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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 March 31, 2023

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

Ruling party, gov't agree to tentatively postpone electricity, gas rate hikes

SEOUL -- The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the government agreed to temporarily hold off raising electricity and gas bills but reaffirmed that rate hikes are "inevitable," a ruling party lawmaker said Friday.

The decision was made in a policy consultation meeting amid concerns that a hike in utility fees may add onto economic burdens on the people amid high inflation and an economic slowdown.

Grandson of ex-President Chun apologizes to victims of 1980 democracy rising

GWANGJU -- A grandson of late former President Chun Doo-hwan on Friday apologized for the 1980 bloody crackdown that his grandfather carried out to quell a pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju.

"My grandfather, Chun Doo-hwan, is a sinner who committed a huge crime," Chun Woo-won told reporters following a meeting with the victims and their family members in Gwangju, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul.

(LEAD) Arrest warrant sought for ex-military commander over martial law scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors filed for a warrant Friday to arrest Cho Hyun-chun, a former head of the now-defunct Defense Security Command, over the suspected masterminding of a martial law plan while the then President Park Geun-hye faced an impeachment trial in 2017.

The Seoul Western District Prosecutors Office raised abuse of authority and political meddling charges against Cho as it applied for the warrant.

(2nd LD) Chips production sinks 17 pct in Feb. despite overall industrial output gains

SEOUL -- South Korea's semiconductor output sank 17.1 percent on-month in February, the sharpest decline in more than 14 years, though the country reported gains in the overall industrial production, private spending and facility investment for the first time in over a year, data showed Friday.

Industrial output grew 0.3 percent from a month earlier in February following a 0.1 percent rise each during the previous two months, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

Yoon's approval rating falls to 30 pct: poll

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol's approval rating fell to a four-month low of 30 percent, a poll showed Friday.

In the poll of 1,000 adults conducted by Gallup Korea from Tuesday to Thursday, the positive assessment of Yoon's performance declined 4 percentage points from the previous week. It marked the lowest level since the figure reached 30 percent in the fourth week of November.

S. Korea's tax revenue down 16 tln won in first two months of 2023

SEOUL -- South Korea's tax revenue fell 15.7 trillion won (US$12.16 billion) in the first two months of this year on-year over the slump in the real estate and securities markets, data showed Friday.

Tax revenue amounted to 54.2 trillion won in the January-February period, compared with 69.9 trillion won the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

S. Korea to fully open DMZ hiking trails starting next month

SEOUL -- The government said Friday all 11 peace-themed hiking trails along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas will be open to the public starting April 21.

The trails are located in 10 cities or counties bordering the DMZ -- Ganghwa, Gimpo, Goyang, Paju, Yeoncheon, Cheorwon, Hwacheon, Yanggu, Inje and Goseong (which has two different trails).

(LEAD) BTS Jimin breaks record for K-pop soloist with 'Face' selling over 1.45 mln copies in 1st week

SEOUL -- Jimin, a member of the globally popular boy group BTS, has broken the record for the highest first-week album sales by a K-pop soloist with his debut solo album titled "Face," the band's agency said Friday.

The album has sold over 1.45 million copies in the week following its release last Friday, BigHit Music said, citing data from Hanteo Chart, a leading local tracker of album sales.

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