• News Update 9/16/2021

South Korea has added 1,943 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, along with six more virus-related fatalities.

The tally announced by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency includes 1,921 domestic infections, 80 percent of which were from the greater Seoul area, and 22 imported cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 279,930 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country and 2,386 deaths.

South Koreans will have a five-day holiday starting Saturday to celebrate Chuseok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.

Millions of people usually travel across the country this time of year to visit relatives, but authorities have been urging people to stay at home and avoid group gatherings to reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus.

Special antivirus measures will be enforced over the holiday to support public safety, including the operation of temporary COVID-19 testing clinics at expressway rest stops.

Current social distancing measures -- Level 4 in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, and Level 3 in most all other regions -- will remain in place through October 3.


The powerful and influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for remarks he made while observing South's testing of its first submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Moon said Seoul's missile capabilities will serve as a "sure deterrence" against provocations by the North.

He made the comments hours after Pyongyang launched short-range ballistic missiles for the first time in months.

In response, Kim Yo-jong threatened a "complete destruction" of bilateral relations.

Inter-Korean ties have been strained since last month as North Korea slammed joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.

Kim Yo-jong added that the regime is developing its military capabilities for self-defense without targeting a specific country.


The United States, Britain and Australia have announced a new defense and security partnership for the Indo-Pacific.

As part of the deal, a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines will be built for the Australian Navy.

It sparked immediate condemnation by China.

The BBC's David Willis reports.

This announcement comes at a time of growing concern in Western capitals over China's military posture in the region.

The trilateral agreement will ultimately lead to more submarines patrolling one of the most contested trade routes in the world.

Nuclear-powered vessels can go further than conventionally powered ones and far more difficult to trace because they won't contain nuclear weapons.

Officials say sharing such technology will not constitute a breach of agreements such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty.


For the first time, an all-civilian crew has been launched into space.

SpaceX's first private flight streaked into orbit Wednesday night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor.

The two men and two women in the Dragon capsule are looking to spend three days circling the world from an unusually high orbit before splashing down off the Florida coast this weekend.


Jeju is preparing for the impact of Typhoon Chanthu, which is heading toward the resort island from the south.

The KMA Korea Meteorological Administration predicts the typhoon to begin picking up speed Thursday afternoon and move closest to the island around 8 a.m. Friday.

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