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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:26 August 11, 2021

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

(4th LD) N. Korea says it will make S. Korea, U.S. feel serious security crisis every minute

SEOUL -- North Korea on Wednesday slammed South Korea and the United States again for going ahead with its joint military exercise, warning it will make the allies feel a serious security crisis every minute.

Kim Yong-chol, head of the North's United Front Department handling inter-Korean affairs, made the remarks in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, saying the South Korean authorities have defied the opportunity to make a turn in relations.

(LEAD) New cases at new high of over 2,200 despite month of toughest virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases reached a new high of over 2,200 on Wednesday since the start of the pandemic in January last year in the face of monthlong toughened virus curbs and a slower than expected vaccination campaign.

The country added 2,223 COVID-19 cases, including 2,145 local infections, raising the total caseload to 216,206, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Seoul posts record 661 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

SEOUL -- Seoul reported 661 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, a daily high that coincided with a record-breaking number of new infections in the country, health authorities said.

Seoul added 650 local infections and 11 cases from overseas arrivals, up 24 from the previous record high of 637 on July 13.

(LEAD) N. Korea refuses to answer S. Korea's hotline calls for 2nd day

SEOUL -- North Korea did not answer South Korea's phone calls via liaison and military hotlines for the second consecutive day Wednesday, officials said, as Pyongyang is ramping up criticism against the South for going ahead with its summertime exercise with the United States.

The calls via the inter-Korean liaison office and military communication channels in the eastern and western border regions went unanswered at 9 a.m., after the North began to shun their regular calls from Tuesday afternoon, according to the officials.

Appellate court upholds 4-year prison term for ex-justice minister's wife

SEOUL -- An appellate court on Wednesday upheld a four-year prison sentence for the wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk over academic fraud.

The Seoul High Court found Chung Kyung-sim, a professor of Dongyang University, guilty of all charges related to the unfair college admission of her daughter and upheld the lower court's sentence of four years.

(2nd LD) Job growth slows in July amid 4th wave of pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea reported job additions for the fifth straight month in July, but the growth pace slowed as employment in face-to-face service segments was hit hard by the fourth wave of the pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people reached 27.65 million last month, 542,000 more than a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

(LEAD) Exports up 46.4 pct in first 10 days of August

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports rose 46.4 percent on-year in the first 10 days of August on the back of robust demand for chips and petroleum products, customs data showed Wednesday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$12.7 billion in the Aug. 1-10 period, compared with $8.69 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Chinese Ambassador Xing calls for concerted efforts for peninsula peace at 'complicated

SEOUL -- Chinese Ambassador to Seoul Xing Haiming called Wednesday for concerted efforts to foster peace on the Korean Peninsula at a "complicated" juncture amid renewed inter-Korean tensions over the ongoing South Korea-U.S. military drills.

Xing made the remarks at a forum, after North Korea repeatedly bashed the South and the United States for pressing ahead with their annual drills, calling the maneuvers the "most vivid expression" of the U.S.' hostile policy to it and warning of a "serious security crisis."

Seoul stocks down late Wed. morning amid virus concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded lower late Wednesday morning amid growing concerns of a surge in new coronavirus cases despite stepped-up efforts to contain the pandemic.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 5.66 points, or 0.17 percent, to trade at 3,237.53 points as of 11:20 a.m.

(LEAD) Pirates' Park Hoy-jun hits 1st career MLB home run

SEOUL -- Park Hoy-jun has hit one out of the park for the first time in his major league career.

Park blasted a solo home run off J.A. Happ of the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the fourth inning at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday (local time).

(LEAD) U.S. holds no hostile intent toward N. Korea: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- The United States holds no hostile intent toward North Korea, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday, in reaction to a statement by North Korea denouncing the U.S. and South Korea over their joint military exercises.

The spokesman, Ned Price, said he had no comment on the statement issued by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, but insisted that the joint military drills are purely defensive in nature.

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