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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:06 December 11, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) U.S. returns 12 military sites to S. Korea, including some at Yongsan Garrison

SEOUL -- The United States on Friday returned 12 American military sites to South Korea, including some in central Seoul, amid persistent concerns that an additional delay would further dampen regional development efforts.

During a virtual joint committee session of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Seoul and Washington agreed on the return of the sites, though they failed to bridge differences on who and how to shoulder environmental cleanup costs, Seoul officials said.

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(2nd LD) S. Korea on alert over bird flu as highly pathogenic cases near 10

SEOUL -- South Korea remained on alert over a further rise in highly pathogenic bird flu cases Friday as the number of highly pathogenic cases in farms approached 10 in less than two months.

The country reported yet another suspected case of highly pathogenic bird flu from Jeongeup, 222 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. The farm was raising 17,000 ducks.

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(LEAD) Half of S. Koreans lose jobs or suffer lower income amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Almost half of South Koreans either lost their jobs or saw their income fall due to the new coronavirus outbreak, a report showed Friday, in a sign that the job market remains sluggish amid the pandemic.

The report by Statistics Korea showed that 49.7 percent of respondents said the pandemic affected their income level or job posts, with 26.7 percent of them saying that their income shrank, though they kept working.

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(LEAD) Moon vows more, better public rental homes amid housing market instability

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Friday that the government will supply "enough" public rental homes, with the goal of providing 2.4 million homes by 2025 as a public outcry has been mounting over soaring home prices and rental costs.

He made the remarks during an on-site inspection of a major public rental housing complex south of Seoul.

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Posted KBO star Kim Ha-seong feeling more confident after dinner with Blue Jays pitcher

SEOUL -- South Korean baseball star Kim Ha-seong, recently posted for major league clubs, said Friday he grew more confident in himself after his much-talked about dinner with a fellow Korean big league veteran.

Prior to the annual Golden Gloves awards ceremony, the shortstop for the Kiwoom Heroes in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) spoke about his recent meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin.

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Dismantlement of Yongbyon complex should not be underrated: U.S. expert

SEOUL -- The dismantling of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex should not be underestimated in the denuclearization process, an American nuclear expert said Friday.

Siegfried Hecker, known for his 2010 visit to the Yongbyon complex, made the remarks during a video conference with Unification Minister Lee In-young and Moon Chung-in, special foreign policy adviser to President Moon Jae-in, also stressing the need for a "flexible approach" in dealing with the North, including sanctions relief.

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Cram schools in capital area call for end to 'discriminative' no-assembly order

SEJONG -- An advocacy group for private educational institutions, or "hagwon," on Friday urged the government to retract the no-assembly order imposed on its members in the greater Seoul area as part of anti-COVID-19 measures.

On Tuesday, the government ordered hagwons in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province to close for three weeks in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infections among young students.

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