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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 27, 2020

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

(2nd LD) Loose social distancing looms large as new virus cases stay low

SEOUL -- In a sign of the containment of the new coronavirus, South Korea reported just 10 new cases Monday, but health authorities remain vigilant over the upcoming holidays, which could potentially lead to cluster infections.

It marked the fifth day in a row that the number of new infections stayed at 10 or below, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,738, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) N.K. leader sends gratitude to workers at tourist zone amid health rumors

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed his gratitude to workers building a tourist zone in the east coast region of Wonsan, state media said Monday, amid reports his special train is parked at the area amid persisting speculation about his health.

"Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has sent his appreciation to the workers who devoted themselves to building the Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone," the Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, said. The Korean Central Broadcasting Station carried a similar report.

(LEAD) S. Korea holds inter-Korean railway ceremony to mark 2nd anniversary of Moon-Kim summit

SEOUL -- South Korea on Monday held a ceremony renewing its commitment to reconnect inter-Korean railways as it marked the second anniversary Monday of the first summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Relinking two sets of cross-border roads and railways was one of the key agreements reached during the 2018 meeting at the border village of Panmunjom that set off a wave of detente, including the first-ever summit between the United States and North Korea.

Doosan Heavy to get additional 800 bln won from policy lenders

SEOUL -- South Korea's two policy lenders plan to provide additional financial assistance worth about 800 billion won (US$649.8 million) to troubled Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., a creditor bank official familiar with the matter said Monday.

The move by the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) comes two weeks after Doosan Group submitted Doosan Heavy's self-rescue plans to creditors.

Ex-President Chun to appear in court over libel case surrounding memoir

GWANGJU/SEOUL -- Former President Chun Doo-hwan on Monday was set to stand trial for allegedly making slanderous statements toward a late activist priest's eyewitness accounts of a brutal crackdown in his controversial memoir.

The 89-year-old, who led an authoritarian government from 1980-1988, was due to attend a hearing at the Gwangju District Court, about 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul, at 2 p.m.

Korea's April exports tipped to dip 25 pct: poll

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports are expected to have plunged by a whopping 25 percent in April from a year earlier, a poll showed Monday, as the new coronavirus pandemic has dealt a harsh blow to global trade and corporate activities.

Outbound shipments are estimated at US$36.4 billion this month, according to the poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency. The survey was carried out on nine local brokerage houses.

Suicide remains leading cause of death for S. Korean teens, youths

SEJONG -- Suicide remained the leading cause of death among young people in South Korea in 2018, a report showed Monday, a chronic problem that has plagued the nation for more than a decade.

The suicide rate per 100,000 people aged between 9 and 24 stood at 9.1 in 2018, up from 7.7 in 2017. Suicide has been the No. 1 cause of death for young people since 2007, according to the report by Statistics Korea. It peaked in 2009, when the suicide rate came to 10.3.

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