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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:13 November 30, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) S. Korea braces for 'toughest' virus battle in winter, people urged to follow antivirus curbs

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, and health authorities warned that the country is bracing for the "biggest crisis" in the upcoming winter season.

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.

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Gyms, saunas and other virus-prone facilities in capital area to shut down from Tuesday

SEOUL -- South Korea will maintain the current social distancing level in the greater Seoul area but will raise antivirus curbs, including restricting additional gatherings and activities, starting Tuesday, health authorities said Monday.

Seoul, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon will be under the current Level 2 of the country's five-tier social distancing system for a week, according to the authorities.

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(LEAD) Moon urges civil servants to follow his reform drive despite troubles

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in issued an unusual message Monday in public for South Korea's civil servants, saying they need to break away from what is obsolete and put the interests of the whole community above those of their own organizations or groups.

The president reaffirmed his administration's "firm determination" to reform "power institutions" as one of his key policy agenda items, which also include the Korean-version New Deal, a carbon neutrality campaign and regulatory reform.

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Kia workers to continue strike for higher pay amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Unionized workers at Kia Motors Corp. will extend their partial strike for several days to demand higher wages and bonuses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the union said Monday.

Daytime and night-duty workers will hold a four-hour strike at Kia's three domestic plants in Gwangmyeong and Hwaseong, both near Seoul, and Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 1-2 and 4, union spokesman Hwang Hyo-dong said over the phone.

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Ex-president Chun given suspended jail term in libel case

GWANGJU -- A court here on Monday gave out a suspended jail term to former President Chun Doo-hwan for defaming a late democratic activist in a historically important libel case.

The Gwangju District Court sentenced him to eight months in prison, suspending it for two years, after finding Chun guilty of defaming priest Cho Pius, who had testified to witnessing the military shootings at citizens from helicopters during the 1980 Gwangju Uprising against the authoritarian government led by Chun.

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E-scooter firms to limit service for unlicensed minors despite revised law

SEOUL -- Electric scooter sharing companies in South Korea will continue to prohibit unlicensed minors from using their services despite a new law easing the minimum age requirements, joining government-led efforts to address safety concerns, the transport ministry said Monday.

Local e-scooter sharing platforms currently offer their services to customers aged 18 years and older, or 16-17 years old with motorcycle licenses, but safety concerns have risen over teen users after a new law lowering the minimum age to 13 is set to take effect on Dec. 10.

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SMEs to be included in 52-hour workweek system from January as planned

SEOUL -- The government announced Monday that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are currently exempt from the country's 52-hour workweek system will be subject to the rule starting next year as scheduled.

In a press briefing at the government complex in Seoul, Labor Minster Lee Jae-kap said that the government won't extend the grace period that exempts SMEs with payroll sizes ranging from 50 to 299 from the 52-hour workweek scheme until the end of the year.

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Korean Air wins 150 bln won U.S. helicopter maintenance deal

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest carrier, said Monday it has received a 150 billion won (US$136 million) helicopter maintenance order from the United States.

In the nine-year deal with the U.S. Department of Defense, Korean Air will be in charge of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work for the life extension of the H-53E helicopters deployed to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the Asia-Pacific region, the company said in a statement.
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