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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:10 November 03, 2020

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

(LEAD) Moon rejects finance minister's resignation offer: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki tendered his resignation Tuesday to take responsibility for causing "confusion" related to a stock trade taxation policy, but President Moon Jae-in rejected it, Cheong Wa Dae officials said.

Hong, who doubles as deputy prime minister for economy, expressed his intention to resign during a separate meeting with the president right after a weekly Cabinet meeting at the presidential compound, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.

(LEAD) S. Korea to maintain stock taxation base for major shareholders: finance minister

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Tuesday the country will maintain the current stock transaction taxation base for major shareholders, citing heightened economic uncertainty.

The government has been seeking to lower the taxation threshold for a large shareholder to 300 million won (US$264,430) worth of stocks in a single company, from the current 1 billion won.

FM Kang likely to visit U.S. next week for talks with Pompeo: sources

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is expected to visit the United States early next week for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Details have yet to be finalized, but Kang is expected to make a three-day visit to Washington starting Sunday, the sources said. The envisioned trip, if realized, will take place after this week's U.S. presidential election.

Unification minister mulling trip to U.S. after presidential election

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young is considering visiting the United States after this week's U.S. presidential election for discussions about North Korea, government sources said Tuesday.

Lee's plan to visit Washington has yet to be finalized, and the detailed schedule could be adjusted depending on situations following the U.S. presidential election that began Tuesday, according to the sources.

(LEAD) S. Korea establishes first Air Force reconnaissance wing for Global Hawk, other key assets

SEOUL -- South Korea launched a new Air Force unit Tuesday in charge of operating the country's key reconnaissance assets, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft, in a move to enhance the country's capabilities to monitor threats from North Korea and beyond, officials said.

As the country's first reconnaissance wing, the 39th Reconnaissance Wing stationed at an air base in the central city of Chungju will operate five types of key Air Force reconnaissance assets, including the advanced unmanned Global Hawk aircraft, RF-16 and RC-800 Geumgang reconnaissance aircraft, and a medium-altitude unmanned aircraft system, according to the military.

(2nd LD) New virus cases below 100 for 2nd day amid concerns over post-Halloween surge

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus infections stayed in double digits for the second consecutive day Tuesday, but concerns remain over cluster infections following Halloween celebrations over the weekend.

The country added 75 more COVID-19 cases, including 46 local infections, raising the total caseload to 26,807, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Seoul shares up for 2nd day ahead of U.S. election

SEOUL -- South Korean shares rallied Tuesday for a second consecutive day ahead of the U.S. presidential election. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 43.15 points, or 1.88 percent, to close at 2,343.31.

S. Koreans' time on YouTube up 20 pct in Sept.: data

SEOUL -- South Koreans are estimated to have spent over 50 billion minutes on YouTube in September amid the pandemic, a 20 percent jump from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday.

Mobile app tracker Wiseapp said the video streaming application was the application most used by the country's 33.7 million Android smartphone users in September at 53.1 billion minutes, compared with 44.3 billion minutes spent on the app the previous year.

(US election) Americans vote to elect next U.S. president in one of most contentious elections

WASHINGTON -- American voters began going to the polls Tuesday to decide who will lead their country for the next four years in one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history and one that could turn out to be the most scandalous one as well.

Voting began in the small town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, where its small population traditionally gather at the turn of midnight to cast their ballots, with the results often declared in minutes afterward.

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