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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 March 22, 2023

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

(News Focus) Samsung, SK hynix breathe sigh of relief as U.S. 'guardrails' are less tough than feared

SEOUL -- South Korean chipmakers appeared to breathe a sigh of relief Wednesday, as the U.S. government's new rules for the Chips Act, announced last night, were less stringent than had been previously feared.

Washington said late last month it would ban any recipient of federal money from the US$53 billion act, designed to revitalize the American chip industry, from making a "material expansion of semiconductor manufacturing capacity" in countries of concern, in an apparent reference to China.

Assembly speaker says Yoon made 'big decision' over Korea-Japan summit

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol made a "big decision" with regard to relations with Japan, National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said Wednesday, urging Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to take reciprocal measures.

Kim made the remark during a radio interview, referring to Yoon's decision to compensate victims of Japan's wartime forced labor using South Korea's own money without asking Japan for contributions in an effort to restore badly frayed relations with Tokyo.

DP to decide whether to exempt indicted party leader from membership suspension

SEOUL -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) will hold a party affairs committee meeting Wednesday to decide whether to exempt party leader Lee Jae-myung from the suspension of his membership by recognizing the prosecution's indictment as political retaliation, officials said.

The DP held an emergency Supreme Council meeting and decided to hold a party affairs committee meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss the matter, according to DP spokesperson An Ho-young.

Minister to seek cooperation with Japan over S. Korean abductees in N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification minister said Wednesday he will seek cooperation with Japan to help resolve the issue of Korean nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago, as he embarked on a visit to Tokyo.

"It will be helpful to resolve the humanitarian issue through cooperation with Japan," Kwon told reporters just before heading there for a four-day trip that was arranged at the invitation of the Japanese government. He is expected to discuss Seoul-Tokyo cooperation on North Korea and other pending issues.

Parliamentary committee passes bill on expanding tax incentives for chipmakers

SEOUL -- The parliamentary strategy and finance committee Wednesday passed a bill aimed at supporting the semiconductor industry by giving bigger tax incentives to chipmakers.

The revision to the Act on Restriction of Special Taxation, nicknamed the K-Chips Act, centers on expanding the tax credit rate for companies that make facility investments in national strategic industries, including semiconductors, secondary batteries and future cars.

Seoul shares up for 2nd day on eased banking woes; Fed's rate hike in focus

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended higher for a second session Wednesday, as concerns about a global banking crisis have eased over the U.S. government's pledge to take actions further to stem a turmoil, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 28.61 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,416.96. Trading volume was moderate at 492.72 million shares worth 7.73 trillion won (US$5.91 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 530 to 336.

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