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Yonhap News Summary

All News 16:52 April 13, 2020

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

(LEAD) Moon urges policy measures to shield employment amid coronavirus crisis

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday instructed his economic team to map out timely "special" measures to insulate jobs in the private sector, hours after the release of a report showing a surge in the number of dole applications in South Korea.

He stressed the need to help firms maintain employment despite challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and suggested an initiative by the public sector for those who are not covered by the government's insurance system.

(LEAD) Telegram chat room operator indicted for sexual exploitation

SEOUL -- The leader of a high-profile digital sexual exploitation ring was indicted and referred for court trial Monday for allegedly producing and distributing sexual exploitation materials online for profits, prosecutors said.

Cho Ju-bin is accused of blackmailing female victims, including underage girls, into providing their sexual videos from last May to February, which were then posted in his pay-to-view chat room, dubbed "Baksabang," meaning doctor's room in Korean, on the Telegram messenger service, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office.

(LEAD) Police file arrest warrant for self-isolation violator

SEOUL -- Police said Monday they have requested the detention of a 68-year-old man who went outside despite being placed under coronavirus-related self-isolation.

"(Police) have filed an arrest warrant this morning for a Songpa Ward resident who repeatedly violated self-isolation rules after returning from the United States," Lee Yong-pyo, commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, told reporters.

Economic activities could start to get back on track next month: think tank

SEOUL -- South Korea's economy may start to get back on the normalization track next month at the earliest, recovering from the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus, a report suggested Monday.

The report from the Hana Institute of Finance said the number of new coronavirus infection cases in China peaked about a month after national quarantine efforts got under way and that the world's No. 2 economy began to normalize about one to two months after that.

Consumers think coronavirus pandemic may last over 4 months: poll

SEOUL -- Consumers at home and abroad think the coronavirus pandemic will likely grip the world for more than four months from now, an international poll showed Monday.

The survey of 6,566 people in six countries -- South Korea, the United States, China, Germany, Italy and Britain -- showed they believe it may take an average of 17 weeks before the end of the coronavirus outbreak and a return to normal life.

Election watchdog prioritizes preventing COVID-19 self-isolators from having contact with other voters

SEOUL -- South Korea's election watchdog said Monday it will prioritize preventing those in self-isolation over the new coronavirus from having contact with other voters when they cast ballots in this week's elections.

The government will allow people ordered to go into self-quarantine from April 1-14 and without symptoms of the virus to vote in Wednesday's parliamentary elections after regular voting ends at 6 p.m.

2 S. Korean firms to ship coronavirus test kits to U.S. this week

SEOUL -- Two South Korean companies are expected to ship their coronavirus test kits to the United States by plane this week, a foreign ministry official said Monday, after their products won interim approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The two firms and another company have signed contracts with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to export their test kits after they won pre-emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Seoul mulls reducing intensity of social distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea will consider reducing the intensity of the ongoing social distancing campaign later this week, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Monday, as the number of new coronavirus cases has been stabilizing over the past week.

The government extended its high-intensity social distancing campaign by another two weeks through April 19, urging the entire nation to abide by strict quarantine guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19. The tougher social distancing has called on people to avoid outdoor activities and mass gatherings in confined places, such as religious services.

(LEAD) Seoul down 1.9 pct on virus woes, weak data

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed 1.88 percent lower Monday as investors were concerned about the spiraling number of COVID-19 infections in major economies despite signs of a slowdown locally, analysts said. The Korean won sharply fell against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) decreased 34.94 points to close at 1,825.76. Trading volume was high at 1 billion shares worth 9.4 trillion won (US$7.73 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 694 to 180.


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