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Yonhap News Summary

National 13:34 July 09, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
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Chief prosecutor to stay away from probe involving key aide

SEOUL -- The chief prosecutor backed down Thursday to accept the justice minister's directive not to intervene in an alleged blackmail case at the center of friction between the two.

Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl will take his hands off the sensitive case involving one of Yoon's key aides and a now fired TV reporter, and let the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office continue its independent investigation, the Supreme Prosecutors Office said.
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S. Korea welcomes Biegun's remarks on U.S. support for inter-Korean cooperation: ministry official

SEOUL -- South Korea welcomed a remark by United States Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun expressing strong support for inter-Korean cooperation, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

Biegun, who doubles as the U.S. special representative for North Korea, said Wednesday after talks with his counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, that the U.S. "strongly supports" inter-Korean cooperation, calling it an "important component" in fostering stability on the Korean Peninsula.
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Biegun, Moon's top security adviser discuss N. Korea issues

SEOUL -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun and Suh Hoon, South Korea's new director of national security at the presidential office, discussed North Korea issues here on Thursday in their first meeting since the latter's appointment, according to sources.

The two met at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in the morning on the last day of Biegun's three-day visit to South Korea, aimed at reviving stalled diplomacy with Pyongyang.
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S. Korea to spend 5 tln won on R&D in new growth-engine sectors

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to invest 5 trillion won (US$4.2 billion) in research and development for new growth-engine sectors, including semiconductor and biotechnology, the trade ministry said Thursday.

The industry ministry also expanded a list of materials, parts and equipment to 338 to reduce the country's reliance on Japanese imports and cope with a change in global supply chains after the coronavirus pandemic.
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Protestant community protests government's ban on church gatherings

SEOUL -- The South Korean government's recent ban on small gatherings and meetings in churches has brought about a strong backlash from the Protestant community amid rising concerns over a second wave of the novel coronavirus infection stemming from religious facilities.

On Wednesday, the health authorities said Protestant churches will be barred from hosting small bible classes, choir practices and lunch services from Friday. Churches also must use QR-code based entry logs to keep records of worshipers who participate in services, while congregations will be prohibited from singing or praying loudly.
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(LEAD) Virus fight in trouble over double whammy of local and imported cases

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases declined slightly on Thursday, but a continued rise in imported cases and infections linked to religious facilities continued to strain the country's virus fight.

The country added 50 cases, including 28 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,293, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
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First arrest made under toughened school zone safety laws

GIMPO -- A man has been arrested under laws mandating heavier punishment for car accidents within school zones, police said Thursday, the first arrest under the laws that were introduced four months ago.

The Gimpo Police Station said it detained the man, in his 30s, for hitting and injuring a 7-year-old child who was crossing the street in a school zone in Gimpo, just northwest of Seoul, on April 6, for violating the revised laws on road safety and aggravated punishment of specific crimes.
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S. Korea's finance minister warns of deglobalization risks over pandemic

SEJONG -- South Korea's finance minister has said that the process of deglobalzation is being accelerated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but the world must embrace this crisis as an opportunity to promote shared prosperity.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki made the remarks at an online meeting with finance ministers from Group of 20 countries and Paris Club creditor nations Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement.
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