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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:56 June 21, 2021

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

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(5th LD) U.S. envoy hopes N. Korea will accept offer to meet 'anytime, anywhere without preconditions'
(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 8, 10, 19)

SEOUL -- The United States has offered to meet with North Korea "anywhere, anytime without preconditions" and looks forward to a positive response from Pyongyang, the new U.S. special envoy for the North said Monday.

Ambassador Sung Kim made the remarks during trilateral talks with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Noh Kyu-duk and Takehiro Funakoshi, in Seoul, where they discussed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent remarks that his country should be ready for both dialogue and confrontation.

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(3rd LD) New virus cases back under 400; alert high over Delta variant
(ATTN: RECAST headline, lead; ADDS KDCA chief's comments in paras 20-23)

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell below 400 on Monday due to fewer tests over the weekend, but health authorities remain vigilant over rising cases of the more contagious Delta variant and pandemic fatigue.

The country reported 357 new cases, including 317 local infections, raising the total caseload to 151,506, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(2nd LD) Moon picks new Cheong Wa Dae secretaries
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with press briefing, more background info)

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in nominated Kim Han-kyu, a lawyer and rookie politician, as his new secretary for political affairs Monday.

Having worked as a legal counsel for the ruling Democratic Party (DP), he is a lawyer at the Seoul-based law firm Kim & Chang and also a standing member of the National Unification Advisory Council. He graduated from Harvard Law School after studying law at Seoul National University.

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(LEAD) SK Bioscience to invest 150 bln won to beef up vaccine production capacity
(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 3-4)

SEOUL -- SK Bioscience Co., a major South Korean pharmaceutical firm, said Monday it plans to invest 150 billion won (US$132 million) through 2024 to expand its production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.

SK Bioscience said the investment is meant to increase the production capacity of the production line based in Andong, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul.

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(LEAD) Prosecutors recommend ex-Busan mayor get 7 years in prison for sexual assault
(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 3-6)

BUSAN -- Prosecutors asked a judge to sentence former Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don to seven years in prison for sexual assault in the workplace.

Oh is accused of sexually assaulting two female employees and injuring one of them while in office. He is also charged with filing a false complaint against YouTube channel operators who reported the accusations against him.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks retreat on Fed's early tapering concerns
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks retreated Monday as the U.S. Federal Reserve's hawkish tone last week increased market worries about an early tapering of its accommodative monetary policies. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slumped 27.14 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 3,240.79 points after dipping to as low as 3,225.56 points.

(END)

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