The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(2nd LD) Virus fight still dogged by cluster infections ahead of further school reopenings
SEOUL -- South Korea continued to report more virus cases linked to religious gatherings in greater Seoul on Friday ahead of further school reopenings next week. Health authorities again urged citizens to stay away from gatherings over the weekend.
The country added 39 more cases of the new coronavirus, including 34 local infections, raising the total caseload to 11,668, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The daily COVID-10 infections remained flat compared to the previous day.
(LEAD) New parliament opens 1st session, but opposition boycotts voting
SEOUL -- South Korea's newly elected parliament convened its first plenary session Friday, but the main opposition party walked out of the chamber briefly after the opening in protest against the ruling party's plan over the organization of parliamentary standing committees.
The first full-floor meeting of the 21st National Assembly was called after the ruling majority Democratic Party submitted a unilateral request for the new chamber's inaugural session earlier this week.
Mayors from border areas urge unification ministry to help halt leaflets into N. Korea
SEOUL -- An association of mayors from the border areas called on the unification ministry Friday to come up with stricter regulations to stop North Korean defectors and other activists from flying leaflets into the communist nation.
Jung Ha-young, mayor of Gimpo, west of Seoul, delivered a letter on behalf of the association of mayors from 10 border areas to Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, urging for an immediate halt to the leaflet campaign by defector groups and the enactment of a law banning such a campaign.
(LEAD) Moon preps for retirement in rural town near Tongdo Temple in Yangsan
SEOUL/ YANGSAN -- President Moon Jae-in has purchased a property in Yangsan, a rural city in the southeastern part of South Korea, for a private residence to live in after retiring in May 2022, Cheong Wa Dae confirmed Friday.
Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook bought the 2,630.5-square-meter land, where a two-story house is located, for 1.06 billion won (US$870,000) at their own expense, according to presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok.
(LEAD) U.S. continues to urge S. Korea to show flexibility in defense cost talks: official
WASHINGTON -- The United States continues to urge South Korea to show "flexibility" in negotiations over sharing the cost of the American troop presence there, notwithstanding a recent agreement to have Seoul pay for Korean workers on U.S. bases, a State Department official said Thursday.
The allies have for months tried to reach a new Special Measures Agreement stipulating how much South Korea will contribute to the cost of keeping 28,500 American troops stationed on the peninsula.
Samsung, LG withdraw mutual complaints over QLED TV ad
SEJONG -- South Korea's two largest electronics firms, Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., have agreed to drop complaints against each other over a TV advertisement, the country's corporate watchdog confirmed Friday.
The Fair Trade Commission said it decided not to further process the complaint cases after the two companies withdrew their complaints.
Consumers rush to buy thinner face masks ahead of summer
SEOUL -- An online shopping channel selling thinner face masks crashed Friday as South Koreans rushed to buy the antivirus masks amid warmer weather.
Mask manufacturer Welkeeps began sales of the "saliva droplet prevention" masks at 9 a.m., but its online server shortly was shut down as shoppers rushed to get the masks priced at 500 won (US$0.40).
Fresh tensions brewing in Seoul-Tokyo ties over court procedure to sell off Japanese assets
Reform committee's recommendations to diffuse chief prosecutor's power draw backlash
After six months, pandemic accelerates arrival of contactless future in S. Korea
1 year after workplace anti-bullying law took effect, challenges remain
N.K. seeks to distract from domestic hardships with liaison office demolition: experts