The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
Ruling party doubles down on mea culpa strategy amid trailing polls ahead of by-elections
SEOUL -- The ruling party on Thursday issued another public apology in admission of the failure in the party's housing policy and over a public sector land speculation scandal, asking for another chance to correct the party's policy blunders by voting for its candidates in the imminent by-elections.
"Following the launch of the Moon Jae-in administration, the Democratic Party (DP) has carried out many efforts to achieve social fairness and justice by ending wrongful norms and reforming powerful state institutions and has produced substantial results," Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon, the party's acting chairman, said in a statement.
(3rd LD) Exports up for 5 months in March, recovery likely to be further extended
SEOUL -- South Korea's exports advanced 16.6 percent in March from a year earlier on the back of solid demand for chips and autos to extend their gains for the fifth consecutive month, data showed Thursday, stoking speculation that recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy is gathering pace.
Outbound shipments came to US$53.8 billion last month, compared with $46.1 billion a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
(LEAD) New COVID-19 cases above 500 for 2nd day, Busan under tougher distancing rules
SEOUL-- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases rose to more than 500 for the second day Thursday, with tightened social distancing rules to be implemented in the second-largest city of Busan over the continued emergence of cluster infections.
The country reported 551 more COVID-19 cases, including 537 local infections, raising the total caseload to 103,639, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. It marked the highest daily tally in 41 days.
(LEAD) S. Korea's national security adviser arrives in U.S. for talks
WASHINGTON -- South Korea's national security adviser, Suh Hoon, arrived in the United States on Wednesday for talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts on how to deal with North Korea.
Suh arrived in New York, and is expected to travel to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where the three-way security dialogue will be held on Friday.
Diplomats from S. Korea, Japan hold talks amid rows over wartime history, trade
TOKYO/SEOUL -- Diplomats from South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo on Thursday, a source said, as they seek to address protracted spats over wartime history and trade amid the United States' calls for stronger trilateral cooperation with its Asian allies.
The closed-door meeting between Lee Sang-ryol, director general for Asian and Pacific affairs at the foreign ministry, and his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, came a day after Foreign Minister Chung-Eui-yong renewed Seoul's desire to improve bilateral ties.
(LEAD) ITC backs SK in battery patent suit over LG
SEOUL -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday made a preliminary ruling in favor of SK Innovation Co. in a patent suit with LG Energy Solution Ltd., the latest twist in the bitter dispute between the two Korean battery makers.
The ITC said in an initial determination that SK Innovation didn't infringe upon four U.S. patents on lithium-ion battery technology claimed by LG Energy Solution.
Will upcoming homegrown blockbusters bring audience back to cinemas?
SEOUL -- Local movie theaters, which have been in the doldrums amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, are expected to get a fresh boost from several upcoming releases of homegrown blockbusters.
The black-and-white historical drama "The Book of Fish" has spearheaded the potential spring run that would attract audience members who have been reluctant for nearly a year to come to theaters under strict social distancing.
BTS becomes 1st Korean artist to be nominated for Brit Awards
SEOUL -- K-pop sensation BTS has added another feat to its long list of accolades, becoming the first Korean artist to be nominated for the annual Brit Awards.
The seven-piece act was nominated for the international group award, alongside musicians Fontaines D.C., four-time winner Foo Fighters, HAIM and Run the Jewels.