday visited a school for the blind and congratulated new students on their first day of school.

Kim visited the Seoul National School for the Blind to attend the entrance ceremony for some 40 new students.

In-form speed skater Kim Min-sun goes for 1st world title

SEOUL -- Having put on a dominant showing throughout the season, South Korean speed skater Kim Min-sun will try to put the icing on the cake with her first world title this week in the Netherlands.

Kim will compete in the women's 500 meters at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Speed Skating Championships, beginning at 8:53 p.m. Friday in Heerenveen, or 4:53 a.m. Saturday in Seoul time.

PM pledges to create jobs via labor reform

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Thursday pledged that the government will help create jobs by pushing for labor reforms to make the job market more flexible.

Han also painted a bleak picture for the labor market this year but said the government will no longer create jobs funded by tax money, apparent criticism of the previous administration for creating temporary public jobs to prop up job statistics.

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