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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:38 April 10, 2020

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

(LEAD) New virus cases fall below 30 for first time in 50 days, Daegu reports no new cases

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus infections fell below 30 on Friday for the first time since Feb. 20, with the southeastern city of Daegu, once the nation's epicenter, reporting no new cases for the first time.

The 27 new cases, detected Thursday and down from 39 a day ago, brought the nation's total infections to 10,450, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Daegu reports no new virus cases for 1st time

SEOUL -- South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu, once considered the country's epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, reported no additional infections Friday for the first time since the outbreak there nearly two months ago.

In the latest sign of a slowdown in the spread of the virus, the number of new infections in the city located 300 kilometers south of Seoul stood at 6,807, unchanged from a day earlier, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Unfazed by virus scare, S. Koreans hit polls as early voting begins

SEOUL -- Voters wearing face masks and disposable gloves cast their ballots on Friday not long after a two-day early voting period kicked off amid the virus pandemic that has infected more than 10,000 here.

Some 3,500 polling stations were set up across the country, running from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to the National Election Commission.

Parcel services help curb panic buying in S. Korea: data

SEOUL -- Hoarding of daily necessities in South Korea briefly occurred in late February as the country braced for a sharp rise in the outbreak of the new coronavirus, but the country saw little panic buying of such goods induced by the novel coronavirus in part on the back of a well-built parcel delivery system, industry data showed Friday.

Delivery of basic essentials, such as canned goods and instant noodles, nearly tripled during the fourth week of February compared with a week earlier, according to the data by major logistics player CJ Logistics Corp.

New Navy chief calls for strict discipline, readiness posture

SEOUL -- The new Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Boo Suk-jong on Friday called for strict discipline and readiness posture among service members in the wake of a series of security breaches blamed on lax behavior.

Boo made the remarks in an inauguration speech, noting that "disgraceful" incidents have tarnished the honor of the Navy. He was apparently referring to security breaches reported at Navy bases in recent months.

S. Korea's Olympic basketball qualifying tournament postponed

SEOUL -- The men's Olympic basketball qualifying tournament involving South Korea has been pushed back by a year, following the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games to 2021.

FIBA, the international basketball governing body, announced Friday the qualifying matches will now be played between June 22 and July 4 next year, with the exact dates pending approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

N. Korea set to hold parliamentary meeting amid nationwide virus fight

SEOUL -- North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature was to hold a once-or-twice-a-year session on Friday, with economic and public health issues expected to take center stage amid its ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus.

The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) usually meets in April every year to address the state budget and Cabinet reshuffling, but it has been closely watched from outside for any glimpse into the reclusive state's stance on foreign affairs, including its stance on denuclearization talks with the United States.

(LEAD) Moon casts early vote for next week's general elections

SEOUL -- Wearing a face mask and disposable gloves, President Moon Jae-in cast his ballot Friday, as South Korea began two-day early voting for the April 15 parliamentary elections that are seen as a referendum on Moon.

He voted at a polling booth inside the Samcheong-dong community service center near Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

S. Korean, U.S. Army chiefs vow cooperation in fighting virus

SEOUL -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Suh Wook and his U.S. counterpart held a phone conversation Friday and vowed cooperation in fighting the spread of the new coronavirus and maintaining readiness posture, his office said.

The talks with U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville took place at the request of the American general to share information on the South Korean military's response to COVID-19, the Army said.

(LEAD) U.S. Treasury updates N.K. sanctions rules in line with new law

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it has revised its regulations to incorporate North Korea sanctions provisions contained in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

The revisions do not add new sanctions on North Korea, but reinforce the department's wide-ranging efforts to block the communist regime's access to funds that could be used to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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