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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 August 11, 2020

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

(LEAD) Samsung Biologics to spend 1.7 tln won for 4th plant amid growing demand

SEOUL -- Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, said Tuesday that it will build a fourth plant in the country in response to rising manufacturing demand.

The 1.7 trillion-won (US$1.4 billion) plant in Songdo, western Incheon, will have a bioreactor capacity of 256,000 liters, the company said in a regulatory filing.

(2nd LD) S. Korean central region under 49 days of rainy season, longest on record

SEOUL -- South Korea's annual rainy season has continued for 49 days now, the longest on record, and is poised to set a fresh record as more rains are forecast to pour down until mid-August.

The monsoon season, which has begun on June 24, tied the previous record of 49 days set in 2013, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said, and will continue until Aug. 16 in the capital Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and western Gangwon Province.

S. Korean zombie blockbuster 'Peninsula' tops Canadian box office

SEOUL -- South Korean zombie blockbuster "Peninsula" topped the Canadian box office over the weekend, the film's distributor here said Tuesday.

Released in 48 theaters across Canada last Friday, the sequel to the 2016 sensation "Train to Busan" earned US$120,000 in its first week, according to NEW.

Medical professor elected as new chief of Korea Red Cross

SEOUL -- A medical professor known for active involvement in inter-Korean exchanges in public health has been elected as South Korea's new Red Cross chief, sources said Tuesday.

Shin Hee-young, a professor at Seoul National University's medical school, will serve as head of the Korea Red Cross for three years, according to the sources.

Forcibly discharged transgender soldier files lawsuit against Army decision

SEOUL -- A former South Korean solider, who was forcibly discharged after a sex reassignment surgery, on Tuesday filed an administrative suit against the Army's decision, saying it was unconstitutional.

Byun Hee-soo, 22, who had the rank of staff sergeant, underwent the operation in Thailand last year and expressed desire to serve in the female corps.

Korean shipyards retake top spot in July orders

SEOUL -- South Korean shipbuilders grabbed the No. 1 ranking in new shipping orders in July for the first time this year, beating their Chinese rivals, industry data showed on Tuesday.

According to the data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service, the Korean shipbuilders' new orders amounted to 500,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs), or 12 ships, in July, which accounted for 74 percent of the global new orders totaling 680,000 CGTs, or 24 ships, last month.

Probe finds gross misappropriation of funds at care facility for comfort women

SUWON -- A large portion of public donations, meant to be used for Korean victims of wartime sexual slavery, was found to have been set aside for other purposes, including buying land, a probe team said Tuesday.

The House of Sharing, a shelter for the victims in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, collected approximately 8.8 billion won (US$7.43 million) in public donations from 2015-2019, Song Ki-chun, the head of the probe team, said.

S. Korean video-streaming service providers cornered by Netflix

SEOUL -- South Korea's homegrown streaming media service platforms seem to be losing their competitive edge to global media giant Netflix, which has been rapidly expanding its influence in the country.

Last week, the U.S. over-the-top (OTT) service firm partnered with local telecom operator KT to offer its streaming service on the latter's pay TV platform, Olleh TV, starting from Aug. 3. All Olleh TV subscribers can access Netflix with just a click or a tap on a remote control.

Seoul stocks extend winning streak to 7th day on hopes for economic recovery

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended their winning streak on Tuesday to a seventh day to end at a more than two-year high, aided by tech gains in market heavyweights amid economic rebound hopes. The Korean won stayed unchanged against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 32.29 points, or 1.35 percent, to close at 2,418.67.

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