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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 03, 2021

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

(2nd LD) New cases stay in 1,200s for 2nd day, no signs of letup amid 4th wave of pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases stayed in the 1,200s for the second day in a row Tuesday due to fewer tests amid the fourth wave of the outbreak across the country.

The country added 1,202 COVID-19 cases, including 1,152 local infections, raising the total caseload to 201,203, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) S. Korea reports 1st delta plus variant cases

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the highly transmissible delta plus variant of the novel coronavirus.

It marks the first time that the country has reported the delta plus version, considered a sublineage of the Delta variant that was first detected in India, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) BTS reigns Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, with 'Butter' leading for 9

SEOUL -- South Korean superband BTS sat atop Billboard's main singles chart for the 10th consecutive week, with "Butter" leading the latest Hot 100.

"'Butter' is officially No. 1 on this week's #Hot100 chart for a ninth week," Billboard said on its Twitter account on Monday (U.S. time).

N. Korea answers S. Korea's calls via radio hotline

SEOUL -- North Korea answered South Korea's calls via a radio hotline on Tuesday for the first time since all fixed communication lines between the two sides were restored last week, officials said.

Last week, South and North Korea reopened all cross-border communication lines, including military hotlines, 13 months after Pyongyang cut them off in protest over anti-regime propaganda leaflets flying in from the South.

(LEAD) Blinken to urge ASEAN members to fully implement U.N. sanctions on N. Korea" State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to call for full implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea when he meets with his counterparts from the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a State Department spokesman said Monday.

"During this week's meeting Secretary Blinken will ... reiterate U.S. positions on pressing regional issues, including calling on the Burmese junta to immediately end the violence and restore Burma to the path of democracy, supporting freedom of the seas in the South China Sea, improving resilience and transparency through the Mekong-U.S. partnership and urging ASEAN members to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions on the DPRK," the spokesman, Ned Price, said in a press briefing.

(3rd LD) Inflation growth hits over 2 pct for 4th straight month in July

SEOUL -- South Korea's consumer prices grew more than 2 percent for the fourth straight month in July on higher prices of farm and oil products, data showed Tuesday, raising expectations that the central bank will hike its key rate within this year.

The consumer prices rose 2.6 percent on-year in July, accelerating from a 2.4 percent on-year gain the previous month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Vice FM Choi to visit Iran to attend Raisi's presidential inauguration this week

SEOUL -- First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun will visit Iran to attend the presidential inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi and for talks with his counterpart later this week, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

On Thursday, Choi is set to attend the inauguration ceremony for Raisi, the former chief justice who won the presidential election in June to succeed Hassan Rouhani. During his stay in Tehran, Choi will also meet his counterpart, Abbas Araghchi, to discuss bilateral relations and other issues, the ministry said.

29 members of virus-hit Cheonghae unit exit quarantine after testing negative

SEOUL -- Twenty-nine service members of the Cheonghae unit which reported a massive COVID-19 outbreak while on missions in Africa tested negative and will exit quarantine Tuesday, the defense ministry said.

Last month, a total of 272 sailors of the 301-strong Cheonghae Unit tested positive for the new coronavirus while serving missions in waters off Africa, and all of the unit members returned home weeks ahead of schedule.

Moon vows to focus on response to virus, industrial revolution, climate change

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday it has become an "inevitable duty" during the remainder of his tenure to protect people's lives with a focus on curbing the COVID-19 spread and improving their livelihoods.

Another key task is preparing for South Korea's future in connection with the fourth industrial revolution and climate change, he said at the start of a weekly Cabinet meeting.

Boy band SHINee tops Japanese music chart with new EP

SEOUL -- South Korean boy band SHINee topped a key music chart in Japan with its latest Japanese-language EP "Superstar," the group's agency said Tuesday.

The five-track album, released on July 28, ranked No. 1 on Oricon's weekly album chart after reaching number one on the daily album chart, according to SM Entertainment.

(Olympics) Unfazed by injury trauma, Shin's Olympic gold feat driven by relentless determination, positivity

TOKYO -- Having become the second-only South Korean gymnast to win a gold at the Olympics, one may assume Shin Jea-hwan, men's vault gold champion at the Tokyo Games, has had all the luck he could get throughout his athletic journey.

Shin, 23, however, is said to have survived a traumatizing back injury during high school, which almost brought his competitive gymnast career to an end.

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