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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:07 December 01, 2020

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

Parties agree on 558 tln-won budget for 2021, plan to pass it this week

SEOUL -- Rival parties on Tuesday agreed on a 558 trillion-won (US$504 billion) state budget bill for next year that includes nearly 4 trillion won earmarked for additional COVID-19 relief funds and coronavirus vaccine purchases.

The agreement was made during a meeting of floor leaders and two other senior lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition People Power Party held earlier in the day.

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Court ruling clears 1st hurdle for Korean Air's Asiana takeover

SEOUL -- A South Korean court on Tuesday rejected an injunction filed by a local equity fund against Hanjin KAL's stock sales meant to fund its affiliate Korean Air Lines Co.'s takeover of smaller rival Asiana Airlines Inc., clearing one of the hurdles for the largest deal ever in the airline sector.

The Seoul Central District Court dismissed the injunction filed by the Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI) against Korean Air's parent Hanjin KAL's stock sales worth 800 billion won (US$723 million) to Asiana's main creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB).

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National Assembly passes bill on allowing recognized pop stars to defer enlistment

SEOUL -- The National Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would allow globally recognized male pop culture artists to postpone their mandatory military duties.

The assembly's plenary session gave the nod to the bill on revising the Military Service Act to grant an exceptional right to defer national defense duties to acclaimed pop artists, such as K-pop megastars BTS, who helped elevate the country's global reputation.

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Moon, justice minister discuss top prosecutor's job suspension

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday met with Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae to discuss the escalating political tensions over the suspension of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, sources said.

Last week, Choo suspended Yoon 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.

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Netflix expanding investment in S. Korean content

SEOUL -- U.S. media giant Netflix is beefing up efforts to secure popular Korean-made films and shows as part of a strategy to boost its presence in the global streaming service market.

Netflix, which launched its Korean service in 2015, said it set up a separate production firm, Netflix Entertainment Korea, which deals with fostering and financing up-and-coming Korean-language content, in September.

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Hospital bed shortage looms amid surge in critical COVID-19 patients

SEOUL -- Concerns are mounting over a possible shortage of hospital beds for novel coronavirus patients in critical condition, as daily new cases in the country continue to pile up.

South Korea reported 451 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total caseload to 34,652, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Tuesday's daily tally stayed in the 400 range for the third day in a row.

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Seoul stocks soar to new record high on economic recovery hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rebounded from a sharp decline the previous session to hit a new all-time high Tuesday on the back of upbeat economic data, lifting hopes for a faster-than-expected recovery amid the pandemic. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 42.91 points, or 1.66 percent, to close at 2,634.25.

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S. Korea, U.N. disarmament office to hold joint conference on emerging weapons technologies

SEOUL -- South Korea and the U.N. disarmament office will hold a joint conference on disarmament and nonproliferation this week, with a focus on emerging weapons, such as killer robots and hypersonic missiles, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The 19th Joint Conference on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Issues will take place via video links Wednesday for a two-day run, with government officials and think tank experts from more than 20 countries, as well as those from international organizations, expected to take part.

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BTS makes history as 'Life Goes On' becomes first Korean song to top Billboard main singles chart

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- K-pop megastar BTS has achieved another milestone with its new song "Life Goes On," becoming the first Korean song to land at No. 1 on the Billboard's main singles chart.

"'Life Goes On' officially debuts at No. 1 on this week's Hot 100," Billboard said in a Twitter post Monday (U.S. time), one day before the weekly chart will be refreshed.

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GM Korea workers vote against 2020 wage deal

SEOUL -- Unionized workers at GM Korea Co., the South Korean unit of General Motors Co., voted down a tentative wage deal for the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said Tuesday.

In a vote held from Monday to Tuesday, 54 percent of 7,364 union workers rejected the tentative deal, GM Korea and its union said.
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