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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:06 April 16, 2020

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

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(LEAD) Ruling party wins landslide in parliamentary elections amid pandemic

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's ruling party clinched a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, which is set to give it an upper hand in pushing ahead with its agenda as the country faces a virus pandemic and an economic slowdown.

In the quadrennial election, held as scheduled on Wednesday despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic Party and its satellite group were estimated to have secured a combined 180 seats in the 300-seat unicameral National Assembly, according to data from the National Election Commission (NEC) on Thursday.

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Moon says he feels 'heavy responsibility' after election victory

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he feels a sense of "heavy responsibility" rather than delight over the ruling party's crushing victory in this week's parliamentary elections.

In a statement, he described the election results as a "great choice of the people."

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(2nd LD) USFK removes travel restrictions for Daegu after decline in

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Thursday it has removed travel restrictions for South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu as new coronavirus cases in the area have been on the decline recently.

In February, USFK designated Daegu as a coronavirus "hot spot" and banned all service members from making nonessential travel to, from and around the city, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases there began to surge sharply.

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(LEAD) N. Korean defector wins first-ever constituency seat in parliament

SEOUL -- A high-profile North Korean defector won a constituency seat in this week's general elections, becoming the first person hailing from the communist nation to be chosen directly by South Korean voters as their representative.

Thae Yong-ho, a former No. 2 diplomat at North Korea's Embassy in London, was elected to the National Assembly as the main conservative opposition United Future Party's candidate in Seoul's southern affluent district of Gangnam.

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(LEAD) BOK to launch special loan scheme for banks, brokerages, insurers

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank said Thursday it will launch a special loan scheme that allows local banks, brokerages and insurers to help fend off a possible funding crunch and easily access credit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the special loan program of 10 trillion won (US$8.1 billion), which will begin from May 4 for three months, local banks, brokerages and insurers can take out special loans against collateral from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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(LEAD) More students resume classes online but networks remain unstable

SEOUL -- An additional 3.12 million elementary and secondary students began the spring semester Thursday by participating in online classes amid the nationwide battle against the coronavirus, but the unprecedented tele-education was marred by network access problems at many places.

Under the government's three-step plan, first and second graders at middle schools and high schools, as well as fourth to sixth graders at elementary schools, began the new semester through remote learning.

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