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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 April 20, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea reports fewer than 20 virus cases for 3rd day

SEOUL -- South Korea reported 13 more cases of the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,674.

It marked the third day in a row that the country's new virus infections stayed below 20, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Seoul stocks extend gains late Monday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Monday morning, helped by retail buying amid signs of the global coronavirus spread easing.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,920.05 as of 11:20 a.m.

Investor concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be easing after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday (local time) the state may be past the high point of coronavirus deaths, analysts said.

(LEAD) Gov't resumes physical checkups for potential draftees

SEOUL -- The government resumed physical checkups for potential draftees Monday after a monthslong suspension over the coronavirus outbreak, the military manpower agency said.

The examinations were halted on Feb. 24 for two weeks as the country witnessed a drastic surge in COVID-19 cases. The suspension was extended as part of the military authorities' all-out efforts to stop the virus from spreading in military barracks.

U.S. ambassador's tweet on Global Hawk sparks controversy over publicity of sensitive military assets

SEOUL -- U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris' recent tweet about the arrival of Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in South Korea has sparked controversy over whether it is appropriate to reveal developments regarding sensitive military assets without consent from the host country.

On Sunday, Harris said on his Twitter account, "Congratulations to the U.S.-ROK Security Cooperation teams on delivering Global Hawk to the ROK this week," with a photo of two units of RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

S. Korea resumes war remains excavation project inside DMZ

SEOUL -- South Korea resumed excavating remains on its own of soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Monday, the defense ministry said, as Pyongyang remains unresponsive to calls to work together as agreed.

Under a bilateral military accord signed Sept. 19, 2018, the two Koreas agreed to launch a joint excavation project on Arrowhead Ridge, one of the fiercest battlefields during the war. But the South carried out the project alone last year, as the North did not respond to calls for joint work.

S. Korea's economy seen contracting 1.81 pct in Q1: poll

SEOUL -- South Korea's economy is expected to report a 1.81 percent on-quarter contraction in the first quarter of the year, a poll showed Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic crippled industrial output, consumer spending and job markets in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

It would be the sharpest quarterly contraction since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the nation's economy contracted 3.3 percent on-quarter, according to the survey conducted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency.

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