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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:27 October 08, 2021

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

(LEAD) New cases in 2,000s for 3rd day; resurgence in wider Seoul worrisome

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

The country added 2,176 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,145 local infections, raising the total caseload to 327,976, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Japan's new leader states plan to demand 'appropriate' action by S. Korea to address diplomatic stand-offs

TOKYO -- Japan's new leader said Friday he will "strongly" demand that South Korea take "appropriate" measures to end drawn-out diplomatic stand-offs between the two sides and restore healthy bilateral relations.

In his first keynote address at a parliamentary session as prime minister, Fumio Kishida signaled no immediate shift in Tokyo's hardline stance toward Seoul, as he cited its "consistent stance."

(2nd LD) Prosecutors seek 15-year prison term for airman over death of sexual harassment victim

SEOUL -- Military prosecutors on Friday sought a 15-year prison sentence for a noncommissioned Air Force officer for the alleged sexual abuse of a female colleague that led to her death by suicide, officials said.

The master sergeant, surnamed Jang, is suspected of sexually harassing the victim of the same rank inside a car on their way back to their base in the western city of Seosan after a private gathering in March. Following the military's poor initial responses to the case, she took her own life in May.

Singapore to allow entry of vaccinated travelers from S. Korea with no COVID-19 quarantine

SEOUL -- South Korea and Singapore agreed Friday to exempt or ease vaccinated travelers from mandatory quarantine upon arrival, in a major step to help revitalize people-to-people exchanges between the two sides in the midst of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, according to related ministries here Friday.

Under the measure, effective from Nov. 15, passengers arriving in Singapore from South Korea will be exempt from the seven-day mandatory quarantine currently required by the Singaporean authorities.

(LEAD) S. Korea raises level of greenhouse gas reduction goal from 26 pct to 40 pct

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday drastically raised the level of its greenhouse gas reduction goal from 26.3 percent to 40 percent by 2030, as part of its broader aim to slowly phase out conventional resources and go carbon neutral by 2050.

The revised aim in national greenhouse gas reduction, or nationally determined contribution (NDC), by 2030 was reached in a meeting of the presidential committee on carbon neutrality and related government ministries.

(2nd LD) Army boot camp in border town reports 22 new COVID-19 cases

SEOUL -- Twenty-two draftees at an Army boot camp just south of the inter-Korean border have tested positive for COVID-19, the defense ministry said Friday.

The newly enlisted soldiers at the boot camp of the Army's Fifth Division in the border county of Yeoncheon underwent coronavirus tests and were confirmed to have been infected, two days after a colleague was diagnosed with the virus, according to the ministry.

U.N. member countries voice concern over N.K. missile launches

SEOUL -- U.N. member countries, including Italy and Britain, have voiced concerns over North Korea's recent missile launches during a U.N. General Assembly committee session, calling for the regime to return to dialogue, relevant documents showed Friday.

The First Committee handling disarmament and international security held a general debate session earlier this week in the wake of the recent series of the North's missile launches, including the test of a new hypersonic missile in September.

Lee leading presidential race with 25 percent against Yoon's 20 percent: poll

SEOUL -- Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung continued to lead the presidential race with 25 percent support, followed by former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl at 20 percent, a new poll showed Friday.

According to the Tuesday-Thursday survey by Gallup Korea, Lee, the frontrunner of the ruling Democratic Party, and Yoon, the leading candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, each gained 1 percentage point from last month despite a pair of massive corruption scandals that have implicated the two.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks inch down on Chinese developers' debt crises

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed slightly lower Friday largely on the back of growing concerns about giant Chinese property developers' debt crisis. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 3.16 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,956.3 points.

SK hynix shares losing ground amid slowdown concerns for memory market

SEOUL -- Shares in SK hynix Inc. plunged on concerns over a slowdown in the memory market, analysts here said Friday, as they lowered the target price for South Korea's No. 2 chipmaker.

SK hynix closed at 94,000 won (US$78) on the Seoul bourse after a 1.78 percent decline, so far the lowest price this year, and extended its losing streak to five trading days.

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