The Newest: S Korea prepares for surge with upcoming vacation | Your Cash

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s daily surge in coronavirus infections has hit the 62nd mark.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 940 of the 1,375 new cases reported Monday came from Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area, where a surge in infections has been linked to school reopenings and summer vacation returnees was brought.

While the virus has slowed outside the capital region in recent weeks, KDCA official Kim Ki-nam said transmissions could worsen nationwide during the Chuseok hiatus, which begins September 20, a time when normally Millions travel across the country to meet relatives.

Officials enforce the strongest social distancing rules in the country unless there is a lockdown in the metropolitan area, where private social gatherings of three or more people are prohibited after 6 p.m. unless attendees are fully vaccinated.

Due to a slow adoption of the vaccine, less than 35% of South Koreans will be fully vaccinated by Monday. Kim said the country hopes to speed up injections over the next few weeks so that 70% of a population of more than 51 million people will be vaccinated by the end of October.



– Two anchors from COVID safety net ends, hit by millions in the US

– Volunteers help the poorest survive Thailand’s worst survival COVID surge still

– Mississippi Crisis Hospitals, the least vaccinated US state

– Do you want to visit Hamilton? Not unless you meet Virus logs


– More AP coverage can be found at and



HANOI – Approximately 23 million Vietnamese students have started a new school year, most of them in virtual classrooms, amid a COVID-19 lockdown to contain a surge in virus in the country.

Since April, when the latest wave of the virus spread through the country, Vietnam has closed schools and educational institutions in pandemic areas and shifted learning activities to online platforms.

Millions of students spent their summer vacation at home as more than half of the country is locked. In severely affected provinces, schools have been converted into quarantine facilities and field hospitals.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam’s worst virus outbreak, teachers and students observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to those who died of COVID-19 and to honor the frontliners before class on Monday opened.

In this latest wave, Vietnam reported 520,000 confirmed cases with over 13,000 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis of 10 million people, is responsible for most of the toll.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Most of New Zealand will come out of lockdown on Tuesday, with the exception of the largest city, Auckland, which will remain in the strictest form of lockdown until at least next week, the government said on Monday.

The nation has been battling an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus since last month. All of the most recent cases have been found in Auckland, including 20 that were found on Monday.

A total of 821 cases were identified in the outbreak. The government is pursuing an unusual strategy to completely eliminate the virus.


JERUSALEM – Israel says it will reopen its doors to foreign tour groups soon – even as it battles one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the world.

The country’s tourism ministry announced on Sunday that organized tour groups would be allowed into the country from September 19.

Tourists must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, present a negative PCR test before their flight, and undergo both PCR and serological tests upon arrival. Visitors would have to be quarantined in their hotels until the test results come back – a process that is not expected to take more than 24 hours.

Tourists from a handful of “red” countries with high infection rates – including Turkey and Brazil – are not allowed to enter for the time being.

Israel launched a similar program in May after vaccinating most of its population earlier this year. However, the program was suspended in August when the Delta variant began to spread.

In recent weeks, the country has begun giving booster vaccinations to anyone vaccinated over five months ago. The campaign has shown signs of controlling the delta eruption so the government can begin allowing tourists to return.


WASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s foremost infectious disease expert says he believes delivery of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to Americans who have received doses of Pfizer may begin on September 20, while Modernas may have one hits the market a few weeks later.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that it was still the Biden government’s plan to start “in some ways” on the third dose in the week of September 20 pending food approval and Drug Administration.

The government had hoped that by this time both Pfizer and Moderna booster shots would be introduced. But Fauci said it was “conceivable” that Moderna “could have no more than a couple of weeks, if any, a couple of weeks of delay,” as the company provides the FDA with more data on the booster ‘s effectiveness.

President Joe Biden announced boosters on Aug. 18 as protection against the more highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus and said Americans should consider getting a booster eight months after their second vaccination.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said Sunday the government has always made it clear that September 20 is a target date and “no one will get boosters until the FDA says they are approved.”

Klain told CNN, “We’re ready to go as soon as science tells us.”


ROM – Italy’s health minister has hinted that a meeting of his G-20 colleagues could lead to a pledge to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach everyone in poor countries.

Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters on Sunday after the opening session of the two-day meeting in Rome that he hoped the assembly would produce a “pact” on the challenge of making vaccines available to all, including the more fragile populations.

Speranza complained that there was a deep divide between wealthier and poorer countries in vaccine distribution. He expressed optimism that the meeting of the Group of 20 Nations would lead to a determination “that the vaccine is the right of all and not just a privilege for the few”.

Italy currently holds the rotating G-20 presidency. Speranza also held separate meetings with the UK, India and Russia ministers of health. On the eve of the gathering, Speranza tweeted that “only working together can ensure a fairer distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”


LONDON – The UK government has confirmed that it plans to introduce vaccination cards for nightclubs and large gatherings from next month.

Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that officials want to start certification measures from the end of September, when two doses of COVID-19 vaccine would have been offered to the entire population over the age of 18.

Zahawi told Sky News that this is the “right thing” to ensure the economy stays open. However, lawmakers and companies have criticized the measure as divisive, saying it could involve nightclubs in discrimination cases.

“It is best to work with industry to ensure that they can be opened safely and sustainably over the long term.

The plans stipulate that people wishing to enter nightclubs and other major events must provide evidence that they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this week that nightclubs and large events will require vaccination certificates from the end of this month as Scotland faces a surge in infections.

Why is South Korea growing an Israeli-style Iron Dome? | Information

Seoul, South Korea – South Korea is developing a new artillery and short-range missile defense system modeled on the Israeli Iron Dome to further upgrade its military equipment on a peninsula that is technically still at war.

The South Korean government announced last month it would spend about $ 2.5 billion on research and development and deploy the new system by 2035.

The Korean War of 1950-53 ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty, and since then the North and South have built up troops and armaments along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries. North Korea has also developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in recent years, although the proposed South Korean defense system will not be able to defend against these weapons, but it will be able to attack artillery and short-range missiles.

North Korea has an estimated 10,000 artillery pieces, including rocket launchers buried north of the DMZ, less than 100 kilometers from the greater Seoul area and its 25 million people, half of South Korea’s population.

South Korea’s new system will aim to use interceptor missiles to protect the South Korean capital, its core facilities, and key military and security infrastructure from a possible North Korean bombardment.

But South Korea’s artillery interception system must be significantly more efficient than the Israeli one.

“The Iron Dome responds to missiles fired sporadically by militant groups like Hamas and irregular forces,” said Colonel Suh Yong-won, administration spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program (DAPA) in June. “Some parts of the system will be similar, but what we’re going to build is designed to intercept long-range artillery pieces from North Korea, which will require a higher level of technology given the current security situation.”

Because of this, he said, the South Korean system is likely to cost much more than the Israeli system.

Military experts also noted that Israel will have to fire far fewer projectiles than South Korea is likely to have to do. During the recent Gaza conflict, Hamas fired around 4,300 rockets in 10 days. But with more advanced targets, large cannons and rocket launchers, North Korea can initially fire an estimated 16,000 rounds per hour, according to a recent report report from the Hankyoreh newspaper.

“It’s an incredibly challenging endeavor,” said Ankit Panda, Stanton Senior Fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Nuclear Policy Program.

‘No choice’

Still, experts seem confident that South Korea will be able to develop effective missile defense against North Korea’s artillery and missile fire. The question is the price. For many countries, national security and, in particular, military budgets call the conventional cost-benefit analysis into question.

“For South Korea there is no choice, it cannot be changed,” said Jo Dong Joon, director of the Center for North Korea Studies at Seoul National University. “South Korea is concerned that North Korea could fire its long-range artillery without much fear of retaliation.”

The impetus to develop the system came in 2010 when North Korea shelled the border island of Yeonpyeong and killed four people.

According to the Hankyoreh newspaper, the South Korean authorities considered introducing an iron dome system after the incident in Yeonpyeong, but ultimately found it inadequate. Her focus at the time was on destroying the source of the incoming fire.

To do this, last year South Korea deployed new Korean tactical surface-to-surface missiles, KTSSMs, so-called “artillery killers” with a range of 100 km (62 miles), specifically designed to destroy the artillery of the north, Jo said who also focuses on nuclear strategy. South Korea’s KTSSMs, however, will take time to target and destroy the source of fire – the artillery pieces and rocket launchers – which could give Pyongyang enough time to hit and destroy key facilities in Seoul.

South Korea’s new “Iron Dome” -style system will counter this threat, with the Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense already being used to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missiles.

North Korea upgraded its arsenal and military equipment, unveiling what it calls “the world’s most powerful weapon” in a parade in January [File: KCNA via Reuters]

Prevent nuclear escalation

By defending against the northern artillery and missiles along the DMZ, some experts believe that limited provocations will be deterred and less likely to escalate into a major conflict with the northern nuclear weapons.

“North Korea’s escalation ladder is now very high – all the way to nuclear weapons,” said Jo, adding that South Korea must be able to respond specifically to the artillery threat or to provoke the greater risk of escalation.

North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons poses a number of strategic challenges beyond the weapons themselves. The threat of their use encourages Pyongyang and puts Seoul at a disadvantage, despite its vastly superior conventional forces and alliance with the United States.

“North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons is what is causing the collapse of the strategic balance … missile defense offsets this imbalance a little,” said Go Myung-hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

But missile and artillery defense is viewed as a relatively expensive endeavor that requires years of research and development with a questionable benefit. Defense system spending can be offset by using offensive missiles to defeat the defense system and it would cost less.

“It will always be cheaper for any attacker, be it North Korea or Hamas, to procure more offensive missiles than it will be for defenders to continue to procure defensive interceptors,” Carnegie’s Panda said. “The resources that South Korea will spend … have opportunity costs elsewhere for what South Korea might spend on offensive weapons.”

At the same time, South Korea’s emerging military-industrial complex could benefit greatly from the project beyond its initial research, development and deployment to South Korea.

“A system like this could be attractive as a potential export,” said Panda.


Still, some have spoken out vehemently against the program, arguing that South Korea’s rising military spending – which now amounts to nearly $ 50 billion a year – is fueling an intra-Korean arms race.

“Long-range artillery is a threat, but South Korea’s military and weapons operations are also a threat to North Korea,” said Park Jung-eun, general secretary of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a prominent South Korean NGO.

South Korea has upgraded its military hardware in a number of areas including the development and deployment of advanced naval destroyers, its own artillery, missile and missile systems, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, all generations ahead of North Korea’s Kora’s weapon systems. It is this imbalance in conventional forces that drives Pyongyang to adopt alternative strategies.

“This armament ultimately prevents the North from making other choices … focusing on asymmetrical weapons like nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction,” said Park.

South Korea’s democratic leadership spends even more than conservatives, said Park, who has been active in peace activism for 15 years. The Democrats want to avoid criticism of the softness and appease a military that is less enthusiastic about peace initiatives.

There is also an entrepreneurial motivation behind approving such an expensive project.

“This could be a way to provide the defense companies, whether Samsung or Hanwha, with unrealistic military defense,” said Park.

One of the criticisms of Iron Dome is that it prevents the Israeli government from diplomatically pursuing a solution to the problem’s long-standing roots.

Park makes the same assessment for South Korea.

“Instead of the Iron Dome, I think we need to focus more on dialogue.”

#MeToo-style reckoning over faculty bullying rocks South Korea

South Korea is in the middle of one # MeToo style Billing over Bullying in school, equated with allegations of abuse K-pop singer, Actors, sports stars and other celebrities.

The outcry began in February, when Twins were former teammates Volleyball stars Jae-yeong Lee and Da-yeong Lee accused the players of abusing them during elementary and middle school.

The 25-year-olds are two of South Korea’s most famous athletes. They helped the women’s national team qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and they play for one of the oldest volleyball teams in the country, the Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders. However, in a post on a popular online forum, the former teammates said the twins routinely hit them in the head, berated them, and stole their money – and at some point threatened them with a knife.

“After all these years we are still living with trauma because it did something to us. On the other hand, they come out on several TV shows and laugh happily. … We ask for a sincere apology from you, ”the post reads.

Kim Ji Soo, known by his stage name Ji Soo, was recently banned from a show after several people accused him of bullying. The Chosunilbo JNS / ImaZins file via Getty Images

The former teammates made their allegations anonymously. NBC News tried to contact them through the online forum but received no response.

The Lee sisters were quick to express remorse. “I apologize for leaving permanent damage and terrifying memories for the victims during what was supposed to be full of happy memories,” Jae-yeong Lee said in a statement.

Da-yeong Lee also issued a statement saying, “If the victims allow, I will visit them directly and apologize.”

Even so, the fallout was quick. The Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders have suspended the twins indefinitely, and the Korea Volleyball Association said they would not participate in the Tokyo Games.

The sisters did not respond to a request for comment.

The allegations have also found resonance outside of the sports world. South Korea has been rocked in recent years by high-profile student deaths after severe bullying by schoolmates. Suicide was the leading cause of youth death in the country for eight consecutive years, according to a government report. Bullying and violence at school are considered to be one of the main reasons for the high suicide rate.

In the past few weeks, more and more people have made allegations of abuse by other celebrities.

Kim Ji Soo, an actor known by his stage name Ji Soo who stars in the popular television drama “River Where the Moon Rises,” was recently removed from the series after several people accused him of bullying. The series has already aired on television, but the show’s production company said it would re-shoot its scenes with a new actor.

“I sincerely apologize to those who have suffered because of me. There is no need to apologize for the wrongdoings I have committed in the past, ”Ji Soo said in a statement.

Jo Jung-sil, president of the Family Association of Victims of School Violence in Seoul, said Korean society has so far been largely unsympathetic to victims of school bullying.

Download the NBC News App for breaking news and politics

“A lot of people said that school bullying was just an immature argument between teenagers,” she said. “Some would even blame the victims, saying that it is their problem that they cannot fit into.”

Two decades ago, her daughter was beaten by a dozen schoolmates and spent five days in a coma. However, when Jo tried to hold the students accountable, the wider community viewed her as a troublemaker and her family was forced to move to another area.

However, last year the Ministry of Education promised to strengthen psychological counseling services and provide legal and medical expenses to victims of school violence and their families.

A banner ad for mobile apps that block malicious content is posted on the door of a mobile store in Seoul, South Korea.Lee Jin-man / AP file

In light of the recent controversy, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also vowed to work together to end violence among athletes.

“Student athletes who bully can no longer become successful athletes,” they said in a joint statement.

The Korean volleyball association, which oversees the country’s professional volleyball league, also said student athletes involved in bullying are at risk of being expelled from the league.

Han You-kyung, director of the Institute for School Violence Prevention at Ewha Womans University, said helping victims of bullying is vital given the permanent harm it can cause.

“Previous studies have shown that the experience of being bullied negatively affects not just the individual during puberty but the rest of their life,” Han said.

Jo said South Korea’s current reckoning was “inevitable,” and the string of bullying victims who finally break their silence shows that attitudes in society are gradually changing.

“This movement will definitely be an opportunity to remind everyone in our society – especially young students – that bullying could always have an impact decades after it happened,” Jo said. “The fact that it happens to celebrities and sports stars, who are often the most adored by young students, makes it all the more effective.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, write HOME at 741741, or visit for additional resources.

‘Minari’ actor is nonchalant about new fame exterior S. Korea | Leisure

FILE – Han Yeri, back row from left, Steven Yeun, director Lee Isaac Chung and foreground from left, Yuh Jung Youn, Alan Kim and Noel Cho pose for a portrait to promote the movie “Minari” during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 27, 2020.

This picture published by A24 shows Yuh-jung Youn in a scene from “Minari”.

The 'Minari' actor is nonchalant about new fame outside of South Korea

FILE – Yuh Jung Youn poses for a portrait to promote the movie “Minari” during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 27, 2020.

The 'Minari' actor is nonchalant about new fame outside of South Korea

FILE – Yuh Jung Youn poses for a portrait to promote the movie “Minari” during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 27, 2020.

The 'Minari' actor is nonchalant about new fame outside of South Korea

This picture, published by A24, shows from left Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn, Yeri Han and Noel Cho in a scene from “Minari”.

From JUWON PARK Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – When Youn Yuh-jung was asked in a recent interview how she feels about being referred to as the “Meryl Streep of South Korea,” she said she was flattered by the comparison. But she had her own introduction.

“I’m just a Korean actress in Korea,” said the 73-year-old actor. “My name is Yuh-jung Youn. So I like to be myself. “

Youn doesn’t need an introduction to South Korea, with a film career spanning over five decades. But it is being discovered by out-of-country audiences through Minari, a semi-autobiographical film based on Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung’s childhood about a family who moves to rural Arkansas to start a small farm.

Youn plays Soonja, who moves to live with her daughter and stepson from Korea and develops a tender but strange relationship with her grandson David (Alan Kim), the only member of the American-born family.

The film wowed Sundance and was a top contender during Hollywood awards season. It won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and won six nominations at the British Film Academy Awards.

If Oscar nominations are announced on Monday, Youn will likely be included in the supporting actresses category. Said she didn’t think much about getting an award, she said, “That would be something I can’t and don’t want to imagine, so I don’t know … For me, an award means getting the next job . “