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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:01 March 24, 2023

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

(LEAD) U.S. Forces Korea holds first deployment training of THAAD 'remote' launcher

SEOUL -- The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Friday it has conducted the first training on the deployment of a "remote" launcher of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea.

The U.S. military made public a set of photos of Sunday's training, hours after the North's state media reported the country had carried out drills involving an underwater nuclear attack drone and cruise missile launches earlier this week.

(2nd LD) LGES to invest 7.2 tln won to build new cylindrical, LFP battery plants in Arizona

SEOUL -- LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) said Friday it will invest 7.2 trillion won (US$5.56 billion) to build what will be its second standalone battery manufacturing site in the United States, sticking to its earlier plan after a period of reconsideration.

LGES will spend 4.2 trillion won to build a cylindrical battery plant in Queen Creek, Arizona, that targets an annual production capacity of 27 gigawatt hours, equivalent to powering 350,000 all-electric cars, the company said in a release.

Hybe to sell SM shares to Kakao following failed takeover bid

SEOUL -- Hybe, the K-entertainment powerhouse behind global superstar group BTS, said Friday it will sell off all of its 15.78 percent stake in SM Entertainment to Kakao Corp. after its bid to take over the rival entertainment agency fell through.

Hybe said in a regulatory filing that it will sell 3.75 million shares in SM Entertainment for 563.5 billion won (US$436.8 million) by joining an open tender bid by Kakao, which offered 150,000 won per share.

(LEAD) Seoul shares snap 3-day rise over renewed rate concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower to end their three-day winning streak Friday as market sentiment was down on concerns about rate increases, following the latest rake hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 9.52 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,414.96.The index gained 0.97 percent in the past five days.

S. Korea calls on N. Korea to pay back US$80 mln loan

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry Friday called on North Korea to repay its 2007 loan of industrial raw materials, worth US$80 million, from Seoul, saying it is coming to maturity.

Under an inter-Korean agreement at that time, meant to help improve the North's light industries, the South loaned the North raw materials needed to produce garments, shoes and soaps.

Main opposition to request parliamentary probe into Yoon-Kishida summit next week

SEOUL -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said Friday it will submit a request next week to open a parliamentary investigation into a recent summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The summit was aimed at mending frayed ties with Japan, but it triggered a backlash in South Korea because it took place after South Korea decided that its companies would compensate victims of Japan's wartime forced labor, not Japanese firms.

SK Geocentric to build second advanced packaging material plant in China

SEOUL -- South Korean chemical firm SK Geocentric Co. said Friday it is spending an additional 400 billion won (US$310 million) to build a second factory for advanced packaging materials in China.

SK Geocentric signed the initial agreement earlier this week with Weixing Chemical on expanding the ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) factory in the eastern Chinese city of Lianyungang, where Weixing has its petrochemical complex.

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