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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 May 08, 2020

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

(2nd LD) U.S. has asked S. Korea to pay $1.3 bln in shared defense costs: official

WASHINGTON -- The United States has asked South Korea to pay US$1.3 billion a year for the stationing of American troops on the peninsula, an increase of nearly 50 percent from last year, a senior Trump administration official said Thursday.

The new figure represents a cutback from the $5 billion initially sought by the U.S., but almost four times the increase South Korea offered in its latest proposal.

(2nd LD) N.K. leader sends message to Xi on China's successful anti-virus fight

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a "verbal message" to Chinese President Xi Jinping, lauding Beijing's success in stemming the spread of the new coronavirus, state media reported Friday.

In the message, Kim "congratulated him, highly appreciating that he is seizing a chance of victory in the war against the unprecedented epidemic," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

(2nd LD) S. Korea on alert over yet another cluster infection amid eased social distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea reported 12 more cases of the new coronavirus Friday, most of which came from overseas, while it remains vigilant over yet another cluster infection in the capital city.

Eleven of the newly added cases detected Thursday were imported, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), bringing the nation's total infections to 10,822 amid relaxed social distancing.

(2nd LD) 15 confirmed coronavirus cases including 3 foreigners related to Itaewon clubs

SEOUL/YONGIN, South Korea -- Thirteen more cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed Friday, associated with a patient who visited clubs and bars in Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon over the weekend.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a briefing that 14 of the patients' contacts, including three foreign nationals and one army officer, have so far tested positive for COVID-19.

(LEAD) S. Korea's new radiation accelerator to spur industrial, scientific advances

SEOUL -- South Korea's next-generation synchrotron radiation accelerator to be built in the central city of Cheongju will help the country bask in scientific and industrial advances, as well as create huge economic benefits, the science ministry said Friday.

The city, 137 kilometers south of Seoul, has been tapped to host the so-called 5th generation X-ray generator, beating three other candidate cities, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

Army general known for N.K. knowledge named new capital defense command chief

SEOUL -- Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun, who handles inter-Korean affairs at the defense ministry, was named Friday to lead the Capital Defense Command after a promotion to the three-star rank.

Kim, 54, is to replace Lt. Gen. Kim Sun-ho and will officially begin his service next week, the defense ministry said, announcing a regular shake-up to promote a total of four two-star and nine three-star generals.

(LEAD) S. Korea testing 7 existing drugs in hope of finding cure before year's end: official

SEOUL -- South Korea is conducting clinical tests for seven existing drugs to see if any of them can effectively treat the new coronavirus, a government official said Friday, noting a positive outcome of the tests may lead to the development of a cure for the virus before the year's end at the earliest.

"We expect, not all seven, but some of them may be launched later this year at the earliest," the official said in a Seoul meeting to review government support for efforts to develop drugs and vaccines for the potentially deadly virus.

(Yonhap Feature) Zero infections: Small cities vigilant to defend coronavirus-free status

SEOUL -- South Korea has proved that it stands at the bleeding edge in the global war to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The government's decisive and unwavering efforts to administer massive, non-stop tests since the early stages of the crisis have paid off handsomely -- with the nation reporting zero new local cases from Monday to Thursday.

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