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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 April 28, 2021

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

(LEAD) Fully vaccinated people can skip 14-day self-isolation: authorities

SEOUL -- South Korean health authorities said Wednesday that fully vaccinated people will be exempted from the country's mandatory 14-day isolation period from early next month as the country is struggling to speed up the vaccination campaign.

Health authorities said that, under the country's anti-infection measures, those who have been fully inoculated will no longer be required to self-isolate themselves after coming in close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering the country from overseas from May 5 if they test negative for the virus.

Developer of AI chatbot service fined for massive personal data breach

SEOUL -- South Korea's data protection watchdog on Wednesday imposed a hefty monetary penalty on a startup for leaking a massive amount of personal information in the process of developing and commercializing a controversial female chatbot.

The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) said Scatter Lab, a Seoul-based startup, was ordered to pay 103.3 million won (US$92,900) in penalties -- a penalty surcharge of 55.5 million won and an administrative fine of 47.8 million won -- for illegally using personal information of its clients in the development and operation of its artificial intelligence-driven chatbot service called "Lee Luda."

Nat'l treasures, masterpieces among late Samsung chairman's art collection to be donated

SEOUL -- The vast art collection that heirs of the country's biggest conglomerate Samsung pledged to donate has turned out to be a treasure trove of national treasures and masterpieces by renowned artists here and abroad.

Late Samsung Group chief Lee Kun-hee's family on Wednesday announced that they would pay more than 12 trillion won (US$10.7 billion) in inheritance taxes, the largest amount in the country's history.

Ruling party moving toward adopting income tax on cryptocurrency transactions

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) is moving toward introducing income taxation on cryptocurrency transactions starting next year despite growing investor calls for delaying the taxation plan, according to party officials Wednesday.

The stance by the ruling party is expected to lend further weight to the government's ongoing taxation plan as it is seeking to levy a 20 percent tax on income from transactions of cryptocurrency starting next year.

S&P keeps 'AA' rating on S. Korea with stable outlook

SEOUL -- Global credit appraiser Standard & Poor's Global Ratings (S&P) said Wednesday it has maintained its credit rating on South Korea at "AA," with a stable outlook.

S&P has kept South Korea's long-term sovereign credit rating at "AA", the third-highest level on the company's table, since August 2016, when it upgraded the rating from "AA-."

Ericsson-LG JV chief downplays impact from LG's mobile biz exit

SEOUL -- The chief of Ericsson-LG, a telecom equipment joint venture between Sweden-based Ericsson and South Korea's LG Electronics Inc., said Wednesday that there will be no impact to its business even after the local tech giant's planned exit from its loss-making handset business.

LG Electronics said earlier this month that it would no longer produce and sell handsets after July 31, casting uncertainty over the joint venture.

S. Korea to push forward U.S.-N. Korea talks, unveils midterm plan

SEOUL -- South Korea will try to help move nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea forward and restore its own dialogue with Pyongyang, the government said Wednesday in a policy report on inter-Korean relations for this year.

The report, submitted to the National Assembly, was a yearly action plan designed to carry out a five-year blueprint that lays out the objectives and directions of the government's policy on inter-Korean relations for 2018-2022.

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