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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 October 29, 2021

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

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(LEAD) Gathering limit to rise to 10 people for Seoul under 'living with COVID-19' scheme

SEOUL -- The government said Friday it will raise the private gathering limit to 10 people for the greater Seoul area and scrap business curfews on all multi-use facilities, except nightlife establishments, for four weeks starting next week under a "living with COVID-19" scheme.

A "vaccine pass" system, which requires visitors to have a vaccination certificate or negative test result, will be also introduced with a grace period for entry into nightlife establishments, such as bars and nightclubs, and indoor sports facilities.

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Moon set to meet Pope Francis at Vatican

ROME -- President Moon Jae-in was set to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday to discuss peace on the Korean Peninsula and efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential office said.

The Friday meeting will take place as Moon visited Rome to attend the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit over the weekend before traveling to Glasgow to join the global summit of the COP26 climate change gathering.

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New virus cases over 2,100 for 2nd day as relaxed virus curbs set to take effect

SEOUL -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed above 2,100 for the second consecutive day Friday, as worries persist over a virus resurgence with the country set to relax antivirus measures for a return to normalcy.

The country added 2,124 fresh COVID-19 cases, including 2,094 local infections, raising the total caseload to 360,536, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

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117 suspected breakthrough COVID-19 infections reported at psychiatric ward in Changwon

CHANGWON -- A total of 117 coronavirus cases were reported in just two days at the psychiatric ward of a hospital in the southern city of Changwon, all believed to be breakthrough infections, officials said Friday.

According to city government officials, three COVID-19 cases were first reported on Thursday and tests on other people at the ward showed that an additional 114 people were infected.

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(2nd LD) Production, consumption rebound in Sept. despite resurgence in virus cases

SEOUL -- South Korea's industrial output and retail sales rebounded in September in the latest sign that economic recovery momentum has been maintained despite the fourth wave of the pandemic, data showed Friday.

Industrial output rose 1.3 percent in September from the previous month, following a 0.2 percent on-month decline in August, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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Nationality requirements on flights between S. Korea, EU to be lifted in Nov.

SEOUL -- Airlines of South Korea and European Union member states will be allowed to operate without restrictions on their nationality requirements starting next month under a new aviation accord, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

South Korea and 22 EU member states signed a horizontal aviation agreement in June 2020, which goes into effect Monday, the foreign ministry said.

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(LEAD) SK Innovation swings to black in Q3 on strong lube oil, battery sales

SEOUL -- SK Innovation Co. said Friday it turned to the black in the third quarter from a year earlier on strong sales in its lubricant oil and battery businesses amid reviving demand after a pandemic-driven slump.

The energy and chemical subsidiary of SK Group, South Korea's No. 3 conglomerate, reported a net income of 511 billion won (US$436.6 million) in the July-September period, a turnaround from a loss of 16.1 billion won a year earlier, according to its regulatory filing.

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Korean actor Lee Byung-hun wins U.S. award for Asian entertainer

SEOUL -- South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun has won a U.S. entertainment award for Asian and Asian American contributions to film and television, the event organizer said Friday (Korean time).

Lee was included in the list of recipients of the U.S.–Asia Entertainment Summit and Game Changer Awards, along with Bela Bajaria, head of global TV at Netflix, and Destin Daniel Cretton, director of the superhero film "Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings" (2021).

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