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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 October 14, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

U.S. military chief vows to provide 'extended deterrence' to S. Korea

SEOUL -- The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to South Korea's security, including providing "extended deterrence," during annual talks between the military chiefs of the two countries, both sides said Wednesday.

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman (JCS) Gen. Mark Milley made the remark Tuesday during the 45th Military Committee Meeting (MCM) via videoconference with his South Korean counterpart, Gen. Won In-choul, days after North Korea unveiled a massive new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and other weapons.

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BOK keeps key rate steady at record low amid protracted pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank kept its key interest rate steady at a record low Wednesday as it is assessing the impact of the protracted coronavirus outbreak on the economy while monitoring rising housing prices.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) said it will keep its accommodative policy stance as uncertainty about the growth path remains high amid the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling that there will be no change in the policy rate for the time being.

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Heir Chung Euisun officially takes helm at Hyundai Motor Group

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Group's longtime heir Chung Euisun on Wednesday officially took over the helm at the South Korean auto giant as it pushes to morph into a future mobility solutions provider.

The group's three major affiliates -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Mobis Co. -- held separate board meetings to name the only son of octogenarian Chung Mong-koo, who had led the Korean automotive group since 2000, as new group chairman.

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N.K. appoints new Strategic Force commander overseeing missiles

SEOUL -- North Korean state media has confirmed the replacement of the commander of the country's Strategic Force in charge of missile units and the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station introduced Kim Jong-gil, a three-star general, as the Strategic Force commander while airing video clips of a military parade that the North held Saturday to mark the founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party.

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New virus cases again up by double digits, new cluster infection reported in Busan

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases rose by double digits Wednesday amid concerns that a new cluster infection in the southeastern port city of Busan could potentially lead to a mass outbreak.

The country added 84 more COVID-19 cases, including 53 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,889, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It marked a fall from 102 cases reported on Tuesday.

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Berlin district office withholds order to remove sex slave statue

BERLIN/SEOUL -- A Berlin district office has withheld its order to remove a statue symbolizing victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery following protests from activists and citizens.

The Mitte district office said in a statement Tuesday that the order to remove "The Statue of Peace" by Wednesday was no longer applicable due to an injunction filed by local civic group Korea Verband, which brands itself as a platform for all who are interested in Korea.

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N.K. leader visits mining town under recovery from typhoon damage

SEOUL-- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a typhoon-hit mining town in the country's eastern province and lauded ongoing efforts to rebuild the area, state media reported Wednesday.

Kim visited the Komdok region of South Hamkyong Province hard-hit by typhoons in recent months and reviewed recovery efforts under way, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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N. Korea appears to have 'no appetite' for provocation until after U.S. election: Seoul official

SEOUL -- North Korea seems to have no appetite for provocation until after the U.S. presidential election in November, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday, citing "no explicit agitation" toward Washington during Pyongyang's recent military parade.

Park Jang-ho, deputy director-general at the foreign ministry's North Korean nuclear affairs bureau, made the remarks during a webinar hosted jointly by the Sejong Institute and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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S. Korea seeks to supply more homes to newlyweds, first-time homebuyers

SEJONG-- South Korea plans to supply more homes to newlyweds and first-time homebuyers through public and private development projects, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday.

About 92 percent of newlyweds and first-time homebuyers will be eligible to purchase housing units as the government plans to ease some rules for them, Hong said in a meeting with property-related ministers.
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