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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:14 April 01, 2021

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

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S. Korea considering allowing civilian aid to N. Korea amid increasing signs of border easing: official

SEOUL -- The government is considering allowing local aid groups to resume assistance to North Korea as the country is showing increasing signs of easing its border restrictions with China, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

"The possibility of the North Korea-China border restrictions easing has been constantly observed, and it is rather increasing," the official said.

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Clubs caught up in signing controversy set for clash as K League season resumes

SEOUL -- Two rival clubs at odds over a disputed player acquisition will square off in the K League 1 as the season resumes over the weekend following a brief international break.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, currently in first place with 14 points, will visit Suwon Samsung Bluewings, in fourth with 11 points, at 2 p.m. Saturday. The kickoff is at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul.

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(LEAD) S. Korea begins inoculating elderly general public over 75

SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday began administering COVID-19 vaccines to members of the general public aged 75 and above, as well as other virus-vulnerable groups, as the country accelerates its nationwide inoculation campaign.

Some 3.5 million people aged 75 and older began getting vaccinated with U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. products, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to get scaled-back volume of AstraZeneca vaccines this week

SEOUL -- South Korea will get 432,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines later this week, a smaller amount than previously planned, health authorities here said Thursday, easing concerns that the country may face a delay in securing vaccines amid supply shortage globally.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said enough vaccines for 216,000 people, by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant and Oxford University, will arrive here on Saturday.

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S. Korea to resume war remains excavation project in DMZ next week

SEOUL -- South Korea will begin this year's war remains excavation project at a former battlefield near the border with North Korea next week, the defense ministry said Thursday, with Pyongyang remaining unresponsive to calls for joint work as agreed.

Under a military tension reduction accord signed on Sept. 19, 2018, South and North Korea agreed to launch a joint project to retrieve remains of soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War from Arrowhead Ridge, one of the fiercest battlefields inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two sides.

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Defense ministry voices confidence in probe results of deadly Cheonan ship sinking

SEOUL -- The defense ministry said Thursday that it trusts the results of a civilian-military joint probe blaming North Korea for the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship, after a presidential committee decided to revisit the case following a petition.

On March 26, 2020, the warship Cheonan went down near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, killing 46 sailors.

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(2nd LD) ITC backs SK in battery patent suit over LG

SEOUL -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday made a preliminary ruling in favor of SK Innovation Co. in a patent suit with LG Energy Solution Ltd., the latest twist in the bitter dispute between the two Korean battery makers.

The ITC said in an initial determination that SK Innovation didn't infringe upon four U.S. patents on lithium-ion battery technology claimed by LG Energy Solution.

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(LEAD) Rival parties try to drum up turnout as early voting for by-elections set to begin

SEOUL -- With one day left before the start of the early voting for next week's Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections, rival parties on Thursday strived to encourage more of their supporters to go to the polls.

The advance polling is set to begin at 6 a.m. on Friday and last till Saturday evening at 722 polling stations in Seoul, Busan and other regions ahead of the election day on Wednesday.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to adopt 'vaccine passports' showing person's COVID-19 vaccination status: PM

SEOUL -- South Korea will introduce a digital certification system to verify a person's COVID-19 vaccination status through a smartphone application this month, amid the government's efforts to boost people's participation in the public vaccine program, the prime minister said Thursday.

"The people will be able to experience a sense of return to normality from a vaccine passport or green card systems," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a daily interagency meeting on the government's coronavirus response.

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Seoul sends proposal to co-host 2032 Olympics with Pyongyang to IOC

SEOUL -- Seoul's metropolitan government said Thursday it has notified the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of its bid to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

The Seoul government said a written proposal on the joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics by Seoul and Pyongyang has been submitted to the IOC's Future Host Commission.

(END)

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