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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:01 August 23, 2021

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

(2nd LD) Downpours, strong winds forecast for Jeju, southern coastal areas, as typhoon expected to make landfall

SEOUL -- Jeju and the southern coastal region are forecast to be hit by heavy downpours and strong winds Monday afternoon, as Typhoon Omais is projected to make landfall at night, the national weather agency said.

The typhoon was located at some 360 kilometers southwest off Jeju as of 1 p.m. and advancing toward the Korean Peninsula at 45 kph, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

(2nd LD) New COVID-19 cases fall below 1,500, toughest virus curbs extended for 2 weeks

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus fell below 1,500 on Monday due to fewer tests over the weekend, as health authorities extended the toughest virus curbs for another two weeks to battle the worst wave of the pandemic.

The country added 1,418 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,370 local infections, raising the total caseload to 237,782, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(Yonhap Interview) Taliban hopes for S. Korea's diplomatic recognition, economic exchanges: official

NEW DELHI/SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- The Taliban wants South Korea to recognize it as a "legitimate" government of Afghanistan and hopes to strengthen economic cooperation and other exchanges between the two countries, a Taliban spokesman said Monday.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban's Cultural Commission, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Yonhap News Agency, calling for Seoul to maintain "cordial" ties with the country "replete with untapped mineral resources."

(4th LD) Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S. discuss humanitarian aid to N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States on Monday discussed humanitarian aid to North Korea, the U.S. nuclear envoy said after talks with his counterpart in Seoul amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang's angry protest against military exercises between the South and the U.S.

Amb. Sung Kim also said the U.S. does not have a hostile intent to the North, stressing that the ongoing South Korea-U.S. military exercise is "purely defensive" in nature and renewing his offer to "meet with my North Korean counterparts anywhere, at anytime."

(LEAD) Parliamentary committee approves bill mandating surveillance cameras in operating rooms

SEOUL -- A parliamentary committee on Monday approved a contentious bill that requires the installation of surveillance cameras in hospital rooms despite strong opposition from medical groups.

The Health and Welfare Committee gave its nod to the bill to revise the Medical Service Act in a plenary session.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rise nearly 1 pct on strong exports, eased tapering woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks steeply rebounded Monday, rising nearly 1 percent, helped by robust economic data and easing concerns about the U.S. Fed's tapering timeline. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 29.7 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 3,090.21 points.

Afghans in S. Korea call for gov't to evacuate their families

SEOUL -- A group of Afghans living in South Korea appealed to the government Monday to evacuate their families from the war-torn country, where they are facing possible reprisals by the Taliban.

About 30 people -- those who worked for South Korean companies, nongovernmental organizations and churches in Afghanistan and their families -- gathered in front of the foreign ministry in Seoul to stage a news conference and one-person demonstration.

S. Korea to have 170 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines next year: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea will have 170 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines available next year for the country's population of 52 million, a top Cheong Wa Dae official said Monday.

President Moon Jae-in's Chief of Staff You Young-min made the comment apparently aimed at easing public concerns about the supply of vaccines during a National Assembly session.

Red Velvet's Joy, Crush announce they are dating

SEOUL -- Joy of girl group Red Velvet and R&B singer-songwriter Crush are officially a pair, their management agencies said Monday.

"The two were colleagues but recently began dating," Joy's management agency, SM Entertainment, said.

Crush's agency, P Nation, made the same statement.

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