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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 April 28, 2020

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

(2nd LD) With lax social distancing in store, virus curve flattens for days

SEOUL -- South Korea reported fewer than 15 cases of the new coronavirus for the 10th day in a row Tuesday, with the upcoming holidays set to be crucial in whether the country can go ahead with a lax social distancing drive next week.

The country reported 14 new virus cases, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,752, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) Decisive action needed to boost spending as economy faces further slump: Moon

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for swift and decisive policy action to revitalize the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as Asia's fourth-largest economy is planning on a multi-trillion-won extra budget to boost domestic demand.

"We need to become a swift government first and foremost. The damage will become bigger and difficulties of the people and businesses will become more severe if executions of measures are delayed," Moon said at a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

S. Korea needs additional 4.6 tln won to give relief handouts to every household

SEJONG -- South Korea needs an additional 4.6 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) to give coronavirus relief handouts to every household, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Tuesday, as part of the government's plans to ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea had originally planned to give relief handouts to households that rank in the bottom 70 percent of gross income, but it changed the plans to provide the handouts to every household.

Army to decide possible identity disclosure of enlistee over online sex crime case

SEOUL -- The Army said Tuesday it will hold a deliberation session to decide whether to disclose the identity of an enlisted soldier accused of involvement in a high-profile sexual exploitation case.

The private first class is suspected of distributing content of women performing gruesome sex acts under coercion in collaboration with the so-called Nth room case's prime suspect, Cho Ju-bin.

(2nd LD) Trump says he knows how N.K. leader is doing but can't talk about it yet

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he knows how North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is doing and wishes him well amid speculation he may be gravely ill, but refused to offer details.

"I do have a very good idea, but I can't talk about it now. I just wish him well. I've had a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un," Trump said during a White House press conference.

Convicted sex offenders banned from taking teacher recruitment exam

SEOUL -- Anyone convicted of sexual offenses will be barred from taking the teacher recruitment exam, the Ministry of Education said Tuesday, as the relevant law has been revised under the government's drive to stamp out sexual violence.

The Cabinet meeting approved the revision of the Decree on the Appointment of Public Education Officials in the morning, providing the legal grounds for prohibiting people punished for sexual crimes from applying for teaching positions at local schools, the ministry said.

S. Korea to invest 1.1 tln won in developing techs for self-driving cars by 2027

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it will spend some 1.1 trillion won (US$896 million) on developing technologies for "high automation" vehicles that can lead growth in the automobile market.

The investment calls for the development of "level four" autonomous cars, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

(LEAD) Minister says N.K. media reports suggest Kim executes state affairs normally

SEOUL -- North Korean state media have continued reports on leader Kim Jong-un's work in an indication that he is handling state affairs normally, Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Tuesday, amid persisting speculation about the leader's health.

Kim Jong-un has stayed out of public view for about two weeks since he was last seen in a political bureau meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on April 11, but North Korean media outlets have reported on his daily routine schedule, according to the minister.

Childbirths drop 6.5 pct in February

SEJONG -- The number of babies born in South Korea dropped 6.5 percent in February from a year earlier, data showed Tuesday, in the latest evidence underscoring the low birthrate that has plagued Korea's economy for more than a decade.

The data compiled by Statistics Korea showed that 22,854 infants were born in February, compared with 25,772 tallied in the same month of 2019.

Seoul shares down slightly late Friday morning

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded slightly lower late Tuesday morning due to foreign and institutional selling.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index was down 5.42 points, or 0.28 percent, at 1,917.35 as of 11:20 a.m.

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