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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 April 29, 2021

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

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(LEAD) New cases fall back to below 700; virus curbs likely to be extended

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases fell back to below 700 on Thursday, but sporadic cluster infections and the rising number of untraceable cases still indicate a further rise in infections.

The country reported 680 more COVID-19 cases, including 650 local infections, raising the total caseload to 121,351, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(2nd LD) Biden pledges to work with allies to address N.K. threats through diplomacy, deterrence

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he will work with allies to address threats from North Korea and Iran through "diplomacy" and "stern deterrence."

Biden made the remark during his first address to a joint session of Congress, calling the nuclear programs of Pyongyang and Tehran "a serious threat to America's security and world security."

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(2nd LD) Samsung sees chip recovery in Q2 after forecast-beating Q1 results

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday expected its semiconductor business to rebound in the current quarter following mediocre performance, although its mobile unit is projected to suffer a profit decline after spearheading its strong first-quarter earnings.

Samsung's net profit stood at 7.14 trillion won (US$6.4 billion) in the January-March period, up 46.2 percent from a year earlier, the world's largest memory chip and smartphone vendor said in a regulatory filing.

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Moon pays respect to late cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in paid respect to the late cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, former archbishop of Seoul, on Thursday.

Moon visited Myeongdong Cathedral in central Seoul, together with first lady Kim Jung-sook, to pay his last respects to Cheong. He passed away Tuesday at age 89, having suffered an unspecified illness.

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Minister calls first half 'most optimal' period for progress in stalled peace process

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young on Thursday stressed that South Korea will strive to bring the stalled peace process on the Korean Peninsula back on track, saying that the first half of this year will be the "most optimal" time to realize any possible progress.

Lee urged the United States to engage North Korea at the earliest date possible during a press conference in Seoul as the Joe Biden administration is likely to finalize its monthslong North Korea policy review in the weeks to come.

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SK IE Technology set to draw record-high IPO subscriptions

SEOUL -- SK IE Technology Co. (SKIET), a battery materials subsidiary of SK Innovation Co., is set to draw a record-breaking subscription rate from retail investors for its initial public offering (IPO) on the Seoul bourse, the company's IPO managers said Thursday.

SKIET, which makes lithium-ion battery separators used in electric vehicles, has allowed individual investors to subscribe to up to 5.34 million new common shares to be sold under the IPO on the main KOSPI market on May 11.

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S. Korea set to partially lift ban on stock short selling after 14 months

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial regulator is set to partially lift its ban on short selling of listed stocks starting next week, about 14 months after it imposed it to cope with a stock market rout triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although retail investors have urged financial authorities to prohibit the hedging practice, some experts said the partial resumption of short selling is unlikely to have a major impact on the stock market, given excess liquidity in the market and an earnings boost.

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