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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:07 December 17, 2020

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

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(3rd LD) S. Korea inching closer to toughest virus curbs, as daily virus tally tops 1,000 for 2nd day

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases surpassed the 1,000 mark Thursday for the second day in a row as an alarming increase in cluster infections across the country continued, prompting health authorities to seriously consider adopting the toughest virus curbs.

The country added 1,014 more COVID-19 cases, including 993 local infections, raising the total caseload to 46,453, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(2nd LD) Top prosecutor seeks court injunction against disciplinary measure

SEOUL -- South Korea's chief prosecutor will file for an injunction in a Seoul court Thursday to halt the two-month suspension of his duty, his lawyer said.

Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl is protesting against the justice ministry's disciplinary measure, sanctioned by President Moon Jae-in, in connection with multiple accounts of "ethical and legal misdeeds."

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(LEAD) Unification ministry expresses regret over U.N. rapporteur's appeal to review leafleting ban

SEOUL -- The unification ministry expressed regret Thursday after a U.N. special rapporteur called on South Korea to reconsider a recently legislated ban on sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea, saying the measure was legislated in due democratic procedures.

Earlier in the week, 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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Ruling party pushing for rent discount for small businesses amid pandemic

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) has set out to find ways to cut rent for small business owners teetering under the protracted COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, DP Chairman Rep. Lee Nak-yon reaffirmed his party's push to get landlords to slash rent for small business owners struggling under the weight of the new coronavirus.

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S. Korea's consumer prices tipped to rise faster down the road: BOK

SEOUL -- South Korea's consumer prices are expected to grow at a faster pace in the next two years due to an economic recovery and rising rent, a central bank report said Thursday.

South Korea's consumer inflation is forecast to reach 1 percent in 2021 and 1.5 percent the next year, according to the report from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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S. Korean box office plunges more than 80 pct on-year in Nov.

SEOUL -- The number of South Korean moviegoers nose-dived more than 80 percent on-year in November as the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the country, data showed Thursday.

A total of 3.59 million people went to theaters last month, down 80.7 percent from 18.6 million tallied a year ago, according to the monthly data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

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S. Korea's music album, video exports ride K-pop popularity to record high

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports of music albums and videos soared to a new high this year thanks to the global popularity of BTS, BLACKPINK and other K-pop groups, government data showed Thursday.

Overseas shipments of albums and related products came to US$170 million in the first 11 months of the year, up about 95 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close nearly flat amid virus woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed nearly flat Thursday as investors remained wary of spiking COVID-19 cases and looming virus restrictions. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.36 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,770.43 points.
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