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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:17 December 02, 2020

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

(LEAD) Moon names lawyer as new vice justice minister

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has tapped a judge-turned-lawyer as new vice justice minister, Cheong Wa Dae announced Wednesday, amid a simmering controversy over the ministry's move to punish South Korea's prosecution chief over alleged ethical lapses and other misdeeds.

The nomination of Lee Yong-gu, who served as a judge for more than 20 years, came just a day after Vice Justice Minister Koh Kee-young tendered his resignation in apparent protest against Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae's push for disciplinary action against Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl.

Hyundai vehicle sales in U.S. fall 9 pct in Nov.

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday its vehicle sales in the United States fell 9 percent last month from a year earlier on lower demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyundai Motor sold 55,171 vehicles in the U.S. in November, down from 60,601 units in the same period of last year, the company said in a statement.

(4th LD) S. Korea confirms 2nd highly pathogenic bird flu case from farm

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday confirmed another highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) case from local poultry farms, sparking further concerns over possible nationwide transmission of the disease.

A suspected case from an egg farm in Sangju, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul, earlier this week tested to be a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

(3rd LD) New virus cases bounce back to over 500 as effect of tougher curbs yet to be felt

SEOUL -- The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea bounced back to over 500 again Wednesday, adding to concerns that the country faces a bigger wave of the pandemic in winter amid tougher social distancing measures.

The country added 511 more COVID-19 cases, including 493 local infections, raising the total caseload to 35,163, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It reported no additional coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total to 526.

S. Korea denounces killing of Iranian nuclear scientist

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday denounced the assassination of a leading Iranian nuclear scientist as a criminal act that does not help bring stability and peace in the region.

The foreign ministry's comment came after Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a nuclear weapons expert, was killed in a bomb and gun attack on a road outside Tehran last week, amplifying tensions between Iran and neighboring nations.

Unification ministry welcomes passage of anti-leafleting bill by parliamentary committee

SEOUL -- The unification ministry on Wednesday welcomed a parliamentary committee's passage of a proposal to ban the flying of propaganda leaflets into North Korea, saying the measure will help protect residents in border regions and ease cross-border tensions.

The government and the ruling Democratic Party have been seeking to legislate a ban on the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets after North Korea bristled at such activity and even blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in June in anger.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks set another record high; Korean won surges

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks hit another all-time high Wednesday for the second consecutive session on the back of optimism surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and U.S. stimulus. The Korean won sharply rose to an over 29-month high against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 41.65 points, or 1.58 percent, to close at 2,675.9.

Perry says U.S. should focus on moderating N. Korea's nuclear arsenal

SEOUL -- U.S. negotiations with North Korea should focus on moderating its nuclear arsenal and transforming the regime into a normal country less prone to provocations, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry said Wednesday.

Perry made the remark at a virtual conference hosted by the state-run Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) and Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), saying it would be "mission impossible" to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Naver newly invests in 2 startups in logistics, medical sectors

SEOUL -- An accelerator for tech startups operated by Naver Inc., South Korea's largest internet portal operator, said Wednesday it has made new investments in two promising tech startups.

Naver's D2 Startup Factory, also known as D2SF, said it has selected the two startups -- Techtaka Co. and Medibloc Co. -- that provide innovative technology in the logistics and health care sectors, respectively.

Korean Air to conduct due diligence on Asiana until mid-March

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest carrier, said Wednesday it will conduct due diligence on Asiana Airlines Inc. until mid-March while drawing up an integration plan for the two airlines.

Korean Air plans to raise 2.5 trillion won through rights offering early next year and spend 1.8 trillion won of the proceeds to acquire smaller local rival Asiana Airlines.

Samsung tops smartphone production in Q3: report

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. was the top global smartphone manufacturer in the third quarter of the year, a report showed Wednesday, as demand for its mobile devices increased in advanced markets amid the pandemic.

Samsung led the industry in terms of smartphone production with 78 million units in the July-September period, up 42 percent from a quarter earlier, and accounted for 23.2 percent of the total share, according to market researcher TrendForce.


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