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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:21 March 23, 2023

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

(LEAD) Constitutional Court rejects petitions against prosecution reform legislation

SEOUL -- The Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down petitions seeking to nullify a package of law revisions designed to significantly reduce the prosecution's investigative powers even though it recognized procedural flaws in the legislation's passage through the National Assembly.

The court made the decision in two separate rulings, effectively concluding that the revisions to the Prosecutors' Office Act and the Criminal Procedure Act are valid.

(LEAD) N. Korea fired 4 cruise missiles Wednesday: defense minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said Thursday that North Korea fired four cruise missiles the previous day, though a detailed analysis is still under way to confirm their specifics.

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff has said it detected "multiple" missile launches from the North's eastern city of Hamhung on Wednesday morning.

S. Korea drops WTO trade complaint against Japan, begins process for 'white list' reinstatement

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday completed procedures to drop a complaint it filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Japan over Tokyo's trade curbs as it began domestic procedures to put Japan back onto its "white list" of trusted trade partners, the industry ministry said.

The moves are in line with Seoul's effort to improve relations with the neighboring country long marred by historic and diplomatic rows stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rules of the Korean Peninsula.

(LEAD) Seoul shares up for 3rd day after Fed rate hike; won at over 1-month high

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose for a third day Thursday on big-cap tech gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the interest rates by a widely expected margin amid lingering concerns over a global banking turmoil, analysts said. The local currency rose sharply against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 7.52 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 2,424.48. Trading volume was moderate at 558.79 million shares worth 10.18 trillion won (US$7.95 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 667 to 223.

(LEAD) Nat'l Assembly passes bill requiring gov't purchase of excess rice

SEOUL -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP)-controlled National Assembly on Thursday passed a contentious bill that requires the government to purchase surplus rice from farmers if there is excess production or price falls.

The revision to the Grain Management Act was approved in a 169-90 vote in the National Assembly. The ruling People Power Party (PPP) has opposed the bill, vowing to ask President Yoon Suk Yeol to veto it if it passes the Assembly.

(2nd LD) S. Korea co-sponsors UNHRC draft resolution on N.K. human rights after 5 yrs

SEOUL -- South Korea has co-sponsored a U.N. human rights council draft resolution on North Korea's gross rights violations for the first time in five years, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Seoul has participated as a co-sponsor in the draft resolution to be adopted at the 52nd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) around April 3, according to the ministry.

(LEAD) S. Korean, U.S., British Marines hold joint infiltration drills

SEOUL -- South Korean, U.S. and British Marines have staged combined "high-intensity" airborne and maritime infiltration drills in a southeastern coastal area, the Marine Corps here said Thursday, in a move to bolster joint operational capabilities.

The drills took place in Pohang, 272 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday and Thursday, as part of the ongoing South Korea-U.S. Ssangyong amphibious landing exercise that runs through April 3.

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. conduct live-fire drills near inter-Korean border

SEOUL/POCHEON, South Korea -- South Korea and the United States have staged a large-scale combined live-fire exercise near the inter-Korean border, the South's Army said Thursday, in a show of the allies' "tremendous" firepower amid North Korea's evolving threats.

The four-day drills took place at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in Pocheon, about 30 kilometers south of the Demilitarized Zone, through Thursday, involving some 100 howitzers, armored vehicles and equipment as well as more than 800 troops, according to the armed service.


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