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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 31, 2021

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

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S. Korea proposes record 604 tln-won budget for 2022 amid pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday proposed a record high budget of 604.4 trillion won (US$519 billion) for next year as it plans to maintain expansionary fiscal spending to cement the economic recovery and narrow social gaps caused by the pandemic.

The proposed budget, endorsed by the Cabinet, marks an 8.3 percent on-year rise from this year's 558 trillion-won budget, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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(LEAD) New cases under 1,400 on fewer tests; toughened curbs eyed ahead of Chuseok holiday

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell below 1,400 on Tuesday due to fewer tests over the weekend, but health authorities are facing hurdles in flattening the curve ahead of the Chuseok holiday.

The country added 1,372 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,333 local infections, raising the total caseload to 251,421, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(2nd LD) Industrial output down in July amid toughened virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea's industrial output decreased in July from the previous month in the latest sign that the country's economic recovery momentum slowed amid the fourth wave of the pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

Industrial output fell 0.5 percent in July from the previous month, a turnaround from a 1.6 percent on-month gain in June, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. From a year earlier, it increased 4.7 percent.

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(LEAD) Unification minister calls for early resumption of dialogue with N. Korea

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young called Tuesday for the early resumption of talks with North Korea, saying dialogue is the only way toward achieving objectives that everyone wants.

Lee made the appeal in an opening speech for the Korean Global Forum for Peace, an annual forum organized by the unification ministry, also urging North Korea to come out for talks on inter-Korean cooperation in humanitarian areas.

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Ruling party kicks off 41-day nationwide primary voting to pick presidential candidate

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Tuesday kicked off a 41-day nationwide voting process to choose its final candidate to run in next year's presidential election, party officials said.

The primary election voting on six DP presidential contenders started off on the inaugural leg of the central city of Daejeon and surrounding South Chungcheong Province earlier in the day. It will then move to 10 additional legs across the country, including the southern city of Gwangju on Sept. 25, to wrap up the final destination in Seoul on Oct. 10.

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(LEAD) Top U.S. envoy expresses hope for N. Korea's return to dialogue

WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. envoy for North Korea again expressed hope for North Korea's return to dialogue Monday, saying his country remains committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy.

Sung Kim made the remark after a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk.
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