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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 April 28, 2020

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

(LEAD) Virus hurts possibility of Xi's visit to S. Korea in first half of year: FM

SEOUL -- Chances of Chinese leader Xi Jinping visiting South Korea in the first half of the year have become more unlikely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Kang Kyug-wha said Tuesday.

South Korea and China have been in talks to arrange Xi's visit to Seoul in the first half of the year. South Korean officials said after a meeting between Xi and President Moon Jae-in in Beijing in December that the Chinese leader is certain to visit South Korea in the first half of this year

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on hopes for economic rebound

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher for the second straight day Tuesday amid hopes for an economic rebound, offsetting concerns over the fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 11.32 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 1,934.09. Trade volume was heavy at 1.16 billion shares worth 10.3 trillion won (US$8.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 487 to 343.

(LEAD) Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S. assess peninsula situation amid rumors about N.K. leader's health

SEOUL -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States exchanged their assessments of the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a phone call Tuesday, the foreign ministry said, amid speculation about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health.

The phone talks between Lee Do-hoon and his U.S. counterpart, Stephen Biegun, came as media reports about Kim's weekslong absence from the public eye spawned rumors about his health conditions despite Seoul's assessment that there was "nothing unusual" in the communist state.

Abrams: USFK to monitor S. Korea's easing of social distancing before deciding whether to follow suit

SEOUL -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Commander Gen. Robert Abrams said Tuesday that he will closely monitor the coronavirus situation in South Korea over the next couple of weeks before making a decision on a possible loosening of its virus-related guidelines.

USFK has implemented the Health Protection Condition Level of Charlie for all USFK installations, which limits non-necessary off-post activities to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Last week, it also renewed the current Public Health Emergency for a month to be in effect through May 23.

(3rd 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 in 100 days, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The country reported its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 20.

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