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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 03, 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 reports 86 new virus cases, total tops 10,000

SEOUL -- South Korea continued to see a decline in new coronavirus cases Friday, but Seoul and the surrounding areas reported a continued rise in virus infections due to cluster transmission and imported cases.

The 86 new cases of COVID-19, detected Thursday and slightly down from 89 new cases a day earlier, brought the country's total cases to 10,062 and marked the 22nd consecutive day that new infections have hovered around 100 or fewer additional cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(LEAD) Nearly half of new virus cases reported in capital area: data

SEOUL -- Almost half of the new virus cases reported in South Korea on Friday were those in Seoul and surrounding areas, raising concerns over mass transmission in the area that is home to half of the country's population.

The country reported 86 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 10,062, according to the data by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(LEAD) ADB trims S. Korea's growth outlook for 2020 amid virus pandemic

SEOUL -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday slashed its outlook for South Korea's economic growth for 2020 by 1 percentage point to 1.3 percent amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The ADB's latest downward revision hovers far below the 2020 growth outlook suggested by the Bank of Korea, which expects Asia's No. 4 economy to expand 2.1 percent this year, with a possibility of a further cut.

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USFK commander's Twitter post draws criticism amid furloughs over tough defense cost talks

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Robert Abrams has drawn criticism over a tweet that appeared to mock South Korea for hastily expecting a deal in defense cost-sharing negotiations between the two countries.

On Thursday evening, Abrams retweeted a dictionary explanation of the traditional Korean idiom "to drink kimchi broth," saying he had just learned the expression "Don't eat your kimchi stew before the time is right," which means "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

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Moon vows support for proposed legislation on April 3 Jeju incident

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in assured Jeju residents Friday that his administration would make every possible effort to legislate compensation for the victims and bereaved families of the April 3 massacre there seven decades ago.

He was addressing an annual ceremony to commemorate the tragic incident, during which tens of thousands of civilians were killed by the authorities in a yearslong bloody crackdown on the southern island. They were protesting against U.S. military-led rule following Korea's liberation from the 1910-1945 colonial rule of Japan. The authorities labeled them as pro-communist forces amid a sharp ideological divide at that time.

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(LEAD) Korea's FX reserves dip US$8.9 bln in March, sharpest drop in over decade

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign exchange (FX) reserves dropped by the most in over a decade in March, due mainly to the strengthening of the U.S. greenback and its intervention in the currency market, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's FX reserves came to US$400.21 billion at the end of last month, down $8.96 billion from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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(LEAD) S. Korea-U.S. defense cost talks continue, never ended: senior official

WASHINGTON -- Defense-cost sharing negotiations between South Korea and the United States are ongoing to ensure an equitable and mutually beneficial deal for both sides, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

South Korean news reports suggested earlier that the two countries have tentatively reached an agreement on the sharing of costs for the stationing of 28,500 American troops in the Asian ally and could announce it as early as April 1.

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