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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 February 05, 2020

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

(3rd LD) S. Korea adds 2 more virus cases at 18, one confirmed after trip to Singapore

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday confirmed two more cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total here to 18, with one of the latest cases involving a patient who had returned from Singapore.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said a 38-year-old South Korean man who recently visited Singapore for work and came into contact with an infected Malaysian tested positive for the virus.

Carmakers to face heavy output losses if coronavirus outbreak continues

SEOUL -- South Korean carmakers may face hefty production losses as the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak is aggravating shortages of parts from China without signs of slowing.

The country's five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., SsangYong Motor Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Corp. -- have already suspended some of their assembly lines or are considering halting lines.

Coronavirus outbreak to push up prices of chips, display panels

SEOUL -- The spread of coronavirus in China is likely to push up prices of semiconductors and display panels, analysts said Wednesday, amid possible supply chain disruptions of key industrial materials.

China, where the outbreak originated, is home to manufacturing facilities of many of South Korea's major tech firms, including Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc.

S. Korea eyes further economic cooperation with Russia, Azerbaijan

SEOUL -- South Korea said Wednesday it will hold a series of meetings with counterparts in Russia and Azerbaijan this week as part of the country's drive to forge deeper ties with emerging countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

A South Korean delegation of trade officials plans to discuss ways to promote exchanges of goods and services, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

S. Korea isolates novel coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea successfully isolated the new coronavirus, joining other countries, including China, France and Singapore, that have done so, a development that could help find a treatment for the illness, the public health agency said Wednesday.

The genetic strain extracted from the phlegm of a confirmed patient has been given the name BetaCoV/Korea/KCDC03/2020, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) N. Korea beefs up mask production to fight coronavirus

SEOUL -- North Korea is beefing up production of facial masks as part of efforts to provide more protection for its citizens and health officials from the new coronavirus fast spreading in China and many other countries, state media reported Wednesday.

North Korea has yet to confirm any case of coronavirus infection, but it is making all-out efforts to prevent its outbreak by strengthening preventive measures.

Korea's FX reserves climbs to new record high in Jan.

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign exchange (FX) reserves again reached a new record high last month, largely on an increase in gains from investing the excess funds, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country's FX reserves came to US$409.65 billion as of end-January, up $840 million from a month earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Online shopping hits record high in December

SEJONG -- The total value of online shopping in South Korea reached a record high in December, government data showed Wednesday, in the latest sign that a growing number of South Koreans are using computers and mobile devices to shop.

Total online transactions reached 12.5 trillion won (US$10.5 billion) in the month, up 17.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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