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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:58 July 08, 2020

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

(3rd LD) Biegun says U.S. 'strongly' supports inter-Korean cooperation

SEOUL -- The United States "strongly" supports cooperation between South and North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Wednesday, calling it an "important component" in fostering stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Biegun also underscored America's pledge to be "fully engaged" in efforts to promote peace and its "ironclad" security commitment to the South while reiterating an appeal for dialogue with the recalcitrant North.

(LEAD) Moon asks lawmakers to hold hearing on unification minister nominee

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in formally requested Wednesday that lawmakers hold confirmation hearings on his picks to serve as unification minister and head of the state intelligence agency.

Moon signed related documents and submitted them to the National Assembly earlier in the day, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok told reporters. It ushers in the start of a parliamentary process on the nominations of Lee In-young, a four-term lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, as unification minister, and Park Jie-won, a former minor opposition party lawmaker, as chief of the National Intelligence Service.

(LEAD) S. Korea seeks ways to boost defense exports

SEOUL -- South Korea is seeking ways to boost the competitiveness of local arms exporters as part of efforts to lead the world's defense industry, the government said Wednesday,

During a meeting presided over by Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo, officials discussed possible policies to expand arms exports and to increase the use of domestically produced parts in weapons systems, according to the defense ministry.

Trump says he is open to another summit with N.K. leader: reports

SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he is open to holding another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite Pyongyang's repeated claims that it has no intention to hold talks with the U.S., according to news reports.

"I understand they want to meet and we would certainly do that," Trump said in an interview with Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday (Washington time), according to Voice of America and other news reports.

Toughened anti-infection measures in store for churches

SEOUL -- Churches will be required to use QR-code based entry logs and other toughened infection preventive measures as the country tries to stem new coronavirus outbreaks tied to religious facilities, public health authorities said Wednesday.

The entry logs for churchgoers will be implemented from Friday, with churches barred from hosting small meetings, like bible classes and choir practices, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

(LEAD) Mobile carriers imposed record fine for illegal 5G subsidies

SEOUL -- South Korea's telecommunications regulator said Wednesday it imposed a record fine of 51.2 billion won (US$46.7 million) on the country's three major carriers -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- for providing illegal subsidies to subscribers to their 5G network services.

SK Telecom will face the heaviest fine of 22.3 billion won, followed by KT with 15.4 billion won and LG Uplus at 13.5 billion won, respectively, according to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

9 in 10 COVID-19 patients have mild symptoms, average hospitalization period at 20.7 days: KCDC

SEOUL -- Nine out of 10 novel coronavirus patients in South Korea have shown mild symptoms, with their average hospitalization period at 20.7 days, health authorities said Wednesday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said it has analyzed a total of 8,976 COVID-19 patients who were either fully cured and had been released from quarantine or dead as of end-April.

Single-person households most common household type in S. Korea: data

SEOUL -- A single-person household is the most common type of living arrangement in South Korea, data showed Wednesday.

Data released by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety showed 8.77 million single-person residence registrations, accounting for 39 percent of the total number of 22.7 million.

(LEAD) Multiple home-owning politicians, officials under growing pressure to sell

SEOUL -- Politicians and high-rank government officials owning more than one house are coming under growing pressure to dispose of properties as the government is preparing steps to hike tax burdens for owners of multiple homes in efforts to curb soaring housing prices.

Housing prices have continued to surge in many parts of South Korea since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017, sparking strong discontent among those in their 30s and 40s, the main support group for the government. This has pressed the government to take stern actions to curb property speculations and stabilize the house market, particularly in the densely populated Seoul and its adjacent areas.

Homegrown OTT players to take on Netflix with new original content

SEOUL -- South Korea's homegrown video streaming providers are ramping up original content production to better compete with industry leader Netflix Inc., industry sources said Wednesday.

Netflix has taken the country by storm this year with its original series like "Kingdom 2." The U.S.-based streaming giant held the most active users here in May at an estimated 6.37 million, according to market researcher Nielsen KoreanClick.


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