The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(LEAD) Seoul stocks close higher on advance of 'untact' businesses
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Thursday on strong gains by 'untact' businesses prompted by fears over a prolonged pandemic, analysts said. The Korean won stayed flat.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 9.02 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 2,167.90. Trading volume was moderate at about 609 million shares worth some 12.8 trillion won (US$10.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 421 to 417.
S. Korea to spend big on development of COVID-19 vaccine, drug
SEOUL -- South Korea will spend 197 billion won (US$162 million) on supporting vaccine and treatment drug development for COVID-19, the health ministry said Thursday.
Of the total, 57.6 percent, or 111.5 billion won, will be used to find vaccines and treatment drugs.
Biegun wraps up his visit to S. Korea amid stalled N.K. diplomacy
SEOUL-- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun wrapped up his three-day visit to South Korea and departed for Japan on Thursday after expressing full U.S. support for inter-Korean cooperation and reaffirming willingness to reengage with North Korea.
Biegun and his delegation took off from the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, at about 4 p.m., according to diplomatic sources. In Tokyo, he is expected to hold talks with Japanese officials before flying back to the United States on Friday.
(LEAD) Top diplomats of S. Korea, UAE to hold talks in Seoul
SEOUL -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will hold talks over bilateral cooperation in Seoul this week, the foreign ministry said Thursday, as the two countries mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, are set to meet Friday. The UAE's minister arrived here Thursday for a three-day visit.
(LEAD) Moon vows to nurture materials, parts sectors amid trade row with Japan
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Thursday vowed to use Japan's export restrictions against the country as an "opportunity" to further nurture the parts and materials industries here.
"We will walk a different road from Japan," Moon said during a visit to SK hynix in Icheon, southeast of Seoul, "By turning the crisis into an opportunity, we will leap forward to become a powerful nation for the material, parts and equipments sectors."
(2nd LD) S. Korea's virus infections slightly decline, but spread continues beyond capital
SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases declined slightly on Thursday, but the new coronavirus continued to spread beyond Seoul and its neighboring areas.
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).
South Korea had reported more than 60 new virus cases for three consecutive days through Sunday, before falling below 50 on Monday and Tuesday. The new daily cases rebounded to 63 a day earlier on a sharp rise in infections coming in from overseas.
(News Focus) Subscription models, another way out for slump-hit retailers amid contactless trend
SEOUL -- Jung Se-hee, a 40-year-old office worker, recently bought a one-month mobile voucher offered by Burger King. It allows her to buy 30 cups of Americano for 4,900 won (US$4.11), a real steal as the price tag translates to just 170 won for a cup of coffee.
"I started it out of curiosity, but I was surprised to see that the price is super cheap," she said.
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