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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:57 March 05, 2020

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

(4th LD) S. Korea's virus cases near 6,000, another virus-hit city under special care

SEOUL -- South Korea's coronavirus caseload approached 6,000 on Thursday, with most new virus infections still identified in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here. A third virus-stricken area near Daegu was designated as a "special care zone."

The 438 new cases that were detected on Wednesday brought the nation's total number of infections to 5,766, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) S. Korea to ban exports of masks, boost output amid soaring demand

SEOUL -- South Korea said Thursday it will fully ban exports of protective masks as the country is struggling to expand the supply of sanitary products here amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Starting Friday, the country, which earlier set a ceiling of 10 percent of daily output for exports, prevents overseas shipment of face masks amid growing public anger over the bungled supply scheme.

PM stresses role of fiscal spending to contain coronavirus during his budget speech

SEOUL -- South Korea's prime minister stressed the need to carry out fiscal spending boldly and preemptively to contain the new coronavirus on Thursday, urging parliament to pass the government's extra budget bill.

Earlier in the day, the government submitted the 11.7 trillion won (US$9.9 billion) supplementary budget bill to the National Assembly as it seeks to better deal with the novel coronavirus and minimize its economic fallout.

(LEAD) N.K. leader sends letter to Moon to console S. Koreans over coronavirus: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a personal letter to President Moon Jae-in to console South Koreans fighting against the new coronavirus, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.

In the letter, delivered to Moon on Wednesday, Chairman Kim voiced his belief that South Korea will overcome the situation and wished for the good health of South Koreans, according to Yoon Do-han, Cheong Wa Dae's senior secretary for public communication.

(LEAD) S. Korea to delay troops rotation in South Sudan, extend emergency system over virus outbreak

SEOUL -- South Korea has decided to postpone the rotational deployment of a new contingent of troops to South Sudan and extended an emergency working system for service members in the southeastern city of Daegu over the continued spread of the coronavirus, the defense ministry said Thursday.

The 12th batch of about 300 troops had been scheduled to begin shipping out to the African country next week to replace the current contingent of the Hanbit Unit, which has carried out U.N. peacekeeping operations in the war-torn nation since 2013.

(3rd LD) Australia to impose entry ban on people from Korea on Thursday

SEOUL -- Australia plans to impose a temporary entry ban on foreigners from South Korea on Thursday, the country's embassy in Seoul said, as the number of COVID-19 infections here reached 5,766.

Seoul's foreign ministry voiced "strong regrets" over the measures that it claimed came without sufficient prior consultations, officials said, stressing its all-out efforts to contain the novel coronavirus.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 4th day on growing hope for stimulus

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks ended higher on Thursday, extending their gains to a fourth straight session amid expectations of further monetary easing by other major central banks following a U.S. rate reduction. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 25.93 points, or 1.26 percent, to 2,085.26.

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