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Yonhap News Summary

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

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Moon desires stronger combined defense capabilities with U.S.

HONOLULU — South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday expressed his wish for his country and the United States to further enhance their combined defense capabilities to ensure permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon made the remarks during his meeting with Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, where the two earlier attended a ceremony to transfer the remains of Korean and American soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

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(LEAD) FM Chung calls for ‘snap-back’ incentives to bring N. Korea back to dialogue

SEOUL — The United States and South Korea should actively consider offering conditional incentives to North Korea to bring the regime back to denuclearization talks, Seoul’s top diplomat has said.

Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong made the remark during a discussion in New York on Wednesday (local time) as Seoul and Washington have been exploring ways to reengage with North Korea to break the impasse in the nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

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S. Korea vows to join global efforts to improve situation in war-torn Afghanistan

SEOUL — South Korea will join international efforts to help Afghanistan overcome the humanitarian crisis and other hardships in the wake of the Taliban takeover, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Ham Sang-wook, deputy foreign minister for multilateral affairs, made the remark during a virtual ministerial meeting of the Group of 20 nations (G-20) held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

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Finance chief to meet heads of BOK, financial regulators next week

SEOUL — Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki will hold a four-party meeting next week with the governor of the central bank and two chiefs of financial regulatory authorities to discuss household debt and other economic issues, officials said Thursday.

Hong will preside over the gathering on Sept. 30 with Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol, Koh Seung-beom, new head of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and Jeong Eun-bo, new chief of the Financial Supervisory Service, according to the finance ministry.

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(2nd LD) S. Korea vigilant against market volatility from Evergrande woes

SEOUL — South Korea plans to closely monitor financial markets as China Evergrande Group’s debt problems could increase market volatility, a senior government official said Thursday.

Global financial markets were rattled this week due to concerns that a potential default by the debt-ridden property developer China Evergrande Group may send shock waves across the Chinese financial system, which could wreak havoc on the global market.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down on Powell’s tapering comments, Evergrande scare

SEOUL — South Korean stocks retreated Thursday after the three-day Chuseok holiday in the face of comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s chief that it could start tapering its stimulus as early as November, as well as growing woes over a default of a giant Chinese real estate developer. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 12.93 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 3,127.58 points.

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S. Korean virologist selected in list of researchers of ‘Nobel class’

SEOUL — Lee Ho-wang, a leading South Korean virologist who discovered the deadly Hantaan virus, has been included in this year’s list of researchers deemed to be of Nobel Prize class, London-based analytics company Clarivate said Thursday.

Lee, along with Karl M. Johnson, adjunct professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico, was selected as a 2021 Citation Laureate for physiology or medicine for identifying and isolating the Hantaan virus, the agent of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, according to Clarivate.

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LG Electronics to buy stake in Israeli auto cybersecurity firm

SEOUL — LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it has signed a deal to acquire a stake in Israel-based automotive cybersecurity firm Cybellum in a move to strengthen its growing auto parts business.

The South Korean tech giant said it will purchase a 63.9 percent stake in Cybellum and plans to jack up the stake further by the end of this year. The Israeli firm is valued at US$140 million.

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‘Squid Game’ exposes social realities, much like ‘Parasite’

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) — The popularity of the new Netflix Korean series, “Squid Game,” can be attributed in large part to its exposure of social and capitalist realities, critics said Thursday.

In that regard, the nine-part thriller, which revolves around a group of people taking part in a series of deadly games to win 45.6 billion won (US$38.5 million) in prize money, is drawing comparisons to the Oscar-winning black comedy “Parasite.”

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