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Yonhap News Summary

Diplomacy 12:56 March 17, 2023

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

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Yoon, Kishida bond over drinks at popular eatery

TOKYO -- President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have bonded over a couple of drinks at a popular eatery in Tokyo, a person familiar with the exchange said.

The two leaders, who held summit talks earlier in the day Thursday, visited Rengatei, a Western-style establishment known as the birthplace of Japanese pork cutlets and "omurice," or omelets on fried rice, where they shared glasses of beer to begin with.

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(2nd LD) N. Korea test-fired Hwasong-17 ICBM in warning to enemies holding allied drills: state media

SEOUL -- North Korea has test-fired a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a show of the "toughest response posture" of its strategic forces against "aggressive" massive combined drills by the United States and South Korea, Pyongyang's state media reported Friday.

The nation's leader Kim Jong-un "guided" the launch the previous day together with his young daughter Ju-ae, as it served as an occasion to "give a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension" on the peninsula, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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(LEAD) Allies to resume large-scale amphibious drills next week after 5-year hiatus

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States plan to kick off their first large-scale amphibious landing exercise in five years next week, in a show of the allies' "overwhelming" military capabilities, the Navy and Marine Corps here said Friday.

The Ssangyong training is set to take place in and around Pohang, 272 kilometers southeast of Seoul, from Monday through April 3 to enhance the allies' combat readiness and interoperability, according to the armed services. "Ssangyong" means double dragon in Korean.

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(LEAD) Economic slowdown persists on weak exports, biz sentiment: finance ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry said Friday that Asia's No. 4 economy continues to experience an economic slowdown amid sluggish exports and weak business sentiment.

"While the inflation has slowed recently, the recovery in domestic consumption has become moderate. With exports remaining sluggish and manufacturers' business sentiment contracting, the trend of an economic slowdown has continued," the Ministry of Economy and Finance said.

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Assembly speaker asks for Palestine's support for S. Korea's plan to bid for UNSC membership

SEOUL -- National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo has met with the Palestinian prime minister and asked for support for South Korea's plan to bid for nonpermanent membership of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) for 2024 and 2025, Kim's office said Friday.

Kim met with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of the State of Palestine, on Thursday (local time).

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S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 10,000 for 2nd day

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 10,000 for the second consecutive day Friday, as the virus curve keeps steady with no dramatic upturn in daily numbers.

The country reported 9,065 new COVID-19 infections, including 11 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,681,228, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
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