[Korea Now Today's Headline] 05/14/FRI
1. On Friday, South Korea reported 747 new COVID-19 cases, with the number of new daily cases staying above 700 for the second day in a row.
2. Today, South Korea started administering the second round of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to some 926-thousand people, which includes patients and staff at nursing facilities who received their first shots in February.
3. This afternoon, U.S. intel chief Avril Haines paid a courtesy call on President 문재인 and also met with National Security Adviser 서훈 before wrapping up her three-day visit to South Korea.
4. The Defense Ministry said today that South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to push for a trilateral defense ministerial meeting with Japan in the near future, meanwhile also agreeing on the importance of maintaining a combined defense posture through joint training.
5. Today, former Minister of the Interior and Safety 김부겸 started his first day as South Korea’s new Prime Minister, after the approval of his appointment by President 문재인 this morning.
6. On Friday, amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry extended the country’s special advisory against overseas travel for another month, until June 15.
7. The Foreign Ministry said on Friday, that the South Korean government is considering ways to hold bilateral consultations with Japan to discuss Tokyo’s plans of releasing radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
8. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is at the brink of further escalation as Israel has deployed tanks and troops to its border with Gaza, where more than 100 people have been killed.
9. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance on Thursday, local time, allowing fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds, as well as in most indoor settings.