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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 September 08, 2021

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

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(2nd LD) New cases spike to over 2,000 again; rising infections in greater Seoul worrisome

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases surged to over 2,000 again in a week on Wednesday as authorities step up antivirus efforts and the vaccination drive to curb the pandemic.

The country added 2,050 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,014 local infections, raising the total caseload to 265,423, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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(LEAD) Cheong Wa Dae says 'with corona' system to be based on 'with mask' rule

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae stressed Wednesday South Korea's envisioned "new normal" anti-coronavirus system, dubbed here the "with corona" plans, does not mean the lifting of all relevant public health restrictions, especially mandatory face mask wearing.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We would like to emphasize once again that 'with corona' is 'with mask.'"

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Unification minister calls for inter-Korean joint response system against natural disasters

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young said Wednesday that South and North Korea should build a joint response system to better cope with natural disasters on the Korean Peninsula.

Lee made the remarks during a symposium on inter-Korean cooperation in the field of carbon neutrality in Seoul, noting that the two Koreas are inseparably connected to the same climate and ecological zone.

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Gov't to spend 5.3 tln won on COVID-19-related learning loss

SEOUL -- The Ministry of Education said Wednesday billions of dollars will be spent in the second half to help students make up for COVID-19-related learning loss.

The ministry and 17 Offices of Education around the country made the decision during the first meeting of the Education Recovery and Support Committee.

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Defense ministry gives warning to bureaus over Cheonghae unit's mass COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL -- Two defense ministry offices and four military entities have been given a disciplinary warning over the mass COVID-19 outbreak that infected 90 percent of South Korea's anti-piracy naval unit operating in waters off Africa, the ministry said Wednesday.

All members of the 301-strong Cheonghae unit were airlifted home in July, with their mission cut short, after 247 troops tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequent tests found 25 more cases, raising the total caseload to 272, or 90 percent of the total members.

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S. Korea, Australia to hold '2+2' talks among foreign, defense ministers next week

SEOUL -- South Korea and Australia will hold "two plus two" talks involving their foreign and defense ministers early next week, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The 5th ministerial talks will take place in Seoul on Monday, attended by Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, Defense Minister Suh Wook of South Korea and their Australian counterparts, Marise Payne and Peter Dutton, respectively, the ministry said in a release.

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Self-employed workers set to stage drive-thru protests against COVID-19 restrictions

SEOUL -- Thousands of self-employed people in South Korea are set to hold drive-through protests in several cities across the country Wednesday night to call for eased COVID-19 restrictions and more compensation, the organizer said.

Around 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to stage the rallies in nine regions, including Seoul, Ulsan, and provinces of North Jeolla, South Gyeongsang and Gangwon, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., according to an emergency committee of the self-employed.

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(LEAD) Major Korean conglomerates join forces on hydrogen economy

SEOUL -- The heads of South Korea's major conglomerates on Wednesday launched a business council to foster hydrogen as a clean energy source and expand its value chain.

A total of 15 conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor, SK, POSCO, Lotte and Hanwha, launched Korea H2 Business Summit to encourage corporate investments and expand the hydrogen industry's value chain ranging from production, transport, storage and uses.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day on tech regulation concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended losses to the second straight session Wednesday as investors offloaded tech shares amid concerns about regulations against online platform giants. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 24.43 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at 3,162.99 points.

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Daily card spending up 8.4 pct in H1 amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Daily card spending in South Korea rose 8.4 percent in the first half from a year earlier, supported by increased online purchases amid the pandemic, central bank data showed Wednesday.

Holders of credit and debit cards spent an average 2.7 trillion won (US$2.3 billion) per day in the January-June period, compared with 2.5 trillion won the previous year, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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