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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:00 March 17, 2020

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down over 3 pct late Tuesday morning after rollercoaster opening

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded sharply lower late Tuesday morning as investors remained concerned over the economic fallout from the virus pandemic. The Korean won also sank against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had surrendered 56.90 points, or 3.32 percent, as of 11:20 a.m., reaching 1,657.96.

(2nd LD) New cases in S. Korea stay low for 3rd day, cluster inflections rising in capital area

SEOUL -- South Korea recorded daily new infections of the new coronavirus in the double digits for the third straight day on Tuesday, but the daily tally in Seoul and its neighboring areas surpassed that in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the two epicenters of the fast-spreading virus.

The 84 new cases, which were detected on Monday and followed 74 new cases detected on Sunday and 76 new cases last Saturday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,320, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

(LEAD) S. Korea to launch 'emergency economic council' over coronavirus impact

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in announced plans Tuesday to establish an "emergency economic council" that will be headed by himself and push for additional bold steps to shore up South Korea's economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move reflects a growing sense of alarm over what he called "unprecedented emergency economic conditions," which are more serious than the 2008 global financial crisis. Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting, he raised the possibility that the impact from the global spread of COVID-19 could be "far bigger" than expected and prolonged.

Senior diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. hold phone talks over fight against new coronavirus

SEOUL -- Senior diplomats of South Korea and the United States held phone talks Tuesday to discuss joint efforts to fight the new coronavirus, the foreign ministry said, as Seoul's anti-virus efforts have led to a drop in new infections and a low fatality rate.

First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun discussed the global containment efforts and their countries' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that has sickened thousands of citizens and disrupted daily life in both countries.

Scientists develop washable face mask filter

SEOUL -- South Korean scientists have developed a face mask filter that retains its protective properties even after being washed over 20 times, a research university said Tuesday.

The development by a team led by Kim Il-doo at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) comes as the country struggles with a supply shortage of protective masks amid worries over the spread of the new coronavirus.

Trump: S. Korea did 'good job' but had 'tremendous problems' fighting virus

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that South Korea did a "good job" handling the coronavirus outbreak but also had "tremendous problems" at the start.

Trump made the remark at a White House press briefing as he defended his own administration's response to the growing outbreak in the United States.

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