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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 November 30, 2020

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

(LEAD) Infection tally under 500 for 2nd day; current antivirus curbs maintained

SEOUL -- The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea stayed in the 400 range for the second day in a row Monday due apparently to less testing over the weekend, as health authorities opted to maintain the current antivirus curbs in the greater Seoul area for another week despite concerns over another wave of the pandemic.

The country added 438 more COVID-19 cases, including 414 local infections, raising the total caseload to 34,201, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It reported three additional coronavirus fatality, bringing the total to 526.

(LEAD) BTS again tops Billboard 200 with latest album 'BE'

SEOUL -- "BE," the latest album by K-pop megastars BTS, has landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the group's fifth album to top the Billboard's main albums chart.

"BTS lands its fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as 'Be' bows atop the tally," U.S. music publication Billboard reported Sunday (U.S. time). "The set, which was released via Big Hit Entertainment on Nov. 20, arrives with 242,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 26."

(2nd LD) N.K. leader 'harshly criticizes' economic agencies ahead of party congress

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has held a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and "harshly criticized" economic agencies for failing to handle policy in a scientific manner, state media reported Monday.

The criticism appears aimed at tightening discipline of economic officials ahead of a rare party congress that Kim plans to hold in early January for the first time in four years to unveil a new five-year economic development plan.

Injunction hearing opens over decision to suspend top prosecutor from duty

SEOUL -- An injunction hearing will take place Monday to deliberate on the suspension of duty for the nation's chief prosecutor over a series of allegations.

Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae on Tuesday suspended Prosecutor General Yoon Seoul-youl from duty, as she sought a disciplinary measure against him over six counts of alleged misdeeds, including collecting personal information of justices in charge of cases related to a former justice minister and suspected election interference by presidential officials.

(LEAD) Industrial output stays flat, consumption falls again in Oct.

SEOUL -- South Korea's industrial output stayed flat in October from a month earlier while consumption and investment declined again, data showed Monday, in a sign that economic recovery momentum still remains weak amid the pandemic.

The nation's overall industrial production remained unchanged on-month in October, following a 2.2 percent on-month gain in September, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Chief prosecutor's rating rises in presidential poll amid feud with Moon administration

SEOUL -- Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl ranked second in a poll of potential presidential candidates released Monday, as his popularity continued to grow amid an escalating feud with the Moon Jae-in administration.

In a Realmeter survey conducted last week, Lee Nak-yon, chairman of the Democratic Party, retained his front-runner position with 20.6 percent. His rating was down 0.9 percentage point from the previous month, marking a decrease for the seventh consecutive month.

(News Focus) China's push for FTA with S. Korea, Japan appears aimed at checking U.S. influence

SEOUL -- China's renewed pursuit of a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea and Japan appears aimed at undercutting U.S. influence and shaping regional economic cooperation on terms favorable to it, analysts said Monday.

During his visit to Seoul and Tokyo last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi voiced Beijing's desire for the trilateral FTA, as China appears leery of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's plan to work with America's democratic allies to set global trading rules and reassert its leadership.

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