The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(2nd LD) New cases over 2,000 for 2nd day; virus curbs extended for 2 weeks
SEOUL — South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases remained in the 2,000s for the second straight day Friday amid little signs of letup, triggering the extension of the toughest level of virus restrictions for two more weeks.
The country added 2,052 more COVID-19 cases, including 2,001 local infections, raising the total caseload to 232,859, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, U.S. to hold talks on N. Korea next week
SEOUL — The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States will hold talks next week to discuss efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea, the foreign ministry said Friday.
Sung Kim, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, will arrive in Seoul on Saturday for a four-day visit and will hold talks with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk, on Monday, the ministry said in a release.
(LEAD) Jet flight similar to N.K. leader’s personal plane raises speculation about Kim’s trip
SEOUL — An airplane of the same jet type used by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was spotted to have flown to the east coast, according to an aviation tracker, briefly raising speculation that Kim might have headed to his vacation home.
But the AN-148 jet, which took off from Pyongyang at 9:08 a.m. Thursday, was found later to have a different registration number, P-672, from the jet used as Kim’s personal plane, with a registration number of P-671, according to Flightradar24, a flight tracking website.
(LEAD) Seoul stocks slump more than 1 pct on U.S. tapering worries
SEOUL — South Korean stocks retreated more than 1 percent Friday as concerns about the possibility of the U.S. Fed’s earlier-than-expected tapering pulled down the stock prices. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dipped 37.32 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 3,060.51 points.
(LEAD) USFK reports 12 local COVID-19 cases, 11 cases among new arrivals
SEOUL — Twelve people, including seven American service members, at U.S. military bases in South Korea have tested positive for the new coronavirus, while another 12 were found to have been infected upon their arrival here, the U.S. military said Friday.
A service member and a family member at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 after developing symptoms, while five troops and two family members at the base were found to have been infected after coming into contact with people who tested positive earlier, according to USFK.
Ex-Finance Minister Kim announces presidential bid as independent
EUMSEONG, South Korea — (Yonhap) — Former Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon announced Friday he will run in the presidential election slated for March as an independent.
“I will run in next year’s presidential election,” Kim said during a press conference in his hometown of Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province.
Gov’t to set up new entity to protect defense technologies, prevent hacking attacks
SEOUL — The arms procurement agency said Friday it will set up an anti-hacking agency next year to help protect defense firms in the wake of a recent series of hacking attempts targeting them.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the envisioned organization, tentatively named Defense Industry Technology Management Institute, will focus on how to better protect defense technologies and prevent cyber attacks.
S. Korea-Colombia summit to be opportunity to expand ties with Central, South Americas: presidential official
SEOUL — A South Korea-Colombia summit scheduled for next week will offer an opportunity for Seoul to expand its diplomacy and economic ties with Central and South America, a senior presidential official said Friday.
President Moon Jae-in will hold an in-person summit with his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Wednesday, the second day of the Colombian leader’s three-day state visit to South Korea set to begin Tuesday.
Restaurant, cafe owners fear tougher COVID-19 restrictions threaten their survival
SEOUL — Owners of restaurants and cafes are fiercely protesting against the government’s decision on Friday to reduce their nighttime hours of operation by one to counter spreading COVID-19 infections at multi-use facilities.
While extending the toughest Level 4 restrictions for another two weeks until Sept. 5 in the capital area and some other regions, the government mandated all affected restaurants and cafes to close by 9 p.m., one hour earlier than the current 10 p.m. They are allowed to serve only takeout and delivery from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Singing rooms, indoor gyms, cram schools and internet cafes will be excluded from the mandatory business hour reduction.