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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:17 December 15, 2020

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

(LEAD) Moon highlights importance of anti-corruption investigation agency for prosecution reform

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.

(2nd LD) 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.

(2nd LD) Main opposition leader apologizes for two ex-presidents' corruption convictions

SEOUL -- The interim leader of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) offered an official apology Tuesday for two former presidents affiliated with the conservative party, who were convicted of corruption.

Kim Chong-in made the public apology during a press conference at the National Assembly, holding the party accountable for failing to keep the convicted former Presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak in check.

(LEAD) S. Korea to expand child care subsidies to boost low birthrate

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday announced a set of measures to expand perks for families and subsidies for children to try to boost the low birthrate that has plagued Asia's fourth-largest economy for more than a decade.

The package, drawn up by the Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy, will be the foundation of the government's demographic policy over the next five years.

(LEAD) Justice ministry holds 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 10:34 a.m. at the government complex in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The first meeting last Thursday ended without reaching any conclusions.

S. Korea aims to acquire COVID-19 vaccines starting in Q1 2021: PM

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Tuesday that the government plans to start acquiring new coronavirus vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.

During a vaccine procurement-related government meeting, Chung said that authorities will establish a meticulous plan to allow prepurchased vaccines to be "acquired properly from the first quarter of next year" so that they can be administered according to plan.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day on profit-taking

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks slumped for the second consecutive session Tuesday, as investors sought to cash in part of recent gains amid spiking virus cases. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 5.38 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 2,756.82, with construction and bio sectors having led the KOSPI's retreat.

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