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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:57 October 06, 2020

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

Japan agrees to allow fast-track entry of businesspeople from S. Korea

SEOUL -- Japan has agreed to allow businesspeople from South Korea to enter the country without a 14-day coronavirus quarantine starting later this week, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The special entry procedure, set to take effect Oct. 8, comes about seven months after Tokyo slapped entry restrictions on Seoul in early March to stem the spread of the COVID-19, further straining the bilateral relations already frayed over wartime history and trade.

(LEAD) Family of slain fishery official asks U.N. to investigate N.K. shooting

SEOUL -- The family of the South Korean fishery official shot dead by North Korean troops at sea last month on Tuesday asked the United Nations to investigate the fatal incident, as Pyongyang remained silent on Seoul's demand for a joint probe.

Lee Rae-jin, the older brother of the deceased official, held a press conference in front of the United Nations Human Rights Office in Seoul, requesting the international agency to "inform international society of the cruel brutality of North Korea and conduct a fair and objective investigation."

Finance minister defends proposed rules for fiscal soundness

SEJONG -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Tuesday that proposed rules to ensure fiscal soundness in 2025 are "not loosening," rebutting criticism that the government may not seek to keep a tight rein on public debt.

Hong made the remarks a day after the ministry unveiled details of the rules that will keep the nation's debt-to-GDP ratio to 60 percent and its consolidated fiscal balance at minus 3 percent in 2025.

Gov't to propose revised laws to allow abortion until 14th week of pregnancy

SEOUL -- The government will propose revisions to the existing laws to allow abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy, judicial sources said Tuesday.

They said the justice ministry will announce its plan to revise the Criminal Act and the Mother and Child Health Act on Wednesday as a follow-up to a Constitutional Court ruling in April last year.

(3rd LD) New virus cases under 100 for 6th day; cluster infections again in focus

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 100 for the sixth straight day Tuesday, but the country is bracing for a possible resurgence in new infections after a long holiday, as a slew of sporadic clusters were reported.

The country added 75 more COVID-19 cases, including 66 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,239, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Naver faces 26.7 bln-won fine, accused of manipulating algorithms

SEJONG -- South Korea's antitrust regulator on Tuesday accused Naver Corp., the nation's biggest search engine, of manipulating search algorithms in favor of the company's online shopping site and imposed a 26.7 billion-won (US$22.9 million) fine.

The fine, announced by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), is the nation's first that the regulator has levied on a technology platform operator for making algorithmic changes that favor a certain business.

(LEAD) He does it again: Rays' Choi Ji-man homers off Yankees' Gerrit Cole in ALDS

SEOUL -- Choi Ji-man hits Gerrit Cole like few others in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Choi, the South Korean first baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, blasted a two-run homer off the New York Yankees' ace in Game 1 of their American League Division Series (ALDS) at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday (local time).

It was Choi's fourth career home run and 10th hit in 19 career at-bats against Cole, including postseasons. Choi also has 10 RBIs against the right-handed fireballer.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend winning streak to 5th day on hopes of U.S. stimulus

SEOUL -- South Korean shares closed higher to extend their winning streak to a fifth session Tuesday, as investor sentiment was buoyed on hopes for new economic stimulus in the United States. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7.90 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,365.90.

Doosan Group chief sells stake in fuel cell unit

SEOUL -- Nine shareholders of Doosan Fuel Cell Co., including Park Jeong-won, chairman of cash-strapped Doosan Group, sold their 10.09 percent stake in the fuel cell maker via a block deal, Doosan Fuel Cell said Tuesday.

The stake sold was worth 210 billion won (US$180.8 million) at the closing price of 43,250 won on Monday.

Nighttime tours of Changdeok Palace to begin this week

SEOUL -- Nighttime tours of Changdeok Palace, one of the royal palaces of the Joseon Dynasty in central Seoul, will start later this week, cultural heritage authorities said Tuesday.

The special night tours of Changdeok Palace in Jongno Ward will kick off Saturday and go through Oct. 25, every Thursday to Sunday, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA).

(News Focus) BTS agency in spotlight as big stock market debut nears

SEOUL -- Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency behind K-pop superstar BTS, is again in the spotlight.

This time, it's not for the septet's record-setting musical feats -- that include topping the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time as a Korean band -- but for a competitive initial public offering that has investors and fans keeping their fingers crossed for a stake in the K-pop empire.

(2nd LD) BTS' agency draws near-record IPO subscription deposits

SEOUL -- Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of K-pop phenoms BTS, drew a near record-high amount of deposits from retail investors Tuesday, the last day for the subscription for its initial public offering (IPO) next week.

Since Monday, retail investors have subscribed for around 1.43 million Big Hit shares, or 20 percent of its 7.13 million new stocks to be issued in the IPO scheduled for Oct. 15. The IPO price is 135,000 won (US$116).

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