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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:42 May 04, 2020

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

(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day winning streak on renewed U.S.-China tensions

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks snapped a three-day rally to drop more than 2 percent Monday on renewed tensions between the United States and China amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 52.19 points, or 2.68 percent, to close at 1,895.37.

(LEAD) 2 defector-turned-politicians apologize for remarks over N.K. leader's ill health

SEOUL -- Two North Korean defectors elected as lawmakers in South Korea apologized Monday for their remarks suggesting Kim Jong-un's ill health amid public criticism over fake news about the North.

Thae Yong-ho, a former No. 2 diplomat in North Korea's Embassy in London, apologized as criticism has not subsided over the defector-turned-politicians' unconfirmed remarks on Kim's health.

(LEAD) S. Korean schools to reopen next week as virus infections fall

SEOUL -- South Korea on Monday announced plans to reopen schools starting next week, more than two months after schools were closed in a precautionary measure against the new coronavirus.

"Starting on May 20, which is two weeks after key holidays in May, we will push to (reopen schools) in a phased and sequential process," Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said at a press briefing.

Lawmakers to vote on bill to permit voters to propose constitutional revision Friday

SEOUL -- The National Assembly will hold a plenary meeting this week to vote on a bill to permit a million voters to propose a constitutional revision, as the ongoing extra session is set to end in mid-May, lawmakers said Monday.

In March, nearly 150 ruling and opposition lawmakers submitted to the parliament a motion to amend a constitutional clause in a bid to allow voters to propose a constitutional revision, along with a majority of lawmakers and the president.

Moon hopes for economic effects from cash handouts for families

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in expressed hope Monday that the government's unprecedented "emergency disaster relief payments" for all households in South Korea will serve as a catalyst to reinvigorate the economy dampened by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The government will do its best to have the emergency disaster relief payments, which would be granted for the first time in (South Korea's) history, delivered rapidly and conveniently," he said at the start of a weekly meeting with his senior Cheong Wa Dae aides. "I expect it to be of help to economic revitalization, even a little."

S. Korea's top military commander, NATO military chief vow cooperation against coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki held phone talks with NATO's military committee chief Monday and vowed cooperation to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and other non-traditional security threats, Park's office said.

During the conversation with Stuart Peach, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Park shared the country's response to the COVID-19 virus as well as the military's role in stemming the spread of the virus, according to the JCS.

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