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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 July 29, 2021

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

Daily virus cases dip as authorities mull stronger virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell slightly Thursday after reaching a record high the previous day as health authorities weigh implementing more virus restrictions to slow down the spread of the delta variant and growing infections outside the greater Seoul area.

The country added 1,674 COVID-19 cases, including 1,632 local infections, raising the total caseload to 195,099, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(3rd LD) Samsung expects strong chip demand to continue in H2 after robust Q2 results

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday expected solid chip demand to continue in the second half of the year with recovery in the mobile business after delivering robust second-quarter performance.

Its net profit stood at 9.63 trillion won (US$8.3 billion) in the April-June period, up 73.4 percent from a year earlier, the world's largest memory chip and smartphone vendor said in a regulatory filing.

S. Korea, U.S. to seek return of about 1/4 of Yongsan Garrison by early next year

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States agreed Thursday to work closely together for the return of about one-fourth of the U.S. military's Yongsan Garrison site in central Seoul by early next year, the foreign ministry said.

The agreement to pursue the return of nearly 500,000 square meters of land came as Seoul pushes for a mega project to establish a national park there, amid worries that a delay in the return and decontamination of the garrison would hamper the project.

S. Korea's total population inches up in 2020 amid pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's total population inched up last year as more Koreans who stayed overseas returned to their home country, while an inflow of foreigners sharply fell amid the pandemic, a national census showed Thursday.

A total of 51.83 million people lived in South Korea as of Nov. 1, 2020, up 0.1 percent, or 50,000, from the previous year, according to the 2020 census by Statistics Korea.

(Olympics) Teen swimmer's exciting rise to stardom continues with top-5 finish

TOKYO -- South Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo arrived in Tokyo for his first Olympics this month as an up-and-comer to watch, someone who could maybe grow into a fringe medal contender by the next Olympics in 2024.

At this rate, Hwang, 18, will leave Tokyo as a force to be reckoned with, not in 2024 but much sooner than that.

(Olympics) Gold medal just the beginning for S. Korean sabre fencing

CHIBA -- There are few things more exciting in sports than watching Olympic athletes at the top of their game.

In winning their team gold medal Wednesday night at the Tokyo Olympics, the South Korean sabre fencers Kim Jung-hwan, Gu Bon-gil, Oh Sang-uk and Kim Jun-ho performed with power, grace and ease that defy the difficult nature of the sport.

S. Korea to discuss with N.K. ways to hold virtual inter-Korean talks via restored hotlines

SEOUL -- South Korea is planning to use the restored communication lines with North Korea to discuss ways to hold virtual inter-Korean talks amid the global pandemic, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

Four hotlines were restored Tuesday nearly 14 months after the North cut them off in June last year in protest of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets coming in from the South.

N. Korea's trade down 73.4 pct in 2020: KOTRA

SEOUL -- North Korea's annual trade plunged a whopping 73.4 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, as the country shut down its border amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Thursday.

The combined amount of North Korea's trade came to US$863 million in 2020, compared with US$3.24 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

(LEAD) N.K. leader says 'kindred ties' with China will last for generations

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed that "kindred ties" with China will carry on generation after generation as he visited a monument symbolizing friendly relations between the two countries, state media said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Kim visited the Friendship Tower in Pyongyang, which was erected to commemorate China's participation in the 1950-53 Korean War, and sent a wreath to mark the 68th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, the Korean Central News Agency said.

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