The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(LEAD) Iran releases seized S. Korean ship, captain
SEOUL -- Iran released a South Korean oil tanker and its captain, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday, about three months after they were seized over alleged oil pollution.
The ship, with its captain and 12 other crew members aboard, left the Iranian port at around 6 a.m. (Iran time), the ministry said. The crew members had been released earlier but have remained on the ship for maintenance purposes.
(LEAD) U.S. House caucus to hold hearing on S. Korean ban on anti-Pyongyang leafleting
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives said Thursday it will hold a public hearing next week on South Korea's recently legislated ban on the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea.
The caucus, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said it will hold "a hearing on freedom of expression on the Korean peninsula" on Thursday next week. Five witnesses have been called in to testify, including Suzanne Scholte, a human rights activist.
(2nd LD) New virus cases below 700, stronger wave of pandemic looms
SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell below 700 on Friday, but health authorities warned the country may face a stronger wave of the pandemic, with a chance that daily infections could double in the coming weeks.
The country plans to suspend the business of clubs and bars in the greater Seoul and the second-largest city of Busan as part of targeted antivirus measures, while extending the current level of social distancing rules.
Samsung heir's return to jail postponed due to extended hospital stay
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung Group convicted of bribery, will return to jail later than the scheduled date, industry sources said Friday, after doctors recommended longer hospital care following his appendicitis surgery.
Lee was transferred from Seoul Detention Center in Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province, to Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul on March 19 to receive the surgery after suffering a ruptured appendix.
(Yonhap Feature) How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon's party in by-elections
SEOUL -- In politics, it is conventional wisdom that liberal parties are more effective in connecting with and appealing to young voters, while conservative rivals are more comfortable in engaging with the older electorate. A high level of voter turnout is also usually considered something that works in favor of liberal candidates.
These common notions, however, were completely shattered during the course of these past by-elections in South Korea, as many young voters firmly expressed their opposition to the ruling Democratic Party (DP), at least in its current state.
(LEAD) S. Korea needs preemptive anti-inflation steps: senior official
SEOUL -- South Korea needs to take preemptive measures to cope with escalating concerns over inflation, a senior government official said Friday.
The remark by First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon comes as Asia's fourth-largest economy faces growing inflationary pressure amid signs of an economic recovery.
K League contenders looking to create two-horse race for 3rd straight year
SEOUL -- They've dominated South Korean club football for the past two years. And Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the K League 1 champions in both seasons, and Ulsan Hyundai FC, runners-up both times, are trying to turn the 2021 season into yet another two-horse race.
Jeonbuk are sitting pretty atop the tables thanks to an eight-match undefeated run to open the season. With 20 points from six wins and two draws, Jeonbuk are three points ahead of Ulsan (five wins, two draws and one loss).