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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:04 November 17, 2020

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

(3rd LD) Distancing level raised to 1.5 in greater Seoul, Gwangju, effective this week, as virus cases rise

SEOUL -- The government decided Tuesday to raise the social distancing level by one notch to 1.5 in the greater Seoul area and Gwangju, amid a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases in the regions.

The measure will go into effect on Thursday in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, while it will take effect from Monday in Incheon, given relatively less severe COVID-19 outbreaks in the city. Incheon's Ganghwa Island and Ongjin County will continue to remain under the Level 1 distancing.

(4th LD) S. Korea adopts tougher distancing in greater Seoul as new cases over 200 for 4th day

SEOUL -- South Korea is set to raise the social distancing scheme in the greater Seoul area by one notch to rein in the upward trend of coronavirus infections as the number of new cases hovered above 200 for the fourth consecutive day Tuesday.

The country added 230 more COVID-19 cases, including 202 local infections, raising the total caseload to 28,999, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Moon to join virtual summits of APEC, G20 this week

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in will participate in back-to-back major multilateral summits to be held via video links this week, Cheong Wa Dae announced Tuesday.

He is scheduled to attend an annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting on Friday, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down as investors lock in gains

SEOUL -- South Korean shares snapped their two-day gains Tuesday after hitting a nearly three-year high the previous session, as valuation pressure offset optimism over Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 3.88 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 2,539.15.

(LEAD) Defense minister meets U.S. Army chief, discusses alliance, cooperation

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Suh Wook met with U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville Tuesday and discussed ways to further boost military cooperation and the bilateral alliance, Seoul's defense ministry said.

McConville arrived in South Korea late Monday for a three-day stay as part of his Asian trip, according to military officials.

Health authorities on alert over sharp hikes in coronavirus infections among younger people

SEOUL -- South Korean health authorities are on alert over an increasing number of younger people infected with the coronavirus, which they fear could spawn a fresh wave of outbreaks in coming weeks.

The proportion of those under 50 in all new cases increased 10.8 percentage points to 49.1 percent between Oct. 11 and Nov. 7, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) released Monday.

N. Korea seen following social distancing measures at theaters

SEOUL -- North Koreans left every other seat empty at theaters this week in an apparent social distancing measure against the coronavirus pandemic, according to state media photos.

Photos released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday showed several performances in Pyongyang marking Mother's Day on Nov. 16, with empty seats in between audience members as part of social distancing measures.

(LEAD) Gov't committee virtually scraps new Gimhae airport project

SEOUL -- A state committee established to review the feasibility of expanding Gimhae International Airport in southeastern South Korea on Tuesday effectively scrapped the plan, citing safety and environmental issues and a lack of thorough communication with the local government in the decision-making process.

"The new Gimhae airport plan needs substantial supplementation in areas of safety, facility management, demand, environment and noise and as of now remains insufficient in dealing with future changes," said Kim Soo-sam, head of the review committee under the prime minister's office, while delivering a briefing on the committee's findings at the government complex in Seoul.

Mask-related violations most reported among breaches of virus control measures: data

SEOUL -- People in South Korea are violating mask-wearing rules more than any other regulations in place against COVID-19, government data showed Tuesday.

Restaurants are where such breaches of antivirus restrictions occur most frequently, followed by indoor gyms and religious facilities, according to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.

Upcoming romance 'Josee' designed to create new variation of Japanese original: director

SEOUL -- The director of the upcoming romance film "Josee" said Tuesday that he intended to create a new love story based on the famous Japanese original movie with Korean emotion and sentiment.

Starring Han Ji-min and Nam Joo-hyuk, "Josee" is a Korean adaptation of the 1985 Japanese short story, "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish," by Seiko Tanabe and the 2003 Japanese romance drama of the same title, directed by Isshin Inudo.

(LEAD) Baseball postseason crowd to be reduced under tighter social distancing rules

SEOUL -- With the announcement on Tuesday that the social distancing rules will be tightened in the greater Seoul area due to a spike in new coronavirus cases, the size of the crowd in the baseball championship series will be reduced starting this week.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) had been admitting crowds at 50 percent of the stadium capacity during the ongoing postseason. But as the social distancing scheme moves from Level 1 to Level 1.5 in the new five-tier system effective Thursday, crowds for all games played after that must be limited to 30 percent of the capacity.

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