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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:38 October 20, 2021

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

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(2nd LD) N. Korea confirms test-launch of new SLBM in state media report

SEOUL -- North Korea announced Wednesday that it has successfully conducted a test-firing of a new-type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) a day earlier.

On Tuesday, South Korea's military said the North fired a short-range missile believed to be an SLBM from the vicinity of Sinpo, where its main submarine shipyard is located. It marked the North's eighth known major missile test this year.

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(News Focus) N. Korea's SLBM drive aimed at regime survival, military edge, negotiation leverage: analysts

SEOUL -- North Korea's drive to develop submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) appears aimed at sharpening its military edge to ensure the security of the dynastic regime and bolstering leverage for future nuclear talks, analysts said Wednesday.

The North test-fired a new type of SLBM on Tuesday, after flaunting several seaborne missiles during last week's defense exhibition and others at military parades earlier this year and last year -- in a move highlighting its steadfast focus on the submarine-based delivery vehicle.

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(LEAD) N. Korean missile launch underscores 'urgent' need for dialogue: White House

WASHINGTON -- The United States remains ready to engage with North Korea anytime and anywhere, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday, adding that North Korea's missile tests underscored the urgent need to engage with the reclusive state.

North Korea fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Tuesday (Seoul time), marking its eighth missile test so far this year.

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(3rd LD) N. Korean missile launch highlights need to engage in diplomacy: official

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's latest missile launch highlights the urgent need to engage with the reclusive state in dialogue, a senior South Korean official said Tuesday.

The official also said South Korea, Japan and the United States share concerns over the North's missile launch.

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(LEAD) New virus cases rise on more testing, vaccination push continues

SEOUL -- South Korea saw its new coronavirus cases rise by nearly 500 cases Wednesday, but the caseload stayed below 2,000 for the 12th straight day, as the country continued its vaccine campaign aimed at returning to normalcy.

The country reported 1,571 new cases, including 1,556 local infections, raising the total caseload to 346,088, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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(2nd LD) Chinese fishing boat sinks off S. Korea's west coast, leaving 3 unconscious, 3 missing

GUNSAN, South Korea -- A Chinese fishing boat capsized in waters off the southwestern city of Gunsan on Wednesday, leaving three crew members unconscious and three others missing, Coast Guard officials said.

According to the Coast Guard, the 239-ton vessel capsized shortly after midnight in waters 124 kilometers southwest of Gunsan's Eocheong Island.

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(LEAD) Lee appears at 2nd parliamentary audit amid snowballing corruption scandal

SEOUL -- Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung, the presidential nominee of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), appeared at a parliamentary audit Wednesday, the second time this week he will be asked about his possible involvement in a massive development corruption scandal.

Lee said in his opening remarks that he will not address questions unrelated to provincial administration and that an audit is not the same as a confirmation hearing.

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(LEAD) Moon says S. Korea seeks strong defense capability to ensure peace

SEOUL -- Ensuring peace is the reason for South Korea to build strong defense capabilities, President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday, as the country seeks to build a military based on cutting-edge science and technology amid North Korea's missile and nuclear development.

Moon made the remarks at the opening ceremony of a biennial defense exhibition that offers an in-depth look at state-of-the-art military hardware like stealth jets, advanced missile interceptors and hydrogen-powered drones, hours after the North said it successfully test-fired a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

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Actor Kim Seon-ho belatedly admits to abortion rumors, apologizes for 'carelessness'

SEOUL -- South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho on Wednesday admitted to forcing his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion and apologized in public to her and fans for his "carelessness."

"I had dated her with affection," he said in a statement released through his management agency Salt Entertainment. "But I hurt her due to my carelessness and inconsiderate conduct."

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S. Korea considering temporary fuel tax cut amid surging gasoline prices

SEOUL -- South Korea is considering temporarily lowering fuel taxes to ease consumer burden from surging gasoline prices, the country's top economic policymaker said Wednesday.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the government will unveil relevant actions, including a fuel tax cut, as early as next week.
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