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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 13:30 June 08, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

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(2nd LD) Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong attends arrest warrant hearing over succession probe

SEOUL -- The de facto leader of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate, appeared in court Monday for a hearing to decide whether he will be arrested again amid allegations of his involvement in a merger and accounting fraud.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, showed up at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul.

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(2nd LD) New virus cases dip below 40, cluster infections still at large in greater Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases slowed Monday after reporting more than 50 cases for two consecutive days, but concerns are running high over the second wave of the pandemic in greater Seoul as more South Korean pupils returned to classes in the final phase of the country's school reopening plan.

The country added 38 new cases, including 33 locally transmitted cases, raising its total caseload to 11,814, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). It marked a slight decrease from 57 cases announced a day earlier and 51 on Saturday.

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(LEAD) S. Korea finalizes phased school reopening despite persisting pandemic

SEOUL -- With the final batch of students returning to classes Monday, South Korea completed its phased school reopening scheme despite growing anxiety over a second wave of new coronavirus infections in Seoul and adjacent cities.

About 1.35 million more students -- in the first grade of middle school and the fifth and sixth grades of elementary school -- went back to their classrooms in the final round of the government's four-phased reopening plan, which started with high-school seniors on May 20.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's liaison phone call to N.K. goes unanswered for first time

SEOUL -- North Korea did not answer a daily liaison phone call from South Korea on Monday for the first time since the opening of a joint liaison office in 2018, the unification ministry said, after Pyongyang vowed to abolish the office in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets from the South.

The lack of response deepened concerns that the North might be carrying out its threat to scrap the liaison office in protest of propaganda leaflets that defectors and other activists in the South fly across the border criticizing Pyongyang's leadership.

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(2nd LD) N.K. leader holds politburo meeting, makes no mention of inter-Korean issues

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has presided over a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and discussed measures to develop the chemical industry, but inter-Korean issues and other external matters were not on the agenda, according to state media Monday.

The meeting, held Sunday, came just two days after the North vowed to abolish an inter-Korean liaison office in anger over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent from South Korea. Four items were on the agenda, but the leaflet issue was not one of them, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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(Yonhap Interview) Yerong: Unlikely Korean megaphone for Black Lives Matter movement

SEOUL -- Having started in the United States after the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd caused by the Minneapolis police on May 25, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has clearly evolved into an international phenomenon, with protests having taken place in at least 40 countries -- from Britain and France to South Korea this past weekend -- in solidarity with American protestors and victims of endemic racism.

In South Korea, it is without question that K-pop artists, commanding legions upon legions of fans at home and abroad, have had a big influence in raising awareness and supporting the BLM cause.

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Inter-Korean military hotlines in normal operation: defense ministry

SEOUL -- Military communication lines between South and North Korea are operating normally Monday, defense ministry officials said, though the North did not answer the South's call via inter-Korean liaison communication.

Earlier in the day, unification ministry spokesperson Yoh Sang-key told a regular press briefing that the South made a liaison phone call to the North this morning but has yet to get an answer. It is the first time the communist country has not answered the South's calls.

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