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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:53 March 03, 2021

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

(2nd LD) New virus cases bounce back to over 400 as vaccinations gather pace

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to over 400 on Wednesday as the country's vaccination campaign picked up steam amid sporadic cluster infections.

The country reported 444 more COVID-19 cases, including 426 local infections, raising the total caseload to 90,816, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

PM orders review of authorizing AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 65 and over

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday instructed officials to review the authorization of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 65 and over.

"New research results have been disclosed, indicating the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective for older people as well," the prime minister said during a daily interagency meeting on the coronavirus response at the government complex in Seoul.

N. Korea to be supplied with 1.7 mln doses of coronavirus vaccines through COVAX

SEOUL -- North Korea is expected to be supplied with around 1.7 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 by May through a global vaccine distribution program.

According to a vaccine allocation plan unveiled by the COVAX Facility, a total of 1.704 million doses of the AZ-Oxford vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca will be provided to North Korea from February to May.

Top sports body having talks on vaccinating athletes for Tokyo Olympics

SEOUL -- Working under the assumption that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will take place this summer, South Korean sports officials said Wednesday they are in talks with national health authorities on vaccinating athletes for the novel coronavirus.

According to officials, the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) believes about 1,000 athletes, coaches, officials and even training partners would be in line to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

U.S. launches probe against Samsung products for possible patent violation

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday voted to launch an investigation into allegations that mobile communication devices from global firms, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., may have infringed on patents held by a U.S. firm.

According to a notice of investigation, a complaint was filed by Evolved Wireless LLC of Austin, Texas, on Feb. 2 that certain "LTE-compliant cellular communication devices" infringed on certain U.S. patents.

U.S. willing to talk with Iranians on 'unfreezing of funds' locked in S. Korea: Price

WASHINGTON -- The United States would be willing to discuss with Iran the issue of unlocking its frozen funds in South Korea to achieve the overarching objective of a denuclearized Iran, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.

Ned Price said the U.S. is insistent in achieving its goal, but not on how or where it will discuss the issue with Iran.

Regulator approves Emart's takeover of pro baseball club

SEOUL -- South Korea's antitrust regulator said Wednesday it has approved a deal by Emart Inc., the country's biggest discount store chain, to buy the professional baseball club owned by energy and telecom giant SK Group.

Emart, a unit of retail giant Shinsegae Group, agreed in January to buy the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) from SK Telecom Co., the top mobile carrier, for 135.2 billion won (US$122 million).

E-commerce giant Coupang's U.S. market debut expected next week

SEOUL -- South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. is expected to make its landmark debut on March 11 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a day after fixing its initial public offering (IPO) price, financial industry sources said Wednesday.

The speculation came after the NYSE confirmed that the IPO price for the Seoul-based company would be determined next Wednesday.

BTS again tops Billboard's Artist 100 chart, sets record as group act

SEOUL -- Global superstar BTS has set another record, this time by claiming No. 1 on the Billboard's Artist 100 chart for a 16th week, the most for a group act.

The seven-piece act ranked No. 1, up four notches from the previous week, on the metric that measures artists' popularity across album and track sales, radio airplay and streaming as well as social media performance.

Blockbuster 'Seobok' to be released via streaming, in theaters in April

SEOUL -- The science-fiction action blockbuster "Seobok" will be released simultaneously in theaters and via streaming next month, its distributor said Wednesday, after monthslong delays amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Starring Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum, 'Seobok' will be released on April 15," CJ ENM said in a press release. "It will be released as original content of Tving and will also go on a theatrical run for more viewers."

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