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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 October 12, 2021

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

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(LEAD) N.K. leader calls for boosting military capabilities but says enemy is 'war itself'

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for boosting the country's military capabilities to counter what he called "hostile forces" against Pyongyang but said the move is not aimed at a war against South Korea or the United States.

Kim made the remarks Monday in a speech at a defense development exhibition to mark the 76th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, criticizing Seoul and Washington over their combined military exercises and weapons development.

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(2nd LD) BOK hints at rate hike for Nov. amid economic recovery, rising inflation

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank on Tuesday hinted at additionally raising the policy rate in November as the Korean economy has extended its recovery momentum, while the growth of consumer inflation remains high.

As widely expected, the monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) stood pat on the benchmark seven-day repo rate, dubbed the base rate, at 0.75 percent for October.

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(LEAD) New infections remain in 1,000s for 4th day on fewer tests over extended weekend

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new COVID-19 cases hovered around the 1,000s for a fourth straight day on Tuesday due to fewer tests over an extended weekend.

The country added 1,347 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,334 local infections, raising the total caseload to 334,163, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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Top security adviser to discuss end-of-war declaration, other issues with U.S.

WASHINGTON -- A top South Korean national security official said Monday that he plans to discuss President Moon Jae-in's recent proposal for the declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and other issues with senior U.S. officials in Washington this week.

Suh Hoon, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, made the remarks upon arrival in the U.S., as Seoul strives to bring North Korea back to dialogue and pave the way for the resumption of nuclear talks between the United States and the North, following the recent reactivation of inter-Korean communication lines.

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Ruling party chief rules out change of presidential nomination results

SEOUL -- The chief of the ruling Democratic Party said Tuesday there will be no change in the party's nomination of Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung as its presidential candidate, despite an appeal from the runner-up over whether votes cast for dropouts from the primary should be counted.

On Sunday, Gov. Lee Jae-myung was named the DP's standard-bearer for the March presidential election after he won 50.29 percent of the vote in a primary, followed by former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon with 39.14 percent.

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(Yonhap Interview) Eliminating prejudice, discrimination should be ultimate goal in policy for N.K. defectors: resettlement agency chief

SEOUL -- The ultimate goal of policy on North Korean defectors living in South Korea should go beyond helping their economic stability but making them accepted as "ordinary neighbors" facing no prejudice and discrimination, the head of South Korea's state-run resettlement agency said.

Jung In-sung, president of the Korea Hana Foundation, vowed to continued efforts to expand communication and exchanges between North Korean defectors and South Korean citizens to ensure that the defectors can become part of the South Korean society and serve as a strong foundation for future unification between the two Koreas.

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(LEAD) BTS-Coldplay collaboration ranks No. 12 on this week's Billboard Hot 100

SEOUL -- "My Universe," a joint project between K-pop supergroup BTS and British rock band Coldplay, dropped to 12th place on Billboard's main singles chart this week.

Billboard said Monday (U.S. time) that the song was down 11 notches from the previous week's No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, which ranks the most popular songs of the week in the United States by blending streaming, airplay and sales data.

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