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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:02 April 27, 2020

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

(2nd LD) Moon says S. Korea to seek 'realistic, practical' ways for inter-Korean ties

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday his government will move ahead with "realistic and practical" cooperation with North Korea despite international constraints, holding out expectations for a fresh breakthrough in the coronavirus pandemic.

He was apparently referring to U.N.-led sanctions on Pyongyang as he spoke on the occasion of the second anniversary of his historic Panmunjom summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon warns about protracted war against coronavirus

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said South Korea needs to brace for a longer-term war against the coronavirus, warning the public not to lower its guard too early.

"COVID-19 is not over yet," he emphasized, speaking at a weekly meeting with his top Cheong Wa Dae aides at the presidential compound in Seoul. "The situation is that we have to get prepared for living uncomfortably with the coronavirus with a longtime war in mind."

(LEAD) Ex-President Chun appears in court amid protest by activists

GWANGJU -- Former President Chun Doo-hwan appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of making slanderous statements about 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, appeared at the Gwangju District Court, about 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on Monday afternoon. He was accompanied by his wife and former first lady Lee Soon-ja.

Chinese amb. vows efforts to expedite entry exception system for S. Korean biz people

SEOUL -- Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming said Monday he will try to bring into force as early as May "fast-track" entry for South Korean businesspeople into China in exception to current entry restrictions over the coronavirus.

His remark comes as Seoul and Beijing are discussing details to create the special entry system for businesspeople to minimize the fallout caused by entry curbs in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(4th 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).

Police launch probe into former Busan mayor's sexual harassment case

BUSAN -- Police on Monday announced the launch of an investigation into former Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don who resigned four days ago after admitting to sexual harassment.

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency said a 24-member police team has been formed to investigate Oh's case after two civic groups filed criminal complaints against the former mayor Friday.

S. Korea has never sounded out Japan about sending masks: ministry

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry denied a news report Monday that South Korea has expressed a willingness to provide Japan with face masks to help the neighboring country cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

A local newspaper reported earlier in the day that the government suggested the idea to some senior officials of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party through an unofficial channel, and Tokyo has not responded to the offer yet.

BOK offers additional US$1.2 bln to banks via U.S. currency swap

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) said Monday it will deliver an additional US$1.26 billion to local banks under its currency swap deal with the U.S. Fed in a move to help stabilize the local foreign exchange market.

The BOK held its fifth online auction to provide up to $4 billion.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound 1.8 pct on stimulus hopes, eased virus woes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed 1.79 percent higher Monday as the country continued to see the novel coronavirus outbreak wane. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 33.76 points to close at 1,922.77. Trading volume was moderate at 725 million shares worth 8 trillion won (US$6.5 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 738 to 126.

ESPN nearing deal to broadcast S. Korean baseball games: source

SEOUL -- The U.S. sports media giant ESPN is nearing a deal to broadcast South Korean baseball games to its American audience this season, an industry source told Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

The source, who requested anonymity because the deal wasn't finalized as of Monday afternoon, said ESPN could air multiple Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) games per week. The exact duration of the deal and proposed financial terms weren't immediately clear.

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