Yonhap News Summary | Yonhap News Agency

The following is the second summary of important news released by Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.

(LEAD) US diplomat sees potential impact of Ukraine crisis on South Korea and other Asian countries

SEOUL – A US diplomat on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of the economic and security consequences of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine on Asian countries such as South Korea.

Mark Lambert, deputy deputy foreign minister for Korea and Japan, said during a virtual forum the world is “so intertwined” when asked if Seoul could play a role in defusing the standoff over Ukraine.

(LEAD) S. Korea seeks New Zealand’s support for its proposed CPTPP membership

SEOUL — South Korea asked for support for New Zealand’s push to join a mega-free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region during a ministerial meeting on Tuesday, Seoul’s Commerce Ministry said.

Seoul’s proposed application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was a key item on the agenda of talks between South Korea’s Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo and New Zealand’s Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor held the day via conference call according to the Department of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(2nd LD) North Korea to issue commemorative coins for late former leader’s birthday

SEOUL — North Korea will issue commemorative coins to mark the upcoming birthday of its late leader, state media reported Tuesday, to set a festive mood for the national day.

The Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly decided to issue the gold and silver coins to celebrate the 80th birthday of Kim Jong-il, the late father of current leader Kim Jong-un, which falls on Wednesday this year, according to the North Korean official Central News Agency (KCNA).

(LEAD) NCSOFT 2021 net down 32.5 percent on increased costs

SEOUL – NCSOFT Corp., a major South Korean developer of online and mobile games, said on Tuesday that its 2021 net profit fell 32.5 percent due to increased costs.

Net income last year was 395.7 billion won (US$329.8 million), compared with 586.6 billion won a year earlier, NCSOFT said in a regulatory filing.

(LEAD) S. Korea mobilizes political means to minimize impact of Ukraine crisis

SEOUL — South Korea plans to mobilize all political means to minimize the economic fallout from the Ukraine crisis and reduce market volatility amid rising tensions between the United States and Russia in the region, a senior government official said Tuesday.

According to First Vice Treasury Secretary Lee Eog-weon, the government plans to implement emergency measures if Russia invades Ukraine and the US, and its allies’ move to impose tough sanctions is increasing economic uncertainty.

Actor Choi Min-sik returns to the big screen as a genius mathematician from North Korea

SEOUL – ‘Oldboy’ Choi Min-sik will return to the big screen in upcoming drama ‘In Our Prime’ as a genius mathematician who defected from North Korea.

Directed by Park Dong-hoon, the film revolves around Hak-sung, played by Choi, a middle-aged North Korean defector who works as a security guard at a private high school to isolate himself from the past.

Ahn challenges Yoon to respond to the merger offer

SEOUL — Minor presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo on Tuesday urged main opposition candidate Yoon Suk-yeol to respond to his offer of a candidacy merger at an early stage.

Ahn of the centrist People’s Party said he would like to hear from the conservative People’s Power Party’s Yoon himself, as it is a proposal from one presidential candidate to another.

(Olympic Games) Winning a record-breaking medal isn’t on the short tracker’s mind before the final race

BEIJING — As she wrapped up her final training session of Beijing 2022 on Tuesday, the eve of her final event, South Korean short track speed skater Choi Min-jeong said many different thoughts ran through her mind.

But winning her fifth medal of her career, which would put her first at South Korea’s Winter Olympics, was not one of them.

Korean pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop the first domestic COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL – South Korean pharmaceutical companies are upping the ante to develop the country’s first domestic COVID-19 vaccine, potentially effective against the Omicron variant and could become a game changer in the fight against the years-long pandemic.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, a total of 11 COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by local pharmaceutical companies are under development after receiving approval for clinical trials.

(2nd LD) New COVID-19 cases hit new high of 57,177 amid omicron troubles

SEOUL — South Korea’s daily COVID-19 infections surged, hitting another peak of over 57,000 cases on Tuesday, putting public health officials on high alert amid the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant across the country.

The country reported 57,177 new COVID-19 infections, including 57,012 local cases, bringing the total number of cases to 1,462,421, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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