The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(2nd LD) N.K. leader calls for maximum alert against virus, warns of 'unimaginable' crisis
SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for "maximum alert" against the coronavirus during a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, warning that premature easing of anti-virus measures will lead to "unimaginable and irretrievable crisis," state media reported Friday.
It was the second time in three months that the North has convened a politburo meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. That suggests the North's COVID-19 situation could be serious, though Pyongyang claims there has not been a single case.
(LEAD) Rising new cases spell peril for virus fight; areas outside capital under threat of more infections
SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases hit the highest level in two weeks on Friday as infections outside the Seoul metropolitan area showed a sustained increase, raising concerns that the country's infections may get back on an upward trajectory.
The country added 63 cases, including 52 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,967, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
N. Korean households hold average US$1,300 in cash: BOK
SEOUL -- North Korean families have average financial assets of over US$1,700 while holding more than two-thirds of their assets in cash, a central bank report said Friday.
The report from the Bank of Korea (BOK) suggested the average North Korean household had financial assets of $1,761 between 2012 and 2018, along with an average financial debt of $408.
Bolton says Trump could meet Kim again to help reelection
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump could meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if he believes a summit would help his reelection chances, Trump's former National Security Adviser John Bolton said Thursday.
Bolton's comment comes after President Moon Jae-in renewed his resolve to enable a fourth Trump-Kim meeting before the U.S. presidential election in November.
(LEAD) All rallies banned near symbolic peace statue on virus concerns
SEOUL -- A Seoul ward on Friday banned all rallies in major areas under its jurisdiction near the former site of the Japanese Embassy as a precaution against the new coronavirus, including weekly rallies held by an advocacy group supporting wartime sex slaves and its opponents there.
The ban, imposed by the Jongno Ward Office, has gone into effect as of midnight in designated parts of central Seoul. It will stay valid until the country's infectious disease alert level is lowered from "serious."
(Yonhap Feature) Frayed inter-Korean relations dash hopes for return to Kaesong
SEOUL -- When Shin Han-yong crossed the inter-Korean border into the North Korean city of Kaesong in 2018, he thought the opening of an inter-Korean liaison office could eventually lead to the resumption of a joint factory park.
The liaison office in the western border city was a follow-up on an agreement that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached in their second summit in April 2018.
(News Focus) No parcel day: Why S. Korean delivery workers are taking a day off on Aug. 14
Advertising controversy grips S. Korean mukbang YouTubers
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention