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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 November 16, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea warns of another wave of pandemic as new virus cases over 200 for 3rd day

SEOUL -- South Korea may face another new coronavirus outbreak within a month, health authorities warned on Monday, as cluster infections show no signs of letup and year-end gatherings may further complicate the country's virus fight.

The country's new coronavirus cases hovered above 200 for a third consecutive day as cluster infections across the country piled up, prompting health authorities to "seriously" consider raising the country's social distancing measures by one notch

(LEAD) With virus resurgence in greater Seoul, Gangwon, tougher distancing rules imminent

SEOUL -- As South Korea's new coronavirus cases are growing at a concerning rate, especially in the greater Seoul area and Gangwon Province, health authorities on Monday further warned the public to brace for more stringent antivirus restrictions.

The country logged 223 new cases on Monday, a third consecutive day with more than 200 new infections. The last time the country saw its new infections passing 200 was on Sept. 2, when it reported 267 new cases, as Seoul and its adjacent cities experienced a spike in COVID-19 infections

(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit almost 3-year high on chip rally, vaccine hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks surged to a nearly three-year high Monday despite the spreading coronavirus woes, buoyed by a rally in chipmakers and vaccine hopes that fueled investor appetite for risky assets. The Korean won rose to the highest in nearly two years against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 49.16 points, or 1.97 percent, to close at 2,543.03. The reading marks the highest closing since 2,568.54 points on Feb. 1, 2018.

Ultrafine dust levels remain 'bad' in Seoul, western areas

SEOUL -- Ultrafine dust levels remained "bad" in Seoul and other western parts of the country on Monday amid an influx of particles from China, environmental authorities said.

As of noon, the PM 2.5 reading in Sejong, 120 kilometers south of Seoul, was 58 micrograms per cubic meter, followed by 55 micrograms per cubic meter in North Chungcheong Province, 50 micrograms per cubic meter in the northern Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces and 44 micrograms per cubic meter in Seoul, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Environment.

S. Korea decides to spend 1.95 bln won to transform DMZ guard post into museum

SEOUL -- The government decided Monday to spend 1.95 billion won (US$1.76 million) to transform a guard post on the border with North Korea into a museum underscoring inter-Korean reconciliation efforts and honoring soldiers killed during the Korean War.

The guard post at Arrowhead Ridge inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has since been used as a place to display items unearthed from the former battlefield under a project to uncover remains of soldiers killed in the 1950-53 war.

BTS clinches four prizes at People's Choice Awards

SEOUL -- K-pop superstars BTS has swept prizes from the People's Choice Awards 2020, the event's organizers said.

The septet won the categories of the Group of 2020, Song of 2020, Music Video of 2020 and Album of 2020 at the annual ceremony, held online on Sunday (U.S. time).

(2nd LD) Big Hit Entertainment Q3 net nearly doubles on album sales

SEOUL -- Big Hit Entertainment Co., the management agency behind global boy band BTS, said Monday its net profit rose 92 percent from the previous year on the back of strong album and merchandise sales.

Net profit stood at 27.2 billion won (US$24.4 million) in the July-September period, compared with 14.2 billion won the previous year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Popular monk withdraws from public activities amid property controversy

SEOUL -- A popular Buddhist monk, author and teacher has announced his withdrawal from public activities amid controversy over his property and lifestyle that appear to contradict his preaching of nonpossession.

Ven. Haemin has recently faced widespread criticism since a TV program unveiled his posh private home in central Seoul early this month and a subsequent news report claimed that he made gains by selling a building to a Buddhist organization allegedly run by him in the past.

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