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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 December 15, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) New virus cases spike again, nearing 900; virus battle on tight rope amid faster spread

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to nearly 900 Tuesday after a brief fall the previous day, as the country struggles to curb the nationwide spread of the virus in winter, warning that the toughest virus curbs may be adopted.

The country added 880 more COVID-19 cases, including 848 local infections, raising the total caseload to 44,363, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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N. Korea begins regular wintertime drills, no unusual signs detected yet: JCS

SEOUL -- North Korea has begun regular wintertime military drills, and no unusual movements have been detected so far, the South Korean military said Tuesday.

"We believe that North Korea began their regular wintertime drills," Col. Kim Jun-rak, spokesperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), told a regular briefing. "South Korea and the U.S. intelligence authorities are closely monitoring related movements in close coordination."

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(LEAD) Defector activist mulls constitutional complaint over ban on anti-Pyongyang leafleting

SEOUL -- A high-profile North Korean defector activist is considering filing a constitutional complaint against the recently legislated ban on the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the communist nation, his lawyer said Tuesday.

On Monday night, the National Assembly, controlled by the ruling Democratic Party, passed the bill penalizing the sending of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the North despite strong objection by opposition party lawmakers.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's bird flu battle at critical juncture

SEOUL -- South Korea's agricultural ministry said Tuesday the number of highly pathogenic bird flu cases from local poultry farms may continue to rise down the road due to seasonal migratory birds, urging farmers to beef up preventive measures against the contagious animal disease.

"As migratory birds will continue to flock into the country through January, local poultry farms are currently at a critical juncture," the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

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Tourists to S. Korea forecast to drop to 32-year low this year

SEOUL -- The number of overseas tourists visiting South Korea is expected to slump to the lowest level in 32 years amid the new coronavirus pandemic that has practically paralyzed the global tourism sector, data showed Tuesday.

The number of foreigners who visited the country in the January-October period reached 2.39 million, down 83.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the culture ministry and the state tourism office.

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Justice ministry opens 2nd hearing on disciplinary action against top prosecutor

SEOUL -- A justice ministry panel reconvened Tuesday for a second meeting on whether to punish Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl for alleged misconduct.

The disciplinary hearing, unprecedented in the country's history, resumed at 10:30 a.m. at the government complex in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The first meeting last Thursday ended without reaching any conclusions.

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Moon says envisioned launch of anti-corruption investigation agency highly significant

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday that the envisioned launch of a powerful corruption investigation agency is very meaningful as it can serve as a systemic tool to keep the prosecution in check.

"The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) is highly significant, as it can serve as a tool to democratically regulate the prosecution," Moon said during a weekly Cabinet meeting held at the government complex in Seoul. He presided over the meeting from Cheong Wa Dae through a video link

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(2nd LD) S. Korean golfer Kim A-lim wins U.S. Women's Open

WASHINGTON -- South Korean professional golfer Kim A-lim on Monday won the Women's U.S. Open in her debut in the major.

The 25-year-old shot a 4-under par 67 in the final round to win the 75th U.S. Women's Open at the Champions Golf Club in Houston.

(END)

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