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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 November 17, 2021

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

(LEAD) New COVID-19 cases spike to second-largest figure of 3,187

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases spiked to surpass the 3,000 mark Wednesday, just shy of an all-time high, health authorities said, deepening concerns over medical capacity amid the continued surge in critical cases.

The country reported 3,187 new COVID-19 cases, including 3,163 local infections, raising the total caseload to 402,775, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) S. Korea to cut dosage interval for COVID-19 booster shots on senior citizens

SEOUL -- South Korea will cut the dosage interval between primary vaccination and COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for senior citizens in a move to curb breakthrough infections and serious cases amid worries over virus upticks, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Wednesday.

Booster shots for people aged 60 or older and nursing hospital patients can be administered four months after they received their last dose, while those in their 50s can get extra jabs five months after their primary COVID-19 vaccination, Kim said at a COVID-19 response meeting.

(2nd LD) Senior S. Korean, U.S. diplomats discuss N. Korea, end-of-war declaration: ministry

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- South Korea's vice foreign minister held talks with his U.S. counterpart and discussed ways to bring North Korea back to dialogue, including the possible declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

During the 60-minute talks in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (local time), South Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also discussed the alliance and other issues of common interest, including COVID-19 vaccines and the global supply chain crisis, according to the ministry.

(LEAD) S. Korea blank Iraq to extend undefeated run in World Cup qualifying campaign

SEOUL -- Captain Son Heung-min scored his 30th international goal while young midfielder Jeong Woo-yeong netted his first, as South Korea beat Iraq 3-0 in their World Cup qualifying match in Doha on Tuesday.

Midfielder Lee Jae-sung opened the scoring in the first half for the clean sheet victory at Thani bin Jassim Stadium, helping South Korea extend their undefeated streak to six matches in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

S. Korea to focus on stabilizing housing market: minister

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to pump up its efforts to stabilize the housing market as surging home prices and speculative demand have showed signs of easing, the country's top economic policymaker said Wednesday.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the growth of housing prices and demand for home buying have slowed since September in the latest sign that people's expectations for further price gains might have changed.

Prosecutors raid home, office of ex-lawmaker embroiled in development scandal

SEOUL -- Prosecutors on Wednesday raided the home and the office of a former opposition lawmaker accused of taking millions of dollars from an asset firm at the center of a massive corruption scandal in the name of severance pay for his son.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office sent a team of investigators earlier to search the home and office of Kwak Sang-do, formerly affiliated with the main opposition People Power Party.

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