The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.
(LEAD) Gov't to expand in-person classes this month amid concerns about education gap
SEOUL -- Many South Korean students were found to have fallen behind in Korean, math and English, research showed Wednesday, confirming pandemic learning loss amid yearlong remote learning.
The Ministry of Education unveiled the results of the educational achievement research, conducted together with the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation in November for around 3 percent of the country's high school second graders and middle school seniors.
(LEAD) Moon meets Samsung, SK, Hyundai, LG leaders over his U.S. trip results
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in had a luncheon meeting Wednesday with the leaders of South Korea's four major conglomerates -- SK, Hyundai, LG and Samsung -- for discussions on the outcome of his recent White House summit with U.S. President Joe Biden.
It was unprecedented for Moon to have a separate meeting with the representatives from the so-called Big Four groups at Cheong Wa Dae since his inauguration in May 2017.
(LEAD) DP chief apologizes over scandal involving former justice minister
SEOUL -- The chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) apologized Wednesday over an investment and academic fraud scandal involving the family of a former justice minister, blamed as a major reason for the party's recent landslide by-election defeats.
The apology by Rep. Song Young-gil came as the DP is struggling to reclaim voters' confidence following its crushing defeats in the Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections in April, blamed largely on the party and its members' "hypocritical" conduct.
(2nd LD) Military prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Air Force officer in sexual harassment case
SEOUL -- Military prosecutors sought an arrest warrant Wednesday for an Air Force noncommissioned officer on charges of sexually harassing a female colleague, the defense ministry said, amid mounting criticism that the military's mishandling of the case led to the victim taking her own life.
Investigators also took the suspect, identified as master sergeant Jang, into custody. He is suspected of sexually harassing the victim of the same rank inside a car on their way back to the base in the western city of Seosan after a private gathering in March.
(News Focus) BTS again outshines itself with 3rd No. 1 debut on Billboard Hot 100
SEOUL -- The seven young men from once an underdog recording label have done it again.
After becoming the first K-pop act to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard's main singles chart with "Dynamite" and doing it again with the Korean song "Life Goes On," they landed yet another song in the top spot of one of the industry's toughest music charts.
Companies increasingly adopt 'vaccine leave' amid accelerating inoculation drive
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and other major South Korean companies are increasingly adopting "paid vaccine leave" for their employees as the country's vaccine rollout gathers pace and more workers get vaccinated.
The companies, including retail giant Lotte Group, pharmaceutical firms and game publishers have introduced vaccine leave from one to three days depending on their employees' symptoms after vaccinations, industry sources said Wednesday.
Gov't probe team arrests 20 people, refers 529 others to prosecution over property speculation
SEOUL -- The government said Wednesday its special probe team has arrested 20 people and reported over 529 others to the prosecution for further investigation after looking into various allegations of real estate speculation for about three months.
Announcing an interim result of the probe, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said the team, involving the police, and tax and financial authorities, has so far investigated 646 cases and some 2,800 individuals.
Yoon expresses willingness to run for president, lawmaker says
SEOUL -- Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl has privately expressed his willingness to run in next year's presidential election, an opposition lawmaker said Wednesday.
Yoon is one of two leading potential presidential candidates, according to various opinion polls, though he has yet to declare his intent to run.
Theaters abuzz with return to pre-pandemic level
Kakao, Naver in neck-and-neck race for 3rd most valuable firm in S. Korea
(News Focus) Housing policy at risk of further losing credibility, public support
Short selling revisited on retail investors' increased sway
Legislation on compensating virus-hit small biz picks up steam