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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 August 31, 2021

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

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(LEAD) Rival parties to take more time to discuss controversial media bill

SEOUL -- Rival parties on Tuesday agreed to push back their plan to review a controversial media bill at the National Assembly by about a month to take more time to discuss it in the face of strong resistance from media industry groups and opposition lawmakers, party officials said.

Reps. Yun Ho-jung and Kim Gi-hyeon, floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), agreed to table the bill in a plenary parliamentary session set for Sept. 27, they said.

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(News Focus) Record budget proposal spawns concerns over fiscal soundness

SEOUL -- South Korea's proposal to create a record high budget for next year has rekindled concerns about the growing national debt despite the government's confidence that fiscal soundness will likely improve amid robust tax revenue driven by an economic recovery.

The finance ministry on Tuesday proposed a record state budget of 604.4 trillion won (US$519 billion) for next year, up 8.3 percent from this year's 558 trillion won.

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Constitutional Court rejects petition by Korean 'war criminals' over dispute settlement

SEOUL -- The Constitutional Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by a group of South Koreans who were forced to serve in the Japanese army during World War II and later punished as war criminals.

The plaintiffs filed the appeal asking the court to confirm the government's violation of their basic rights by not redressing the plight they endured as convicted war criminals.

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N. Korea's nuclear activity proves urgency of engaging it in talks: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- The office of President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday reports of North Korea continuing its nuclear activity underline the urgency of resuming dialogue with it.

Earlier in the day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its annual report the secretive nation seems to have restarted the operation of a reactor at its longstanding main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang.

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(LEAD) Delta variant cases jump to nearly 17,000 in S. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea has confirmed 3,455 more cases of four major contagious variants of the new coronavirus over the past week, including 3,427 of the highly transmissible delta variant, health authorities said Tuesday.

The caseload of such infections reached 20,297 here, with the number of delta cases, first reported in India, tallied at 16,881, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(2nd LD) Health worker strike looms as last-minute talks bog down

SEOUL -- Unionized health workers' reaffirmed Tuesday they will go on strike as planned later this week as talks with the government failed to carve out a compromise on key contentious issues, setting off concerns that the move could strain the country's health care system and fight against the pandemic.

The government and the Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union (KHMU) have held 12 rounds of talks so far since May, but have failed to narrow their differences.

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Police raid Seoul City Hall over mayor's alleged election law violation

SEOUL -- Police on Tuesday raided Seoul City Hall, as part of their investigation into allegations that Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon spread false information during his mayoral by-election campaign in April.

Investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency searched some City Hall offices, including the city planning and transport policy bureaus, to seize documents related to Oh's remarks on a scandal-plagued development project called Pi-City in southern Seoul, according to police officials.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks rise for 3rd day on tech gains

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rose for the third straight session Tuesday as foreign investors scooped up tech shares after an overnight tech rally on Wall Street. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 55.08 points, or 1.75 percent, to close at 3,199.27 points.

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