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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 March 06, 2023

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

Yoon says forced labor decision aimed at moving toward future-oriented relationship with Japan

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol said Monday that South Korea's decision to compensate wartime forced labor victims without Japanese firms' involvement was a determination aimed at moving toward a future-oriented relationship with Japan, his spokesperson said.

Yoon made the remark during his weekly meeting with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, saying the two governments should work to help their future generations play a pivotal role in order for the two countries to enter a new era, Lee Do-woon said during a press briefing.

(LEAD) (News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan

SEOUL -- South Korea's decision to compensate wartime forced labor victims without the involvement of Japanese firms is regarded as a demonstration of President Yoon Suk Yeol's commitment to restoring bilateral relations even at the cost of provoking anger in a nation where resentment against Japan's colonial rule still runs deep.

Yoon was elected a year ago after campaigning on a pledge to improve bilateral relations that were badly frayed under the previous Moon Jae-in administration following the Supreme Court's 2018 rulings ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation to Korean victims of forced labor during World War II.

(2nd LD) S. Korea to halt WTO dispute settlement process on Japan's export curbs: industry ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea has decided to halt a process of its complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Japan's export controls of key industry materials to Seoul as they prepare to launch official talks on the lifting of the restrictive measures, Seoul's industry ministry said Monday.

In 2019, Tokyo imposed export controls on three major industrial materials to Seoul, which are essential for chips and displays, and officially removed South Korea from its list of nations given preferential treatment in trade in apparent retaliation for the South Korean Supreme Court's ruling the previous year that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to Korean forced labor victims.

(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.

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. hold joint air drills involving U.S. B-52H bomber

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States staged combined air drills Monday, involving at least one U.S. nuclear-capable B-52H strategic bomber, Seoul's defense ministry said, in the latest show of America's military might against North Korea's evolving military threats.

The exercise took place over the Yellow Sea, mobilizing the bomber as well as the South's F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets. The allies held similar drills, involving a U.S. B-1B bomber, on Friday.

2 senior judges nominated for new justices of constitutional court

SEOUL -- Two senior judges have been nominated for new justices of the Constitutional Court, officials said Monday.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su nominated Kim Hyung-du and Jeong Jeong-mi, both high court judges, to become the new members of the Constitutional Court's nine-member panel.

Voter turnout for PPP leadership race hits 50 pct

SEOUL -- Turnout in the ruing People Power Party's ongoing vote to elect a new leader has exceeded 50 percent Monday, officials said.

Some 50.5 percent of 837,237 paying party members have cast their ballots for four final candidates through mobile and phone voting as of Monday 1 p.m., according to party officials.

Agency warns of 'zero tolerance' for infringements of NCT members' privacy

SEOUL -- SM Entertainment, the agency of K-pop supergroup NCT, on Monday warned of strict measures against fans violating privacy of the group's members.

In November, a stalking fan broke into the house of member Haechan, according to the agency. The fan was later indicted by the prosecution but did not receive a criminal punishment according to the member's will, it said in a statement.


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