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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:56 December 09, 2020

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

(2nd LD) New infections near 700 despite enhanced social distancing rules

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases neared 700 on Wednesday on soaring community infections in the greater Seoul area despite toughened social distancing measures.

The country reported 686 new virus cases, including 662 domestically transmitted ones, raising the total caseload to 39,432, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(2nd LD) S. Korea confirms 6th highly pathogenic bird flu case from farms

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday it has confirmed the sixth case of highly pathogenic bird flu from a duck farm, raising concerns over the disease penetrating deeper into the local livestock industry.

Local authorities identified the latest case from Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The country has been reporting highly pathogenic cases from different regions, ranging from Gyeonggi Province to South Jeolla Province.

(LEAD) Ruling party seeks to pass controversial bills at plenary session

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) was poised to push for the passage of a set of controversial bills through the National Assembly's plenary session Wednesday despite fierce protests from the conservative main opposition bloc.

The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) requested a filibuster to block the passage of five bills during the plenary session scheduled for 2 p.m., a parliamentary source told Yonhap News Agency. The DP currently holds a majority in the 300-member assembly.

(2nd LD) Biegun says he looks forward to 'close cooperation' with S. Korea ahead of Biden inauguration

SEOUL -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Wednesday that he looks forward to "close cooperation" with South Korea "in the weeks and months ahead," as Seoul seeks to reignite nuclear diplomacy with North Korea when the incoming Joe Biden administration takes office next month.

Biegun made the remarks during his talks with Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun, as he kicked off his official schedule here on what could be his last trip to Seoul in his current capacity as the State Department's No. 2 man and its top nuclear negotiator.

S. Korean cinemas expected to log sharply lower attendance in 2020 due to pandemic

SEOUL -- No longer basking in the glow of a flourishing film industry, South Korea is expected to log the lowest number of moviegoers in over a decade this year due to the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.

As of Wednesday, the total number of moviegoers for this year was tallied at 58.4 million, a mere 25.8 percent of that of 2019, according to data from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close at record high on vaccine hopes, U.S. stimulus talks

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed at an all-time high Wednesday, driven by progress of COVID-19 vaccines amid optimism over U.S. stimulus talks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 54.54 points, or 2.02 percent, to close at 2,755.47.

KBO GMs propose starting 2021 season in April

SEOUL -- General managers of the 10 South Korean baseball clubs have proposed starting the new season in April.

Those 10 officials met for their Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) executive committee meeting Tuesday to discuss the schedule for the new season and other issues.

Ruling party unveils phased plan for relocating National Assembly to Sejong

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday unveiled a plan to relocate the National Assembly from Seoul to the administrative city of Sejong, as part of balanced regional development initiatives, and envisioned that Seoul be developed as the country's financial center.

At a briefing, the DP task force on the parliament relocation plan said that it would pursue the relocation of the entire legislative branch to the self-governing city, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul, in a phased manner.

Samsung ranks fourth in Q3 wearables market: report

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. was the fourth-largest vendor of wearable devices in the third quarter of the year, a market report showed Wednesday, amid soaring global demand for wearables.

Samsung shipped 11.2 million units of wearable devices in the July-September period, up 32.2 percent from a year earlier, for a market share of 9 percent, according to the latest report from market tracker International Data Corp. (IDC).

Singer Chungha to postpone album release after testing positive for coronavirus

SEOUL -- Singer Chungha, who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, will postpone the release of her single and first studio album, slated for this week and early next year, respectively, her agency said Wednesday.

"We decided to put off the scheduled launch of her album," MNH Entertainment said in an announcement posted on a fansite.

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