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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 June 16, 2021

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

(LEAD) New virus cases spike to 500s amid accelerating vaccination drive

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases bounced back to over 500 on Wednesday as health authorities ramp up the country's vaccination drive with a quarter of the population receiving one jab.

The country reported 545 more virus cases, including 522 local infections, raising the total caseload to 149,191, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

(2nd LD) Moon given 'golden key' in Spain visit

MADRID -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in received a "golden key" from Spain on Tuesday, as he expressed hope that it would bring big luck to the Korean Peninsula.

He also said that he would open the door of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic with the key.

S. Korea to work toward improving relations with Japan with open mindset: Cheong Wa Dae official

SEOUL -- South Korea will work toward advancing its relationship with Japan frayed by common history issues, a key presidential official said Wednesday, amid news that Japan canceled agreed-upon talks between the leaders of the two nations during the recent Group of Seven (G-7) summit.

According to a Seoul foreign ministry official, Japan canceled a tentative agreement to hold a "pull-aside" meeting between their leaders on the sidelines of the recent G-7 summit held in Cornwall, Britain, taking issue with South Korea's annual drill to safeguard the East Sea territory.

(2nd LD) Both sanctions and diplomacy critical to denuclearizing N. Korea: Kritenbrink

WASHINGTON -- Strict and continued enforcement of sanctions on North Korea while also seeking to engage with the reclusive state diplomatically are important to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the nominee for U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs said Tuesday.

Daniel Kritenbrink also said he would try to find ways to further strengthen sanctions on the North if confirmed.

(LEAD) N.K. leader opens key party meeting to discuss how to cope with 'current international situation'

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un opened a key Workers' Party meeting to discuss ways to deal with the "current international situation," food shortages, anti-pandemic efforts and other economic issues, state media said Wednesday.

The multiday plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee was convened for "taking measures to solve the pending issues urgent for improving the economic work and the people's living and for the discussion of and decision on issues for powerfully and correctly pushing forward crucial state work under the prevailing situation," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Shinsegae-led consortium picked as preferred bidder for eBay Korea: sources

SEOUL -- A South Korean conglomerate Shinsegae-led consortium has been picked as the preferred bidder for eBay Korea, the South Korean unit of e-commerce giant eBay, beating its local rival Lotte Shopping and heralding a seismic change in the country's e-commerce sector, industry sources said Wednesday.

The Shinsegae-Naver consortium reportedly offered some mid-4 trillion won (US$4 billion) to take over the Korean unit of the second-largest e-commerce player in the United States. Naver, the country's top internet portal operator, will fund 20 percent of the bidding price, according to the sources.

Kia partners with Uber to supply EVs in Europe

SEOUL -- Kia Corp., South Korea's second-biggest carmaker, said Wednesday it has partnered with U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. to supply its electric vehicles in Europe.

The strategic partnership is aimed at promoting the adoption of EVs and the expansion of the EV charging infrastructure in major European cities, Kia said in a statement.

Seoul stocks extend gains late Wednesday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended their gains late Wednesday morning as investors scooped up blue-chip shares.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 20.66 points, or 0.63 percent, to 3,279.29 as of 11:20 a.m.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved down 0.27 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.71 percent, as investors sat on the sidelines amid the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting that runs through Wednesday (U.S. time).

'Cruella' becomes 5th movie to top 1 mln admissions in S. Korea this year

SEOUL -- Disney's live action film "Cruella" has become the fifth movie to attract over 1 million viewers in South Korea this year, box office data showed Wednesday.

The crime comedy flick, released on May 26, drew more than 24,000 people Tuesday, bringing its combined total to over 1.01 million, according to the data from the Korean Film Council.

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