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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:45 January 30, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

(3rd LD) S. Korea expected to send evacuation plane to Wuhan late Thurs.

SEOUL -- South Korea is expected to send one chartered flight to the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday night to airlift its nationals from the area placed under a lockdown, a foreign ministry official said.

It would represent an hourslong delay and a reduction on flights from Seoul's original plan to evacuate around 700 South Koreans seeking to leave the epicenter of the deadly contagious virus on Thursday and Friday.

(LEAD) Koreas to temporarily shut down liaison office amid new coronavirus fears

SEOUL -- South and North Korea on Thursday agreed to temporarily shut down their joint liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong amid concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus, a unification ministry official said.

They will establish new telephone and fax lines to continue communications between Seoul and Pyongyang despite the shutdown, which will continue until the threat posed by the virus is "completely eased," according to the official.

(LEAD) Moon vows all-out efforts against new coronavirus, warns against fake news

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in assured South Korean people Thursday that his government will take every necessary measure to contain the outbreak of a new deadly coronavirus and threatened strict steps against related fake news.

"There can be no compromise on the safety of the people," he said in televised remarks, presiding over an inter-agency meeting at the Government Complex Seoul on the country's response to the virus, which originated in China.

(4th LD) Samsung expects gradual chip recovery after bumpy road in 2019

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it is expecting a gradual recovery in memory chip demand and shipments of smartphones this year after a 38 percent drop in its fourth-quarter earnings, aided by improving demand from data centers and smartphone makers, and releases of the latest premium gadgets.

Samsung, the world's leading memory chip and smartphone manufacturer, posted a net income of 5.23 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) in the October-December period, compared with a profit of 8.46 trillion won a year earlier, due to a slump in the memory chip sector.

S. Korea considering US$5 mln in humanitarian aid to China to combat new coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea said Thursday it will consider providing US$5 million in humanitarian assistance to China, which is struggling to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The novel virus has killed 170 people so far and contaminated over 7,700 so far across the world.

Ex-chief of staff to Moon quizzed by prosecution over election-meddling row

SEOUL -- Im Jong-seok, former chief of staff to President Moon Jae-in, was questioned by the prosecution on Thursday over his alleged role in an intervention in the 2018 local elections.

The prosecution is looking into allegations that the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae intervened in an Ulsan mayoral election to help Song Cheol-ho, a long-time friend of Moon, win the seat.

N.K. missile site shows no signs of preparations for rocket or engine test: 38 North

WASHINGTON -- North Korea's satellite launching site shows no signs of preparations for a rocket launch or engine test, a U.S. monitor said Wednesday.

Commercial satellite imagery on Dec. 23 of the Sohae satellite launching station, also known as the Dongchang-ri site, showed efforts to clear snow off roads, including the one leading from the vertical engine test stand to the VIP observation facility, 38 North said on its website.

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