≡ President To Meet With Victims Of Japan's Wartime Sexual Slavery
President Moon Jae-in is set to meet with a group of Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery at Cheong Wa Dae this afternoon.
The gathering comes about a week after the government stated that the 2015 Seoul-Tokyo agreement over the so-called comfort women dispute, signed by the previous Park Geun-hye administration, failed to adequately address the concerns and grievances of the victims and Korean public.
A top office official noted that today's meeting partly intends to provide a chance for the president to offer his personal condolences to the victims, and also hear how they wish to resolve the longstanding issue.■
≡ Ex-President Park To Face Additional Bribery Charges
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office says it plans to indict former President Park Geun-hye this afternoon on additional bribery charges.
There's fresh allegations the National Intelligence Service provided Park with up to 200 million won in kickbacks every month between May 2013 and July 2016.
Prosecutors suspect the spy agency paid the former president around 3.8 billion won in total, and that she used those funds personally and to carry out illicit political activities.
Park is in detention and has been standing trial on 18 corruption charges in connection with the massive corruption scandal that led to her impeachment last March.■[2018.01.04]
≡ UN Chief Welcomes Reopening Of Inter-Korean Hotline
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the reopening of the inter-Korean communication channel.
He said Wednesday that he hopes such initiatives will help end the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
Speaking in a briefing in New York, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said it is always a positive development to have dialogue between the two countries.
He added that the U.N. remains committed to ensuring the implementation of Security Council resolutions on North Korea's denuclearization.■
≡ Monthly Basic Pension Payments To Rise In April
Basic pension recipients will be eligible for a monthly increase of up to 3,914 won beginning in April.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said payouts for pensioners will rise by 1.9 percent for a maximum 209,914 won per month, reflecting changes in the prices of consumer goods and services last year.
Apart from this, the government said it would raise the monthly basic pension to 250,000 won this year and to 300,000 won in 2021 in a bid to reduce poverty among the elderly.
Single elderly households with a monthly income of less than 1.31 million won and couples with an income below 2-million-96-thousand won are entitled to the increased benefits.
Those who turn 65 years old this year can apply for basic pension one month before their birthday at a local community service center or National Pension Service office.■
≡ Weather Update 1100
Taking a look at the weather, it's partly sunny skies for most of the nation, but heavier clouds are expected to move in this afternoon.
Meanwhile, frigid conditions continue as temperatures hover around the freezing point.
Cold wave advisories remain in effect for areas in the Gangwon and North Chungcheong provinces.
The local mercury will peak at zero, nearby Incheon will get up to minus 2.
As for the current reading in central Seoul, it is _____ degrees Celsius or _____ degrees Fahrenheit.■[2018.01.04]