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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 02, 2021

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

(LEAD) New infections dip on fewer tests; COVID-19 cases top 200,000

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell to the 1200s Monday as fewer people got tested over the weekend, but health authorities remain wary over continued infections during the summer vacation season amid the fourth wave of the pandemic.

The country added 1,219 COVID-19 cases, including 1,150 local infections, raising the total caseload to 201,002, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

4 S. Koreans, abducted in waters off West Africa, have been released: foreign ministry

SEOUL -- Four South Koreans, who were kidnapped near the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, have been freed, following the release of another Korean national in a separate abduction in the same region, the foreign ministry said Monday.

The four were released at 10 p.m. Sunday (Korea time), about two months after they were abducted by an apparent group of pirates. They all remain in good shape, the ministry said.

Unification ministry stresses wise, flexible approach to joint military drills after N. Korea's warning

SEOUL -- South Korea will deal with the issue of joint military drills with the United States in a "wise and "flexible" manner so as to not heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the unification ministry said Monday after North Korea warned against such exercises.

On Sunday night, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned that annual summertime military drills between South Korea and the U.S. will cloud inter-Korean relations and that Pyongyang will closely watch whether South Korea will go ahead with "hostile war exercises."

Number of seniors living alone soars 36 pct over 5 years

SEJONG -- The number of seniors living alone has surged nearly 36 percent over the last five years amid the country's rapid population aging, data showed Monday.

A total of 1.66 million South Koreans aged 65 and older lived by themselves in 2020, up 35.8 percent from five years earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

No. of households with minors falls below 5 mln in 2019: data

SEOUL -- The number of households with children under 18 years old fell below 5 million for the first time in 2019 amid a chronically low birthrate, data showed Monday.

The number of households with children under 18 came to 4.87 million in 2019, down from 5.04 million the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Seoul stocks down late Mon. morning on China uncertainties

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks trimmed their earlier gains late Monday morning, tracking losses of its Asian peers that stemmed from Chinese regulation uncertainties.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 4.14 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,198.18 points as of 11:20 a.m.

K-pop act Red Velvet set to return this month with new music

SEOUL -- Five-piece girl group Red Velvet will release a new EP in mid-August, the first new album in nearly two years, its management agency said Monday.

The group's upcoming album "Queendom," which carries six tracks, will drop globally at 6 p.m. on Aug. 16, according to SM Entertainment.

(Olympics) Survey shows football is most popular Olympic sport among S. Korean viewers

SEOUL -- Football was the most-watched sport midway through the Tokyo Olympics among South Korean TV viewers, data showed Monday.

The group round match of the South Korean men's football team against Romania on July 25 marked a combined 33 percent in viewership, according to Nielson Korea.

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