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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:21 September 29, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korean military was eavesdropping when N. Korea issued order to kill official: sources

SEOUL -- The South Korean military captured in real time through wiretapping the North Korean military's order to kill a South Korean civil servant last week, parliamentary sources here said Tuesday.

According to the sources with access to the assembly's defense and intelligence committees, the South Korean military's intelligence unit was eavesdropping for hours from when the North Korean military spotted the South Korean official drifting on the northern side of the inter-Korean maritime border around 3:30 p.m last Tuesday.

(2nd LD) Slain S. Korean official sought defection to North: Coast Guard

SEOUL -- The Korea Coast Guard said Tuesday that the South Korean fisheries official shot to death by the North Korean military at sea last week was trying to defect to the North.

The Coast Guard reached the conclusion based on the intelligence retrieved from the military, the analysis of the tidal current on the day of the incident and other circumstantial evidence.

(2nd LD) New virus cases smallest since early August, upcoming holiday crucial for virus fight

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell below 50 on Tuesday for the first time since early August, but the country remains vigilant against possible cluster infections during a major holiday this week.

The country added 38 more COVID-19 cases, including 23 local infections, bringing the total caseload to 23,699, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Ministry acknowledges approving aid plan for N. Korea even after shooting death of citizen

SEOUL -- The unification ministry on Tuesday acknowledged that it had approved an aid organization's plan to send medical supplies to North Korea even after the North's deadly shooting of a South Korean official last week.

The approval was granted in the afternoon last Wednesday, after a South Korean fisheries official went missing from an inspection boat in waters off the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday and was shot to death by North Korean soldiers the next day.

Chuseok travel begins in smaller numbers than usual amid COVID concerns

SEOUL -- South Koreans began traveling in smaller-than-usual numbers Tuesday as ongoing coronavirus concerns led to fewer hometown visits and family gatherings typical of the Chuseok holiday.

Chuseok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving, falls on Thursday this year with the holiday period extending from Wednesday until Sunday when the Oct. 3 National Foundation Day is included. As one of the biggest traditional holidays, Chuseok has always involved long-distance traveling between family members getting together to pay respects to ancestors, share food and play games.

BTS performs 'IDOL' on Jimmy Fallon show

SEOUL -- Dressed in the traditional Korean attire of "hanbok," K-pop superstars BTS on Tuesday (Korean time) opened the "BTS Week" special on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" with its hit song "IDOL."

The show's weeklong series running for five days through Friday is designed to showcase different music performances of the seven-member band each night, including live performances, comedy bits and virtual interviews.

(2nd LD) S. Korean app developers cry foul over Google's 30 pct fee on all apps

SEOUL -- Google Inc. faced strong backlash from South Korean developers after it announced Monday (U.S. time) it will enforce its app market's billing system, which charges a 30 percent fee to all app developers.

While Google has taken a 30 percent cut for all in-app purchases on the Play store through its billing system, some apps have circumvented the rule by using other systems, such as direct credit card payments.

Incheon Int'l Airport chief dismissed for misconduct amid controversy

SEOUL -- South Korea's transport ministry on Tuesday notified the chief of the country's main airport operator of its decision to dismiss him over alleged negligence and ethical lapses.

Koo Bon-hwan, president and CEO of the Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC), has been accused of alleged wrongdoings in connection with the company's typhoon response and personnel issues.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend winning streak to 3rd session on U.S. stimulus hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended their winning streak to a third session Tuesday, as progress in negotiations for a new U.S. fiscal stimulus plan boosted investor appetite for risky assets. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 19.81 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 2,327.89.

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