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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:21 November 18, 2020

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

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Celltrion eyes emergency authorization for COVID-19 treatment next month

SEOUL -- South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion Inc.'s coronavirus treatment is likely to file for emergency authorization use from local drug authorities next month, the company's chief said Wednesday.

CT-P59, anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment, is currently undergoing a phase two clinical trial locally after successfully completing a phase one clinical trial on healthy volunteers who had not contracted COVID-19.

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(LEAD) Korean Air chief vows no job cuts in Asiana acquisition

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest carrier, will proceed with the deal to acquire its smaller local rival Asiana Airlines Inc. without job cuts, the company's chairman said Wednesday.

"The company made a decision to acquire (Asiana Airlines) to make a contribution to the development of the country's airline industry," Korean Air Chairman Cho Won-tae told reporters after attending a South Korea-U.S. business leaders' meeting in Seoul.

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(LEAD) Growing COVID-19 cases deepen worries over potential disruption to college entrance exam

SEOUL -- A recent surge in coronavirus cases has increased anxiety about whether the national college entrance exam, the biggest academic event of the year, can be held safely in South Korea next month.

Education authorities are on high alert ahead of the Dec. 3 event, having postponed the exam, originally slated for Nov. 19, in late March, when the country was hit by the first wave of the pandemic.

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(LEAD) Suh, Miller reaffirm efforts to strengthen Korea-U.S. alliance

WASHINGTON -- South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller spoke by phone and reaffirmed their commitment to the alliance between the two countries, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Miller also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to South Korea's defense in his first phone call with Suh since taking office earlier this month after President Donald Trump fired Miller's predecessor, Mark Esper, just a few months before leaving office.

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(LEAD) Appeals court upholds prison terms for producers of Mnet's 'Produce' series over vote-rigging

SEOUL -- An appellate court on Wednesday maintained prison terms for two disgraced producers of the popular music channel Mnet for rigging the vote results of a popular audition program.

The Seoul High Court sentenced Ahn Joon-young, the producer of the audition program "Produce," to two years in prison and forfeiture of 37 million (US$30,000), and chief producer Kim Yong-beom to 20 months in prison, the same punishments ruled in May by the Seoul Central District Court.

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Dinos' Aaron Altherr apologizes for refusing to wear mask during Korean Series

SEOUL -- An American baseball player competing in the South Korean baseball championship series apologized on Wednesday for refusing to wear a mask during official pregame and postgame functions.

Aaron Altherr of the NC Dinos skipped the award ceremony and his postgame press conference on Tuesday, after being named the Player of the Game in the Dinos' 5-3 victory over the Doosan Bears in Game 1 of the Korean Series.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit nearly 3-year high; Korean won at 29-month high

SEOUL -- South Korean shares hit the highest in 33 months Wednesday on a rally in bio stocks amid concerns over a flare-up of new coronavirus outbreaks. The Korean won surged to a 29-month high against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.49 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 2,545.64. The reading marks the highest closing since 2,568.54 points on Feb. 1, 2018.

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