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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:00 May 04, 2021

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

Oceans minister nominee comes under fire for wife's alleged smuggling of porcelain ware

SEOUL -- Oceans Minister nominee Park Jun-young came under fire for his wife's alleged smuggling of porcelain ware during a parliamentary confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Rep. Kim Sun-gyo of the main opposition People Power Party took a swipe at the nominee during the parliamentary session over the allegations of possible tariff evasion.

(2nd LD) SK Telecom to cancel 2.6 tln won worth of treasury shares

SEOUL -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said Tuesday it has decided to cancel 2.6 trillion won (US$2.32 billion) worth of treasury shares, over 10 percent of its total floated stocks, in a move to boost shareholder value amid plans to split into two companies later this year.

The telecom operator said in a statement that it would retire 8.69 million treasury stocks, or 10.8 percent of its total issued stocks, by Thursday.

(2nd LD) New cases bounce back to 500s, variants emerging as another drag

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases bounced back to the 500s on Tuesday amid growing fears that rising cases of COVID-19 variants could become another challenge to the country's virus battle.

The country reported 541 more COVID-19 cases, including 514 local infections, raising the total caseload to 124,269, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(LEAD) Over 40 foreigners found infected with COVID-19 in Gangneung's preemptive testing

GANGNEUNG -- More than 40 foreign migrant workers in the east coast city of Gangneung tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday after preemptive coronavirus testing, municipal officials said.

The municipality of Gangneung, 240 kilometers east of Seoul, has so far conducted the preemptive testing on 743 migrant workers and 43 of them were diagnosed with the new coronavirus, the officials said.

(LEAD) coronavirus-India flight
(LEAD) More than 170 Koreans return home from virus-hit India via special flight

SEOUL -- More than 170 South Korean residents in virus-hit India returned home on Tuesday via a special flight, and more people will come home this week, health authorities said.

A flight operated by Indian air carrier Vistara landed at Incheon International Airport around 10:17 a.m. with 172 passengers, including workers of Hyundai Motor Co., after departing from Chennai International Airport in southern India.

S. Korea to wait for N. Korea's final decision on World Cup qualifiers: official

SEOUL -- South Korea will wait for North Korea's final decision on whether to play a World Cup qualifier set to take place in the South next month, an official said Tuesday, after Asia's soccer governing body asked Pyongyang to reconsider its decision not to play the game.

Earlier, the South's Korea Football Association (KFA) said its North Korean counterpart, known as the DPR Korea Football Association, sent an official document to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) last Friday to declare its intent to drop out of the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, citing coronavirus concerns.

Pfizer vaccines for 218,000 people to arrive in S. Korea on Wednesday

SEOUL -- Another batch of Pfizer Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccines for around 218,000 members of the general public aged 75 and over, and other virus-vulnerable groups will arrive in South Korea later this week, health authorities said Tuesday.

The products are part of a direct contract for 3.3 million people between the U.S. pharmaceutical firm and the Seoul government, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound on 2nd day of resumed short selling

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rebounded on Tuesday, the second day of resumed short selling, after a five-session losing streak as institutions scooped up local stocks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20.17 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 3,147.37 points.

Multiple pro football games postponed due to COVID-19 infections among players

SEOUL -- The K-League, the South Korean professional football governing body, announced Tuesday that some regular games in the top and second-tier leagues will be postponed as two players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

FC Seoul defender Hwang Hyun-soo was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this week, while a member of Chungnam Asan FC in the minor K League 2 has also tested positive.

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