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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:32 August 04, 2021

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

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(2nd LD) New cases spike to over 1,700, almost 40 pct of population gets 1st jabs

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases sharply bounced back to the 1,700s on Wednesday as the highly transmissible delta variant weighs on the country's virus fight during the summer vacation season.

The country added 1,725 COVID-19 cases, including 1,664 local infections, raising the total caseload to 203,926, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) U.S. will not accept nuclear N. Korea despite N. Korean ambitions: U.S. official

WASHINGTON -- The United States will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea despite the latter's apparent ambition to become a nuclear state, a ranking U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday.

Sydney Seiler, national intelligence officer for North Korea at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, argued the North's true intention, at least for the time being, may be to be accepted as a nuclear state.

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(LEAD) (Olympics) S. Korea shocks Turkey to reach semifinals in women's volleyball

TOKYO -- South Korea stunned Turkey in five sets in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympic women's volleyball tournament on Wednesday, with its captain and greatest player keeping alive hopes of winning her first medal.

Kim Yeon-koung carried South Korea on her back with 28 points, as the 13th-ranked South Korea beat the fourth-ranked Turkey 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 28-26, 18-25, 15-13) at Ariake Arena.

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(2nd LD) SK Innovation swings to black in Q2, to hive off battery biz

SEOUL -- SK Innovation Co. said Wednesday it turned to the black in the second quarter from a year earlier on robust lube oil and battery sales, and decided to spin off its battery business to further propel its growth.

The energy and chemical subsidiary of the nation's No. 3 conglomerate SK Group said it booked 415.9 billion won (US$362.2 million) of net profit in the April-June period, shifting from a loss of 345.8 billion won a year earlier.

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(LEAD) N.K. officials attend Russian Embassy's exhibition, resume in-person diplomacy

SEOUL -- North Korean officials attended a photo exhibition held by the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang and highlighted their cooperative ties, state media showed Wednesday, signaling Pyongyang's resumption of in-person diplomacy suspended due to the coronavirus.

The photo exhibition was held Tuesday "to mark the 20th anniversary of Chairman Kim Jong-il's historic visit to Russia and the 10th anniversary of his visit to the Siberian and the Far Eastern regions," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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Gov't to decide Friday whether to adjust social distancing restrictions: PM

SEOUL -- The government will closely monitor the COVID-19 situation to decide whether to adjust social distancing restrictions later this week, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Wednesday.

"(The government) will closely monitor the trends for one or two more days and decide the level of social distancing (guidelines) to be effective from next week during a Friday meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters," he said while chairing an interagency meeting on the coronavirus.

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(Yonhap Feature) S. Korean food companies eye vegan market, but will this change culture?

SEOUL -- Living as a vegetarian in South Korea is not an easy task.

Pork belly barbecue and fried chicken are common at company meals -- leaving vegetarians with the option of eating side dishes like soybean paste stew and cold buckwheat noodles.

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DP chief says reopening Kaesong complex will help build trust among 2 Koreas, U.S.

SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling party chairman suggested Wednesday reopening the long-shuttered inter-Korean industrial complex in North Korea's border town of Kaesong will help build trust among the two Koreas and the United States, and ease tension on the Korean Peninsula.

"Reopening the Kaesong Industrial Complex is very critical to building trust between the U.S., South Korea and North Korea," Rep. Song Young-gil, head of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), said during a session of the Aspen Security Forum, being held online by the U.S.-based Aspen Institute.
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