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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 May 15, 2023

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

(LEAD) Seoul shares inch up amid U.S. debt ceiling woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks snapped a four-day losing streak to close marginally higher Monday, amid concerns over the dispute over the U.S. debt ceiling between the U.S. government and Congress. The local currency edged down against the U.S. dollar.

After swerving in and out of negative terrain, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished up 3.93 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,479.35. Trading volume was light at 475.7 million shares worth 6.8 trillion won (US$5.08 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 549 to 315.

S. Korea's envoy calls N. Korea's move to win int'l recognition with nuclear threats 'empty dream'

SEOUL -- South Korea's top nuclear envoy denounced North Korea on Monday for harboring an "empty dream" in using nuclear threats as the means to be recognized as a nuclear state from the international community, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

South Korea's top nuclear negotiator, Kim Gunn, made the remarks Monday during a discussion session on nuclear anxieties in the Indo-Pacific region, as he attended the Munich Leaders Meeting in Tokyo, according to the ministry.

Opposition leader says Japan should use Fukushima water for drinking if it's safe

SEOUL -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung on Monday rejected Japan's claims of the safety of the water set to be released from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, saying if it is safe enough to drink, the country should just do that.

The safety of the contaminated water from the Fukushima plant has been a hot issue as President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister agreed at a summit earlier this month to have a group of South Korean experts visit the plant to check its safety ahead of the water release.

(LEAD) HMM Q1 net sinks over 90 pct on lower shipping rates

SEOUL -- HMM Co. said Monday its first-quarter earnings tumbled more than 90 percent on-year on sluggish shipping rates amid decreased cargo volume.

Net profit came to 285.3 billion won (US$214 million) in the January-March period, down 90.9 percent from a year earlier, South Korea's top container shipper said in a regulatory filing.

China-based S. Korean football player under police investigation: embassy

BEIJING -- Son Jun-ho, a South Korean midfielder based in China, is under investigation by Chinese police for unspecified reasons, the South Korean Embassy in Beijing said Monday.

"We understand that Son has been questioned by the public security authorities in Liaoning province while in detention," an official with the embassy said. "A consul responsible for that region is providing necessary consular assistance."

Hybe uses AI voice technology for Midnatt's multilingual single

SEOUL -- K-pop powerhouse Hybe on Monday unveiled its first artificial intelligence (AI) project Midnatt, which sings a song in multiple languages and switches between female and male voices using generative voice technology.

Midnatt, an alter ego of ballad singer Lee Hyun, dropped the new digital single "Masquerade" in six languages: Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

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