The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(3rd LD) Moon, Biden agree to cooperate closely on N. Korean nuke issue in phone call
SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his incoming U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed to work closely together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, as they had a 14-minute phone conversation Thursday, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Biden described South Korea as a "linchpin" of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, according to Moon's spokesman Kang Min-seok.
(LEAD) Biden says he is looking forward to working with Moon on challenges, including N. Korea
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday he looks forward to working closely with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on various challenges facing their countries, such as the North Korean nuclear issue and climate change.
In his first phone call with Moon, Biden also expressed "his desire to strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance as the linchpin of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region," according to a statement from his transition team. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.
(LEAD) Biden visits Korean War memorial in Philadelphia on U.S. Veterans Day
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden made a brief trip to a Korean War veterans' memorial in his home state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday as the United States observed its national Veterans Day.
"Biden, holding the hand of his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and accompanied by the Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, arrived at the black marble memorial that stands in a square. U.S. and Korean flags flew overhead," a pool report said.
(LEAD) New virus cases over 100 for 5th day; enhanced virus curbs in the offing
SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases rose by triple digits for a fifth day Thursday, as sporadic cluster infections from private gatherings and facilities piled up across the nation, raising the possibility that the country may enhance social distancing measures.
The country added 143 more COVID-19 cases, including 128 local infections, raising the total caseload to 27,942, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Mask rule violators face fines in S. Korea
SEOUL -- Violators of South Korea's face mask mandate may face fines starting Friday as the country seeks to better combat the new coronavirus.
The move follows an end to a 30-day grace period for the implementation of the country's revised infectious disease control and prevention act, which requires people to wear face masks on mass transportation and in public places.
Seoul in talks with Washington for communications with acting defense secretary
SEOUL -- South Korea is in talks with the United States to continue close coordination on pending alliance issues following the appointment of Christopher Miller as the U.S. acting defense secretary, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump fired his defense chief, Mark Esper, just days after his election defeat to former Vice President Joe Biden. Esper was sworn in as secretary of defense in June last year.
S. Korea, Indonesia discuss stronger bilateral trade
SEOUL -- South Korea and Indonesia on Thursday agreed to cooperate in overcoming the economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic by maintaining trade ties and improving the business environment.
Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met his Indonesian counterpart Bahlil Lahadalia in Seoul, sharing ideas on expanding trades and investment between the two nations, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
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(LEAD) 2 patients die after AstraZeneca vaccine shots; study under way over potential connection
Three more die after receiving AstraZeneca vaccine
J-Hope releases new song 'Blue Side' on 'Hope World' anniversary
Couple indicted on murder charge over fatal abuse of 10-year-old niece
(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. reach defense cost-sharing agreement
85,000 foreign workers in Gyeonggi ordered to take COVID-19 test before March 22
S. Korea tentatively concludes no link between COVID-19 vaccination and deaths
2 nurses test positive for COVID-19 after Pfizer vaccine shots