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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:14 April 06, 2021

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

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(3rd LD) New virus cases in 400s for 2nd day, upticks worrisome amid spring break

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases stayed in the 400s for the second day in a row Tuesday amid sporadic cluster infections nationwide, with a potential resurgence looming amid loosened vigilance and increased spring travelers.

The country reported 478 more COVID-19 cases, including 460 local infections, raising the total caseload to 106,230, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(LEAD) COVID-19 vaccination tops 1 mln in S. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea has inoculated over 1 million people in 40 days since the country launched its long-awaited COVID-19 vaccination campaign, health authorities here said Tuesday.

An accumulated 1,014,019 people were administered with their first shots as of noon Tuesday, which account for around 1.95 percent of the country's 52 million population, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(4th LD) N. Korea decides not to participate in Tokyo Olympics over coronavirus concerns

SEOUL -- North Korea said Tuesday it will not participate in the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics to protect its athletes against the coronavirus pandemic, dashing South Korea's hopes to use the games to kickstart the stalled peace process with Pyongyang.

The decision was made during a general assembly meeting of the North's Olympic Committee held in Pyongyang on March 25, according to Sports in the DPRK Korea, a website on sports affairs in North Korea.

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S. Korea willing to cooperate with Quad countries on issue-by-issue basis: official

SEOUL -- South Korea is willing to cooperate with the member countries of the U.S.-led Quad forum on an issue-by-issue basis, a foreign ministry official said Tuesday, amid speculation Washington wants Seoul to join the forum seen as a counterbalance to China's influence.

Officials in Seoul have made it clear that there has been no formal request from the U.S. to join the Quad, also involving Australia, India and Japan, stressing that the country would take part in an initiative of any form as long as it serves the country's interests and helps the region prosper.

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Police raid Presidential Security Service in land speculation probe

SEOUL -- Police raided the Presidential Security Service on Tuesday as part of an investigation into allegations of land speculation by one of its officials.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Police Agency said investigators searched the offices of the security service at Cheong Wa Dae, the headquarters of the state housing developer, Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH), in the southeastern city of Jinju, and the homes of the official in question and his elder brother, who works for LH.

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S. Korea records highest temperature for March, earliest cherry blossom bloom in Seoul in 99 yrs

SEOUL -- South Korea recorded its highest average temperature for March last month, with Seoul seeing its earliest cherry blossom bloom on record, the state weather agency said Tuesday.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), last month's average temperature was 8.9 C, the highest since monitoring on a national scale began in 1973. The previous records were 8.1 C in 2018 and 7.9 C in 2020.

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N. Korean firm loses suit against S. Korean companies in disputes over export payment

SEOUL -- A North Korean firm on Tuesday lost a lawsuit claiming millions of dollars for metal it supplied to South Korean companies in 2010, in a rare legal battle between businesses from the two Koreas.

In a ruling against the North Korean National Economic Cooperation Federation, its member company and their South Korean deputy, the Seoul Central District Court said that four South Korean firms need not pay the plaintiffs about 5.3 billion won (US$4.7 million) for the zinc they imported from North Korea over a decade ago.

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(LEAD) Parties scramble for last-minute campaigns on eve of by-elections

SEOUL -- On the eve of the April 7 Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections, rival parties scrambled to make final appeals to voters in the country's two biggest cities Tuesday.

Voting for the two mayoral seats and 19 other regional public posts is set to begin at 6 a.m. and last till 8 p.m. on Wednesday at 3,459 polling stations across the country in by-elections that are deemed harbingers of public opinions ahead of next year's presidential poll.

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POSCO unit may sever its biz ties with Myanmar's military conglomerate

SEOUL -- POSCO C&C, an affiliate of South Korea's steel giant POSCO Group, said Tuesday it is studying various options to reconsider its business ties with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), one of Myanmar's two largest military holding companies.

The move by the maker of surface-treatment steel sheets came amid mounting international outcry against Myanmar's military over its bloody crackdown on citizens following a coup in February.

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Budget carrier Eastar aims to pick new investor by early May: CEO

SEOUL -- Financially troubled Eastar Jet aims to select a new investor by early May as several investors have shown an interest in the budget carrier, the company's chief executive officer said Tuesday.

Eastar will decide whether to proceed with the investor selection process in the form of a "stalking-horse" bid or an open auction, by the end of this month, Eastar CEO Kim You-sang told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 4th day on global economic recovery hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose for the fourth straight session Tuesday as investors pinned their hopes on a faster-than-expected global economic recovery, backed by strong U.S. economic data. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 3,127.08 points.
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