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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:14 May 06, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) S. Korea reports no new local virus cases for 3rd day amid lax social distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea reported two more cases of the new coronavirus, all of which are imported cases, on Wednesday, marking no local new infections for the third consecutive day amid relaxed social distancing.

The new infections brought the nation's total caseload to 10,806, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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Rumors over Kim Jong-un's illness not true, no sign of surgery: spy agency

SEOUL -- South Korea's spy agency denied rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's illness and ensuing surgery in a parliamentary committee Wednesday.

Kim's absence from an annual event marking the April 15 birth anniversary of his late grandfather and national founder Kim Il-sung had spawned speculation that he might be seriously ill.

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UNC drawing up report on DMZ gunfire case after field inspection

SEOUL -- The U.S.-led United Nations Command is drawing up a report on a recent border shooting incident between South and North Korea after a field inspection into the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone, officials said Wednesday.

On Sunday, four bullets from North Korea hit a South Korean guard post in the central part of the DMZ in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, prompting South Korean troops to fire back, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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PM calls for maintaining daily social distancing as new quarantine scheme begins

SEOUL -- South Korea's prime minister called on citizens Wednesday to thoroughly maintain social distancing in their daily lives as the country began to relax quarantine rules amid a declining number of new coronavirus infections.

After the implementation of strict social distancing measures for six weeks, the government began to switch to an "everyday life quarantine" scheme Wednesday to allow people to carry out social and economic activities under quarantine rules.

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Hyundai, Kia partially resume domestic production amid virus woes

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Wednesday they have partially resumed operations at their domestic plants as the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect the automobile industry.

The corporate duo suspended their domestic plants from April 30 through Tuesday to keep inventories at manageable levels amid COVID-19 worries.

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S. Korea already made best offer in defense cost talks with U.S. despite calls for flexibility: source

SEOUL -- South Korea has already made its best possible offer in defense cost-sharing talks with the United States, a diplomatic source said Wednesday, after a senior U.S. official urged Seoul to show flexibility.

On Tuesday, Marc Knapper, deputy assistant secretary of state for Korea and Japan, renewed Washington's call for flexibility, stressing that the U.S. has been "very flexible up until now."

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BTS joins Obamas, Lady Gaga in YouTube virtual commencement next month

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) -- K-pop band BTS will join ex-U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and American pop icon Lady Gaga in giving speeches during a virtual commencement event by YouTube next month, the band's agency said Wednesday.

The streaming event, "Dear Class of 2020" set for June 6 (U.S. time), is a virtual commencement celebration, bringing together inspirational leaders, celebrities and YouTube creators to celebrate graduates and their families online, according to YouTube.

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BOK offers additional US$1.33 bln to banks via U.S. currency swap

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) said Wednesday it will deliver an additional US$1.33 billion to local banks under its bilateral currency swap arrangement with the U.S. Fed that is designed to help stabilize the local foreign exchange market.

The BOK held its sixth online auction to provide FX liquidity earlier in the day, but bids undershot the target amount of $4 billion.
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