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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:44 March 25, 2020

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

Moon to share S. Korea's coronavirus experience in G-20 summit

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in will brief other global leaders on his country's "effective" response to the novel coronavirus when they hold a special teleconference this week, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

The Group of 20 (G-20) major economies are scheduled to open the session at 9 p.m. Thursday (Seoul time) for discussions on COVID-19 following Moon's proposal during his phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rally for 2nd day on stimulus measures, Korean won sharply up

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks rallied for the second day in a row on Wednesday as investor sentiment improved on the back of stimulus measures around the globe to tackle the economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 94.79 points, or 5.89 percent, to close at 1,704.76, extending gains from the previous session. On Monday, the index spiked 8.6 percent, its sharpest daily increase since Oct. 30, 2008.

47 countries ask about coronavirus test kits, 39 call for humanitarian aid: official

SEOUL -- A total of 47 countries have asked about importing South Korean-made coronavirus test kits while an additional 39 countries requested the kits as humanitarian aid, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday.

Such calls have been rising as Seoul has recently been garnering global recognition for its diagnostic capabilities, quarantine efforts and medical infrastructure that have led to a relatively low fatality rate despite an increase in new COVID-19 cases.

(4th LD) Telegram sex offender's case sent to prosecution

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.

(2nd LD) USFK begins issuing furlough notices to Korean employees

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) began notifying 5,000 South Korean employees Wednesday that they would be furloughed starting next month, officials said, as defense cost-sharing talks between the two countries remain stalled.

The two sides have been negotiating a new Special Measures Agreement (SMA) that stipulates how much Seoul should pay for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong USFK. Salaries of about 9,000 South Korean employees are also funded under the agreement.

(3rd LD) S. Korea to require arrivals from U.S. to self-isolate for 2 weeks as imported cases jump

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 passengers coming from the U.S. for long-term stay 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). Fifty-nine virus patients are in critical condition.

S. Korea's recovery rate for COVID-19 patients tops 40 pct

SEOUL -- The recovery rate of patients infected with the new coronavirus topped 40 percent, data showed Wednesday.

Since its first outbreak on Jan. 20, the country has reported a total of 9,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with 3,730 of them, or 40.8 percent, being fully recovered and released from quarantine, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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