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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:31 October 07, 2021

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

(2nd LD) Court orders cancellation of forceful discharge of deceased transgender soldier

DAEJEON/SEOUL -- A court ruled Thursday in favor of a deceased transgender solider in a suit filed to get the Army's decision to discharge her repealed, a landmark ruling that could have deep repercussions in the way South Korean society treats sexual minorities.

The Daejeon District Court said that the military should have considered late Ssg. Byun Hee-soo as a woman when reviewing whether she was fit for military duty after a sex-change operation.

(LEAD) S. Korea logs current account surplus for 16th month in Aug.

SEOUL -- South Korea posted a current account surplus for the 16th straight month in August as exports remained robust and revenue from cargo shipping rose amid the global economic recovery, the central bank said Thursday.

The current account surplus reached US$7.51 billion in August, down from $8.21 billion the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.

Yoon accused of ties to anal acupuncture specialist

SEOUL -- Yoon Seok-youl, the leading opposition presidential candidate, has increasingly faced questions about superstitious or unscientific beliefs, this time over his alleged ties to an anal acupuncture specialist that he claims to have no knowledge of.

The allegation surfaced Tuesday during the sixth TV debate among presidential contenders of the main opposition People Power Party, when one of Yoon's competitors, former Rep. Yoo Seong-min, asked him if he has met someone "known to perform acupuncture on a strange and particular area."

(LEAD) WHO says it began shipment of COVID-19 medical supplies to N. Korea

SEOUL -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it has begun the shipment of COVID-19 medical supplies to North Korea through the Chinese port of Dalian, raising the possibility that the North might be easing its long-enforced tight border controls amid the global pandemic.

North Korea has tightened border controls since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, which has meant key materials and medical supplies could not be shipped to the North. The North closed off a major shipping route linking Dalian to its western port of Nampo in July, as it heightened its anti-epidemic emergency status to the highest level.

S. Korea to implement market-stabilizing steps if needed: official

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to implement measures to stabilize the market in a timely manner if needed as market volatility has increased amid external economic risks, a senior government official said Thursday.

First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said the Korean financial market has been "excessively" volatile in recent sessions despite the country's strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

New cases in 2,000s for 2nd day, resurgence in wider Seoul worrisome

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases remained in the 2,000s for a second day in a row Thursday following a long weekend, amid concerns over the spread of the pandemic ahead of another extended weekend.

The country added 2,427 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,400 local infections, raising the total caseload to 325,804, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

S. Korean economy faces growing downside risks: KDI

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is facing increasing downside risks as the uptick in COVID-19 cases is delaying the recovery of private spending amid heightened uncertainty about the global economic recovery, a state-run think tank said Thursday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy is on a recovery track driven by solid exports, but slumps in the face-to-face service sector are deteriorating during the current spike in coroanvirus cases, according to a monthly economic assessment report by the Korea Development Institute (KDI).

Ministry approves 3 requests by civilian groups to provide humanitarian aid to N. Korea

SEOUL -- The unification ministry said Thursday that it has approved three requests by civilian organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea, which are meant to help bolster cross-border cooperation and exchanges.

The decision was announced amid cautious optimism about the resumption of dialogue created after North Korea restored all communication lines with South Korea early this week following about two months of suspension attributable to Pyongyang's protest over a joint military exercise by the South and the United States.

Seoul stocks sharply up late Thur. morning on bargain hunting

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded sharply higher late Thursday morning as bargain hunters sought oversold stocks on expectations of a rebound.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 48.92 points, or 1.68 percent, to 2,957.23 points as of 11:20 a.m.

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