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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:30 January 13, 2021

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap two-day losing streak on investors' bottom-fishing

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks snapped a two-session losing streak Wednesday as investors scooped up top caps that recently suffered heavy losses. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 22.34 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,148.29.

(LEAD) Court acquits Shincheonji leader of obstructing gov't response to COVID-19

SUWON -- A local court on Wednesday acquitted the leader of a minor religious sect of charges of obstructing the government's response to COVID-19 during an outbreak at his church last year.

Lee Man-hee, the 89-year-old founder of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was indicted in August on charges of misleading health authorities on the size and locations of the church's gatherings in February, which were blamed for a massive spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

(LEAD) S. Korea, Iran agree to continue talks on ship seizure, frozen assets after little progress

SEOUL -- South Korea and Iran will continue talks for the early release of a seized Korean ship and to resolve the issue of Tehran's frozen assets here, Seoul officials said Wednesday, amid little signs of progress on those issues in their recent high-level meetings in Tehran.

A South Korean delegation, led by First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun, wrapped up its three-day visit to Tehran on Tuesday (Tehran time) as tensions have flared up after Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps seized a South Korean oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on Jan. 4.

(LEAD) State health insurer to seek indemnity from church over virus fiasco

SEOUL -- South Korea' state health insurer said Wednesday that it plans to seek reimbursement from an evangelical church that has emerged as a new hotbed of coronavirus infections for allegedly hindering infection prevention efforts.

The National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said it would seek reimbursement for treatment costs of COVID-19 patients linked to BTJ Center for All Nations in Sangju, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

(LEAD) Samsung to unveil another batch of shareholder-friendly measures this month

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to unveil another batch of shareholder-friendly measures, including big dividend payments, later this month, industry sources said Wednesday, in a move to smooth out the group leadership succession.

Samsung, the world's largest memory chip and smartphone maker, is expected to announce its new shareholder return initiative for the 2021-2023 period on Jan. 28, along with its fourth-quarter earnings report.

Seoul to offer 30 tln won trade financing over next 5 years to promote green, digital exports

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday it plans to provide some 30 trillion won (US$27.4 billion) in trade financing to promote exports in the green and digital sectors, in line with the government's industrial blueprint.

Under the plan, the country also plans to provide low-interest loans to exporters in such fields through 2025, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

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