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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 March 20, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) S. Korea tightens quarantine on arrivals from Europe, new virus cases dip below 100 again

SEOUL -- South Korea recorded fewer than 100 new daily virus cases again on Friday, but health authorities remained on high alert over new cluster infections and imported cases, mainly from Europe.

The 87 new cases, which were detected Thursday, brought the nation's total number of infections to 8,652, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The daily infection rate has been in double digits this week, except for the 152 new cases reported Wednesday.

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Seoul stocks rebound 5 pct, Korean won spiking from 11-year low

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks expanded gains late Friday morning as investors became more confident over economic stimulus measures around the globe. The Korean won surged against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had rebounded 65.41 points, or 4.49 percent, to 1,523.05 as of 11:15 a.m., sharply rebounding from the lowest in more than a decade.

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(LEAD) U.S. currency swap deal to stabilize market: authorities

SEOUL -- South Korea's currency swap agreement with the United States will help stabilize the domestic foreign exchange market hit by the global financial turmoil, Seoul's financial authorities said Friday.

Seoul struck a US$60 billion currency swap deal with Washington on Thursday, which will be in place for at least six months. It is the second of its kind since 2008.

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Samsung to shutter TV plant in Slovakia over coronavirus

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will shut down its TV manufacturing plant in Slovakia due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The South Korean tech titan said its Slovakian factory will be closed for a week starting Monday. However, Samsung said the company's TV production facilities in Poland and Hungary will operate as normal.

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(2nd LD) U.S. warns nearly half of Korean workers on bases to be furloughed

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- Nearly half of South Korean employees with U.S. Forces Korea will be furloughed next month unless the two sides reach a cost-sharing deal, the U.S. State Department said Friday, after the latest round of negotiations ended without an agreement.

Seoul's top negotiator, Jeong Eun-bo, and his U.S. counterpart, James DeHart, held a seventh round of talks in Los Angeles from Tuesday through Thursday to renew the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) on splitting the cost of stationing 28,500 American troops on the peninsula. They were initially to meet for two days but extended their negotiation for another day.

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(LEAD) FM Kang calls for efforts to minimize economic, social fallout from coronavirus

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called Friday for joint efforts with China and Japan to minimize the social and economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak as she held a videoconference with her counterparts, her office said.

"I believe the three countries should discuss the need to minimize the economic and social shock, as well as the contraction in people-to-people exchanges and cooperation due to this crisis, along with (efforts to) stem the virus spread," she said during the call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

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S. Korea's overseas direct investment up 21 pct in 2019

SEJONG -- South Korea's overseas direct investment rose 21 percent in 2019 from a year earlier due mainly to increased investment by financial and insurance companies, data showed Friday.

Investments made by South Korean companies came to US$61.85 billion in 2019, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
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