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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:33 March 06, 2023

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

South Korea's foreign reserves down in Feb. on stronger dollar

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign reserves shrank for the first time in four months in February as a stronger dollar reduced the conversion value of holdings in other currencies, central bank data showed Monday.

The country's foreign reserves had come to US$425.29 billion as of end-February, down $4.68 billion from the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korea to speed up execution of budget to prop up economy

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry said Monday it plans to speed up budget spending in the first half of 2023 to cope with growing concerns over an economic slowdown.

The announcement came after the government earlier vowed to spend around 383 trillion won (US$294 billion), or 60 percent of its annual budget, over the January-June period to add vitality to the local economy

(2nd LD) S. Korea offers compensation for forced labor victims via Seoul-based public foundation

SEOUL -- The South Korean government formally proposed Monday compensating more than a dozen victims of Japan's wartime forced labor through a Seoul-backed public foundation, instead of direct payment from responsible Japanese firms.

The proposal announced by Foreign Minister Park Jin is intended to resolve the issue of compensating 15 Koreans who won legal battles against two Japanese firms accused of mobilizing them for hard labor during World War II.

(WBC) Banged-up player held out of exhibition starting lineup, available off bench

OSAKA -- Dealing with minor health issues, South Korean third baseman Choi Jeong was held out of the starting lineup in Monday's exhibition game ahead of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Japan, though he will be available to come off the bench.

South Korea is set to face the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in the first of two tuneup games at Kyocera Dome Osaka in Osaka.

(LEAD) Gov't overhauls 52-hour workweek system to provide more flexibility

SEOUL -- The government announced a set of measures on Monday to reform the controversial 52-hour workweek system by giving more flexibility and choice in work hours.

Under the system introduced in 2018, employers must limit overtime work to 12 hours per week to ensure the total number of hours worked remains at 52.

BLACKPINK Jisoo's first solo album to arrive on March 31

SEOUL -- The release date of BLACKPINK member Jisoo's much-awaited first individual album was confirmed, the group's agency said Monday.

YG Entertainment announced on its official blog that the album will arrive on March 31 with a mysterious "Coming Soon" teaser image featuring a bright wide red piece of cloth spread on a beautiful green field.

Imported car sales rise 11 pct in March on improved supplies

SEOUL -- Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea rose 11 percent last month from a year earlier on improved supplies and new models, an industry association said Monday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles stood at 21,622 units last month, up from 19,454 units a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer prices up 4.8 pct in Feb.; hike in utility costs hits record high

SEOUL -- South Korea's on-year growth in consumer prices fell below 5 percent for the first time in 10 months, data showed Monday, although the hike in utility costs hit yet another fresh high.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 4.8 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with 5.2 percent growth posted in January, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

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