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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 March 09, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's virus cases near 7,400, but pace of new infections slows

SEOUL -- South Korea's coronavirus caseload approached 7,400 on Monday, but the pace of new infections slowed after massive testings on members of a religious sect at the center of rapid spreading were completed. Still, health authorities remained on high alert over new clusters of infections.

The 248 new cases, which were detected on Sunday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 7,382, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(4th LD) N. Korea fires 3 short-range projectiles toward East Sea: JCS

SEOUL -- North Korea fired three short-range projectiles into the East Sea on Monday in what was believed to be part of a joint strike exercise, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The projectiles were fired northeastward from areas near its eastern town of Sondok in South Hamgyong Province at around 7:36 a.m, the JCS said, adding that they flew around 200 kilometers, reaching a maximum altitude of around 50 km.

N.K.'s projectile launches not helpful for peace efforts: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday that North Korea's launch of three short-range projectiles does not help efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier in the day, the North fired three unidentified projectiles into the East Sea, a week after the country launched two short-range projectiles.

106 countries, territories restricting entry from virus-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- Two more countries have joined the list of countries and territories imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures on people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns, putting the tally at 106, foreign ministry data showed Monday.

As of 9 a.m., Grenada and Barbados, island nations in the Caribbean, were added to the list of 47 countries and territories requiring or recommending self-quarantine and imposing stricter immigration controls, according to foreign ministry website.

S. Korea, Japan enforce mutual entry restrictions, casting clouds over bilateral ties

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan began enforcing entry restrictions against each other's citizens ostensibly over new coronavirus concerns Monday, casting a pall over their relations already frayed by a protracted row over trade and wartime history.

Tokyo suspended its visa waiver program for South Koreans and started asking them to stay at designated facilities for two weeks and refraining from using public transportation. Moreover, it allows flights from Korea to land only in Narita Airport near Tokyo and Osaka's Kansai Airport.

U.S. Army restricts travel to, from S. Korea over new coronavirus

SEOUL -- The U.S. Department of the Army has ordered its soldiers and their families to stop movement to and from South Korea amid concerns over the new coronavirus, according to U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

The order, which will be in effect until May 6 or until further notice, currently applies only to 8th Army soldiers currently on permanent change of station orders or attending professional military education scheduled in the United States, USFK said in a statement.

N.K. quarantines about 10,000 people for potential infection by new coronavirus

SEOUL -- North Korea has placed around 10,000 people under quarantine over coronavirus concerns and released about 40 percent of them as they showed no symptoms, according to state media reports.

North Korea has not reported an outbreak of COVID-19, which emerged in neighboring China in late December, but it has intensified anti-virus efforts by tightening its borders and toughening quarantine criteria and procedures.

Seoul stocks down 4 pct. on virus fears, oil crash late Monday morning

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks greatly extended their losses late Monday morning as investors went on a selling spree on fears over the new coronavirus and a plunge in oil prices. The Korean won fell sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plummeted 82.54 points, or 4.05 percent, to 1,957.68 as of 11:15 a.m.

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