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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:05 February 19, 2020

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

(3rd LD) S. Korea reports 15 more cases of novel coronavirus, total at 46

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed 15 more cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections here to 46, amid growing concerns that the respiratory illness is spreading across the country despite tighter quarantine measures.

Health authorities said that there is a growing risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community, vowing to go all-out to prevent this.

(3rd LD) S. Korean presidential plane arrives back from Japan with 7 evacuees aboard

SEOUL -- A South Korean presidential plane with six nationals and a Japanese spouse onboard arrived back from Japan on Wednesday, completing the mission to evacuate them from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship.

The Air Force VCN-235 arrived at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul at 6:27 a.m. after departing from Tokyo's Haneda Airport at 2:23 a.m.

S. Korea seeks entry ban on foreigners to be released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

SEOUL -- South Korea will bar foreigners to be released from a quarantined cruise ship off Japan from entering the country, a senior Seoul official said Wednesday, as Japanese authorities are scheduled to end the vessel's quarantine over the coronavirus.

In a press briefing, Noh Hong-in, an official of the central disaster headquarters, also said that South Koreans who have been aboard the Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, Japan, will be put under self-quarantine should they decide to fly to Korea.

(2nd LD) Korean-made geostationary environment-monitoring satellite successfully launched

SEOUL -- The world's first geostationary environment-monitoring satellite, built by South Korea, has been successfully launched, the country's state-run aerospace research institute said Wednesday.

The Ariane-5 rocket carrying the 3.4-ton Chollian-2B, tasked with monitoring the movement of fine dust and other air pollutants, as well as tides, in the East Asian region is on course to reach its fixed orbit 36,000 kilometers above the Earth's equator after lifting off from French Guiana at 07:18 p.m. (local time), according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

N. Korea's paper warns against lowering guard against coronavirus

SEOUL -- North Korea has seen no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but the country should never let its guard down in its nationwide fight to prevent the virus from reaching the country, its official newspaper said Wednesday.

North Korea has repeatedly claimed that there has been no outbreak of COVID-19 on its soil despite speculation it is concealing an outbreak of the virus that emerged from neighboring China and has been spreading into many countries.

(LEAD) S. Korea to inject liquidity to exporters amid virus fallout

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to provide liquidity support to its exporters that are expected to take a hit from the spread of the new coronavirus in China, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday.

The government will draw up a package of comprehensive measures by the end of this month to preemptively contain the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, which is expected to threaten the fragile Chinese and global economies, Hong told a meeting of economy-related ministers.

'Parasite' wins prestigious Italian award

SEOUL -- South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's film "Parasite," which won four Academy Awards this month and the Cannes Film Festival's top honor, the Palme d'Or, last year, captured a prestigious Italian award dubbed Italy's Oscars, an Italian news agency said Wednesday.

"Parasite" has been selected as this year's winner of best foreign language film at the David di Donatello awards, ANSA said.

Samsung signs partnership with BTS to boost marketing

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. signed a partnership with K-pop super band BTS for marketing of its new smartphones, company officials said Wednesday.

Samsung will first work with BTS for the boy band's global contemporary art initiative, "CONNECT, BTS," and will expand their collaboration to other areas, according to the officials.

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