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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 October 18, 2021

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

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(LEAD) Lee says he feels 'betrayed' by ex-aide arrested in Seongnam development scandal

SEOUL -- Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung said Monday he feels "betrayed" by a former aide arrested over a massive development corruption scandal, once again disavowing any connection to the case threatening to mar his presidential campaign.

Lee made the remark ahead of the National Assembly's audit of his government, referring to Yoo Dong-gyu who served as acting president of Seongnam Development Corps. in charge of the development project in Seongnam, south of Seoul, when Lee was its mayor.

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(LEAD) S. Korea to tackle U.S. info-sharing request on chipmakers: minister

SEOUL -- South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday the country plans to closely cooperate with local chipmakers to respond to the U.S.' latest request for them to share information on their supply chains.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently asked global chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics Co., to share information on inventories, demand and other details by Nov. 8 to "help improve trust and transparency within the supply chain." The request spawned concerns about the leak of chipmakers' major trade secrets.

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Moon orders plan for booster shots for people who receive J&J COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered officials to swiftly set up a plan to provide booster shots for people who received Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccines.

Moon's remarks came as a study showed COVID-19 protection from J&J's Janssen is weakening after a certain period of vaccination, according to presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.

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(LEAD) New virus cases hit 3-month low; eased rules on private gatherings in force

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily coronavirus cases dropped to the lowest level in more than three months on Monday as the country eased restrictions on private gatherings ahead of preparations for a gradual shift to the "living with COVID-19" scheme.

The country reported 1,050 new cases, including 1,030 local infections, raising the total caseload to 343,445, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(LEAD) First frost of season spotted in Seoul as chilly weather continues

SEOUL -- The first frost of the season was observed in Seoul on Monday as unseasonably cold weather continued for most parts of the country in the morning, the state weather agency said.

Morning lows ranged from minus 4 C to 5 C across the country, compared with Sunday's minus 2.6 C to 6.7 C, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

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(LEAD) Key suspect in corruption-laden development scandal detained upon return from U.S.

SEOUL -- A key partner in a corruption-laden urban development project involving a former aide to the ruling Democratic Party's presidential nominee was detained upon his arrival from the United States on Monday for questioning over bribery and other allegations.

Nam Wook is believed to be holding a key to resolving suspicions over how a previously unheard-of asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, and its seven affiliates reaped astronomical profits from a 2015 project to develop the Daejang-dong district in Seongnam, south of Seoul, into an apartment complex.

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Seoul closely monitoring N. Korean leader's increased messages toward U.S.: ministry

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has publicly mentioned the United States more often recently, drawing attention to Pyongyang's next move amid a prolonged deadlock in their nuclear talks, according to South Korea's unification ministry Monday.

The ministry made the assessment in a report to lawmakers for an annual parliamentary audit, calling for an "active response" to resume dialogue in the face of growing volatility in the region.
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