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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 January 03, 2022

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

N. Korea remains unresponsive to S. Korea's message about weekend border-crossing

SEOUL -- North Korea remains unresponsive after South Korea sent it a message about an unidentified person having crossed the eastern inter-Korean border over the weekend, Seoul's defense ministry said Monday.

On Sunday, South Korea sent the message through a western military communication line "in light of protecting our citizen," though it has yet to verify details about the person who crossed the heavily fortified border on Saturday night.

(LEAD) Moon pledges to pursue 'irreversible path to peace' with N. Korea until his term ends

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday he will pursue an "irreversible path to peace" on the Korean Peninsula until his term ends, calling for dialogue and cooperation with North Korea.

In his final New Year's speech as president, Moon admitted South Korea still has a long way to go to improve inter-Korean relations, despite many achievements during his five-year term.

(LEAD) Daily virus cases stay below 4,000 for 2nd straight day amid tighter antivirus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily coronavirus cases stayed below 4,000 for the second straight day Monday as the country has extended the enforcement of its tighter social distancing measures for two more weeks to stem a surge in infections and the spread of the omicron variant.

The country added 3,129 new COVID-19 infections, including 2,993 local infections, raising the total caseload to 642,207, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

JCS chief stresses 'basics and principles' in New Year's message before border breach

SEOUL -- South Korea's top military officer has called for troops to stick to "basics and principles" in a New Year's message, his aide said Monday, a directive eclipsed by a botched effort to stop an unidentified person from crossing the inter-Korean border over the weekend.

For delivery on the first week of the new year, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul had the message ready on Friday, the day before the person crossed the heavily fortified border in what is decried as yet another security lapse.

Lee leads Yoon by up to 9.7 percentage points: polls

SEOUL -- Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung led his main opposition rival Yoon Suk-yeol in four public opinion surveys published Monday, with a lead of between 1.7 and 9.7 percentage points.

According to a survey conducted by Realmeter from Dec. 26-31, Lee of the Democratic Party earned 40.9 percent support, compared with Yoon of the People Power Party's 39.2 percent.

PM stresses political neutrality, discipline ahead of key elections

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Kim Boo-Kyum on Monday called on public servants to keep political neutrality and discipline as the country prepares for the presidential and local elections this year.

"Please restrain from any activity that can be misinterpreted ahead of elections," Kim said at the government's new year kick-off ceremony in Seoul. "We will strictly deal with activities regarding producing or providing government policy data in an unofficial way."

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