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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:06 June 09, 2021

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

Think tank ups S. Korea's 2021 growth outlook to 3.8 pct

SEOUL -- South Korea's economy is expected to grow at a faster-than-expected pace in 2021 on the back of brisk exports, a leading private think tank said Wednesday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is likely to expand 3.8 percent on-year this year as overseas shipments rebound sharply, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI).

S. Korea continues attempts to call N.K. every day through Panmunjom hotline to no avail: official

SEOUL -- South Korea has been attempting to call North Korea via a cross-border communication line every morning for the past year, but there has been no response from the North, a unification ministry official said Wednesday.

Last year, the North vowed to cut off all communication lines with the South and even blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its border city of Kaesong in anger over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets coming in from the South.

(2nd LD) Defense chief apologizes over suicide of sexually abused soldier

SEOUL -- Defense Minister Suh Wook apologized Wednesday over the suicide death of a sexually harassed female noncommissioned officer, vowing to conduct a thorough probe and overhaul the military's system of handling sex crimes.

It is the first public apology the defense chief has issued after the late Air Force master sergeant was found dead on May 22, around three months after she was groped and suffered other abuse by a colleague of the same rank.

Moon set for weeklong visits to Britain, Austria, Spain from Friday

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in will make a trip to Britain for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit this weekend followed by state visits to Austria and Spain for talks on bilateral ties, Cheong Wa Dae announced Wednesday.

Moon plans to leave for the British coastal county of Cornwall on Friday to attend the G-7 session as a guest. On Sunday, he is scheduled to head to Austria for summit talks with President Alexander Van der Bellen, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.

Jeju records nation's highest COVID-19 incidence rate over past week

JEJU -- Jeju Island, South Korea's most popular holiday destination, registered the highest rate of incidence of coronavirus cases over the recent week among local regions, authorities said Wednesday.

Jeju's provincial government said 102 people tested positive for COVID-19 on the southern resort island during the past seven days, posting a weekly incidence rate of 20.9 people per 1 million.

(LEAD) Delivery workers launch strike amid stalled talks on preventing overwork

SEOUL -- Unionized delivery workers began a general strike Wednesday, saying logistics firms have stalled implementing an agreement on preventing their overwork.

The Parcel Delivery Workers' Solidarity Union said the indefinite walkout was approved by 4,910, or 92.3 percent, of 5,310 members who took part in a vote earlier in the day. The strike will involve 2,100 workers -- nearly a third of the union's 6,500 members -- who have the right to strike.

Lawmaker's use of BTS photo to promote bill on legalizing tattooing provokes fans' ire

SEOUL -- Photos of BTS member Jungkook, uploaded to promote a bill on legalizing tattooing, have provoked the ire of BTS fans who say a lawmaker has unfairly dragged the K-pop star into politics.

Rep. Ryu Ho-jeong of the progressive minor Justice Party posted several photos of Jungkook on her Twitter account Tuesday, including some showing the star on a TV show with a bandaid covering his tattooed finger.

N. Korea appears focused on internal affairs: defense minister

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to be focused on taking care of internal affairs rather than showing unusual military moves, Defense Minister Suh Wook said Wednesday.

Suh made the assessment during a parliamentary session when asked if there were any unusual moves by the North Korean military after Pyongyang condemned Seoul over the lifting of U.S. curbs on South Korea's missile development.

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