The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.
Rival parties to seek special counsel probe into growing land speculation scandal
SEOUL -- Rival parties tentatively agreed Tuesday to jointly seek an independent counsel investigation into a ballooning land speculation scandal.
Rep. Joo Ho-young, floor leader of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), said his party will seek to launch an independent counsel probe into the scandal, practically accepting the ruling Democratic Party's earlier call for the investigation.
S. Korea to monitor reported side effects from AstraZeneca vaccines
SEOUL -- South Korean health authorities said Tuesday that they will keep a close eye on reported side effects of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines whose rollout has been suspended in major European countries over reported blood clots after vaccine injections.
A large number of European countries, such as Germany, Italy and France, halted the use of vaccines manufactured by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University over reports of blood clots in some recipients.
'Minari' celebrates 'history-making' Oscar nominations
SEOUL -- Producers of "Minari" have celebrated its six Oscar nominations, including best picture, highlighting the "history-making" achievement of the drama film about a Korean American immigrant family.
"'Minari' makes history," said a post on the official Twitter account of the film, directed by Korean American Lee Isaac Chung, on Monday (U.S. time). "Congratulations to Isaac, Steven (Yeun), YJ (Youn Yuh-jung), Emile (Mosseri) and the whole 'Minari' family on their six wonderful, wonderful Oscar noms."
(LEAD) Almost all of S. Korea shrouded with yellow dust blowing in from China
SEOUL -- Almost all of South Korea was blanketed Tuesday by a massive yellow dust storm originating from the inland deserts in northern China, the state weather agency said.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), almost all parts of the nation came under the influence of high levels of yellow dust that originated in the Inner Mongolian region in northern China and the vicinity of the Gobi Desert over the weekend and was moving south by riding the northerly wind.
Gov't task force to summon LH officials over alleged land speculation
SEOUL -- A government task force will soon summon officials of the state housing developer for questioning on allegations of land speculation, a task force official said Tuesday.
Twenty employees of Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) are currently under investigation for allegedly using insider information to purchase land mainly in Gwangmyeong and Siheung, Gyeonggi Province, before the area was designated as a major public housing development site last month.
(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. to hold 'two plus two' meeting on alliance, N. Korea, China issues
SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States are set to hold a "two plus two" meeting of foreign and defense ministers later this week, with a key focus on reinvigorating their alliance in the face of a recalcitrant North Korea and an assertive China.
Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Defense Minister Suh Wook will join their U.S. counterparts, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, for the allies' first such gathering in five years on Thursday after they hold separate two-way meetings with their respective counterparts on Wednesday.
Ahn to seek merger with PPP if nominated as unified opposition candidate in Seoul mayoral race
SEOUL -- Ahn Cheol-soo, head of the minor opposition People's Party (PP) running in the upcoming Seoul mayoral by-election, said Tuesday he will pursue a merger between his party and the larger and more established People Power Party (PPP) if he becomes the unified opposition candidate.
The April 7 Seoul mayoral by-election is shaping up to be a three-way competition among Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), Oh Se-hoon of the PPP and Ahn. The two opposition parties are in the final stages of negotiations to merge their campaigns.