Joo Jae-hee Secures South Korea’s First Gold at Winter Youth Olympics in Short Track Speed SkatingFormer Taekwang Group Chairman Investigated for Embezzlement

SEOUL – South Korea celebrated its first gold medal at the Winter Youth Olympics, thanks to a stellar performance by Joo Jae-hee in short track speed skating. The 17-year-old athlete clinched the men's 1,500-meter title at the Gangneung Ice Arena, located approximately 160 kilometers east of Seoul, marking a triumphant start for the host nation on the first day of competition.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, Joo's victory was complemented by his teammate Kim You-sung, who secured the bronze medal in the same event, while Zhang Xinzhe of China took the silver. Joo maintained a strategic position at the back of the pack initially, making a decisive move on the final lap to overtake Zhang and win the gold. His success was not just in the final race; Joo also dominated the heats and semifinals earlier in the day.

In the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee does not compile an official medal table. The emphasis of this event is on fostering friendship and cultural experiences among teenage athletes, rather than solely focusing on intense competition. This approach is designed to cultivate a more inclusive and educational environment for the young participants.

Joo Jae-hee's accomplishment in Gangneung not only adds a gold medal to South Korea's tally but also highlights the country's strength in short track speed skating, a sport in which it has traditionally excelled.

SEOUL– Police in Seoul have summoned former Taekwang Group Chairman Lee Ho-jin on Saturday for allegations related to embezzlement and breach of trust. This move is part of an ongoing investigation into financial misconduct within the conglomerate.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, Lee is under scrutiny for allegedly creating slush funds exceeding 2 billion won (approximately US$1.5 million) through Taekwang Group's affiliates. The investigation intensified with a recent raid on Lee's residence and the Taekwaong Country Club in Yongin, located south of Seoul. Additionally, authorities have imposed a travel ban on Lee, restricting his movements outside of the country.

This investigation follows Lee's previous legal challenges. He had served a three-year prison sentence for charges including embezzlement, breach of trust, and tax evasion, before being released in October 2021.

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