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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:07 April 23, 2021

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

(3rd LD) S Korea-virus test kits
(3rd LD) S. Korea approves 2 COVID-19 self-testing kits amid spiking cases
(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 8, 9)

SEOUL -- South Korea's drug safety agency on Friday granted conditional approval for two types of COVID-19 self-test kits as a supplementary tool to boost its testing capacity amid spiking cases.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) said it gave the green light to the test kits, developed by two biotech firms, SD Biosensor and Humasis, in its first approval for at-home test kits for the coronavirus

(3rd LD) New COVID-19 infections nearing 800, rising untraceable cases portend further spike
(ATTN: UPDATES paras 10, 16, 18; ADDS more info in paras 19-20, 27, 33-34)

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.

(3rd LD) 32 Navy sailors from same vessel test positive for COVID-19
(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS more details, comments in paras 2, 6-7, 12; REPLACES 2nd photo with latest)

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, in the first such mass infection on a military vessel.

According to the ministry, one Navy officer who serves on the Gojunbong landing ship underwent a virus test and tested positive, after learning that a teacher of his child's day care center contracted the coronavirus.

(LEAD) Defector group plans to send leaflets to N. Korea next week
(ATTN: ADDS comments from unification ministry in 6th para)

SEOUL -- A North Korean defector group said Friday it plans to send thousands of leaflets to North Korea next week despite a recently enacted ban on such leafleting.

Park Sang-hak, a defector who heads Fighters for a Free North Korea, told Yonhap News Agency on Friday that his group plans to send leaflets across the border at an unannounced time and location from this Sunday to May 1.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge up amid strong individual buying
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday as individual investors scooped up local stocks on expectations of stock price hikes, despite negative impacts from the U.S. tax hike proposal. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 8.58 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 3,186.1 points.

Ruling party, gov't differ on revision of property tax policies

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) is fighting an uphill battle to recalibrate real estate regulation policies, which have been blamed for its crushing defeat in recent local by-elections, as the government and the presidential office have expressed different opinions about whether to reduce property taxes.

Following the ruling party's losses in mayoral by-elections in Seoul and Busan on April 7, some DP lawmakers have proposed lowering real estate possession taxes to win back public support, but top government officials and the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae have reacted skeptically to such proposals and instead emphasized the importance of policy consistency.

(LEAD) Moon appoints Lee Hyun-joo as special prosecutor for Sewol ferry disaster probe
(ATTN: UPDATES with comments by Moon, Lee from para 8; ADDS photo)

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday appointed Lee Hyun-joo, a veteran lawyer with experience in the central and local governments, as the special prosecutor to helm a fact-finding probe of the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking, Cheong Wa Dae said.

"President Moon approved the appointment of Special Prosecutor Lee Hyun-joo at 11:50 a.m.," Park Kyung-mee, Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson, said.


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