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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 August 11, 2022

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

(3rd LD) N.K. leader declares victory in fight against COVID-19: state media

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has declared victory in his country's emergency campaign against COVID-19, state media reported Thursday, three months after the nation reported its first COVID-19 outbreak.

Kim made the announcement during a national meeting on anti-epidemic measures he presided over the previous day in Pyongyang, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Unification ministry expresses regret over 'groundless claims' on origin of its COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry on Thursday voiced strong regret over North Korea's claim that its COVID-19 outbreak had originated from the South and its threats of an unspecified retaliatory step.

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang's state media reported that leader Kim Jong-un held a national meeting the previous day and declared victory in the campaign against COVID-19.

Presidential office says THAAD is self-defensive tool

SEOUL -- The presidential office said Thursday that the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system deployed in South Korea is a "self-defensive defense tool" after China called for restricting its use.

The issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was a key topic of discussion during this week's meeting between the foreign ministers of South Korea and China in the Chinese port city of Qingdao.

Seoul to build deep underground rainwater tunnels in 6 flood-prone areas

SEOUL -- The Seoul city government has disclosed medium- and long-term flood prevention measures centered on the construction of deep underground rainwater storage facilities in six flood-prone areas.

According to the measures announced by Mayor Oh Se-hoon on Wednesday, the city government will spend 1.5 trillion won (US$1.15 billion) over the next decade to build six large-scale rainwater storage and drainage facilities, also called deep underground tunnels.

Samsung aims to boost foldables to half of total smartphone sales by 2025

Seoul -- Samsung Electronics Co. aims to raise the ratio of foldable phones to half of its total smartphone sales by 2025, a top executive has said, after the tech giant unveiled its latest foldable smartphones in an online event.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, will work to make its foldable smartphones another main column alongside the Galaxy S flagship series and a key category in the premium segment, Roh Tae-moon, president and head of Samsung's mobile experience (MX) division, said at a press conference in New York on Wednesday (U.S. time) right after the Unpacked online event.

Seoul shares up 1.4 pct in late morning trade on steel, chemical gains

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded 1.39 percent higher late Thursday morning, buoyed by gains in large-cap steelmakers and chemical companies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had soared 34.52 points to 2,515.40 as of 11:20 a.m.

Starbucks Coffee Korea announces official recall of 'summer carry bags' containing toxic substance

SEOUL -- Starbucks Coffee Korea said Thursday it will launch an official recall of its giveaway picnic bags, after the company came under fire for handing out the merchandise containing a toxic chemical substance.

The announcement came after the company apologized over the discovery of formaldehyde in its "summery carry bag" provided to customers who purchased a certain number of drinks between May and early July.

(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall; deaths rise to 3-month high

SEOUL -- The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in South Korea fell Thursday after reaching a four-month record high the previous day, but new deaths climbed to a three-month high amid the fast spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant.

The country added 137,241 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total caseload to 20,983,169, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. Of the new cases, 522 were from overseas.

S. Korea in for tough battle to reach knockouts as countdown to World Cup nears 100 days

SEOUL -- With the countdown to the FIFA World Cup nearing 100 days, South Korea will be bracing themselves for a challenging battle for the knockout phase at football's grandest showcase for the first time in 12 years.

The 22nd edition of the World Cup will kick off in Qatar on Nov. 12, and the countdown clock will hit 100 days Saturday.

(LEAD) Exports up 23.2 pct during first 10 days of Aug.; trade deficit widens

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports jumped 23.2 percent on-year in the first 10 days of August on robust demand for petroleum products and autos, but the country saw its trade deficit widen on soaring fuel costs, data showed Thursday.

The country's outbound shipments stood at US$15.7 billion in the Aug. 1-10 period, compared with $12.7 billion a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

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