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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:50 March 18, 2020

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

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(3rd LD) New virus cases below 100 for 4th day, but clusters continue to emerge

SEOUL -- South Korea recorded daily new infections of the new coronavirus in double digits for the fourth straight day Wednesday, as health authorities have stayed alert for cluster infections across the nation.

The 93 new cases, which were detected Tuesday and followed the 84 new cases detected on Monday and 74 on Sunday, brought the nation's total infections to 8,413, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

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(LEAD) Seoul capital area on edge as infections continue to soar

SEOUL -- While the number of new coronavirus cases reported in South Korea remained below 100 for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, cases in the capital area continued to rise, raising concerns over mass transmission in the region, home to 25 million people.

Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, reported 15 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 277, according to the latest data by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(2nd LD) S. Korea, U.S. resume defense cost-sharing negotiations

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States have opened a new round of defense cost-sharing talks in Los Angeles, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, as Korean workers in the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) face unpaid leave absent a deal to bankroll their wages.

Seoul's top negotiator Jeong Eun-bo and his U.S. counterpart, James DeHart, began the two-day negotiation session on Tuesday, following a two-month hiatus that underscored the deadlock over how much Seoul should pay for stationing the 28,500-strong USFK.

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S. Korea to bring home part of rotational troops from South Sudan

SEOUL -- South Korea will bring back part of its troops from South Sudan without sending a replacement contingent for the time being due to coronavirus concerns, government sources said Wednesday.

The decision to bring home about 210 troops of the 270-strong Hanbit Unit came after South Sudan officially asked Seoul and other foreign countries not to send fresh troops in the wake of the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus across the globe.

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(LEAD) Samsung expects chip demand to grow this year

SUWON -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chip maker, said Wednesday it expects this year's chip demand to grow despite concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

During an annual shareholder meeting, Kim Ki-nam, who leads Samsung's device solutions division, said that "external uncertainties" will continue this year but global chip demand will increase.

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U.S. commander sees no unusual activity inside N. Korea's missile forces

WASHINGTON -- The United States has detected no unusual activity inside North Korea's missile forces since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said Tuesday.

In a telephone briefing with reporters, Adm. Charles Richard was asked about the missile forces of Iran and North Korea and what impact the virus has had on them.

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BTS postpones ticketing for Europe leg of new world tour over coronavirus

SEOUL -- K-pop boy band BTS has postponed ticket sales for the European leg of its new world tour, "Map of the Soul Tour," set for July, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Due to recent events, BTS 'Map of the Soul Tour - Europe' ticket sale will be rescheduled," the British branch of Live Nation, which organizes the European leg, said in an SNS message Tuesday (local time).
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