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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 20, 2021

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

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New cases over 2,000 for 2nd day; virus curbs extended for 2 weeks

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases remained in the 2,000s for the second straight day Friday amid little signs of letup, triggering the extension of the toughest level of virus restrictions for two more weeks.

The country added 2,052 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,001 local infections, raising the total caseload to 232,859, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) Gov't to extend restrictions on restaurant, cafe hours in areas under toughest distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea decided to extend restrictions on the business hours restaurants and cafes under the toughest social distancing restrictions by one hour, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced Friday, as the country struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants and cafes in regions under Level 4 social distancing rules, the highest in the country's four-tier system, will be required to close at 9 p.m., an hour earlier than the current 10 p.m., starting Monday.

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BTS cancels postponed world tour due to yearlong pandemic

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- K-pop sensation BTS' planned world tour, which has been put off for more than a year due to the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, has been officially canceled, its agency here said Friday.

"Our company has worked hard to resume preparations for the BTS Map of the Soul Tour, knowing that all fans have been waiting eagerly and long for the tour," Big Hit Music said in a statement released via its fan community Weverse.

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(LEAD) Private spending recovery still uncertain amid virus resurgence: ministry

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is facing continued uncertainty about domestic demand as the latest flare-up in COVID-19 cases is hurting face-to-face service sectors, the finance ministry said Friday.

In its monthly economic assessment report, the ministry said the country's exports remain robust and the job market has extended improvements amid an economic recovery.

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Biden administration values alliances as 'profound source of strength': State Department

WASHINGTON -- The Joe Biden administration prioritizes alliances with NATO, South Korea and others as a "profound source of strength" for the United States, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Thursday.

The remarks came as Washington is trying to quell doubts about the U.S,' security commitments to its allies after the pullout of its troops from Afghanistan has led critics and even some allies, like Britain, to question the credibility of the U.S.-led alliances.

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7 additional video reunion centers for separated families to be completed this month

SEOUL -- An additional seven video conference facilities for separated family reunions will be completed by the end of this month, the unification ministry said Friday.

Earlier, a civilian-government committee on inter-Korean exchanges approved the decision to establish the additional video reunions centers outside Seoul, in addition to the existing 13.

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Kim Sei-young tied for 1st round lead at LPGA season's final major

SEOUL -- South Korean star Kim Sei-young has a share of the first round lead at the final major of the 2021 LPGA season.

Kim shot a five-under 67 to open the AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland, on Thursday (local time). She is tied at the top with Nelly Korda of the United States, world No. 1 and Olympic gold medalist, and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden.

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N.K. flight of same jet type as leader's personal plane makes flight towards Wonsan: aviation tracker

SEOUL -- An airplane of the same jet type as that of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was spotted flying to the eastern part of the country, an aviation tracker said.

According to Flightradar24, a flight tracking website, North Korean carrier Air Koryo's AN-148 jet departed from Pyongyang at 9:08 a.m. Thursday and flew towards the eastern coastal town of Wonsan.

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S. Korea to unveil steps to curb inflation ahead of Chuseok holiday: official

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to unveil a set of measures later this month to stabilize consumer prices ahead of next month's fall harvest Chuseok holiday, a senior government official said Friday.

First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said the government will take actions to curb rising prices of farm products, if needed, in the run-up to the holiday scheduled for Sept. 20-22.


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