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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 22, 2020

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

(LEAD) Moon unveils 40 tln-won relief package for key industries, job retention

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday announced a massive relief package, worth 40 trillion won (US$32 billion), for South Korea's key industries disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds are meant to help them weather the crisis and protect jobs.
Moon also unveiled an additional job protection scheme that involves spending 10 trillion won to cushion the COVID-19 impact on the country's job market.

Exports of coronavirus test kits jump this month

SEJONG -- South Korea's exports of coronavirus test kits jumped on-year in the first 20 days of this month, data showed Wednesday.

Exports of test kits stood at US$131.9 million in the 20-day period, compared with $7.25 million for the same period last year, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

Ruling party pushes opposition over virus relief funds

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday continued to press the main opposition party over its changed stance on doling out funds to minimize the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The two parties have been embroiled in a complicated debate over the scope of the relief funds. The DP has called for payments to all citizens, while the United Future Party (UFP) has sided with the government on limiting the beneficiaries to those who fall in the lower 70 percent of income earners in a turnaround from its election pledge to pay money to all citizens.

Pro football league to meet with clubs Friday over new kickoff date

SEOUL -- The South Korean football league will meet with club officials Friday to determine the new kickoff date for the season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Korea Professional Football League, or the K League, said Wednesday that its board meeting with club executives will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at the Korea Football Association (KFA) House in Seoul.

S. Korea, Colombia share coronavirus information

SEJONG -- South Korea and Colombia shared information on the new coronavirus, including details on containment methods, and discussed economic measures to ease the fallout of the pandemic, Seoul's finance ministry said Wednesday.

South Korea's Deputy Finance Minister Heo Jang and Jose Manuel Restrepo, Colombia's commerce minister, also agreed to forge closer cooperation on an economic recovery after the pandemic wanes.

Remakes of S. Korean TV shows gain popularity in U.S., Europe

SEOUL -- In a reality singing competition television series on Fox, celebrities in extravagant costumes and face masks perform a cover of a famous song, while the audience and panelists who don't know the identity of the singers vote for their favorite.

This is the basic format of "The Masked Singer," a U.S. adaptation of the Korean show "King of Mask Singer" by MBC.

(3rd LD) Trump says, 'We don't know' about N.K. leader's health

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he does not know about the health condition of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but hopes he is doing well amid unconfirmed reports that the young leader may be seriously ill.

"These are reports that came out, and we don't know. We don't know," Trump said at a White House coronavirus press briefing. "I can only say this: I wish him well. Because if he is in the kind of condition that the reports say, that the news is saying, that's a very serious condition, as you know, but I wish him well."

S. Korea vows to support global food supply chains amid pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korean has expressed its intention to support global efforts to maintain global food supply chains amid the new coronavirus pandemic, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

Agricultural Minister Kim Hyeon-soo participated in a videoconference of the G-20 agricultural ministers a day earlier to discuss the global response against the COVID-19 pandemic in the food segment, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

(LEAD) Military to ease restrictions on off-installation visits over coronavirus

SEOUL -- The military will ease restrictions on enlisted service members' off-installation travel, the defense ministry said Wednesday, amid signs of a slowdown in the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The military has restricted all enlisted service personnel from vacationing, staying outside their bases and meeting visitors since mid-February after the Navy reported the first COVID-19 infection in barracks.

S. Korea reports 11 more cases of new coronavirus, total now at 10,694

SEOUL -- South Korea reported yet another single-digit increase in new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday in a clear sign of a slowdown in new infections, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,683.

The country detected 11 new COVID-19 infections, marking the fourth day in a row that the country's new virus infections stayed below 15, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

S. Korea's exports of cosmetics to Russia jump ninefold since 2014: KITA

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports of beauty products to Russia jumped nearly ninefold in 2019 from five years earlier on the back of the growing popularity of Korean pop culture, data showed Wednesday.

South Korea's exports of beauty products to Russia reached US$137.3 million in 2019, up from $15.5 million posted in 2014, according to the data compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

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