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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:15 April 23, 2021

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

(2nd LD) New COVID-19 infections nearing 800, rising untraceable cases portend further spike

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases neared 800 on Friday as growing untraceable cases, coupled with cluster infections, continued to hamper the country's virus fight against the pandemic.

The country conditionally approved the use of COVID-19 self-test kits to beef up its testing capacity.

(LEAD) Gov't to decide on conditional approvals of 2 virus self-test kits: acting PM

SEOUL -- Health authorities plan to decide Friday whether to conditionally approve the use of two types of COVID-19 self-test kits, acting Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki said, as the country aims to further boost its testing capacity.

"Unless there are unexpected events, the government will decide on the conditional approvals of two self-test kits to allow their temporary use before official approvals," Hong said during a daily interagency meeting on the coronavirus response.

(2nd LD) 32 Navy sailors from same vessel test positive for COVID-19

SEOUL -- At least 32 Navy sailors who serve on the same naval ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Friday.

One Navy officer who serves on a landing ship underwent a virus test and tested positive after learning that a teacher of his child's day care center contracted COVID-19, according to the ministry.

S. Korea faces dilemma over cryptocurrency taxation

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial authorities are moving to impose an income tax on cryptocurrency trading from next year, but investors in digital tokens have raised a nagging question about the proposed taxation.

A growing number of cryptocurrency investors have cried foul over whether the government will collect a tax on virtual currencies while top policymakers see no intrinsic value in crypto assets amid a lack of regulations to protect cryptocurrency investors.

Cheong Wa Dae denies report on S. Korea-U.S. summit postponement

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae on Friday refuted as "groundless" a news report that a summit meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden set for late May could be postponed.

"South Korea and the U.S. are in consultations to arrange a schedule to carry out a summit at a convenient time in late May," Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a statement.

N.K.'s paper calls for post-war 'Chollima' spirit against challenges

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper on Friday called on its people to rev up efforts to achieve the country's economic goals, urging them to learn from a 1950s campaign designed to promote rapid development after the Korean War.

The move comes as leader Kim Jong-un earlier this month called on the ruling Workers' Party to wage a tougher "Arduous March" to relieve its people of economic woes, pointing to the harsh period in the 1990s, when the country suffered from extreme poverty and massive starvation.

U.S. fully ready to deter any aggression from N. Korea: U.S. commander

WASHINGTON -- The United States is ready and able to deter any aggression from North Korea, the chief of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) said Thursday, also highlighting the U.S. security commitment to South Korea.

Adm. Charles Richard, however, said the best way to resolve issues with North Korea is with diplomacy.

Seoul stocks turn to gains in late morning amid strong individual buying

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks erased earlier losses and bounced back to gains late Friday morning, as individual investors scooped up local stocks on speculations of a price hike.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 3.45 points, or 0.11 percent, to 3,180.97 points as of 11:20 a.m.

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