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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 24, 2020

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

(LEAD) N.K. media stay mum on leader's whereabouts amid rumors on his health

SEOUL -- North Korean media outlets have stayed mum on leader Kim Jong-un's whereabouts without putting out any reports on his public activity amid persisting speculation over his health.

Speculation about Kim's health problems spiked after CNN reported earlier this week, citing a U.S. official, that Washington is looking into intelligence that Kim is in "grave danger" after a surgery.

(2nd LD) New virus cases surely on downward trend, no additional death reported

SEOUL -- South Korea reported another single-digit number of new coronavirus cases with no deaths Friday, but health authorities again urged citizens to abide by the social distancing campaign to further contain the virus outbreak. The country also decided to use electronic wristbands on self-isolation violators starting next week.

The country added six new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,708, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Gov't to allow citizens to buy three masks each week, send 1 mln masks to foreign war veterans

SEOUL -- The government said Friday it will allow people in South Korea to buy three discounted face masks per week under a public distribution system and also announced a plan to supply Korean War veterans abroad with 1 million masks.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said citizens would need more masks once they increase economic activities, going forward.

(LEAD) Military eases restrictions on off-installation visits amid coronavirus

SEOUL -- The military on Friday began partially allowing enlisted service members' off-installation travel amid signs of a slowdown in the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

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

USFK extends public health emergency over coronavirus

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Robert Abrams renewed the military's public health emergency over the new coronavirus for another month Friday, his office said.

USFK's initial emergency status over COVID-19, declared March 25, expired Thursday. The renewed status will stay in effect until May 23, unless otherwise notified.

(LEAD) Trump says report on N.K. leader's health was 'incorrect'

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he believes a recent CNN report on Kim Jong-un's failing health was "incorrect."

"I'm hearing they used old documents. That's what I hear," he said during a White House coronavirus press briefing. "I'm hearing that the report was an incorrect report. I hope it was an incorrect report."

S. Korea discovers more Korean War remains inside DMZ

SEOUL -- The defense ministry said Friday it has discovered four pieces of bones and hundreds of items believed to be from soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border with North Korea.

The bone pieces, along with 307 articles, were unearthed this week during an excavation project on Arrowhead Ridge, a former battle site inside the DMZ that separates the two Koreas, according to the ministry.

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