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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 March 13, 2020

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

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(5th LD) S. Korea's new infections further slow amid woes over cluster outbreak, imported cases

SEOUL -- South Korea saw another decline in its daily new infections Friday, as massive testings in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the new coronavirus here, were nearing an end, but health authorities were ramping up measures to contain cluster infections across the nation.

The 110 new cases of the coronavirus, which were detected Thursday and marked the lowest number of daily infections in more than two weeks, brought the nation's total infections to 7,979.

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(5th LD) Seoul stocks in freefall to almost 8-year low, but trim earlier losses on policy hope

SEOUL -- South Korean shares suffered a headlong fall Friday, plunging by more than 8 percent at one point but recouping some of the earlier losses to close 3.4 percent down, as financial authorities vowed to support a market jolted by the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The Korean won finished at a six-month low against the U.S. dollar, after dipping to a 4-year low to the greenback earlier in the day.

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S. Korea temporarily bans stock short selling

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday announced a temporary ban on stock short selling for six months amid a market rout triggered by the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The Financial Services Commission said the six-month ban will affect all listed firms, starting from Monday.

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(2nd LD) 126 countries, territories restricting entry from coronavirus-hit S. Korea

SEOUL -- A total of 126 countries and territories were imposing an entry ban or tougher quarantine procedures for people from South Korea over coronavirus fears Friday, up by three from the previous day, the foreign ministry said.

As of 2 p.m., 51 countries and territories were barring the entry of travelers who have been in Korea at least in the past two weeks, joined by Honduras, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sudan.

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(2nd LD) Moon urges 'unprecedented' special steps for pandemic-hit economy

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in called Friday for "unprecedented" policy measures to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, speaking at a rare Cheong Wa Dae meeting with the country's finance minister and central bank chief.

Moon received an emergency briefing on the real economy and the financial market jolted by growing worries about the global spread of COVID-19.

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(2nd LD) Virus cases continue to increase in Seoul, but growth slows

SEOUL -- New cases of the new coronavirus reported in Seoul on Friday slowed from earlier in the week, but officials said it is yet too early to "lower guard" against the contagious virus.

"We seem to have extinguished the big fire, but we cannot lower our guard. ... There is a possibility that (the call center infection) may emit sparks to other areas," Park said in a press briefing streamed on YouTube.

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(2nd LD) 7 more coronavirus cases reported at Sejong gov't complex

SEOUL -- South Korea added seven more new coronavirus cases from the oceans ministry in the administrative capital of Sejong on Friday, bringing the number of patients among public servants in the city to 30.

The total number of COVID-19 patients from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries jumped to 25, after adding 13 new cases a day earlier. Two family members of the infected staff were also confirmed with the virus.

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S. Korea, U.S. to hold defense cost-sharing talks in L.A. next week

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States will hold a new round of defense cost-sharing talks in Los Angeles next week, the foreign ministry said Friday, amid growing concerns over potential furloughs for Korean employees in the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

Seoul's top negotiator Jeong Eun-bo and his U.S. counterpart, James DeHart, will lead the negotiations on Tuesday and Wednesday as some 9,000 Korean workers are facing unpaid leave, which would begin on April 1 absent a new cost-sharing deal, called the Special Measures Agreement (SMA).

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