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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 March 10, 2023

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea posts record current account deficit in Jan. as exports slump amid recession woes

SEOUL -- South Korea posted the largest ever current account deficit in January as exports sharply dwindled amid growing worries over a global economic recession, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's current account shortfall came to $4.52 billion in January, swinging from a surplus of $2.68 billion a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

S. Korea, U.S. to continue discussing concerns over Chips Act: trade minister

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States will continue to consult closely over Seoul's concerns regarding the U.S. Chips and Science Act, Seoul's trade minister said Thursday.

The U.S. has also agreed to closely work with South Korean chipmakers in implementing the chips act, according to Ahn Duk-geun.

(LEAD) N. Korean leader inspects tactical guided weapons test apparently targeting S. Korean military airport: state media

SEOUL -- North Korea announced Friday its leader Kim Jong-un oversaw a "fire assault drill" of an artillery unit a day earlier as he stressed the need to "overwhelmingly respond" to any war preparations by its "enemy."

Photos released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also showed Kim's daughter Ju-ae attending the "field guidance."

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases above 10,000 for 4th day amid eased virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed over 10,000 for the fourth straight day Friday amid eased COVID-19 virus curbs, with health authorities mulling further easing antivirus measures.

The country reported 10,335 new COVID-19 infections, including 10 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,615,522, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Cost of provocation will increase until N. Korea changes behavior: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- North Korea will continue to face increased consequences unless it changes its behavior, a state department spokesperson said Thursday, hours after Pyongyang potentially fired multiple ballistic missiles in its latest provocation.

Ned Price said the U.S. remains equally committed to the defense of its allies as it is to dialogue with the provocative North.

Lee's deceased former aide said to complain of probe by prosecutors in suicide note

SEONGNAM, South Korea -- A former chief of staff to opposition leader Lee Jae-myung, who was found dead Thursday night in an apparent suicide, is said to have left a note complaining about being investigated by prosecutors in connection with Lee's corruption allegations, informed officials said Friday.

The deceased, surnamed Jeon, had served as Lee's chief secretary during his term as the mayor of Seongnam, just south of Seoul, before becoming his first chief of staff after Lee was elected governor of Gyeonggi Province in mid-2018.

BTS wins four medals at Japan Golden Disc Awards

SEOUL -- K-pop supergroup BTS has won four trophies at the 37th Japan Golden Disc Awards, BigHit Music, the group's agency, said Friday.

The septet clinched Best Asian Artist presented by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for the fifth year in a row.

It also grabbed Song of the Year by Download (Asia), Music Video of the Year (Asia) and one of the Best 3 Albums (Asia).

BTS member Jungkook also won Song of the Year by Streaming (Western) for "Left and Right," a collaboration song with American singer-songwriter Charlie Puth.

Live bullet found at Korean Air plane about to take off; passengers evacuated

INCHEON -- A live bullet was found on a Korean Air plane about to take off from Incheon International Airport on Friday, grounding the aircraft and causing more than 200 passengers to evacuate, airport police said.

The airport police received a report at 8:05 a.m. that a passenger found the bullet lying under his seat at the airplane bound for Manila, the Philippines.

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