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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 November 26, 2020

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close at fresh all-time high on improved growth forecast

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed at a fresh all-time high Thursday as the central bank's revised growth forecast boosted investor sentiment, despite an eight-month high in daily virus cases here. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 24.37 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 2,625.91 points.

(3rd LD) Wang touts 'robustness' and 'vitality' of S. Korea-China ties

SEOUL -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday touted the "robustness" and "vitality" of his country's relations with South Korea, stressing his trip here despite COVID-19 shows how much Beijing values the bilateral partnership.

Wang made the remarks at the start of his talks with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, amid speculation that Beijing will use his trip to try to bring Seoul to its side as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden envisions tightening America's alliance networks to reassert its leadership.

(LEAD) Seoul city seeks to toughen antivirus measures amid surge in cases

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government plans to toughen antivirus measures following consultations with experts amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the capital, an official said Thursday.

Park Yoo-mi, a disease control official at the city government, made the remark during a virtual press briefing shortly after the city reported a new high of 213 cases on Wednesday.

(News Focus) Calls grow over further heightened virus curbs as worst COVID-19 outbreak yet to land in S. Korea

SEOUL -- A new coronavirus flare-up in South Korea is creating a sense of crisis that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to come in the winter season, given the faster-than-expected spread of the virus and continued sporadic infections across the nation, and calls are growing over the implementation of further enhanced virus curbs.

The number of new cases spiked to 583 on Thursday, the highest in over eight months, raising the total caseload to 32,318, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

COVID-infected nat'l football players return home

SEOUL -- Members of the South Korean men's national football team recently infected with the novel coronavirus in Austria arrived back home on a chartered flight on Thursday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) sent an Asian Airlines flight to Vienna to bring home 15 members of the team, including four players who tested positive for COVID-19.

(3rd 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.

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

SEOUL -- Prosecutors around the country held 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.

Unification minister calls for food, fertilizer aid to N. Korea

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young said Thursday that South Korea should provide food and fertilizer aid to North Korea next spring at the latest to help the impoverished nation address chronic food shortages.

"There are warnings that the coronavirus is crippling production and supply chains for crops, and climate change is making things worse, which will likely cause extreme famine and difficulty in securing food," Lee said at an international forum in Seoul to discuss ways to realize a world without hunger.

Loosened screw in security sensor blamed for N. Korean's undetected border crossing

SEOUL -- A loosened screw caused a border security sensor to fail to detect a North Korean man jumping over barbed wire fences in an attempt to defect to South Korea, military officials said Thursday.

The man, whose identity was withheld, was captured on Nov. 4, 14 hours after he crossed the border in a suspected defection attempt. The military came under heavy fire in the wake of the security failure.

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