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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:30 March 15, 2023

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks sharply rebound on eased U.S. banking, inflation woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks on Wednesday rebounded from the previous session's plunge, on eased concerns over the fallout from the collapse of U.S. banks, which jolted the global financial market this week. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 30.75 points, or 1.31 percent, to close at 2,379.72 points.

Defense chief calls for stronger training amid growing N.K. threats

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup called on South Korean and U.S. troops Wednesday to reinforce their training to ensure a "Fight Tonight" defense posture during his visit to a wartime command bunker, a key venue for the allies' ongoing regular exercise.

He made the call in a meeting with the troops engaging in the Freedom Shield (FS) exercise at CP Tango, or Command Post Theater Air Naval Ground Operations, in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, following recent North Korean missile launches.

Top biz leaders of S. Korea, Japan to meet in Tokyo after forced labor proposal

SEOUL -- Chiefs of top South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung, SK and Hyundai, will meet with key Japanese business leaders in Tokyo this week amid a thaw in bilateral relations following Seoul's proposal for resolving the wartime forced labor issue, a Korean business lobby said Wednesday.

The Korea-Japan Business Roundtable will take place Friday, co-hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren -- two major business lobbies -- the FKI said in a release.

(LEAD) Samsung to work on wearable robots, continue strategic chip investment

SUWON, South Korea -- Samsung Electronics Co. will beef up its robotics business this year to more proactively respond to a future where artificial intelligence-powered machines will take a more important role in human life, its chief executive said Wednesday.

The South Korean tech giant "will strengthen core technologies necessary to develop various robots, and expand our product portfolio to enable users to have useful experiences (in the field)," Han Jong-hee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, said at an annual shareholders meeting in Suwon, 34 kilometers south of Seoul.

Defense ministry raided over fortune teller's alleged involvement in presidential residence

SEOUL -- Police raided the defense ministry on Wednesday as part of an investigation into claims of a fortune teller's alleged involvement in the relocation of the presidential residence.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency sent investigators to the ministry headquarters in Seoul's Yongsan district to seize evidence, including vehicle entry records, officials said.

The office of President Yoon Suk Yeol had earlier filed a complaint for libel charges against several people, including Kim Jong-dae, a former lawmaker of the minor progressive Justice Party, who alleged the fortune teller, known as Cheongong, made visits to the Army office inside the ministry compound.

(LEAD) BTS' J-Hope ranks No. 60 on Billboard Hot 100 with 'on the street'

SEOUL -- A new digital single from J-Hope of K-pop boy group BTS has debuted at 60th on the U.S. Billboard's main singles chart.

According to the latest Billboard Hot 100 released Tuesday (U.S. time), J-Hope's "on the street" hit No. 60, becoming the highest-charting solo song from the dancer-rapper.

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