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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 September 02, 2021

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

Inflation growth hits over 2 pct for 5th straight month in Aug.

SEOUL -- South Korea's consumer prices rose more than 2 percent for the fifth straight month in August due to high prices of farm and oil products, data showed Thursday, indicating a continued build-up of inflationary pressure amid an economic recovery.

The consumer prices rose 2.6 percent in August from a year earlier, the same growth as the previous month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

USFK commander calls for more achievements after summertime Korea-U.S. exercise

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) commander Gen. Paul LaCamera has said that the latest joint exercise between South Korea and the United States served as a chance to display readiness and strengthen the bilateral alliance, but the two sides need to and can "achieve more."

The commander, who also leads the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the United Nations Command, made the comments in a message sent to the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation after wrapping up the joint summertime exercise.

HMM workers strike wage deal, scrap strike

SEOUL -- HMM Co., South Korea's biggest container shipper, and its labor union struck a wage deal Thursday, ending their 77-day labor dispute.

They agreed to a 7.9 percent pay increase and incentives of up to 650 percent of workers' monthly wages, HMM said.

U.S. draft bill seeks possible inclusion of S. Korea in 'Five Eyes' intelligence sharing program

WASHINGTON -- A draft bill from the U.S. House of Representatives would require the U.S. administration to consider expanding its intelligence sharing program to include South Korea and three others if enacted, the bill showed Wednesday.

The National Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2022, submitted by the subcommittee on intelligence and special operations, seeks to expand the so-called Five Eyes, the U.S.' intelligence sharing program that currently involves Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

U.S. extends travel ban on N. Korea for one year: report

WASHINGTON -- The United States has extended its travel ban on North Korea for one year, marking the first extension of the travel restrictions under the Joe Biden administration, a report said Wednesday.

The State Department announced the extension of the ban until Aug. 31, 2022 in a Federal Register notice set to be published Thursday, according to the report by the Associated Press.

(LEAD) Police arrest labor umbrella organization head over holding rallies despite COVID-19 ban

SEOUL -- The police on Thursday arrested the head of a labor umbrella organization over mass rallies held in violation of COVID-19 related regulations.

Yang Kyung-soo, chief of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), was arrested at a KCTU office in Seoul on charges of violating the Assembly and Demonstration Act and the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, as well as traffic disruption.

S. Korea's economic recovery to remain sound despite delta variant: BOK chief

SEOUL -- South Korea's economic recovery is expected to remain solid as exports have shown signs of a strong rebound, the head of the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Thursday, although a surge in delta variant infections has shaken the nation's containment efforts.

"Our economy showed a faster-than-expected growth in the first half, helped by active policy measures and a global economic recovery," BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol told a forum on post-pandemic issues.

Seoul stocks down late Thurs. morning on profit-taking

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded lower late Thursday morning as investors sought to cash in gains after the market enjoyed a four-session winning streak.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 20.17 points, or 0.63 percent, to trade at 3,186.85 points as of 11:20 a.m.

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