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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:04 March 06, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's virus cases near 6,300, with another cluster of infections looming

SEOUL -- South Korea's coronavirus caseload approached 6,300 on Friday, with most new virus infections still occurring in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province. Another alarming cluster of infections was reported in a small city near Daegu.

The 518 additional cases, which were detected on Thursday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 6,284, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Thursday's additional cases followed the 438 new cases detected on Wednesday, 516 new cases on Tuesday and 600 on Monday.

(LEAD) Virus outbreak may sap trade, investment: finance minister

SEOUL -- The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in South Korea may adversely affect trade and investment, in addition to various problems it is already causing, according to the country's finance minister on Friday.

"Difficulties are apparently accumulating and becoming real in most areas of the real economy, such as local consumption, production and exports, as consumer sentiment and business activities weakened greatly due to COVID-19," Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a meeting with economy-related ministers.

(LEAD) S. Korea voices 'extreme regret' over Japan's entry restrictions for Koreans

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry on Friday expressed "extreme regret" over Japan's two-week quarantine plan for visitors from South Korea over new coronavirus concerns, warning of "all possible" corresponding measures.

Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young plans to summon Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita to officially lodge a protest over the measure that is set to take effect Monday and last until the end of this month.

No request from N.K. for cooperation in coronavirus fight: unification ministry

SEOUL -- North Korea has not made any request for help in tackling the new coronavirus and other infectious diseases, the unification ministry said Friday, denying a news report that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made such a request in a letter to President Moon Jae-in.

The Chosun Ilbo, a major South Korean daily, reported earlier in the day that seeking anti-epidemic cooperation with South Korea was one of the main points of Kim's letter and Moon responded that health care cooperation with the North is always possible.

Trump says relationship with N.K. leader 'very good'

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "very good," insisting that he has handled Pyongyang well without giving anything to the communist regime.

At his first town hall of the 2020 presidential campaign, Trump was asked what he would do with North Korea if reelected, a question that sparked an enthusiastic response from the first U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphones in 20 countries

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its new flagship smartphone line has been officially launched globally as the South Korean tech giant hopes its latest handsets can drive the company's mobile business amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Sales of the Galaxy S20 series have started in 20 countries, including South Korea, the United States, Singapore and Vietnam, according to Samsung. It added that the new mobile devices will be available in 130 countries by the end of this month.

S. Korea urges Japan to lift trade restrictions

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday urged Japan to immediately lift the trade curbs it imposed on Asia's No. 4 economy, stressing that Seoul has taken necessary measures to bolster its export control system in line with Tokyo's demands.

In July last year, Japan imposed restrictions on exports to Seoul of three key industrial materials critical for South Korea's chip and display industries, namely photoresist, etching gas and fluorinated polyimide.

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