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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:27 April 28, 2021

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

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Coronavirus self-test kits to hit pharmacy shelves in coming days

SEOUL -- South Koreans are expected to be able to purchase coronavirus self-test kits at local pharmacies or via online channels as early as this weekend or early next week, sources said Wednesday.

South Korea's drug safety agency on Friday green-lighted two types of COVID-19 home test kits developed by biotech firms SD Biosensor and Humasis in an effort to boost its testing capacity amid rising cases.

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JCS chairman heads to Hawaii for talks with U.S., Japanese counterparts

SEOUL -- Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul was to depart for Hawaii on Wednesday for talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts to discuss the security situation in the region, his office said.

Won is scheduled to meet with Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. Koji Yamazaki on Thursday (Hawaii time) to discuss ways to strengthen "multilateral cooperation to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia," according to the military.

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'Minari' eyes 1 mln attendees on Youn Yuh-jung's historic Oscar win

SEOUL -- The number of combined moviegoers for "Minari" is expected to surpass 1 million in South Korea this weekend, boosted by supporting actress Youn Yuh-jung's historic Oscar victory, data showed Wednesday.

The U.S. drama film on the struggles of a first-generation Korean immigrant family in America sold 8,500 tickets on Tuesday, bringing its combined total to 952,000, according to the data from the Korean Film Council.

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(2nd LD) Power generator, construction materials delivered to Seongju THAAD base despite protest

SEONGJU, South Korea -- The Ministry of Defense on Wednesday successfully delivered non-weapon materials and construction equipment onto a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) base here after briefly running into protests from residents and activists opposed to the deployment of the American missile defense system.

Early in the day, a few dozen protesters staged a sit-in and blocked the passage of vehicles heading to the base for the THAAD system in the central town of Seongju, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

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Samsung heirs to pay record-high inheritance taxes, but how to split late chief's stocks still uncertain

SEOUL -- Heirs of late Samsung Group chief Lee Kun-hee said Wednesday that they would pay more than 12 trillion won (US$10.7 billion) in inheritance taxes, the largest-ever in the country's history, but did not reveal how they would split inherited stocks among them, a key issue in reshaping the ownership of the nation's No. 1 conglomerate.

They said they will also donate 1 trillion won to support the virus fight and research for rare child diseases, and around 23,000 pieces of the senior Lee's art collections, estimated to be valued at about 2 trillion won.

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(LEAD) Military begins vaccinating service members over 30

SEOUL -- The defense ministry on Wednesday began administering AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine to service members aged 30 and older, it said, amid growing concerns over the spread of the virus in barracks.

Authorities plan to complete giving the first vaccine doses to 126,000 troops over the age of 30 in the next two weeks in the full-fledged launch of a vaccine campaign in the military.

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S. Korea reports more gloomy childbirth data in Feb.

SEOUL -- The number of babies born in South Korea fell to a record low in February, data showed Wednesday, underscoring the country's chronically low birth rate.

A total of 21,461 babies were born in February, down 5.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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Population mobility falls for 3rd month in March

SEOUL -- The number of South Koreans who moved to different residences in the country fell for the third straight month in March as housing transactions declined, data showed Wednesday.

The number of people who changed their residences fell 4 percent on-year to 735,000 last month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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S. Korean diplomats in Pacific countries discuss Japan's Fukushima water release plan in video talks

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry has held a virtual meeting of the chiefs of its diplomatic missions in Pacific countries to discuss responses to Japan's planned release of radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, officials said Wednesday.

The meeting on Tuesday came as Seoul has been stepping up diplomacy to ensure safety in Tokyo's envisioned discharge of the wastewater into the ocean amid concerns over its impact on people's health, the marine environment and the fishery industry.

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