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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 February 05, 2021

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's COVID-19 cases exceed 80,000 amid tough virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea surpassed a grim milestone in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic as its total COVID-19 caseload broke the 80,000 mark Friday.

The country added 370 more COVID-19 cases, including 351 local infections, raising the total caseload to 80,131, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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Further discussion needed on AstraZeneca vaccine before administering it to elderly: panel

SEOUL -- A South Korean panel of experts has advised that vaccines for the novel coronavirus by AstraZeneca should be administered to people aged 65 or older following further discussion, according to the country's drug safety agency Friday.

The advisory board consisting of outside experts and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety officials announced its review on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines developed by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant and Oxford University.

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(2nd LD) Inter-Korean ties, pandemic should be considered in planning joint military exercise: FM nominee

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister nominee Chung Eui-yong said Friday that inter-Korean ties and the COVID-19 pandemic should be taken into account in planning this year's military exercises between South Korea and the United States, though he noted the need for a "proper" level of the drills.

During a parliamentary confirmation hearing, Chung stressed "various implications" of large-scale exercises between the allies, in an apparent show of concern that such military maneuvers could provoke North Korea and derail efforts to resume stalled dialogue with it.

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U.S. will closely consult with S. Korea on N. Korea: Sullivan

WASHINGTON -- The United States will closely consult with its Asian allies such as South Korea in dealing with North Korea, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday.

He also said close consultation with allies will be part of U.S. efforts to strengthen its alliances.

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(LEAD) U.S. begins global defense posture review: Biden

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that the United States will review its global defense posture, a move that could affect the number of U.S. troops stationed overseas, including those in South Korea.

"Today, I'm announcing additional steps to course correct our foreign policy and better unite our democratic values with our diplomatic leadership," Biden said in his first speech on national security and foreign policy delivered from the Department of State.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's current account surplus widens in December

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus widened on-month in December last year, mainly due to a modest recovery in exports, the central bank said Friday.

The current account surplus reached US$11.51 billion in December, widening from a surplus of $9.18 billion the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

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Samsung Electronics ranks 2nd in 2020 U.S. patent grants

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. clinched the No. 2 spot in U.S. patent grants among global corporate giants in 2020, industry data showed Friday.

Samsung Electronics, the world's top smartphone and memory chip maker, received 8,539 U.S. patent grants last year, down 1 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the U.S. Intellectual Property Organization.

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(LEAD) S. Korea, Georgia sign air service agreement

SEOUL -- South Korea and Georgia have signed an air services agreement that would lay the foundation for operations of direct flights traveling between the two countries, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Georgian Ambassador to South Korea Otar Berdzenishvili formally inked the agreement Thursday, after the two countries reached the agreement through aviation talks in July 2019.

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'Minari' earns three nominations at SAG Awards

SEOUL -- The drama film "Minari," about a Korean immigrant family, has earned three nominations, including best supporting actress for South Korean actress Youn Yuh-hung, from the U.S. Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

SAG on Friday (Korean time) unveiled its final list of nominations for its 27th edition of the award ceremony slated for April 4.

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(2nd LD) K League's Ulsan Hyundai drop opening match at FIFA Club World Cup

SEOUL -- South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai FC have lost their opening match of the FIFA Club World in Qatar to fall to a consolation game.

Ulsan lost to Tigres UANL of Mexico 2-1 at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, just west of Doha, on Thursday to kick off the 17th edition of the FIFA tournament. French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored twice for Tigres, while Kim Kee-hee had the lone goal for Ulsan in the first half.
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