The following is the second summary of the main stories offered by the Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
Cheong Wa Dae aims for Moon-Biden summit in April: sources
SEOUL – South Korean President Moon Jae-in could hold his first face-to-face summit with US President Joe Biden as early as this month, an informed source said on Friday.
Moon and Biden plan to attend a Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Britain in June, which would set the stage for their meeting.
(LEAD) Police seek to arrest former Gyeonggi province official on alleged land speculation
SUWON – Police on Friday requested an arrest warrant for a former Gyeonggi provincial government official on suspicion of buying land for speculative purposes using undisclosed information.
Gyeonggi Nambu Police Agency asked a court to issue a warrant against a former senior official in the government’s investment promotion team. He also requested the issuance of an order prohibiting him from selling his land pending an investigation into the allegation.
Court-led restructuring begins for SsangYong Motor
SEOUL – A court-led restructuring process for SsangYong Motor Co. is expected to begin as early as next week as a single potential investor failed to submit a letter of intent to acquire the struggling automaker, said Friday industry sources.
SsangYong Motor’s Indian parent company, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., is in talks with US vehicle importer HAAH Automotive Holdings Inc. to sell its majority stake in the Korean unit as part of its global reorganization plan in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 70% of South Koreans ready to receive COVID-19 vaccines: survey
SEOUL – More than 7 in 10 South Koreans are ready to receive coronavirus vaccines, a poll found on Friday.
In a survey of 1,000 people aged 18 and over conducted Wednesday and Thursday by Gallup Korea, 71% said they would like to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Of these, 50% said they would “definitely” receive vaccines.
Moon’s approval rating drops to new high of 32%: Gallup
SEOUL – President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating has fallen for the third week in a row, hitting an all-time low of 32%, mostly due to his government’s unpopular housing policy, a poll found on Friday.
In Gallup Korea’s survey of 1,000 adults nationwide conducted Tuesday through Thursday, only 32% gave a positive assessment of Moon’s presidency, down 2 percentage points from the previous week and the lowest since his inauguration in 2017.
Insurer loans increase 7.8% in 2020
SEOUL – Loans from insurance companies in South Korea grew 7.8% year-on-year, driven by the increase in secured home loans and business loans, said on Friday the financial supervisory body.
Outstanding loans from insurers stood at 253 trillion won ($ 224.4 billion) at the end of December, up from 234.7 trillion won the year before, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
Seoul shares peak in six weeks amid US stimulus hopes
SEOUL – South Korea’s benchmark stock index closed Friday at its highest level in six weeks thanks to strong foreign and institutional buying in hopes of a massive infrastructure project in the United States. The Korean won appreciated against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 25.4 points, or 0.82%, to close at 3,112.8 points, the highest number since February 17.
K-pop boy group Seventeen shine at premiere performance of Ellen DeGeneres show
SEOUL – K-pop boy group Seventeen made their first appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Thursday (US time), giving a rendition of their 2019 hit song “Hit.”
The 13-member group, dressed in black leather, delivered a pre-recorded performance of their EDM number on the popular American talk show.