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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 December 10, 2020

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

National Assembly set to vote on contentious bill on new investigative organ

SEOUL -- The National Assembly is on track to vote on a contentious bill Thursday that would expedite the launch of a new investigative body handling high-profile corruption cases.

The revision bill on the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) law will be put to a vote at a plenary session slated for 2 p.m.

Justice ministry to hold disciplinary session over prosecution chief's alleged wrongdoing

SEOUL -- The Ministry of Justice will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss disciplinary measures against Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl over alleged irregularities, after delaying the session twice amid backlash.

Last month, Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae suspended Yoon for six counts of alleged wrongdoing, including surveillance of the judiciary, the first time a justice minister has taken such a step in the country's history.

Moon's approval rating dips again, reaches new low of 37.1 pct: poll

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's job approval rating has dropped again this week, dipping further from last week's all-time low figure, a poll showed Thursday, with a rift between the justice minister and the top prosecutor deepening and new virus cases soaring across the nation.

In a Realmeter survey on 1,509 voters nationwide from Monday through Wednesday, 37.1 percent of respondents said they supported Moon.

Military to dispatch hundreds of officers to support antivirus work

SEOUL -- The defense ministry said Thursday it will dispatch over 300 military officials to help with the government's handling of the resurgence of the new coronavirus.

Starting Friday, a total of 362 officers from the Army's special warfare command will be sent to public health centers in the Seoul metropolitan region to help their antivirus work, including contact tracing and data management, according to the ministry.

New virus cases near 700 for 2nd day; nationwide resurgence accelerating

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases approached 700 for the second straight day on Thursday as new infections continued to pile up beyond the greater Seoul area, further putting health authorities on edge.

The country reported 682 new virus cases, including 646 domestically transmitted ones, raising the total caseload to 40,098, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

N. Korea likely to propose beefed-up 'self-reliance' drive at party congress: think tank

SEOUL -- North Korea is likely to propose a beefed-up drive for "self-reliance" at the upcoming party congress to bolster its faltering economy under the strain of global sanctions and the fallout from the global pandemic, a Seoul-based think tank said Thursday.

The Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University also said that the January-February period will be a "golden time" to make progress in the stalled nuclear talks and inter-Korean ties.

(LEAD) S. Korea on alert over spreading bird flu, more highly pathogenic cases likely in store

SEOUL -- South Korea reported yet another suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza case from a poultry farm Thursday, raising concerns that the bird flu outbreak is spreading nationwide despite enhanced measures.

Authorities are investigating the suspected case in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The samples were gathered from a slaughter house.

Chris Flexen leaves KBO's Bears to sign with Mariners: source

SEOUL -- American right-hander Chris Flexen is leaving his South Korean club to join the Seattle Mariners, a major league source told Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

The source said Flexen, who pitched for the Doosan Bears in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in 2020, has agreed to a two-year deal worth US$4.75 million with the Mariners.

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