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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 February 04, 2020

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

N. Korea deploys minister-level officials to lead nationwide fight against coronavirus

SEOUL -- North Korea has put minister-level officials in charge of its nationwide fight against the new coronavirus, Pyongyang's official newspaper said on Tuesday, amid growing concerns over the global spread of the potentially deadly virus.

The move is the latest in a series of North Korean measures to prevent the spread of the virus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December.

(2nd LD) S. Korea reports 16th confirmed case of novel coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday confirmed its 16th case of novel coronavirus infection, with the latest patient being placed under quarantine.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the patient, a 42-year-old woman, had returned from a trip to Thailand on Jan. 19 and started feeling chills on Jan. 25. Her condition has not improved despite receiving treatment, so she was tested for the viral infection on Monday with the test results coming up positive.

Chinese ambassador calls for 'scientific decision' based on WHO recommendation to stem new coronavirus

SEOUL -- New Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming called Tuesday for countries to make a "scientific" decision to fight a deadly new coronavirus in line with the U.N. health agency's recommendations against unnecessary travel restrictions.

Stressing Beijing's "capability and resolve" to combat the virus that emerged late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, Xing made the appeal on the day Seoul's travel ban on foreigners, who have travelled to the province in the past two weeks, took effect.

(2nd LD) Korea's consumer price growth hits 14-month high in January

SEJONG -- South Korea's consumer prices rose 1.5 percent on-year in January, marking their fastest gain in 14 months, the statistics agency said Tuesday.

The country's inflation also rose 0.6 percent on-month in January on the back of increased prices of agricultural and industrial products, according to Statistics Korea.

Authorities to provide liquidity to coronavirus-hit firms

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial authorities said Tuesday that they are working on a plan to provide emergency liquidity to smaller firms and self-employed people hit hard by a new coronavirus.

The plan includes extension the maturity of debts and provision of fresh loans to eligible smaller firms and self-employed people, officials said.

S. Korea to swiftly take measures against virus-triggered volatility

SEOUL -- South Korea will swiftly take measures to stabilize its financial markets in case of increased volatility amid growing concerns about the economic impact of the rapidly spreading new coronavirus in China and other nations, a senior government official said Tuesday.

Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom told a meeting with senior economic and financial officials that the virus is expected to have a negative impact on the Korean economy.

Trump touts Korea trade deal ahead of Iowa caucus

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump urged Republicans in Iowa to vote in the caucus Monday, citing as one of his accomplishments a revised trade deal with South Korea.

Trump's message on Twitter came hours before the Iowa caucuses for the Republican and Democratic parties, the first major balloting for the November presidential election.

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