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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:47 April 07, 2021

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

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S. Korea approves Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL -- South Korea's drug safety agency on Wednesday approved the COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen as it showed around 66 percent efficacy against the new coronavirus, becoming the third vaccine approved here.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety authorized the use of Janssen's one-shot regimen as the vaccine is effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 infections among adults aged 18 and older.

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(LEAD) Gov't to expand free coronavirus testing to prevent new wave of infections: PM

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Wednesday the government will expand free coronavirus testing, with recent spikes in new cases spurring concerns of a fourth wave of infections.

The country reported 668 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the most since Feb. 18, as sporadic cluster infections continued to increase across the country.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 5th session on recovery hope

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose for the fifth straight session Wednesday as foreign investors continued to scoop up local stocks amid growing hopes for global economic recovery. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10.33 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 3,137.41 points.

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S. Korea's population continues to decline in first quarter: ministry data

SEOUL -- South Korea's population continued to decrease during the first quarter of this year as deaths outnumbered births, government data showed Wednesday.

As of March 31, the nation's registered population stood at 51,705,905, down 0.24 percent from 51,829,023 tallied at the end of 2020, when the population fell for the first time on record, according to census figures from the Ministry of Interior and Safety.

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(3rd LD) Bellwether mayoral by-elections under way in Seoul and Busan

SEOUL -- Voters went to polls to cast ballots for new mayors in Seoul and Busan, the country's two biggest cities, on Wednesday in by-elections deemed a critical bellwether for next year's presidential contest.

Voting began at 6 a.m. at 3,459 polling stations across the country and will last till 8 p.m. Besides the two mayoral seats, 19 other regional public posts are up for grabs, including the county governor for Uiryeong in South Gyeongsang Province and a ward office head in the southeastern city of Ulsan.

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Ex-top justice claims innocence in trial over alleged judiciary power abuse

SEOUL -- Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae on Wednesday denied his alleged role in a judiciary power abuse scandal during the conservative administration of Park Geun-hye, who was impeached.

Yang, who headed the top court from 2011-17, is accused of having pressed his officials at the National Court Administration, the top court's governing body, to devise plans to influence politically sensitive trials for Park, who is now jailed over corruption charges.


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