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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:10 May 24, 2023

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea delays launch of space rocket Nuri over technical glitch

SEOUL -- South Korea decided Wednesday to postpone the launch of its space rocket Nuri due to a technical glitch found during final preparations, the science ministry said.

"While controlling a helium valve, aerospace engineers found a communications problem between a launch control computer and a launch pad facility control computer," Vice Science Minister Oh Tae-seog said in a briefing held at the Naro Space Center in Goheung. "The valve is OK but the system might matter when it goes into the automatic operation system. So we inevitably canceled the scheduled launch."

Nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S. hold meeting over N.K. spy satellite, provocations

SEOUL -- South Korea's deputy nuclear envoy Lee Joon-il met his U.S. counterpart to discuss ways to counter North Korea's evolving military threats, including the North's plan to launch a military spy satellite, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The meeting between Lee, the ministry's director-general for North Korean nuclear affairs, and U.S. Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Jung Pak, came as Pyongyang has recently announced the completion of preparations to mount its first military spy satellite on a rocket.

On road to recovery from elbow surgery, Blue Jays pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin throws bullpen session

SOEUL -- Trying to return from elbow surgery to join his team in the second half of the season, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin is back throwing on the mound.

The South Korean left-hander tossed a bullpen session at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Tuesday (local time), with his Blue Jays teammates hammering the home team Tampa Bay Rays 20-1.

BTS' J-Hope completes basic training for military service

SEOUL -- J-Hope, a member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, said Wednesday he has completed five weeks of basic training as part of his mandatory military service.

The dancer-rapper posted on Hybe's K-pop fan community platform Weverse, sharing two photos of himself in a military uniform.

Arrest warrants sought for 2 lawmakers accused in DP's election bribery scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors sought arrest warrants for two lawmakers Wednesday on charges of involvement in a cash-for-vote campaign ahead of the 2021 chairman election of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP).

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office filed for arrest warrants for Reps. Youn Kwan-suk and Lee Sung-man. Both are now independents as they left the DP in early May in the wake of the scandal.

N. Korea's aircraft maintenance activity at 'unusual' level: 38 North

SEOUL -- Satellite imagery indicated North Korean passenger aircraft undergoing maintenance at an "unusual" level, a U.S. website monitoring the North has said, spurring speculation about the possible resumption of air travel service suspended by COVID-19.

Several aircraft operated by Air Koryo, the North's national carrier, have been cycled through maintenance hangars at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang since the beginning of May, 38 North said Tuesday (local time) in a report, citing commercial satellite imagery.

(LEAD) S. Korea to foster biotechnology as new growth engine: finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea will lift regulations to help biotechnology startups utilize the database of hospitals, and foster the industry as a new growth engine, the finance minister said Wednesday.

"The biotechnology sector is emerging as a cutting-edge industry that promotes the growth of new technologies and industries by converging with the digital sector," Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during his visit to the production line of Aprogen Inc., a bio firm in Osong, 108 kilometers south of Seoul.

(LEAD) Opposition parties directly present 'yellow envelope bill' to plenary session

SEOUL -- The opposition-controlled parliamentary labor committee presented a contentious pro-labor bill directly to a plenary session Wednesday, despite strong protests from the ruling party and businesses.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and the minor opposition Justice Party passed a motion to refer the revision of the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act, which strictly restricts filing damage suits against striking workers, directly to the plenary session for a vote.

(2nd LD) Actor Yoo Ah-in says he regrets drug use

SEOUL -- Actor Yoo Ah-in said Wednesday he regrets taking drugs as he left a court hearing held to determine whether an arrest warrant should be issued for him on charges of using five different illegal drugs.

Yoo made the remark after attending a 1 1/2-hour hearing at the Seoul Central District Court on charges that he illegally used five different drugs for nonmedical purposes since 2020: propofol, marijuana, cocaine, ketamine and zolpidem, an insomnia medication.


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