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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:43 February 09, 2021

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

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(LEAD) N.K. leader raps economic agencies for 'passive, self-protecting tendencies'

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un rapped economic agencies for "passive and self-protecting tendencies" as he held a Workers' Party meeting to finalize this year's plans to carry out policy goals set forth at last month's rare party congress, state media said Tuesday.

The North unveiled a new five-year economic development plan at the eighth congress of the party last month, with a focus on self-reliance in the face of the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and global sanctions on its regime.

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(LEAD) New virus cases above 300 again ahead of Lunar New Year holiday

SEOUL -- South Korea reported a slight rise in daily coronavirus cases on Tuesday as new clusters of infection continued to emerge, with health authorities being on high alert ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The country added 303 more COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including 273 local infections, raising the total caseload to 81,487, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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Ministry hopes for early resumption of Kaesong complex as it marks anniversary of shutdown

SEOUL -- The unification ministry on Tuesday expressed hope for the early reopening of a now-shuttered industrial complex in North Korea's border town of Kaesong as it marks the fifth anniversary of its closure amid chilled inter-Korean relations.

South Korea closed the Kaesong Industrial Complex in February 2016 in retaliation against the North's nuclear and missile provocations. The Kaesong complex had been considered one of the most tangible symbols of inter-Korean reconciliation.

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N. Korea continues wintertime drills, no unusual moves ahead of late leader's birthday: JCS

SEOUL -- North Korea has been conducting regular wintertime military drills without showing any unusual moves ahead of the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il, the South Korean military said Tuesday.

North Korea celebrated the 73rd anniversary Monday of the foundation of its army and has another key national holiday coming up, which is the Feb. 16 birthday of its late leader, the father of current leader Kim Jong-un.

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New FM says peace process with North Korea not choice but must

SEOUL -- New Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong stressed Tuesday that the peace process with North Korea is a "must-go path" for South Korea as he was sworn in as Seoul's top diplomat vowing to work closely with the United States and other key partners to achieve the goal.

"Our diplomacy is faced with a difficult situation. We are at a point in time where preemptive and strategic diplomacy is required as uncertainty in the international situation is deepening," Chung said in his inauguration speech.

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Prosecutors drop charge against top prosecutor over illegal surveillance of judges

SEOUL -- Prosecutors dropped a charge on Tuesday against Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl that he ordered the illegal surveillance of judges hearing politically sensitive cases.

The Seoul High Prosecutors Office said it concluded that the abuse of power accusation against Yoon was unfounded, after questioning multiple people involved in the case and going over similar cases.

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Banks' loan delinquency rate falls in December

SEOUL -- The delinquency rate for South Korean banks' won-denominated loans fell in December last year from the previous month, the financial regulator said Tuesday.

The rate for bank loans more than 30 days overdue stood at 0.28 percent at the end of December, down 0.07 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

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(LEAD) Kakao swings to black in 2020 on robust platform, e-commerce

SEOUL -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, said Tuesday it shifted to the black in 2020 on the back of robust growth of its e-commerce services based on its messenger platform amid the pandemic.

Net profit reached 167.1 billion won (US$149.2 million) last year on a consolidated basis, swinging from a loss of 341.9 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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