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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:25 November 26, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) 3rd wave of pandemic gets bigger as new virus cases soar to over 8-month high of 583

SEOUL -- The daily number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea surpassed 500 for the first time in over eight months on Thursday due to sporadic cluster infections across the country as health authorities strive to curb a third wave of infections.

The country added 583 more COVID-19 cases, including 553 local infections, raising the total caseload to 32,318, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(2nd LD) BOK keeps key rate at record low, ups economic outlook

SEOUL -- The South Korean central bank on Thursday held its policy rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent, while slightly revising up this year's economic outlook, amid growing concerns over a winter wave of coronavirus infections.

As expected, the monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) voted to leave the base rate steady in this year's final rate-setting meeting.

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(2nd LD) Wang says his visit amid pandemic shows importance China places on relations with S. Korea

SEOUL -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that his visit to Seoul in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic shows how much importance Beijing attaches to relations with South Korea.

Wang made the remark at the start of talks with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, stressing that relations between the two countries are "showing robustness and the appearance of greater vitality" as they have endured the pandemic.

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(2nd LD) Military to ban all troops from vacationing, off-installation trips over virus concerns

SEOUL -- The military decided to temporarily ban all troops from vacationing and taking off-installation trips after cluster infections were reported at an Army boot camp amid a nationwide spike in virus cases, the defense ministry said Thursday.

Until Dec. 7, all troops will be subject to tightened social distancing rules in barracks, with vacationing and off-installation visits to be suspended starting Friday, according to the ministry.

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Prosecutors' backlash intensifies against justice minister's suspension of prosecution chief

SEOUL -- Prosecutors around the country are expected to hold emergency meetings to discuss the justice minister's unprecedented move to suspend and discipline the chief prosecutor over allegations of his interference in sensitive investigations, legal sources said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, six top district prosecutors pleaded with Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae to rethink the decision in a statement posted on the online bulletin board of the prosecution.

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(LEAD) Ruling party, gov't to seek up to 10 years of additional post-prison segregation of brutal criminals

SEOUL -- The ruling party and the government on Thursday agreed to push to introduce a 10-year maximum post-prison segregation program for criminals convicted of brutal crimes, amid mounting public concerns ahead of the release of a notorious child sex offender.

The agreement reached during a policy discussion meeting held at the National Assembly comes amid the nearing release of Cho Doo-soon, 69, one of the country's most notorious child rapists, from prison on Dec. 13. He has been serving a 12-year term for kidnapping and raping an 8-year-old girl in a church bathroom in Ansan, 42 kilometers southwest of Seoul, in December 2008.

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Mastermind of sex abuse ring sentenced to 40 years in prison

SEOUL -- A Seoul court on Thursday sentenced the mastermind of one of the country's largest online sex trafficking rings to 40 years in prison.

The Seoul Central District Court found Cho Ju-bin guilty of violating laws to protect minors from sexual abuse and of operating a criminal ring to make profits by producing and selling abusive videos.

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