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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 May 19, 2023

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

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S. Korea to send 21-member team to Japan for Fukushima inspection

SEOUL -- A 21-member team of South Korean experts will make a six-day visit to Japan starting Sunday for an on-site inspection ahead of the planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, the government said.

The delegation, headed by the chief of the country's nuclear safety commission, will review the safety of the entire process of discharge and check Tokyo's capability in analyzing radioactive materials, according to the Office for Government Policy Coordination (OPC).

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Hyundai, Kia OK US$200 mln settlement in U.S. car theft class-action suit

SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Corp. said Friday they have agreed to a US$200 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by U.S. consumers over a series of car thefts of their vehicles.

The consumer settlement covers U.S. owners of about 9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles with a traditional "insert-and-turn" mechanical key ignition system, not a push-button to start the car.

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(LEAD) U.S. weighs suit against Korean Air's planned acquisition of Asiana: report

SEOUL -- The U.S. government is considering suing to block South Korean national flag carrier Korean Air Co.'s planned acquisition of its smaller domestic rival Asiana Airlines Inc. due to competition reasons, a news report has said.

The two Korean airlines' planned merger may harm competition on passenger and cargo traffic between South Korea and the United States, according to U.S. news website Politico.

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Yoon to head to Japan for G-7 summit, meetings with Biden, Kishida

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol was set to depart for Hiroshima on Friday for a Group of Seven (G-7) summit and other meetings on the sidelines, including one with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and another with Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden.

The three-day visit comes amid a flurry of diplomacy as Yoon pushes to rebuild Seoul's relationships with Washington and Tokyo, and strengthen ties with like-minded nations that share the universal values of freedom, human rights and democracy.

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Seoul shares extend gains late Fri. morning amid eased debt-ceiling worries

SEOUL -- Seoul shares extended gains late Friday morning after Wall Street gains amid hopes that the U.S. government will be able to avert a debt default.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index had risen 12.13 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,527.53 as of 11:20 a.m.

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LEAD) S. Korea issues highest-level warning against foot-and-mouth disease

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday raised the crisis level of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to the highest point in central regions and will implement beefed-up quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the animal disease, the agriculture ministry said.

The warning level was heightened by two notches from "caution" to "serious," the highest level of its four-tier system, for the central city of Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province; the county of Jeungpyeong in the same province; and seven other adjacent regions, including Daejeon, Sejong and Cheonan, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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