The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Friday.
(LEAD) Daily cases stay below 4,000, critical cases hit record high
SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 4,000 for the second straight day Friday, but critical cases rose to a record high amid worries the virus could quickly spread under eased social distancing rules.
The country reported 3,901 new COVID-19 cases, including 3,882 local infections, raising the total caseload to 432,901, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
S. Korea launches 'early warning system' on supply chains of 4,000 key industry items
SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday launched an early warning system to monitor some 4,000 key industry materials and items to prevent the recurrence of a crisis similar to the ongoing supply crunch of urea solution used to reduce emissions in diesel vehicles.
The shortage of urea solution has exposed vulnerabilities in the country's supply chain and prompted the government to set up a task force on economic security meant to ensure stable supply chains.
Seoul monitoring N. Korea's nuclear, missile activities: unification ministry
SEOUL -- South Korea is monitoring North Korea's nuclear and missile activities in close cooperation with the United States, the unification ministry said Friday, following reports the North appears to be continuing the operation of a nuclear reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon complex.
38 North, a U.S. monitoring website, said Wednesday steam was detected emanating from the 5-megawatt reactor in an indication at least one generator is in operation, citing recent satellite imagery.
Air force chief to visit Colombia, Peru for military diplomacy
SEOUL -- South Korea's Air Force chief will visit Colombia and Peru next week as part of military diplomacy focusing largely on strengthening arms industry cooperation with the South American countries, his office said Friday.
During his visit to the Colombian capital city of Bogota, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Park In-ho will attend the Expodefensa 2021, one of the largest defense exhibitions in the region.
Seoul stocks deepen losses late Fri. morning amid renewed virus concerns
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks deepened their losses late Friday morning, largely as investors worry about the escalating coronavirus situation.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 26.54 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,953.73 points as of 11:20 a.m.