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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:41 April 02, 2020

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

(LEAD) Steady stream of imported cases continues: health authorities

SEOUL -- South Korea has continued to see a steady stream of new arrivals infected with the novel coronavirus as the country stepped up quarantine measures against entrants this week, public health authorities said Thursday.

Since Wednesday, all new arrivals have been required to undergo two weeks of self-isolation, as the country struggled to deal with a rise in imported cases.

S. Korea seeks ASEAN+3 summit on coronavirus: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- South Korea said Thursday it is pushing for a special video conference of the leaders of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) member states over the coronavirus.

South Korea is in "close consultations" with relevant nations to arrange the event, deputy presidential spokesman Yoon Jae-kwan said at a press briefing.

(2nd LD) Seoul city to test all int'l arrivals for virus

SEOUL -- Seoul city plans to test all international arrivals to the capital for the new coronavirus, Seoul's mayor said Thursday, as the city fights to contain the outbreak that is worsening due to imported cases.

To screen the large inflow of arrivals, the city will set up a walk-through screening center at a sports complex in eastern Seoul where the country hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988 and the 1986 Asian Games, according to Mayor Park Won-soon.

(LEAD) S. Korea OKs aid group's plan to provide hand sanitizers to N. Korea amid coronavirus fears

SEOUL -- South Korea has approved a local nonprofit organization's plan to provide hand sanitizers to North Korea to support Pyongyang's anti-coronavirus efforts, a unification ministry official has said, in the first such move this year amid chilly inter-Korean relations.

The approval was granted Tuesday, allowing the organization to supply hand sanitizers worth around 100 million won (US$81,000), the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Eastar Jet, union in talks over job cuts on virus impact

SEOUL -- Eastar Jet Co., a South Korean low-cost carrier, said Thursday it is in talks with its union over job cuts, raising worries over the possibility of industry-wide restructuring sparked by the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

Eastar Jet is in consultations with the 1,700-member strong union to return 10 out of 23 B737-800 aircraft to leasing companies and cut workforce by 40 percent through a voluntary retirement program, a company spokeswoman said over the phone.

S. Korea applies for local mask dance's UNESCO listing

SEOUL -- South Korea has applied for the inscription of the country's traditional mask dance drama "talchum" on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list, the heritage agency here has said.

The Cultural Heritage Administration said the application for the inscription on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, filed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was submitted to the U.N. body's headquarters Wednesday.

Two accomplices detained in Telegram sex exploitation case

SEOUL -- Two of three suspected co-conspirators of a high-profile digital sexual exploitation ring have been detained following the recent arrest of prime suspect Cho Ju-bin, police said Thursday.

Cho, a 25-year-old, has been put under arrest for allegedly blackmailing girls into sharing sexual videos, which were then posted in his pay-to-view chat room, dubbed "Baksabang," on the Telegram messenger service.

In phone summit, Colombia asks for supply of S. Korean medical devices

SEOUL -- Colombian President Ivan Duque expressed hope Thursday for the importation of South Korean-made medical products, including respirators, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Cheong Wa Dae said.

Speaking on the telephone with President Moon Jae-in, Duque said he is "deeply respectful" of South Korea's handling of COVID-19 and that Colombia desires to learn from it in "the most challenging moment in its history." The virus has sickened more than 900 people in the South American country, with at least 16 deaths.

(LEAD) Korean stocks up over 2 pct, won edges up

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks spiked by more than 2 percent Thursday, helped by stimulus measures and a rise in oil prices. The local currency slightly rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased 39.40 points, or 2.34 percent, to close at 1,724.86. Trading volume was moderate at 752 million shares worth some 9.5 trillion won (US$7.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 708 to 154.

The sharp increase came one day after the index plunged over 4 percent, dipping below the 1,700-point line again in four sessions.

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