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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:21 May 23, 2023

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

(LEAD) S. Korean space rocket positioned on launch pad on eve of liftoff

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday positioned its homegrown space rocket Nuri on the launch pad at the Naro Space Center, a day ahead of its liftoff to send multiple satellites into orbit.

Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, reached the launch pad about an hour and a half after it left an assembly building at 7:20 a.m. and was erected at the launch pad at the space center in the southern coastal village of Goheung,

(LEAD) Yoon slams labor union for overnight street rally

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol slammed a major labor group Tuesday for its overnight street rally last week, saying its actions infringed on people's freedoms, disturbed the public order and will not be tolerated by the people.

Yoon made the remark during a Cabinet meeting, referring to a rally staged by the Korean Construction Workers' Union in protest of the government's labor policies from Tuesday to Wednesday.

N. Korea could launch spy satellite 'in near future': nat'l security adviser

SEOUL -- North Korea could launch its first military spy satellite "in the near future," National Security Adviser Cho Tae-yong said Tuesday, as speculation has grown over the timing of the launch.

Cho made the remark during an interview with Yonhap News TV, warning the North will be met with stronger sanctions if it goes ahead.

Private group chief convicted in N. Korea remittance case

SUWON -- The chief of a Seoul-based private organization was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday on charges of colluding with a business tycoon embroiled in a scandal involving unauthorized foreign currency remittances to North Korea.

The Suwon District Court found An Bu-soo, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange Association, guilty of multiple charges, including violating the foreign exchange transactions law.

Military seeks to require drug tests for new recruits

SEOUL -- South Korea is considering requiring soon-to-be conscripts to take drug tests, the defense ministry said Tuesday, in a stepped-up fight against illegal drugs.

The ministry unveiled the move as part of its anti-drug measures, after the military saw a sharp rise in drug cases to 30 last year from nine in 2020.

Key political figures gather at memorial service of late President Roh

SEOUL -- Thousands of people, including a large number of lawmakers from rival parties and key political figures, attended a memorial service for late former President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday.

The ceremony, marking the 14th year since Roh's death, was held in the southeastern rural village of Bongha, Roh's hometown, to commemorate the liberal icon who took his own life in 2009 amid a sprawling corruption probe.

PPP calls for early enforcement of law on declaration of virtual assets

SEOUL -- A new bill requiring lawmakers and high-level government officials to declare cryptocurrency and other virtual assets should enter into force in at least a month or two, the floor leader of the ruling People Power Party said Tuesday.

Rep. Yun Jae-ok made the remark to reporters, pointing out the currently scheduled enforcement, set for December, is too late and the bill needs to be revised to add an additional clause moving up the enforcement.

(LEAD) S. Korean experts set to begin on-site inspection of Fukushima nuclear plant

TOKYO -- A team of South Korean experts is set to begin a two-day inspection of the planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant Tuesday, amid lingering concerns about the safety of the water.

The 21-member team, headed by Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Guk-hee, will visit the plant from early Tuesday to examine the plant's custom purification system, known as ALPS, and assess whether the treated water is safe enough to be discharged into the sea.

(LEAD) Seoul shares up for 7th day amid U.S. debt ceiling uncertainties

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended higher Tuesday to extend their winning streak to a seventh session, led by big gains of chemical and steel shares, as investors focused on talks on the United States' debt ceiling to avoid a federal default. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 10.47 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 2,567.55. Trading volume was a bit slim at 568.87 million shares worth 7.32 trillion won (US$5.57 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 429 to 425.

Election watchdog to undergo cyber security check from NIS over N.K. hacking attempts

SEOUL -- The National Election Commission (NEC) agreed to receive a cyber security checkup from the state intelligence agency, a ruling party lawmaker said Tuesday, amid criticism the election watchdog remained idle to North Korean hacking attempts.

The NEC agreed to a joint security check by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Korea Internet & Security Agency, a public institution under the Ministry of Science and ICT, Rep. Lee Man-hee of the ruling People Power Party said.

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