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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:08 October 12, 2020

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

S. Korea, U.S. analyzing N. Korea's new ICBM: defense ministry

SEOUL -- Military authorities are analyzing details of North Korea's newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) unveiled in a massive parade over the weekend, including how many warheads it can carry, officials said Monday.

During the Oct. 10 parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, the communist country showed off a new ICBM, along with a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and other modernized weapons systems.

(LEAD) 'Top-down' nuke diplomacy with N.K. may not continue if Biden wins Nov. election: Ambassador Lee

SEOUL -- The "top-down" nuclear diplomacy that U.S. President Donald Trump has employed toward North Korea may not be retained if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the November election, Seoul's top envoy in Washington has said.

During a video-linked parliamentary audit Sunday (Washington time), Ambassador Lee Soo-hyuck made the remarks in response to a lawmaker's question about the possibility of a change in the U.S. approach to the North following the Nov. 3 presidential vote.

(3rd LD) New virus cases spike again on 1st day of eased social distancing scheme

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases spiked again Monday, though the daily tally stayed below 100 for the fifth consecutive day, as the country eased its tougher social distancing measures.

The country added 98 COVID-19 cases, including 69 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,702, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Moon vows watertight antivirus fight despite eased social distancing rules

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in assured the public Monday that his government will maintain strict measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in spite of the decision to relax social distancing guidelines.

"(The government) will ensure that there will be no loophole, even for a moment, in antivirus measures for high-risk and multiuse facilities," he said at the outset of a weekly meeting with senior Cheong Wa Dae aides.

(LEAD) Seoul city lifts ban on rallies of 10 or more people, allows fewer than 100

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government on Monday eased tough restrictions on outdoor rallies as the country adjusted its social distancing to the lowest level.

The new guidelines allow rallies of fewer than 100 people, lifting an earlier ban on rallies of 10 or more, which had been in place since late August, the local government said.

(LEAD) Moon holds high-level meeting on backing Yoo Myung-hee's WTO chief bid

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in convened a high-level meeting Monday to discuss strategies on supporting Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee's bid to become the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Cheong Wa Dae said.

Moon raised the need to publicize that the minister with 25 years of experience in trade affairs is the right figure to reform the WTO, speaking in the session joined by Yoo, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.

(2nd LD) LG Chem logs record operating income in Q3 on petchem, battery demand

SEOUL -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemical firm, said Monday its operating profit hit a quarterly record high in the third quarter amid robust sales at the petrochemical and electric vehicle (EV) battery units.

In its earnings guidance, the South Korean electric vehicle battery maker estimated its operating profit at 902 billion won (US$785 million) in the July-September period, up 158.7 percent from a year earlier.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 8th day on eased virus curbs, tech gains

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended gains for an eighth consecutive session Monday on the back of strong advances by chipmakers and the government's decision to loosen quarantine measures against the new coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.77 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 2,403.73.

BTS' online concert draws nearly 1 mln viewers from 191 countries: agency

SEOUL -- Nearly 1 million viewers watched an online concert of K-pop superstar BTS held over the weekend, the band's agency said Monday.

Some 993,000 viewers from 191 countries and territories watched "BTS MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E" that was streamed online due to the pandemic, according to Big Hit Entertainment.

Preorders for NCT's upcoming album hit 1.1 million

SEOUL -- Preorders for South Korean boy group NCT's album reached a record 1.1 million ahead of its release later in the day, its agency said Monday.

This marks a new record for the 23-member group, which is set to release the album "RESONANCE Pt. 1" at 6 p.m., according to SM Entertainment.

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