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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:53 March 25, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea to require arrivals from U.S. to self-isolate for 2 weeks as imported cases jump
(ATTN: UPDATES with official's remarks, details in para 3, 6, paras 7-11; RECASTS headline, lead para)

SEOUL -- South Korea reported an uptick in new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, driven by a steady rise in infections in the Seoul metropolitan area and a jump in imported cases, prompting the authorities to require all passengers coming from the U.S. to self-isolate for two weeks.

The 100 new cases, which were detected on Tuesday and up from 76 new cases a day earlier, marked the 14th consecutive day that there were 100 or fewer additional cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) BOK to begin supplying dollars under U.S. currency swap deal next week: official
(ATTN: CHANGES attribution for official remarks throughout the story; ADDS more information in last 2 paras)

SEOUL -- South Korea is seeking to begin supplying U.S. dollars under its bilateral currency swap arrangement with the United States next week, a Bank of Korea (BOK) official said Wednesday, a move that is widely expected to help ease dollar shortage caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Negotiations are underway to finalize the currency swap deal, BOK Dep. Gov. Ryoo Sang-dai told reporters.

(3rd LD) Trump requests S. Korea's medical device support to fight COVID-19 in phone summit with Moon
(ATTN: UPDATES with White House readout in paras 11-12)

SEOUL -- U.S. President Donald Trump expressed hope Tuesday, in a phone conversation with President Moon Jae-in, that South Korea could provide medical equipment support, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon replied that his government would provide "maximum support" if available, as the two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

(LEAD) Telegram sex offender's case sent to prosecution
(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 6-7, 10-15, photo)

SEOUL -- A man suspected of blackmailing dozens of victims, including minors, into performing violent sex acts and selling the videos in mobile chat rooms was handed over to the prosecution on Wednesday for further investigation.

At least 74 people, including 16 underage girls, are known to have been exploited in the case, widely known as the "Nth room case," in which prime suspect Cho Ju-bin allegedly lured victims into taking photos and later coerced them into performing more gruesome sex acts.

(LEAD) S. Korea eyes stricter screening on all arrivals from U.S. starting Friday: PM
(ATTN: CLARIFIES 2nd para)

SEOUL -- South Korea's prime minister said Wednesday the government is targeting implementing stricter screening procedures for all arrivals from the United States over the new coronavirus starting no later than Friday.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun raised the urgency to tighten quarantine measures on all travelers from the U.S., citing spikes in imported cases of COVID-19.

(Yonhap Interview) Chief of N.K. defector support foundation vows to tackle blind spots in defector care

SEOUL -- South Korea's state-run agency supporting resettlement of North Korean defectors will fill one-third of its board members with defectors to better identify what they need so as to prevent tragedies, like last year's defector family deaths, from happening again, its new chief said.

The deaths of a 42-year-old defector, Han Sung-ok, and her six-year-old son shocked South Korea as they were believed to have died apparently from starvation months earlier when they were found at their home in southern Seoul in late July.


(LEAD) Virus-hit film industry pleads for government-led rescue plans
(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 3, 11-14)

SEOUL -- The local film industry on Wednesday called on the government to come up with emergency plans to rescue a sector battered by the novel coronavirus.

"The South Korean film industry is sinking into the abyss of a dead-end crisis," industry officials said in a joint statement. "Many firms in the industry have given up hope of overcoming and have been bidding farewell to their employees."


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