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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 November 24, 2021

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

(LEAD) Daily infections, critical cases soar to all-time highs

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases and critical cases soared to all-time highs Wednesday, prompting the government to consider imposing an emergency COVID-19 response plan just weeks after easing social distancing rules under the "living with COVID-19" scheme.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum urged health authorities to beef up containment measures, saying the country is facing the first hurdle in its move back toward normalcy and the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country's 52 million population, is in an urgent situation.

(2nd LD) Virus situation in capital area urgent: PM

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Wednesday the country's virus situation is worse than expected, especially in the capital area, urging health authorities to beef up containment measures.

Kim issued the warning as the country's daily COVID-19 cases hit an all-time high of 4,117, with the number of critical ill virus patients also reaching a new record of 586.

The cases confirmed in the capital area, which includes the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon, accounted for nearly 80 percent of the country's daily virus caseload, with Seoul alone reporting 1,735 cases.

(LEAD) Samsung picks Taylor, Texas, as site of new US$17 bln chip plant

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it has selected the city of Taylor in Texas as the site of its new US$17 billion chip fabrication plant, a move to boost production amid a global chip shortage.

The decision came five months after the tech giant announced a plan to build a second, next-generation chip plant in the United States, and as the chip supply crunch caused global automobile and consumer electronics companies to slash their production.

(2nd LD) BTS wins 2nd consecutive Grammy nomination but not in major category

SEOUL -- South Korean megastar BTS earned a Grammy nomination for the second consecutive year Tuesday (U.S. time) but failed to get a nod in any of the four major categories.

The septet was nominated for the best pop duo or group performance for their megahit "Butter," during the official Grammys nomination ceremony livestreamed by the U.S. Recording Academy.

S. Korean economy forecast to grow 3.2 pct in 2022

SEOUL -- The South Korean economy is likely to expand 3.2 percent on-year in 2022 on the back of a recovery in private consumption and brisk exports, a local think tank said Wednesday.

The Korea Capital Market Institute (KCMI) also forecast the gross domestic product of Asia's fourth-largest economy to increase 4 percent this year from a year earlier.

S. Korea's birth rate at record low in Sept.

SEOUL -- The number of babies born in South Korea fell to a record low in September, data showed Wednesday, underscoring the country's bleak demographic situation with the chronically low birth rate.

A total of 21,920 babies were born in September, down 6.7 percent from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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