The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
S. Korea proposes record 59.4 tln-won extra budget for pandemic-hit merchants
SEOUL -- South Korea on Thursday proposed a record extra budget of 59.4 trillion won (US$46.1 billion) in the latest move to compensate pandemic-hit merchants for their losses caused by stricter virus curbs.
The extra budget -- the first under new President Yoon Suk-yeol and the eighth during the pandemic -- calls for a 36.4 trillion won spending plan, including cash handouts to small merchants, and 23 trillion won in grants to regional governments, according to the finance ministry.
Yoon presides over first Cabinet meeting to approve extra budget proposal
SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol presided over his first Cabinet meeting Thursday to approve a record 59.4 trillion won (US$46.1 billion) extra budget proposal aimed at helping pandemic-hit small merchants.
The extraordinary session was held two days after Yoon was inaugurated to demonstrate his commitment to keeping his campaign promise to swiftly compensate small merchants for their losses caused by COVID-19 business restrictions.
Presidential office says humanitarian aid possible in theory after N.K. reports COVID-19 case
SEOUL -- The office of President Yoon Suk-yeol said Thursday that humanitarian assistance to North Korea is possible in theory after Pyongyang reported its first COVID-19 case.
"I understand that he thinks of humanitarian assistance as an exception," a presidential official told reporters when asked if Yoon is considering sending medical or antivirus aid to North Korea,
(LEAD) Minister nominee says he's open to visiting N. Korea as special envoy
SEOUL -- The nominee to serve as South Korea's new point man on North Korea said Thursday he will "positively consider" a push for visiting Pyongyang as a presidential envoy to meet leader Kim Jong-un.
Speaking to lawmakers during his confirmation hearing, Kwon Young-se, a veteran politician tapped as unification minister, said he will discuss the issue with the other members of the national security team of President Yoon Suk-yeol, after assuming the post, in consideration of the security situation on the peninsula.
Top 1,000 firms' sales hit new high in 2021 amid pandemic
SEOUL -- South Korea's major listed firms saw their sales jump more than 16 percent to an all-time high in 2021 despite the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Thursday.
The combined top line of the country's leading 1,000 companies by sales stood at 1,734 trillion won (US$1.35 trillion) last year, up 16.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea CXO Institute.
(Movie Review) Return of hero Ma Dong-seok: 'The Roundup'
SEOUL -- The 2017 crime action comedy "The Outlaws" depends on unstoppable force and high energy of robust police officer Ma Seok-do, played by Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, who simply bulldozes all the outlaws, not caring about using illegal means or hurting the villains.
The film was the biggest sleeper hit that year, charming 6.9 million Korean moviegoers in the Chuseok holiday season. It outnumbered the star-studded historical political film "The Fortress," one of the highly anticipated films of the year. Directed by "Squid Game" creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, it sold only 3.8 million tickets.
(LEAD) DP expels three-term lawmaker over sexual misconduct
SEOUL -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Thursday decided to expel Rep. Park Wan-joo over a sexual misconduct case, the party's spokesperson said.
The DP's emergency committee decided to kick out Park and plans to refer him to the National Assembly's ethics reporting center for an additional penalty, according to DP spokesperson Shin Hyun-young.
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
Yoon's agenda gets boost from ruling party's sweeping triumph in local elections
Yoon-Biden summit opens new, broader chapter for S. Korea-U.S. alliance
Yoon, Biden agree to broaden, deepen alliance amid N.K. threats, China's assertiveness