The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(LEAD) New cases over 1,700 for 2nd day, toughest virus curbs likely to be extended again
SEOUL — South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases stayed in the 1,700s for the second straight day Thursday as the toughest level of virus restrictions in the greater Seoul area is highly likely to be extended again amid little signs of a letup.
The country added 1,776 COVID-19 cases, including 1,717 local infections, raising the total caseload to 205,702, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Seoul stocks take downward turn late Thur. morning on bio, tech losses
SEOUL — South Korean stocks swung to losses late Thursday morning as bio and tech large caps erased part of their earlier gains.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 1.35 points, or 0.04 percent, to trade at 3,279.03 as of 11:20 a.m.
Moon nominates new FSC, human rights commission chiefs
SEOUL — President Moon Jae-in on Thursday nominated new chiefs of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, while replacing six vice ministerial level positions, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Koh Seung-beom, a former financial regulator and currently a member of the Bank of Korea’s monetary policy board, was tapped to head the FSC, and Song Doo-hwan, senior attorney at law firm Hankyul, was nominated as chairman of the state rights watchdog.
Calls for delaying allied military drills gain traction inside ruling party
SEOUL — Calls for postponing the regular joint summertime military drills between South Korea and the United States were gaining traction inside the ruling party Thursday amid growing hope for the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue.
“The atmosphere (here) is that postponing the military exercise might be inevitable despite some potential internal resistance,” a high-profile source from the ruling party told Yonhap News Agency a day earlier.
(LEAD) Online lender Kakao Bank set to debut on stock market
SEOUL — A South Korean internet-only bank Kakao Bank is slated to debut on the country’s main stock market this week in one of this year’s mega initial public offerings.
Kakao Bank will make its debut on the KOSPI market Friday, with its public offering price set at 39,000 won (US$34.1).
Regulator to hold final review of Google’s alleged anti-competition practice
SEOUL — South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Thursday it will hold its final review of whether Google LLC abused its market dominance in the mobile operating system and app markets.
Since 2016, the regulator has been looking into Google over allegations that it obstructed local smartphone makers from using operating systems run by other rivals.
Gov’t makes next year’s minimum wage of 9,160 won official
SEOUL — The Ministry of Employment and Labor on Thursday published an official notice of next year’s minimum hourly wage of 9,160 won (US$8.00).
The Minimum Wage Commission, a tripartite panel composed of representatives of labor, business and the general public, set the rate on July 12 in a 5.1 percent increase from this year.
Unification ministry hopes for N. Korea to respond to offer for discussion on virtual conference system
SEOUL — The unification ministry on Thursday expressed hope that North Korea will respond to South Korea’s recent offer for discussion on setting up a virtual conference system for inter-Korean talks.
South Korea made a proposal to discuss the matter with North Korea days after the two Koreas restored cross-border communication lines last week that had been severed for more than a year after North Korea cut them off in protest of anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South. North Korea has yet to provide answers to the offer.