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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:05 February 19, 2021

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

(2nd LD) Moon says gov't open to special 'consolatory money' for Korean people over coronavirus damages

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in floated the idea Friday of providing South Korean people with special "consolatory money" once the COVID-19 pandemic is overcome, according to his office.

It was unveiled during his meeting with leaders of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) at Cheong Wa Dae.

(LEAD) S. Korea makes final check on vaccine deployment plan in mock drill

SEOUL -- South Korea carried out a final government-wide mock drill Friday for the planned transport of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the beginning of the inoculation program next week, the defense ministry said.

Earlier this month, health authorities and related agencies conducted the first mock drill at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, for the transport of the foreign-made Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

(LEAD) Embattled chief justice apologizes for lying about his alleged role in judge's impeachment

SEOUL -- Chief Supreme Court Justice Kim Meong-su apologized again Friday for lying about his alleged role in the recent impeachment of a senior judge as he faces growing heat from opposition lawmakers to step down.

"I give my deep apology for causing grave disappointment and concerns with my uncareful reply," the chief justice said in a post uploaded in the intranet for judges and court employees.

(LEAD) Kolon Life executives acquitted of falsifying data of gene therapy drug

SEOUL -- Two Kolon Life Science executives were acquitted Friday of involvement in the company's allegedly fraudulent report on a key ingredient in its gene therapy drug.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the ruling to the drugmaker's two executives, surnamed Cho and Kim, who were indicted on charges that included fraud related to the company's suspected illegalities in the development and sales of Invossa, a cell and gene therapy for osteoarthritis.

(2nd LD) Funeral of activist Paek Ki-wan draws thousands of mourners

SEOUL -- A funeral ceremony took place early Friday for activist Paek Ki-wan, who devoted his life to the reunification of the two Koreas and many labor and social issues.

Paek died at Seoul National University Hospital on Monday at age 88. He had battled complications of pneumonia for a year.

Coronavirus field inspections due at foreigner-dense workplaces

SEOUL -- Quarantine authorities are to conduct intensive coronavirus field inspections at foreigner-dense areas and workplaces and other places deemed highly vulnerable to the pandemic, a government agency said Friday, after recent outbreaks of virus clusters at factories.

According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters, about 1,000 places nationwide, including industrial plants, large-scale workplaces and construction sites, will be subject to such field inspections from Monday to March 2.

N. Korea appoints former trade minister as ambassador to China

SEOUL -- North Korea has appointed a former trade minister as the new ambassador to China, the country's foreign ministry said Friday, in what appears to be aimed at strengthening economic ties with its closest ally.

Ri Ryong-nam, 61, replaced Ji Jae-ryong, who has served as top envoy in Beijing since 2010, according to a posting on the official website of the ministry.

Hundreds of cafe, restaurant owners sue gov't over COVID-19 losses

SEOUL -- More than 200 owners of cafes and restaurants sued the government on Friday over losses caused by COVID-19 business restrictions.

The plaintiffs -- 170 cafe owners and 70 restaurant owners -- said they are seeking 1.2 billion won (US$1.08 million) in compensation from the government.


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