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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:28 September 02, 2021

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

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(LEAD) S. Korea developing massive ballistic missile as powerful as tactical nuclear weapon

SEOUL -- South Korea has been developing a massive ballistic missile as powerful as a tactical nuclear weapon, sources said Thursday, after the full lifting of U.S.-imposed restrictions on missile development.

The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a warhead of up to 3 tons with a flight range of 350-400 kilometers, is in the last stage of development and the timing of its deployment will be determined after several test-firings, according to the sources.

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N. Korean troops observed at Pyongyang airfield in possible sign of military parade preparations: sources

SEOUL -- Nearly 10,000 troops have been observed at a major airfield in North Korea recently, a possible sign that the communist country is preparing for a military parade to mark major anniversaries, sources said Thursday.

The troops and military vehicles have been spotted at the Mirim Parade Training Ground in the country's capital city since a few days earlier, and the South Korean military is closely monitoring related activities, according to government sources.

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Unification minister voices hope for inter-Korean cooperation in tourism to expand to Russia

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young on Thursday voiced hope that inter-Korean cooperation in tourism could expand to Russia once the "political situation improves" on the Korean Peninsula.

Lee made the remarks via teleconference at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum in Russia as the first unification minister to be invited to the forum, suggesting a three-nation tour program taking South Koreans to scenic spots in North Korea and then to Russia as an example.

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Public opinion nearly split on ruling party's controversial media bill: poll

SEOUL -- Public opinion on the ruling party's push to pass a media bill centered on imposing punitive damages on outlets reporting misinformation or fake news was almost evenly divided, a poll showed Thursday.

The Democratic Party, which holds a majority of seats at the 300-seat parliament, has been pushing for amendments to the Press Arbitration Act that would require an up to fivefold increase in penalties for media outlets spreading false or fraudulent news reports.

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Men earn 1.6 times more than women in S. Korea: gender ministry

SEOUL -- Male workers in listed firms in South Korea earned 1.6 times higher wages than their female colleagues last year, a government survey showed Thursday.

Men were paid an average 79.8 million won (US$68,800) in 2020, while their women counterparts received 51.1 million won, according to the study on 2,149 listed firms by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

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(2nd LD) New cases under 2,000, eased virus curbs eyed for Chuseok

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back below 2,000 on Thursday, as the country is planning to unveil revised distancing guidelines later this week that may potentially include allowing family gatherings during the Chuseok holiday.

The country added 1,961 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,927 local infections, raising the total caseload to 255,401, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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S. Korea asks for China's cooperation on cultural content exchanges

SEOUL -- South Korea renewed calls for China's cooperation in improving exchanges of cultural content, including Korean games and movies, during annual bilateral working-level talks Thursday, the foreign ministry said.

Lee Mi-yon, the ministry's director general for bilateral economic affairs, and Yang Weiqun, director general for Asian affairs at China's commerce ministry, held the talks via video, amid lingering concerns about Beijing's perceived restrictions on Korean industries that followed Seoul's 2016 decision to host a U.S. anti-missile system.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 4-day winning streak on profit-taking

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended a four-session winning streak Thursday as investors sought to lock in recent gains amid concerns of inflation. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) retreated 31.17 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 3,175.85 points.
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