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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:03 February 13, 2020

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

'Parasite' acclaimed for editing, production design, cinematography

SEOUL -- With the stunning Oscar victories of South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite," other creative minds involved in the film's production have also come under the spotlight.

"I want to give praise to our great cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo, production designer Lee Ha-jun and editor Yang Jin-mo," Bong said after accepting the best international feature film Oscar at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

S. Korea to unveil measures to support exports amid virus fallout

SEJONG -- South Korea plans to unveil measures to support exports as early as next week as the coronavirus epidemic in China is expected to cast a shadow on the Korean economy, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday.

Hong said the Korean economy is expected to face a bigger economic impact from the virus, COVID-19, than that of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015.

(2nd LD) Flight suspensions due to virus tipped to hit airlines' Q1 results

SEOUL -- South Korean airlines' first-quarter earnings may be dismal as they suspended or reduced flights on international routes amid the spreading COVID-19 virus outbreak, analysts said Thursday.

In their latest move to respond to the virus, Asiana Airlines Inc., the country's second-biggest airline after Korean Air Lines Co., said it will halt flights on two additional routes and reduce services on five more routes for several weeks depending on each route's schedule.

Lotte Shopping to sell assets to shore up profit, focus now on online biz

SEOUL -- Lotte Shopping Co., the operator of South Korea's biggest department store and second-biggest discount store chain, said Thursday it will sell 30 percent of its 700 outlets as it strives to improve profitability and meet customer demands.

Lotte Shopping plans to sell off 200 of its 700 brick-and-mortar stores, including department stores, discount stores and supermarkets, across the country to shore up its falling profit and strengthen the e-commerce business, the company said in a statement.

(LEAD) Nearly half of defectors engage in private economic activities while in N. Korea: poll

SEOUL -- Nearly half of North Korean defectors had experience of engaging in private-sector economic activities back in the communist nation, a poll showed Thursday.

According to the poll conducted by the Korean Association of North Korean Studies and Hyundai Research Institute on North Korean defectors, 48 percent said that they had made a living in the private sector, including working full-time and part-time jobs from 2016-2019.

FM cites defense cost-sharing as key agenda item for potential talks with Pompeo

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday she expects to discuss the ongoing defense cost talks between South Korea and the United States if she meets one-on-one with her U.S. counterpart, Mike Pompeo, on the margins of a security conference in Germany.

Kang made the remark to reporters as she headed to Germany for the Munich Security Conference slated for a three-day run through Sunday. She is expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings, including one with Pompeo, on the sidelines.

Gov't to support Chinese students amid coronavirus scare

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to provide support measures for Chinese students enrolled in local universities as they are set to return here amid tightened quarantine against the COVID-19 virus, the education ministry said Thursday.

Following a meeting with local education offices, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said the ministry plans to roll out support measures, such as providing accommodations to students who cannot return to their dormitories.

Starbucks Korea logs record earnings in 2019

SEOUL -- Starbucks Korea saw its net profit advance 18.5 percent in 2019 from a year earlier to a record high as the company continued to expand its number of stores here, data showed Thursday.

Net profit came to 132.8 billion won (US$112.3 million), compared with 112 billion won posted a year earlier, according to the regulatory filing by discount store chain E-Mart Inc.

Top court orders review of 'white list' scandal involving ex-president aides

SEOUL -- South Korea's top court on Thursday ordered a review of a ruling that handed down jail terms to ex-presidential aides over their roles in a power abuse scandal in which pro-government organizations were favored during the conservative Park Geun-hye administration.

Former chief of staff Kim Ki-choon and former culture minister Cho Yoon-sun were indicted for pressuring the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), formerly the country's biggest business lobby group, to provide 6.9 billion won (US$5.8 million) to 33 pro-government organizations between 2014-2016.

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