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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 March 11, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea's virus cases rebound amid cluster infection in Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea reported an uptick in new daily coronavirus cases on Wednesday, reversing five straight days of fewer new cases, as the country grapples with clusters of infections in Seoul and neighboring areas.

The 242 new cases, which were detected on Tuesday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 7,755, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), with 76 in Seoul and neighboring areas.

Trump wants countries to invest more in shared defense: Pentagon official

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump has been clear on the need for other countries to pay more for shared defense, a top Pentagon official said Tuesday, as cost-sharing negotiations between Seoul and Washington have remained stalled.

Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist made the comment at a House Budget Committee hearing when asked about the potential consequences of the two countries failing to reach a deal on a new cost-sharing agreement for the upkeep of 28,500 American troops on the peninsula.

(2nd LD) Korea's job additions on rising track, jobless rate at 4.1 pct in February

SEOUL -- South Korea's jobless rate fell in February, and job creations rose by more than 400,000 for the third straight month, with the outbreak of the new coronavirus dealing a harsh blow to some sectors, such as the retail and wholesale segment, data showed Wednesday.

The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage point to 4.1 percent last month, and the number of employed people reached 26.83 million, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. South Korea added 492,000 jobs in the month.

114 countries, territories restricting entry from coronavirus-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- A total of 114 countries and territories were imposing entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures for people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns on Wednesday, as three Caribbean nations have newly joined the list.

As of 9 a.m., 43 countries and territories were barring the entry of travelers who have been in South Korea, China, Japan and other virus-hit countries, up from the previous day's tally of 40, according to the foreign ministry website.

PM raises urgent need to tackle coronavirus, economic fallout with extra budget

SEOUL -- South Korea's prime minister on Wednesday raised the urgent need to actively deal with economic shocks from the new coronavirus as parliament has begun to review an extra budget bill.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun made an appeal at the National Assembly amid concerns that the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to deal a serious blow to the economy.

Seoul stocks turn lower late Wednesday morning amid virus woes

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks turned lower late Wednesday morning as investors awaited details from the U.S.'s stimulus plans to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus following the recent market rout.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price (KOSPI) Index had fallen 28.57 points, or 1.46 percent, to 1,934.36 as of 11:15 a.m.

(2nd LD) Korea's exports up 21.9 pct in first 10 days of March

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports rose by more than 20 percent from a year earlier in the first 10 days of March, customs data showed Wednesday, but the new coronavirus outbreak may limit the growth of its exports and economy.

The country's outbound shipments came to US$13.3 billion in the March 1-10 period, up 21.9 percent from the same period last year, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

The daily average, however, slipped 2.5 percent on-year to $1.78 billion.

(3rd LD) More than 90 infections linked to Seoul call center, numbers feared to rise

SEOUL -- A total of 93 cases of coronavirus infection were found to be linked to a call center in southwestern Seoul, the capital's mayor said Wednesday, spawning concerns about potential mass transmission in the metropolitan area that is home to 25 million people.

"Based on a screening of 207 employees working at a call center on the 11th floor of Korea Building, 93 cases have been confirmed. The figure includes family members of the call center employees," Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a press briefing.

S. Korea to apply strict quarantine screening on arrivals from virus-hit Italy, Iran

SEOUL -- South Korea said on Wednesday that it will apply strict quarantine screening to entrants from COVID-19-hit Italy and Iran in addition to those arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.

Starting from midnight, passengers from the two countries grappling with spiking outbreaks of the novel coronavirus will be required to write a special quarantine report, answering questions about whether they have a fever or respiratory problems.

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