(3rd LD) BOK again stands pat on rate, trims growth estimate amid slowdown woes

SEOUL — South Korea’s central bank held its key interest rate steady for the third straight time Thursday as it trimmed this year’s growth estimate in the face of an extended slowdown in exports amid moderating inflation.

In a widely expected decision, the monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) kept the benchmark seven-day repo rate unchanged at 3.5 percent.


(LEAD) S. Korea to launch space rocket Nuri following delay

SEOUL — South Korea will launch its homegrown space rocket Nuri on Thursday after solving a computer glitch the previous day.

The launch management committee, which oversees the entire process, decided to launch the rocket at 6:24 p.m. at the Naro Space Center in the southern coastal village of Goheung, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).


DRAM demand forecast to outrun supply in H2: report

SEOUL — Global DRAM demand is expected to overtake supply as early as July, a recent industry report showed Thursday, in a change that would lessen pressure on semiconductor companies reeling from a chip downturn.

Market research firm TrendForce expected in its May report global DRAM demand this year to top 105.4 billion 2-gigabyte chips, surpassing an estimated supply of 104.3 billion chips.


S. Korea, Japan hold first energy dialogue in 6 years

SEOUL — South Korea and Japan on Thursday held their first energy dialogue in six years to discuss ways to boost cooperation on nuclear power generation, renewable energy, hydrogen and other energy issues, the industry ministry said.

The director-level dialogue in South Korea’s southeastern port city of Busan is the latest in a series of meetings between the two neighbors amid a thaw following three summits of their leaders in two months.


Global climate change fair, conference kick off in Busan

BUSAN — An international fair and conference on climate change opened in the southeastern port city of Busan on Thursday, showcasing the latest eco-friendly technologies by about 500 enterprises and addresses by climate change experts.

The 2023 World Climate Industry Expo (WCE) will continue through Saturday at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in the city, 325 kilometers southeast of Seoul, under the theme “Rising above the Climate Crisis towards Sustainable Prosperity.”


Ammunition aid to Ukraine will be considered after reviewing situation on ground: security adviser

SEOUL — The issue of whether to send ammunition aid to Ukraine will be considered after reviewing the situation on the ground, National Security Adviser Cho Tae-yong has said.

Cho made the remark during a meeting of the parliamentary House Steering Committee on Wednesday when asked by a lawmaker whether South Korea plans to send ammunition to Ukraine.


(LEAD) Court rejects arrest warrant request for actor Yoo Ah-in over drug use

SEOUL — A Seoul court has rejected an arrest warrant requested by police for actor Yoo Ah-in on charges of using five different illegal drugs, officials said Thursday.

The Seoul Central District Court made the decision Wednesday night, saying Yoo is unlikely to destroy evidence or flee as he is admitting to most of the drug charges and rejected the warrant request filed by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency last week.


(LEAD) S. Korea’s trade chief to attend APEC trade ministers’ meeting in Detroit

SEOUL — Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun will attend this week’s meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers in Detroit, his office said Thursday.

The annual APEC trade ministers’ meeting was to take place Thursday through Friday (local time), to be chaired by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, for discussions on ways to strengthen the multilateral trading system and to beef up the role of trade for sustainable and inclusive growth, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.


LG Electronics starts production of EV chargers

SEOUL — LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday it has begun mass production of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, in a push to advance into the EV charging solutions business amid the global electrification trend.

LG held a ceremony the previous day to mark the production of its first series of EV chargers at the LG Digital Park in Pyeongtaek, some 60 kilometers south of Seoul.


(Yonhap Interview) S. Korea can play role in easing Sino-U.S. tensions: WTO chief

SEOUL — South Korea can play a key role in managing tensions from the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, as it maintains good relations with both sides and its exports-driven economic growth best represents the virtue of the multilateral mechanism, the chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has said.

The U.S. has been pushing to curb China’s access to advanced technologies, such as in the field of semiconductors, by strengthening relations with allies and partners and implementing regulations. China has also taken similar steps, causing concerns about negative impacts of such “friendshoring” on the global supply chains and growth potential.


2023 BTS Festa to be held in Seoul next month to mark group’s 10th anniv.

SEOUL — K-pop supergroup BTS will hold a two-weeklong festival at various venues in Seoul next month to mark the 10th anniversary since its debut, the group’s agency said Thursday.

The septet has annually held the BTS Festa to celebrate its debut anniversary, which falls on June 13, with its fans

Source: Yonhap News Agency