Yonhap News Summary
The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. to stage annual exercise from March 13-23
SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States plan to kick off a combined springtime military exercise later this month, the allies announced Friday, as they are striving to beef up deterrence against North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.
The Freedom Shield (FS) exercise is scheduled to take place from March 13-23 without a break, marking the longest-ever edition of their joint computer-simulation command post exercise, according to the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).
Opposition leader attends court hearing over alleged election law violations
SEOUL -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung appeared in court Friday to stand trial on charges of violating the election law by making false statements during his presidential campaign in 2021.
In his first court appearance as the chair of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), Lee arrived at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul at about 10:30 a.m. to attend his trial over the allegations that he made false statements related to two land development projects in Seongnam, just south of Seoul.
J-Hope to release individual single 'on the street'
SEOUL -- J-Hope of K-pop juggernaut BTS will drop a new solo single, "on the street," and its music video Friday, the band's agency said.
The single is set to come out at 2 p.m., about seven months after he rolled out his first official solo album, "Jack in the Box," in July last year, according to BigHit Music.
Seoul shares turn lower late Fri. morning
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks turned lower late Friday morning, led by losses in large-cap automakers and shipping companies.
After starting moderately higher at the opening bell, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 2.29 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,424.56 at 11:20 a.m.
Secretary Austin vows continued efforts to counter N. Korean provocation
WASHINGTON -- The United States will continue to counter threats posed by North Korea through close cooperation with its allies, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday.
In a memorandum to all defense department officials, the defense secretary named "advanced and persistent" threats posed by North Korea and Iran as one of challenges facing the country, along with what he called the "pacing challenge" from China and "acute threat" posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. unveils national strategy to counter cybercrimes by N. Korea, others
WASHINGTON -- The United States on Thursday released a national strategy to enhance cybersecurity and mitigate illicit cyber activities by actors from countries such as North Korea.
The strategy released by the White House calls for efforts to defend the country's "critical infrastructure" and "disrupt and dismantle threat actors."
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases around 10,000; gov't mulling lifting antivirus measures
SEOUL -- South Korea reported 10,408 new COVID-19 cases Friday, as the government said it will start discussions on lifting remaining antivirus measures.
The figure is up by 357 from the previous week, and slightly higher than the past seven-day average of 9,195, data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) showed.
S. Korea, China agree to increase flights to pre-pandemic levels
SEOUL -- South Korean and Chinese aviation authorities have agreed to gradually increase the number of flights on their bilateral routes to pre-pandemic levels, the South Korean transport ministry said Friday.
Seoul and Beijing have the rights to provide 608 flights a week on routes to each other's country, and they used to offer a combined 1,100 weekly flights before the COVID-19 hit the airline industry three years ago, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.
Opposition floor leader lashes out at prosecution for clearing first lady of graft charges
SEOUL -- The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Friday lashed out at the prosecution's decision to clear first lady Kim Keon Hee of graft charges, vowing to seek an independent counsel investigation of her.
Rep. Park Hong-keun made the remark a day after the prosecution decided not to indict Kim over graft suspicions that about a dozen conglomerates sponsored three art exhibitions organized by her former company, Covana Contents, allegedly because President Yoon Suk Yeol was serving in a high-level prosecution position at that time.
BLACKPINK star Jisoo tests positive for COVID-19, to miss world tour stop in Osaka
Fifty Fifty chart on Billboard Hot 100 for 10th week with 'Cupid'
(LEAD) N.K. leader estimated to weigh about 140 kg with significant sleep disorders: spy agency
S. Korea succeeds in L-SAM missile interception test for 3rd time
BTS' RM named as honorary ambassador for ministry's war remains excavation agency
(News Focus) Failed N.K. space rocket launch shows both technological challenges, growing space ambitions: analysts
At G-7 summit, Yoon focuses on Japan, global community, Ukraine
Nurses, doctors clash over controversial nursing act
Series of earthquakes off eastern coast raises concerns of bigger tremor
S. Korea, Japan apparently split over nature of Seoul's Fukushima inspection mission