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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:02 April 22, 2020

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

S. Korea unveils 'everyday life quarantine' guidelines

SEOUL -- South Korea on Wednesday unveiled a set of guidelines for "everyday life quarantine" amid a slowdown in new coronavirus cases.

The draft of new guidelines centers on preventative hygiene measures that communities and individuals should follow when the country initiates "everyday life quarantine," which would allow people to engage in a certain level of economic and social activities while maintaining distance to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

(2nd LD) Korea to sharply increase aid package for virus-hit firms, job protection

SEJONG -- South Korea's finance ministry said Wednesday it will sharply increase the size of the nation's aid package for coronavirus-hit companies and job protection.

The aid package will rise to 135 trillion (US$109 billion) won from 100 trillion won, which had been set previously, to supply more liquidity into companies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a statement.

Virus from relapse cases not highly infectious: KCDC

SEOUL -- South Korea's health authorities said Wednesday the novel coronavirus detected from the country's relapse cases appears to be not very infectious or transmissible.

Of the 39 culture tests using samples collected from people who retested positive for COVID-19 after making full recoveries, six were completed and all tested negative for the novel coronavirus, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Still no unusual signs in N. Korea: Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday it has not seen any unusual indications in North Korea that may suggest its leader Kim Jong-un's reported serious health problem.

"There has been no unusual activity" in the secretive communist neighbor in connection with news reports that Kim is critically ill, a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on the customary condition of anonymity.

S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm efforts for 'fair, mutually acceptable' defense cost-sharing deal

SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States called Wednesday for a fair and mutually acceptable deal from their defense cost talks as the negotiations remain deadlocked since U.S. President Donald Trump rejected Seoul's offer to increase its contribution as insufficient.

The defense cost issue was one of the agenda items for the 17th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) that the two countries held via a videoconference, along with North Korea issues and joint efforts to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

(LEAD) USFK soldiers demoted for visiting off-post bar, returning through fence hole

SEOUL -- Three American soldiers based in South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu have been demoted and ordered to pay forfeiture for exiting their post in violation of coronavirus quarantine rules and coming back through a hole in the fence, the 8th Army said Wednesday.

A private first class of the 94th Military Police Battalion is accused of exiting Camp Walker in Daegu, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, for an unauthorized purpose and entering the post through a hole he created in the installation's fence, according to the Army.

Panel accuses former president's aides of obstructing Sewol probe

SEOUL -- A state truth commission on Wednesday accused senior members of the Park Geun-hye administration of obstructing a fact-finding team on the 2014 deadly ferry sinking.

The Special Investigation Commission on Social Disasters said it will request a prosecution probe this week into 19 former and incumbent officials and 10 government bodies on charges of interfering with personnel affairs of a now defunct state panel tasked with probing the Sewol ferry's sinking and the government's mishandling of the disaster.

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