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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:53 February 09, 2021

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

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(LEAD) New FM confident about coordinating with U.S. over N.K. nuke issues

SEOUL -- New Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong expressed confidence on Tuesday about working with the new administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the North Korean nuclear issue, saying achieving peace in the region is their shared goal.

Chung made the remark after he was sworn in as the country's new top diplomat earlier in the day, as Seoul is seeking to firm up the relationship with Washington under Biden to create fresh momentum to jumpstart the negotiating process with Pyongyang.

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26 more cases of COVID-19 variants confirmed, total now at 80

SEOUL -- South Korea's health authorities said Tuesday they have identified 26 more cases of COVID-19 variants, vowing to step up monitoring on foreign arrivals to better detect potential cases.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said 24 people were confirmed to have been infected with the variant from Britain, while one person was infected with the South African variant and another with the one from Brazil.

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Negotiations under way with Indonesia over fighter jet project: official

SEOUL -- South Korea is in talks with Indonesia about a joint project to develop a next-generation fighter jet, the head of the arms procurement agency said Tuesday, amid speculation that the Southeast Asian nation wants to quit the project.

Indonesia agreed to partner in South Korea's KF-X project aimed at developing a new fighter jet by 2026, and promised to shoulder 20 percent of the total development cost of 8.8 trillion won (US$7.3 billion), or about 1.7 trillion won.

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Over 60 pct of S. Korean youth say unification with N.K. necessary: survey

SEJONG -- Over six out of 10 South Korean youth think that unification with North Korea is necessary, a survey showed Tuesday.

In a survey conducted by the education and unification ministries on 68,750 students enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools nationwide from Nov. 2-30 of last year, 62.4 percent said that the two Koreas need to reunify.

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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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S. Korea's e-commerce market ranks 5th worldwide in 2020 amid pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's e-commerce market expanded nearly 20 percent in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic to rank fifth in the world, a report showed Tuesday.

Local e-commerce sales came to US$104.1 billion last year, up 19.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the report released by the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency and based on data from market researcher eMarketer.

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Ruling party accelerates legislation drive to curb fake news

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday vowed to legislate a set of bills that would increase the burden of responsibility of news media, internet portals, YouTubers and bloggers for fake or false news.

"We decided to push for legislation under the principle that news media and internet portals should be included among the subjects of punitive compensation," DP spokesman Rep. Choi In-ho told reporters after a meeting of the party's task force on media reform. The party will make efforts to get the relevant bills passed at the National Assembly this month, he added.
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