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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:20 August 26, 2021

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

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(3rd LD) BOK delivers 1st pandemic-era rate hike amid rising inflation, household debt

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank delivered its first pandemic-era rate hike Thursday to fight rising inflation and rein in surging household debts, ending 15 months of record-low interest rates as the economy showed signs of improving.

The monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) voted to raise its key rate by 0.25 percentage point to 0.75 percent in this year's sixth rate-setting meeting.

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(5th LD) Afghan co-workers, family members on way to S. Korea on aerial tanker

SEOUL -- A South Korean military plane departed for home from Islamabad on Thursday, carrying Afghan people evacuated from the war-torn nation after working for the South, as part of operations to bring a total of 391 Afghan co-workers and their family members to the country.

The KC-330 tanker transport aircraft took off from an airport in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad at 4:53 a.m. (Seoul time) and is expected to land at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, at 3:53 p.m., the foreign ministry said.

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New COVID-19 cases hover under 1,900, largest death toll since 4th wave

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases hovered near 1,900 on Thursday, and daily COVID-19 deaths hit the highest number since the fourth wave of the pandemic began, as health authorities scrambled to add critical-care hospital beds.

The country added 1,882 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,829 local infections, raising the total caseload to 243,317, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) Gov't to dole out cash handouts to ordinary people before Chuseok holiday: minister

SEOUL -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday the government plans to provide another round of emergency relief funds to people hit hard by the pandemic before next month's fall harvest Chuseok holiday.

The country plans to provide 11 trillion won (US$9.4 billion) to people in the bottom 88 percent income bracket under this year's second extra budget of 34.9 trillion won.

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(LEAD) N.K. propaganda outlet denounces S. Korea-U.S. military drill as 'playing with fire'

SEOUL -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Thursday slammed South Korea and the United States over their summertime joint military drill, calling it "a dangerous playing with fire" that heightens tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Uriminzokkiri made the criticism as the allies were set to conclude their nine-day combined military exercise Thursday, which has been held in a scaled-back manner due to the coronavirus situation and peace efforts involving North Korea.

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Ruling party, gov't agree to give monthly rent subsidy to low-income youth

SEOUL -- The ruling party and the government on Thursday agreed on a new youth assistance program, including a monthly rent subsidy for young people in lower income brackets, party officials said.

The decision was reached during a consultative meeting between the Democratic Party and the government amid the country's soaring housing costs and the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

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Opposition party threatens filibuster to block media bill

SEOUL -- The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) said Thursday it will mount a filibuster to block a controversial media bill, which it said would suppress press freedom and gag critical media.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) plans to pass the proposed revision to the press arbitration act during a parliamentary plenary session Monday despite resistance from opposition parties and media organizations.
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