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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 March 10, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) S. Korea's new virus cases slow to 2-week low, cluster infections still in focus

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday that it has stepped up vigilance in its battle to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, with an alarming cluster of infections emerging in Seoul, although the pace of daily new infections continued to slow.

The 131 new cases, which were detected on Monday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 7,513, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(3rd LD) N. Korea says leader Kim oversaw long-range artillery strike drill

SEOUL -- North Korea said Tuesday that leader Kim Jong-un supervised a long-range artillery strike drill a day earlier to inspect his forces' "sudden military counterattack capability."

On Monday, South Korea's military said the North fired three short-range projectiles off its east coast in what appears to be part of its artillery strike drill involving multiple rocket launchers. It marked the second time in a week that the North has tested weapons.

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(2nd LD) Seoul call center emerges as city's biggest infection cluster, numbers feared to rise

SEOUL -- A call center in southwestern Seoul has emerged as the biggest COVID-19 infection cluster in South Korea's capital Tuesday, prompting the city government to brace for a potentially mass transmission of the new coronavirus.

A high-rise in the neighborhood of Sindorim was closed down and disinfected late Monday after workers at a call center on its 11th floor were confirmed as patients, according to Guro Ward, which oversees Sindorim.

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(3rd LD) S. Korea to tighten rules on stock short selling amid market rout

SEOUL -- South Korea's financial authorities said Tuesday they will tighten regulations on stock short selling as part of market stabilization measures amid increased fluctuations sparked by the outbreak of the new coronavirus and a slide in global oil prices.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the government will temporarily ease its requirements for the designation of certain shares subject to a possible ban on short selling.

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(LEAD) Seoul, Tokyo kick off trade talks amid escalating diplomatic spat

SEOUL -- South Korea and Japan on Tuesday met for the first time in three months to discuss their trade dispute amid dimmed hopes for reconciliation as the spread of the new coronavirus has led to more bilateral trust issues.

The two countries started the director-general level video conference at 10:00 a.m. according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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4 Japanese not allowed to visit Korea on 1st day of entry limit

SEOUL -- Four Japanese nationals without an entry visa for South Korea were not allowed to board an airplane bound for Seoul on Monday, the first day of the two countries' entry restrictions on each other's citizens, the Ministry of Justice said Tuesday.

South Korea halted a 90-day visa-free entry program for Japanese nationals, effective Monday morning, over new coronavirus concerns, while Japan simultaneously implemented similar entry restrictions for South Koreans for the same reason.

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(LEAD) One more service member tests positive for coronavirus, total at 37

SEOUL -- One Air Force officer stationed in the southeastern city of Daegu tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the military to 37 on Tuesday, the defense ministry said.

Of the total, 20 were in the Army, 13 in the Air Force, two in the Marine Corps and one each in the Navy and a unit under the direct control of the ministry, according to the defense ministry.

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Seoul stocks trim losses late Tuesday morning, foreign sell-off continues

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks recouped earlier losses late Tuesday morning as institutional buying offset net selling by foreigners and individuals amid growing worries about the global spread of the coronavirus and a headlong fall in oil prices.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price (KOSPI) Index had fallen 5.01 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,949.76 as of 11:15 a.m.
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