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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 17:16 January 20, 2021

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

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(2nd LD) Moon names Chung Eui-yong as foreign minister, picks new culture, SMEs ministers

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in has picked Chung Eui-yong, former director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, as his new foreign minister, Moon's office announced hours ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration.

He also nominated Hwang Hee, a ruling Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker, as culture minister and Kwon Chil-seung, another DP lawmaker, as SMEs and startups minister in a partial Cabinet reshuffle, according to Chung Man-ho, senior presidential secretary for public communication.

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(LEAD) LG Electronics says its money-losing mobile biz open to 'every possibility'

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc., the country's major home appliance maker, said Wednesday its mobile business is open to "every possibility" amid rumors that the South Korean tech giant may sell its money-losing unit.

LG said the company has come to a point where it needs to make the best decision for its mobile communications (MC) business unit.

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(3rd LD) Ex-President Park tests negative for COVID-19 after being exposed to patient

SEOUL -- Former President Park Geun-hye, now serving a 22-year prison term on corruption convictions, tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday after coming into contact with an infected person, the Ministry of Justice said.

According to the ministry, Park came into close contact with a prison officer diagnosed later with COVID-19 while traveling by bus to a medical facility on Monday outside the Seoul Detention Center, where she has been imprisoned since March 2017.

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(LEAD) Moon visits coronavirus vaccine plant, announces potential deal with Novavax for 20 mln

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday visited a coronavirus vaccine production plant in South Korea and announced that the government could potentially secure additional new coronavirus vaccines for 20 million people from U.S. drug manufacturer Novavax Inc.

"The possibility has opened for us to secure additional vaccines for 20 million people, in addition to the already secured volume for 56 million, amid the pursuit of a deal between Novavax and SK Bioscience Co. recently," Moon said during the tour of SK's coronavirus vaccine production facility in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

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(2nd LD) New virus cases rise from low plateau 1 year after COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases hovered around 400 for the third straight day Wednesday as the country struggles to further slow down the third wave of the pandemic with an enhanced social distancing scheme.

The country added 404 more COVID-19 cases, including 373 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 73,518, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) Speed skater sues ex-teammate over emotional distress following Olympic controversy

SEOUL -- A yearslong controversy in South Korean speed skating took another twist Wednesday, with the announcement that one athlete has sued her former teammate over emotional distress.

Legal representatives for the speed skater Kim Bo-reum said she is seeking 200 million won (US$182,590) in compensation for mental anguish caused by her former 2018 Olympic teammate, Noh Seon-yeong. The suit was filed last November, said Kim's lawyer, Heo Won-rok of the Seoul-based firm Q1.

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K-pop celebs a growing force for tourism in pandemic-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- On a chilly January afternoon, four young men are at a white and wooden kitchen studio set up at a traditional Korean house, cooking up a street-meets-royal Korean dish.

They are Woobin, Hyeongjun, Seongmin and Allen -- members of nine-piece rookie boy band Cravity -- who are making gungjung tteokbokki, a less spicy and healthier version of the popular street food tteokbokki.
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