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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 April 27, 2021

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

Moon meets Novavax CEO, hopes for early use of its vaccine

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in met with the head of the U.S. vaccine producer Novavax on Thursday and expressed hope that its COVID-19 vaccines will become available in South Korea at an early date.

"South Korean people are pinning high hope on the Novavax vaccine," Moon told the firm's CEO Stanley Erck during a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.

(2nd LD) Unification minister urges N. Korea to implement peace agreements on summit anniversary

SEOUL/PAJU -- Unification Minister Lee In-young urged North Korea on Tuesday to implement inter-Korean summit agreements and come out for talks as he marked the third anniversary of a historic 2018 summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Lee made the remarks during an event organized by civic groups to celebrate the anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration adopted after the summit talks on April 27, 2018, stressing that South Korea is willing to resume talks with the North "anytime, anywhere and on any issues."

S. Korea to press ahead with taxation on cryptocurrencies as planned: minister

SEOUL -- South Korea will levy taxes on capital gains from cryptocurrencies next year as scheduled despite growing calls by investors to postpone the taxation, the finance minister said Tuesday.

The government plans to impose a 20 percent tax on capital gains from transactions of virtual assets starting next year.

S. Korea reports steady rise in variant cases, total now at 535

SEOUL -- South Korea has confirmed 86 more cases of contagious variants of the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 535, amid concerns that the country's virus battle may be exacerbated by the more transmissible viruses.

Of them, 52 people were local infections and 34 imported cases, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) on Tuesday.

(3rd LD) New virus cases in 500s for 2nd day; vaccine rollout to gather pace

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases stayed in the 500s for the second straight day Tuesday due to less testing as the country accelerates a vaccine rollout amid woes over another wave of the pandemic.

The country reported 512 more COVID-19 cases, including 477 local infections, raising the total caseload to 119,898, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Seoul stocks inch down ahead of U.S. FOMC meeting

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks edged down Tuesday amid increased valuation pressure, with investors taking to the sidelines ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 2.11 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,215.42 points.

(News Focus) Legacies of two ex-presidents snag main opposition amid calls for post-election overhaul

SEOUL -- While the ruling party struggles with the fallout from its recent crushing defeat in the local by-elections, the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) hasn't exactly been publicly gleeful or celebratory since its decisive wins.

The overall shift in preference this time among swing voters toward the conservative opposition in the April 7 Seoul and Busan mayoral races has been widely interpreted as more of a sign of the public's accumulated anger toward the ruling bloc -- for its excessive reform drive and real estate policy blunders -- and less as a reflection of growing political and emotional gravitation toward the PPP.

(News Focus) Top official draws wrath of cryptocurrency investors, spurs political discussions

SEOUL -- One of South Korea's top financial officials has recently drawn the ire of investors in cryptocurrency when he lectured them, saying they were walking "on the wrong path" and needed to correct themselves.

Appearing in a meeting at the National Assembly on Thursday, Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Eun Sung-soo said it was "the duty of elders" like himself "to correct the young people" who spend money in digital currencies that have no "intrinsic value."

Foreign ministry pledges 'best measures' for safe return of citizens from virus-hit India

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry pledged "best measures" Tuesday for the safe return of South Korean citizens from coronavirus-ravaged India, dismissing worries that recent restrictions on flights from the country will hamper their return home.

The ministry also plans to offer "considerable" humanitarian aid to India, including oxygen concentrators and COVID-19 diagnostic kits, to support the country gripped by surges in new COVID-19 infections, ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam said.

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