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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:15 November 19, 2020

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

U.N. committee adopts resolution on N. Korea human rights violation

WASHINGTON -- A U.N. committee on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for improved human rights conditions in North Korea that will soon be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly for consideration.

The resolution, if adopted, will mark the 16th of its kind since 2005 that has prompted strong objections from the communist North.

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U.S. House adopts resolutions calling for stronger alliance with S. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted two resolutions, both calling for efforts to further strengthen the U.S.-South Korea alliance that they said plays a "crucial role" in ensuring peace in Asia and the world.

One of the resolutions, submitted in April by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), highlighted the importance of the alliance and contributions made by Korean-Americans in the U.S.

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S. Korea ready to take steps to curb won's sharp gains: finance minister

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance minister said Thursday that financial authorities are closely monitoring the foreign exchange market, warning that it is ready to take actions at any time to smooth out the local currency's sharp gains.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki voiced concerns about the Korean currency's rapid strength against the U.S. dollar, saying that excessive currency volatility is not desirable.

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N.K. paper urges tight antivirus efforts without expecting outside help

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper said Thursday the country should intensify antivirus efforts on its own without any outside help that could increase the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

North Korea has recently intensified calls for tightened preventive measures against the coronavirus after leader Kim Jong-un held a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and stressed the need to "keep a high alert, build a tight blocking wall and further intensify the anti-epidemic work."

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(LEAD) Seoul to supply more public homes to tackle rental home shortage

SEOUL -- South Korea will supply 114,000 public 'jeonse' houses by 2022 to help tackle a shortage of the two-year contract-based rental homes, the transport ministry said Thursday.

The government plans to purchase existing homes to convert them into public jeonse houses mainly for the underprivileged who have difficulties in finding such homes, as higher demand has pushed up jeonse prices amid low rates and a recently passed related bill, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.

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(LEAD) New virus cases over 300 for 2nd day, tougher antivirus curbs in place

SEOUL -- The number of daily new coronavirus cases in South Korea hovered above 300 for the second consecutive day Thursday as the country braces for another potential wave of the pandemic, with rising sporadic cluster infections across the nation.

The country added 343 more COVID-19 cases, including 293 local infections, raising the total caseload to 29,654, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) U.N. rapporteur sends letters to two Koreas calling for info provision on fisheries official killing

SEOUL -- The U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights situation has sent the two Koreas letters calling for sufficient information on the North's killing of a South Korean fisheries official in September, a diplomatic source said Thursday.

On Tuesday, Tomas Ojea Quintana handed the "joint communication" letters to the diplomatic missions of the two Koreas in Geneva, Switzerland, as Pyongyang has yet to respond to Seoul's call for a joint probe into the official's death, with his family calling for a U.N. investigation.

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Gov't launches 2-week special monitoring of antivirus measures for college admissions test

SEOUL -- The South Korean government instituted a two-week special campaign Thursday aimed at ensuring that students nationwide take the annual state college entrance exam safely amid growing concerns about sharp hikes in new COVID-19 cases.

The Ministry of Education said it will closely monitor cram schools and other business establishments used by young students to see whether they operate under strict antivirus measures until the end of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) slated for Dec. 3.

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Seoul soaked by heaviest daily rainfall on record for November

SEOUL -- Seoul and central South Korean regions were soaked with unseasonable heavy rain Thursday, with the capital receiving the heaviest daily precipitation on record for November, the local weather agency said.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), 68.2 millimeters of rain fell in Seoul as of 8 a.m., surpassing November's previous daily record of 67.4 mm set on Nov. 7, 1916. It is the heaviest daily precipitation recorded in the capital during the month of November since modern weather observation began here in 1907.


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