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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:03 February 05, 2021

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

Foreign ministry restores phrase 'closest neighbor' describing Japan in white paper

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry has restored the expression "closest neighbor" to refer to Japan in its latest white paper published this week, as Seoul pushes to improve ties with Tokyo frayed over wartime issues.

"Japan is South Korea's closest neighboring country that we should work with not only for bilateral relations but also for the peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia and the world," according to the 2020 white paper released Friday.

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. agree to seek early conclusion of defense cost-sharing talks

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States agreed to pursue an early conclusion of their defense cost-sharing talks to help strengthen their alliance and defense posture during their video talks Friday, the foreign ministry said.

Seoul's top negotiator, Jeong Eun-bo, and his U.S. counterpart, Donna Welton, led their first such meeting since last month's launch of the Joe Biden administration to advance their negotiations to determine Seoul's share of the cost for stationing the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

(LEAD) Further discussion needed on use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for 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 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.

(LEAD) Angelina Jolie asks int'l community to avoid selfish behavior amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Angelina Jolie pleaded with the world Friday to come together and stop acting selfishly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Academy Award winning actress spoke virtually in her capacity as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) during an international forum hosted by Yonsei University, a school in Seoul attended by her eldest son, Maddox.

(LEAD) Moon pledges full support for new sea wind energy project

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Friday his government won't spare support for a project to create the world's biggest offshore wind power generation complex in southwestern South Korea, declaring a vision for turning the nation into one of the top five powerhouses in the field.

He was attending the signing ceremony of a relevant investment deal, worth 48 trillion won (US$43 billion), in Sinan, South Jeolla Province, about 400 kilometers south of Seoul, where the facilities with a maximum capacity of 8.2 gigawatts will be built in phases over the coming decade.

DP urges finance minister to make 'bold decision' on virus handouts amid policy disagreement

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Friday pressed Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki to make a "bold decision" in providing a new round of COVID-19 relief payments amid an ongoing policy disagreement between the party and the ministry.

"(The government) should further intensify its fiscal role so that it safeguards the lives of the people and the economy with a desperate attitude that befits a crisis situation," DP floor leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon said in a party leadership meeting.

Yoo drops bid to become new WTO head, clears way for Nigerian candidate

SEOUL -- South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee on Friday withdrew her bid to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO), clearing the way for her Nigerian rival to take the post.

"Considering various factors, including the need to revitalize the role of the WTO, Yoo has decided to renounce her candidacy," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.


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