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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:19 October 13, 2021

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

(2nd LD) Gov't to consider introducing vaccine pass for 'gradual return to normalcy': PM

SEOUL -- South Korea will consider introducing a "vaccine pass" for people's gradual return to normal life, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Wednesday, as the country prepares to adopt a "living with COVID-19" scheme.

Kim hinted at easing virus prevention measures under the new scheme, which is expected to begin Nov. 9, but he stressed that does not mean that the country should let its guard down against the virus.

New cases stay in 1,000s for 5th day on increased tests

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new COVID-19 cases stayed in the 1,000s for the fifth straight day Wednesday as more people took virus tests after an extended weekend.

The country added 1,584 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,571 local infections, raising the total caseload to 335,742, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

S. Korea extends overseas travel advisory until Nov. 13

SEOUL -- South Korea has extended its special advisory against overseas travel for another month due to the continued spread of COVID-19, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Citizens are recommended to cancel or postpone non-essential trips abroad until Nov. 13, as the rise of variant cases in many countries poses risks to their health, the ministry said.

(2nd LD) N. Korea's ballistic missiles constitute a threat to U.S.: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose a threat to the U.S. and its allies, a State Department spokesperson said Tuesday.

The remark comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed North Korea's enemy is not South Korea nor the U.S. while calling for efforts to further advance the North's military capabilities.

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm efforts to engage with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- The top national security advisers of South Korea and the United States on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to engaging with North Korea, also vowing to work together in bringing the North back to the dialogue table.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also reaffirmed that the United States holds no hostile policy toward the North during a bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Suh Hoon, in Washington, according to the South Korean National Security Council.

Ruling party's top decision-making body to meet over disputed primary results

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP)'s top decision-making body was set to meet Wednesday to discuss an appeal against the party's choice of Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung as its presidential nominee amid widespread indications that the decision is unlikely to change.

The DP party affairs committee was scheduled to meet later in the day after former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the runner-up in the primary, demanded the panel convene to discuss whether the votes in the primary were counted according to the party's electoral rules.

(News Focus) Land development scandal probe speeds up after Moon orders thorough investigation

SEOUL -- The investigation into a snowballing regional development corruption scandal has picked up pace, with prosecutors seeking the arrest of a key suspect after President Moon Jae-in ordered a thorough probe into the case engulfing national politics.

On Tuesday, prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for Kim Man-bae, a former journalist, on a string of charges in connection with how his previously little-known asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, reaped astronomical profits from a 2015 development project in the city of Seongnam, south of Seoul.

'Squid Game' watched by 111 mln households on Netflix

SEOUL -- The smash-hit Korean-language drama series "Squid Game" has been watched by 111 million households around the world on Netflix, becoming its most successful original content, the U.S. streaming giant said Wednesday.

Since its first release on Sept. 17, the nine-part survival drama has topped the popular Netflix TV show charts in 94 countries, including the United States, Britain and France, according to Netflix.

LG units to repay GM 1.4 tln won for Bolt EV battery recall costs

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. and LG Energy Solution said Wednesday that they will repay General Motors Co. about 1.4 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) in costs for the recalls of Bolt electric vehicles due to battery defects.

The two flagship units of South Korea's LG Group have reached an agreement with GM on how to cover the expenses for the recalls on some 143,000 Bolt vehicles over battery fire risks.

Seoul stocks jump late Wed. morning on tech rebound

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded sharply higher late Wednesday morning, as investors seek to buy oversold stocks, particularly tech shares, after a sharp plunge the previous session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 32.19 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,948.57 as of 11:20 a.m.

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