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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 August 04, 2021

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

Ex-audit agency chief declares bid to run for president

SEOUL -- Choe Jae-hyeong, former chief of the national audit agency, formally declared his presidential bid Wednesday, vowing to restore the principles of a free market economy and ensure fair job opportunities for young people.

"As one of South Korea's citizens, I decided I can't just sit and watch the country crumble," Choe, the former chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), said, announcing his bid to run in the March 9 presidential election.

(Olympics) S. Korean LPGA stars in early contention in women's golf

SAITAMA -- World No. 2 Ko Jin-young and defending champion Park In-bee found themselves in early contention at the Tokyo Olympic women's golf tournament Wednesday, braving scorching conditions to stay near the top of the leaderboard.

Ko shot a three-under 68 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, north of Tokyo, in the opening round, with six birdies against three bogeys. Ko is two behind the leader, Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden.

272 members of Cheonghae unit presumed to have contracted delta variant: authorities

SEOUL -- All of the 272 service members of the anti-piracy Cheonghae unit who contracted the coronavirus are presumed to have come down with the highly transmissible delta variant, as the unit was conducting missions in waters off Africa, health authorities said Wednesday.

The members of the 301-strong Cheonghae unit were airlifted home last month, cutting short their missions in Africa after 271 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

Minor opposition party leader in self-quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure

SEOUL -- The head of the minor opposition People's Party (PP) entered voluntary quarantine Wednesday after a party official tested positive for COVID-19.

The PP announced that chairman Ahn Cheol-soo and some other party officials were tested for the coronavirus after another official who worked in the same PP headquarters until Friday was confirmed as infected this morning.

Gyeonggi chief's push for in-province universal virus relief fuels primary slugfest

SEOUL -- A plan by Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung to provide universal virus handouts across his province has become the latest lightning rod topic in the ruling party's presidential primary race, with rivals blasting the party front-runner for contesting a parliamentary agreement to reduce the scope of stimulus check recipients.

Last month, the National Assembly passed a 34.9 trillion-won (US$30.3 billion) extra budget bill aimed at propping up the economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a package to bankroll stimulus checks worth around 250,000 won to individuals in the bottom 88 percent income bracket.

(Olympics) S. Korea volleyball coach still dreaming after unlikely victory over Turkey

TOKYO -- For a few moments after his South Korean team upset Turkey in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympic women's volleyball tournament Wednesday, head coach Stefano Lavarini still didn't know what had just happened.

His celebration was more muted than his reaction to South Korea's five-set win over Japan last weekend in preliminary action.

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.

Funeral begins for world's 1st disabled climber to conquer 14 eight-thousanders

GWANGJU -- A five-day funeral process began here on Wednesday for South Korean mountaineer Kim Hong-bin, who went missing in mid-July soon after becoming the world's first person with a disability to ascend all 14 eight-thousanders in the Himalayas.

Kim's funeral will be held at Yeomju Gymnasium in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, until Sunday, according to the city government.

Seoul stocks spike over 1 pct on tech gains

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rallied by more than 1 percent Wednesday, mostly led by strong tech gains. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 43.24 points, or 1.34 percent, to close at 3,280.38 points. The figure marks the largest daily gain since May 10.

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