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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:58 January 06, 2021

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

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Ministry verifying Iran's claims regarding seizure of S. Korean tanker

SEOUL -- The government is verifying facts related to Iran's seizure of a South Korean tanker to see whether the decision to hold the ship was based on legally valid grounds, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

This is among the possible legal action the government is preparing as part of its response to Iran's repeated assertion that the MT Hankuk Chemi was seized in the Strait of Hormuz early this week for alleged marine pollution, the ministry said in a report submitted to the National Assembly.

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(5th LD) N.K. leader admits economic failure as he opens party congress

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has admitted the failure to meet the country's economic development goals as he opened the ruling party's first congress in nearly five years, state media said Wednesday.

Kim made the acknowledgement in his opening speech for the eighth congress of the Workers' Party, which took place in Pyongyang on Tuesday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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(LEAD) Coffee shops, bars, internet cafes join protest against virus restrictions

SEOUL -- Coffee shops, bars and internet cafes have joined a growing list of businesses protesting the government's coronavirus restrictions, with shop owners lighting signboards, staging demonstrations and petitioning the Constitutional Court.

The shop owners say the restrictions are applied unfairly, allowing some businesses to reopen while shuttering others, and without any promise of proper compensation for their losses.

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(LEAD) Cold wave warning to be issued in Seoul for first time in 3 years

SEOUL -- A cold wave warning is set to be issued in Seoul on Wednesday for the first time in about three years, as the capital and central parts of the nation came under the grip of the season's coldest weather.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said that the cold wave warning will take effect for the whole of Seoul at 9 p.m., marking the first such warning since the previous one was issued on Jan. 23, 2018.

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Temporary COVID-19 testing centers to shorten operations due to cold spell

SEOUL -- Temporary coronavirus screening centers in the greater Seoul area will temporarily curtail their operating hours this week due to the expected onset of the season's coldest weather, authorities said Wednesday.

About 150 temporary testing stations, launched on Dec. 14 in Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province and Incheon to detect hidden COVID-19 infections, currently operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.

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Couriers demand overwork preventive measures ahead of Lunar New Year

SEOUL -- South Korea's parcel delivery workers on Wednesday called on their companies to offer measures to prevent overwork-related casualties and keep a promise to beef up staffing.

A civic task force working for the rights of delivery workers, which was formed in July to improve working conditions for couriers, said delivery companies have yet to fulfill their pledge to hire additional hands to help with parcel sorting operations.

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(2nd LD) Correctional staff to be tested for virus weekly, more facilities to undergo mass testing

SEOUL -- South Korea's government on Wednesday said it will test weekly all correctional employees nationwide for the coronavirus to slow down its rapid spread and prevent mass outbreaks.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), all staff working at correctional facilities will receive quick tests to detect bits of coronavirus proteins called antigens. The test is slightly less accurate than laboratory tests called PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, but produces results within 30 minutes.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end 7-day winning streak after touching historic 3,000-point plateau

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks snapped their seven-winning streak Wednesday on investors' profit-taking rush, after the key index breached the 3,000-point mark for the first time in history. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 22.36 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 2,968.21 points.

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