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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:19 July 29, 2021

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

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(LEAD) S. Korea's total population grows at slowest-ever pace amid pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's total population grew at the slowest-ever pace last year as the inflow of foreigners declined for the first time in 30 years 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.

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(LEAD) 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).

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KDCA to use 3.6 tln won from extra budget to fight pandemic

SEOUL -- The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said Thursday it will spend 3.6 trillion won (US$3.12 billion) of the country's recently approved extra budget in efforts to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Last week, the National Assembly passed a 34.9 trillion-won extra budget, largely intended to provide financial support for small businesses. It is South Korea's second supplementary budget this year.

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(LEAD) 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.

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(2nd LD) Wall paintings disparaging wife of leading presidential contender stir controversy

SEOUL -- A series of wall paintings disparaging the wife of front-running conservative presidential hopeful Yoon Seok-youl in central Seoul have become a magnet for criticism from his supporters and conservative politicians.

A train of vehicles were parked back-to-back around the outer wall of a used bookstore in Seoul's central district of Jongno early Thursday morning in a bid to cover several paintings on the wall.

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(4th 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.

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(LEAD) LG Electronics' upbeat performance continues in Q2 with robust home appliance biz

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. continued to log strong quarterly earnings as its home appliance business once again anchored robust second-quarter results amid the pandemic.

The South Korean tech giant said Thursday its operating profit spiked 65.5 percent to 1.11 trillion won (US$968 million) in the April-June period, its best second-quarter performance since 2009. Sales jumped 48.4 percent on-year to 17.1 trillion won over the cited period, its largest ever for any second quarter.

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(LEAD) LG Chem's Q2 net hits record high on strong EV battery sales

SEOUL -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemical firm, said Thursday its second-quarter net profit rose to the highest level ever on strong electric vehicle (EV) battery and petrochemical sales.

LG Chem's net profit came to 1.6 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) in the April-June period, skyrocketing 289.5 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory briefing.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 3rd day on robust corporate earnings

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose for the third consecutive session Thursday as investor sentiment improved on optimism for strong corporate earnings and the U.S. Fed's assurance that tapering would require more economic recovery from the pandemic. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.79 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 3,242.65 points.

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(Olympics) S. Korea defeats Dominican Republic for 2nd straight win in women's volleyball

TOKYO -- South Korea defeated the Dominican Republic for its second consecutive victory in the Tokyo Olympic women's volleyball tournament Thursday, brightening hopes of advancing to the knockout phase.

The 14th-ranked South Korea beat No. 7 Dominican Republic 3-2 (25-20, 17-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-12) at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

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(LEAD) (Olympics) Archer Oh Jin-hyek falters in quest for 2nd gold in Tokyo

TOKYO -- South Korean archer Oh Jin-hyek's quest for a second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics ended Thursday with an early elimination from the individual event.

Oh lost to Atanu Das of India by the set score of 6-5 in the round of 32 at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field. Oh had teamed up with Kim Woo-jin and Kim Je-deok to capture the team gold medal on Monday. With Oh's elimination Thursday and Kim Je-deok's exit Tuesday, Kim Woo-jin is now tasked with extending South Korea's winning streak in this event to three Olympics.
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