The following is the second summary of the main stories offered by the Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(3rd LD) South Korea grants special pardon to ex-President Park Geun-hye
SEOUL – The South Korean government on Friday announced a special pardon for Park Geun-hye, the former president currently serving 22 years in prison for corruption, saying Park’s pardon would help strengthen national unity.
Park has been serving a combined 22-year prison sentence since March 2017 after being indicted and removed from office on high-profile bribery charges and an influence peddling scandal.
(LEAD) Parties assess impact of ex-President Park’s pardon on upcoming presidential election
SEOUL – A special pardon from former President Park Geun-hye drew mixed responses from political parties on Friday, as they began to assess its impact on the upcoming presidential election.
The government has decided to grant a special New Year’s pardon to Park, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for corruption, national unity, and deteriorating health. The 69-year-old has been locked up since March 2017 after being indicted and removed from his post on high-profile bribery charges and an influence peddling scandal.
Yonhap News Obtains Injunction Against Internet Portals For Article Banning
SEOUL – The Yonhap News Agency has obtained a court order to temporarily suspend a decision by the country’s two largest internet portals that banned Yonhap articles from their news pages for a year.
Under Friday’s Seoul Central District Court ruling, people can access Yonhap’s articles through the two internet portals – Naver and Daum.
(2nd LD) New COVID-19 cases drop below 7,000 for day 2; critical cases reach record level
SEOUL – New cases of the coronavirus in South Korea fell below 7,000 on Friday for the second day in a row due to antivirus restrictions, but critical cases have once again reached an all-time high.
The country added an additional 6,233 cases of COVID-19, including 6,163 local infections, bringing the cumulative total to 596,209, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
South Korea-China strategic dialogue focused on Sino-US relations, Taiwan (official)
SEOUL – This week’s high-level diplomatic talks between South Korea and China have addressed a range of geopolitical issues relating to Sino-US relations and the Taiwan Strait, an official in Seoul said on Friday.
Seoul’s Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and his Chinese counterpart Le Yucheng held the first “strategic dialogue” in more than four years on Thursday as South Korea faces a further balance. in addition tricky in the midst of a hardening Sino-US rivalry.
(LEAD) Seoul gets its supplies for the 4th session as omicron concerns allay
SEOUL – The South Korean stock exchange continued its winning streak for a fourth session on Friday, as concerns about the impact of the omicron variant on the global economy eased. The local currency gained ground against the US dollar.
Korea’s benchmark stock price index (KOSPI) rose 14.26 points, or 0.48%, to 3,012.43 points.
(LEAD) Samsung Lions re-sign free agent receiver Kang Min-ho
SEOUL – Samsung Lions announced on Friday that they have re-signed their own free agent wide receiver Kang Min-ho to a new four-year contract.
Kang, 36, will earn up to 3.6 billion won ($ 3 million) in his second consecutive four-year contract with the Lions. Kang will earn 2 billion won in total salary and 1.2 billion won in signing bonus, with an additional 400 million won available as incentives.
(LEAD) BTS’s Suga tests positive for COVID-19
SEOUL – Suga, a member of K-pop supergroup BTS, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his management agency said on Friday.
Suga was confirmed to have the virus in a polymerase chain reaction test after arriving in Seoul from the United States on Thursday, according to Big Hit Music.