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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 November 12, 2020

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

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Biden's election to positively impact S. Korean economy: finance minister

SEOUL -- Joe Biden's victory in last week's U.S. presidential election is expected to positively impact the South Korean economy, as it will help ease economic uncertainty and improve global trade environments, Seoul's finance minister said Thursday.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also said Biden's environment-friendly policies and a trade row between the U.S. and China are likely to serve as downside risks to Asia's fourth-largest economy.

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Biden administration may oppose end-of-war declaration without denuclearization condition: Ban

SEOUL -- The incoming U.S. administration under President-elect Joe Biden may oppose Seoul's initiative to declare a formal end to the Korean War without preconditions tied to the North's denuclearization, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Thursday.

"There is the possibility that an end-of-the-war declaration not tied with conditions on North Korea's denuclearization will face objection from the U.S.," Ban said during a security forum hosted by the main opposition People Power Party at the National Assembly.

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N.K. leader out of public eye for 23rd straight day

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has not made any public appearances for the past 23 days, but his absence is nothing unusual, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

Kim was last seen in public on Oct. 21 when he visited a cemetery in the North's South Pyongyang Province for fallen Chinese soldiers that participated in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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N. Korea claims sharp increase in Chinese travelers in recent years

SEOUL -- A North Korean state tour agency on Thursday claimed that the number of Chinese travelers to the North has increased "sharply" over the past few years in an apparent bid to highlight close relations between the two countries.

The North's State General Bureau of Tourism made the claim in a post on its website, saying that many of the travelers had a chance to reflect upon the "friendly history" between the people of the two countries.

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Seoul to launch city-wide response system against violation of public mask rules

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government said Thursday it will launch a 24-hour response system to handle all queries about potential violations of rules on the wearing of masks in public places.

The decision comes as all those not wearing a mask in public will face a 100,000 won (US$90) fine starting Friday.

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S. Korea looking into cancellation of Samsung-chartered flights to China

SEOUL -- South Korea is checking with China about the cancellation of two Samsung-chartered flights to the country, officials said Thursday, amid speculation it could be related to China's recent strengthening of entry restrictions.

The flights had planned to depart for the Chinese cities of Xian and Tianjin on Friday, carrying Samsung Electronics Co. employees. The exact reason for the cancellation was not known, but it came a day after Beijing began requiring all international arrivals to submit two negative COVID-19 test results.

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(LEAD) Court grants bail to Shincheonji leader indicted on charges of obstructing COVID-19 response

SUWON, South Korea -- A court on Thursday granted bail to the leader of a minor religious sect at the center of the early coronavirus outbreak in South Korea.

The Suwon District Court, south of Seoul, allowed the bail request of Lee Man-hee, the founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, citing a low risk of destroying evidence and his deteriorating health.

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'Fact-Check Net' launched to fight disinformation, misinformation

SEOUL -- Local journalists, citizens and professionals on Thursday launched a joint fact-checking platform to systematically fight disinformation and misinformation in Korean society.

The online platform "Fact-Check Net" (https://www.factchecker.or.kr) was established as a consortium among three media organizations -- the Korea Broadcasting Journalist Association (KBJA), the Journalists Association of Korea and the Korean Producers and Directors Association -- and Parti, a social cooperative that has been striving to expand communications based on digital technology.

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