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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:17 August 06, 2020

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

(2nd LD) Major highways in Seoul partly closed, flood alerts issued as downpours raise water level of Han River

SEOUL -- Major highways running across Seoul were partly closed on Thursday, with the first flood alerts in nine years issued for areas near a major bridge on the Han River, as heavy rains pushed up the water level of the river that flows through the capital city.

Several sections of the Dongbu Urban Expressway, Seoul Inner Loop, Olympic-daero and Gangbyeon Northern Highway have been closed to traffic due to the inner city river's swelled water level, according to the police and the city of Seoul.

(LEAD) New virus cases bounce back to over 40 on surge in domestic infections

SEOUL -- The number of new daily coronavirus cases in South Korea bounced back to above 40 on Thursday as domestic infections climbed up.

The country added 43 cases, raising the total caseload to 14,499, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) N.K. leader orders special aid for Kaesong on coronavirus lockdown

SEOUL) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an executive policy council meeting of the Worker's Party and ordered special aid to the city of Kaesong under lockdown over coronavirus concerns, state media reported Thursday.

In late July, North Korea declared a "maximum emergency system" against the coronavirus after it claimed a defector returned home from the South with symptoms. It has since intensified antivirus efforts, putting the border town of Kaesong under complete lockdown since July 24 and tightening its national borders.

N. Korea pursues long-range nuclear missiles through 'deliberate testing program': Pentagon official

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- North Korea continues to push aggressively to develop long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the U.S. homeland through a "very deliberate testing program" for systems improvement, a senior Pentagon official has said.

Victorino G. Mercado, assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities, made the remarks during the 2020 Space and Missile Defense Symposium held online on Tuesday (Washington time), according to the transcript posted on the Pentagon website on Thursday.

(LEAD) Opposition party narrows gap with ruling party to below 1 pct point in poll

SEOUL -- South Korea's main opposition United Future Party (UFP) posted its highest-ever approval rating this week, narrowing the gap with the ruling party to less than 1 percentage point for the first time, a survey showed Thursday.

The opinion poll conducted by pollster Realmeter also showed an erosion in support of both President Moon Jae-in and the ruling Democratic Party (DP), apparently due to controversial real estate policies and growing tensions with the prosecution leadership.

(Yonhap Interview) Spatial design over eye-catching architecture: Seung H-Sang's vision for Yongsan Park

SEOUL -- Architect Seung H-Sang realized he had been waiting for that moment all along, when a call came in from a Dutch landscape architecture firm asking if he wanted to work together in an international competition to come up with a master plan for Yongsan Park.

"Any architect of this age who is interested in land and urban design would feel the same way that I did," Seung, 67, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday. "There was no reason not to accept the offer."

(LEAD) Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin back to himself, earns 1st win of 2020

SEOUL -- Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean starter Ryu Hyun-jin made it back to where he was.

Ryu shut down the Atlanta Braves over five innings at Truist Park in Atlanta on Thursday (Korean time). Striking out eight and walking three, he allowed only one hit to pick up his first win of the season as the Blue Jays beat the Braves 2-1.

(News Focus) With star-studded release calendar, August poised to be colossal month for K-pop

SEOUL -- Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strength and popularity of K-pop, a bedrock pillar of South Korean soft power, has proven to be as unrelenting and far-reaching as the virus itself.

According to the Korea Music Content Association-operated Gaon chart, the number of top 100 albums sold during the first half of 2020 soared 42.1 percent on-year to 16.42 million, with BTS alone moving 4.26 million records of its latest album just in South Korea. Albums by Seventeen and Baekhyun of EXO also sold handsomely, with each selling over 1 million copies.

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