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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:22 May 08, 2020

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

(5th LD) 15 confirmed virus cases related to Itaewon clubber, including 3 foreigners

SEOUL/YONGIN -- 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 that 14 of the patient's contacts, including three foreign nationals and one Army officer, have so far tested positive for COVID-19. All patients are aged between 19 and 37.

S. Korea issues monthlong suspension advisory on clubs, bars

SEOUL -- The government on Friday issued a monthlong advisory on clubs and bars, asking such establishments to voluntarily suspend business after group infections were reported at Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon.

Under the advisory, clubs and bars across the country will be advised to voluntarily suspend business for a month starting 8 p.m. Friday.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close higher on hopes for eased economic concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday as investor sentiment got a boost from less-than-pessimistic economic indicators from the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 17.21 points, or 0.89 percent, to finish at 1,945.82. Trading volume was moderate at 775 million shares worth 7.82 trillion won (US$6.4 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 588 to 227.

(LEAD) Moon taps finance official as gov't policy coordination chief

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in named a top finance ministry official to be in charge of government policy coordination, a minister-level position, on Friday.

Koo Yun-cheol, second vice minister of economy and finance, is replacing Roh Hyung-wook to serve as chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination under the wing of the prime minister's office, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

FM Kang thanks Motegi for Japan's help in transporting leukemia-stricken girl from India

SEOUL -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has sent a letter to her Japanese counterpart to express appreciation for Tokyo's cooperation in helping a South Korean girl with leukemia return home from new coronavirus-hit India earlier this week, a ministry official said Friday.

The 5-year-old girl flew out of India aboard a Japan Airlines special flight Monday and arrived in Korea via Tokyo the following day. The trip was arranged in cooperation between the South Korean Embassy and Japanese Embassy in India.

S. Korea has no room for more flexibility in defense cost-sharing talks with U.S.: source

SEOUL -- South Korea has no room for additional flexibility in its deadlocked defense cost-sharing talks, a diplomatic source said Friday, renewing Seoul's calls for Washington to agree to a "reasonable" deal.

The remarks came after a senior Trump administration official confirmed Thursday the United States has asked South Korea to pay US$1.3 billion a year -- an increase of about 50 percent from the previous year -- for the stationing of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).

Main opposition party picks new floor leader after election defeat

SEOUL-- Rep. Joo Ho-young was elected new floor leader of the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) on Friday, with the task of rebuilding the conservative party that suffered a crushing defeat in the latest elections.

Joo, a soon-to-be five-term lawmaker, beat his rival Kwon Young-se, according to party officials. He will replace Rep. Shim Jae-chul, an acting chief of the party.

(2nd LD) Staff sergeant at cyber command in Yongsan tests positive for coronavirus

SEOUL -- A noncommissioned officer working at the Cyber Operations Command in Seoul has tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases reported in the military to 40, the defense ministry said Friday.

The staff sergeant working at the command's service support unit contracted the virus after visiting a club in Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon where a COVID-19 patient visited last week, according to the ministry.

(LEAD) Former justice minister denies power abuse charges at first court hearing

SEOUL -- Former Justice Minister and presidential aide Cho Kuk denied charges against him Friday over the alleged suspension of the presidential office's inspection into a high-profile corruption case.

Cho attended a court hearing for the first time since he was charged with abuse of power in January for allegedly halting the probe in 2017 into bribery allegations involving Yoo Jae-soo, then a senior Financial Services Commission official. At that time, Cho was senior presidential secretary for civil affairs.

(LEAD) Tottenham's Son Heung-min wraps up three-week military training with flying colors

SEOUL -- Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean star Son Heung-min completed a three-week military training program with the best performance among all trainees Friday, as he excelled in shooting skills and other areas, officials said.

Son is one of the top five trainees to receive a prize at the camp's graduation ceremony at a Marine Corps unit on the southern island of Jeju on Friday. The exact scores of the trainees were not disclosed, but officials said Son was the top among a total of 157 trainees.

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