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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:02 September 13, 2023

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

(3rd LD) Yoon names new ministers of defense, culture, gender equality
(ATTN: UPDATES with details, nominees' remarks;CHANGES photo, spelling of Kim Haeng per presidential office's release)

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol nominated a ruling party lawmaker and former three-star Army general for defense minister Wednesday in a partial Cabinet shakeup that also affected the culture and gender equality ministers.

Rep. Shin Won-sik of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) was picked to replace Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup, while Yoo In-chon, special presidential adviser for culture and sports, was named the new culture minister, and Kim Haeng, a former PPP interim leadership member, was tapped for the new minister of gender equality and family, presidential chief of staff Kim Dae-ki said during a press briefing.


(4th LD) Kim, Putin hold summit at Vostochny spaceport amid arms deal concerns
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS details throughout, photo)

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their rare talks at Russia's Vostochny space center Wednesday amid concerns that the two isolated leaders may advance an arms negotiation and bolster military cooperation.

With the participation of delegations, Kim and Putin began talks at the spaceport in Russia's Amur region, after they shook hands and greeted each other for their first meeting in more than four years, according to Russian news media.

BLACKPINK scoops 2 honors at this year's MTV VMAs

SEOUL -- South Korean girl group BLACKPINK has received two awards at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), one of the biggest annual music awards in the United States.

The K-pop quartet won Best Choreography and Group of the Year, according to the list of this year's winners announced by the MTV VMAs on its homepage Tuesday (U.S. local time).

DP leader to continue hunger strike indoors due to worsening health

SEOUL -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung moved the site of his hunger strike from a tent in front of the National Assembly to inside his office due to his worsening health as he entered the 14th day of his fast Wednesday, the main opposition Democratic Party said.

Lee began the strike Aug. 31 against what he called the "incompetent and violent" government of President Yoon Suk Yeol, accusing the Yoon administration of destroying people's livelihoods and democracy and saying fasting is the last resort to stop the situation.

(LEAD) Seoul shares nearly flat ahead of U.S. inflation data
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks finished nearly flat Wednesday as investors stayed on their toes ahead of U.S. inflation data, a key indicator of the Fed's upcoming rate-setting decision. The local currency fell against the U.S. greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 1.88 points, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 2,534.70. Trading volume was moderate at 411.2 million shares worth 9.09 trillion won (US$6.83 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 549 to 321.

(LEAD) Banks' household loans up sharpest in over 2 yrs in August, rate policy in focus
(ATTN: ADDS info on financial authorities' meeting on household debt level in bottom 2 paras)

SEOUL -- Household loans extended by banks in South Korea rose by the sharpest in over two years in August on increased demand for home-backed loans amid high borrowing costs, data showed Wednesday.

Banks' outstanding household loans had come to 1,075 trillion won (US$808.9 billion) as of end-August, up 6.9 trillion won from a month earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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