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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 May 07, 2020

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

Service output down in 14 provinces, cities in Q1 over coronavirus

SEJONG -- Service output fell in 14 provinces and cities in South Korea in the first quarter of this year as the coronavirus pandemic crippled demand, data showed Thursday.

However, service output in Seoul -- home to one-fifth of South Korea's 51 million population -- rose 2.3 percent on year in the first quarter, helped by robust gains in the financial and property sectors, Statistics Korea said in a report.

(2nd LD) Virus infections in S. Korea under control amid eased social distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea reported four more cases of the new coronavirus on Thursday, including the first local case in four days, amid relaxed social distancing.

The new infections brought the nation's total cases of COVID-19 to 10,810, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

S. Korea eyes leading role in global discussions on overcoming COVID-19

SEOUL -- South Korea is seeking to spearhead global discussions on battling the new coronavirus by launching multilateral cooperation groups in the United Nations and two other international organizations this month, a foreign ministry official said Thursday.

On the back of global recognition for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul has been pushing to establish "Friends Group" in the U.N., the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Seoul stocks down late Thursday morning

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks traded lower late Thursday morning as investor sentiment was dented by dismal economic data from major economies and renewed tensions between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 5.79 points, or 0.30 percent, to 1,922.97 as of 11:20 a.m.

(2nd LD) SK Telecom Q1 net down on reduced equity gains, 5G costs

SEOUL -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's top mobile carrier, said Thursday its net income dropped 17.9 percent from a year earlier due to reduced equity gains and investments related to its 5G service.

In a regulatory filing, SK Telecom reported a net income of 306.8 billion won (US$250 million) in the January-March period on a consolidated basis, down from 373.6 billion won a year ago.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's current account surplus widens in March on investment gains

SEOUL -- South Korea's current account surplus widened from a year earlier in March as a sharp increase in primary income helped offset a slight drop in its goods account surplus, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country's current account surplus came to US$6.23 billion in the month, compared with a $5.04 billion surplus the same month last year, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Pompeo thanks Kang for close cooperation on COVID-19, reaffirms strength of alliance

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has thanked South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha for Seoul's close cooperation on COVID-19 and reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral alliance, the State Department said Wednesday.

Pompeo and Kang spoke by phone on Tuesday to discuss the two countries' response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a readout from the department.

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