Yonhap News Summary

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.

(LEAD) New defense chief vows efforts for firm readiness posture for peace, OPCON transfer

SEOUL — New Defense Minister Suh Wook was sworn in Friday, vowing to maintain a staunch readiness posture and fully implement an inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement in order to buttress the government’s efforts for a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In his inauguration speech, Suh also vowed to strive for expediting the envisioned transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul based on the strong alliance with the United States.

Kia to halt 2 domestic plants until weekend on COVID-19 cases

SEOUL — Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s No. 2 carmaker, said Friday it will suspend two plants near Seoul until this weekend following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases there days earlier.

A total of 13 coronavirus cases have been traced to the plants in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul, including four family members of the workers.

Delivery workers retract plan to suspend parcel sorting amid gov’t support pledge

SEOUL — Some 4,000 parcel delivery workers backtracked from a plan to stop sorting parcels in protest of heavy workloads ahead of the Chuseok holiday, a civic advocacy group said Friday.

The civic task force working for the rights of delivery workers and associated with the progressive Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) said the decision was made in line with the government’s steps to solve the issue.

(3rd LD) New virus cases under 200 for 16th day; untraceable infections at worrisome level

SEOUL — South Korea’s new coronavirus cases stayed below 200 for the 16th straight day Friday, but health authorities remained alert as sporadic cluster infections continued to rise and untraceable cases hit a fresh record high.

The country added 126 more COVID-19 cases, including 109 local infections, raising the total caseload to 22,783, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Five more patients died, raising the death toll to 377.

Tech competition heats up over remote work in S. Korea during pandemic

SEOUL — South Korean tech firms are joining the race for the growing remote work market, industry officials said Friday, as businesses brace for a drawn-out fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s workplaces have been reshaped this year as many companies opt to keep their workers out of offices to avoid infection risks.

Airbus to shift helicopter production line to S. Korea by next year: ministry

SEOUL — Airbus SE, Europe’s giant aircraft maker, will shift one of its helicopter production lines to South Korea by next year, Seoul’s transport ministry said Friday.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it signed a pact with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to support relocation of Airbus’ helicopter assembly line.

Nat’l Assembly Secretariat recommends COVID-19 guidelines for annual audit

SEOUL — The National Assembly Secretariat has recommended guidelines to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during next month’s audit of government agencies, parliamentary sources said Friday.

Under the new guidelines, the total number of people attending an audit at any given time should not exceed 50. The number of people waiting outside the audit halls should also be kept at a maximum 50. And the number of people attending a session from any given government agency should not exceed 50 in a day.