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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 May 12, 2020

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

(LEAD) Committee launches fact-finding mission over 1980 pro-democracy movement

SEOUL -- An independent committee launched an investigation Tuesday into the bloody crackdown on a 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju, it said, as next week marks the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.

The May 18 Democratization Movement Truth Commission said it will look into who was responsible for the use of military force against civilians protesting against the junta of then Gen. Chun Doo-hwan, who took power in a military coup after the assassination of President Park Chung-hee months earlier.

Rookie skipper grateful for veteran leadership

SEOUL -- Having just completed his first week of the regular season as manager, Kiwoom Heroes skipper Son Hyuk is counting his blessings.

Before his Heroes hosted the Samsung Lions at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday, Son spoke of how clubhouse leaders for his team are making life easy for him in the young Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season.

(3rd LD) Infections linked to Itaewon clubs reach 102

SEOUL -- New coronavirus infections connected to bars and clubs in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon have reached 102 nationally, health authorities said Tuesday, amid concerns the figure may rise after more visitors are tested for COVID-19.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that as of Tuesday noon, 102 confirmed cases have been traced to the Itaewon cluster, with 64, or more than half of the total infections, reported in Seoul.

(LEAD) Hanwha Aerospace Q1 net losses widen on currency losses

SEOUL -- Hanwha Aerospace Co., a defense industry unit of South Korea's Hanwha Group, said Tuesday its first-quarter net losses widened compared to a year earlier due to currency-related losses.

Net losses deepened to 9.1 billion won (US$7.4 million) in the January-March quarter from 7.5 billion won in the year-ago period, the company said in a statement.

S. Korea, Germany to bolster ties in transition towards renewable energy

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it has agreed with Germany to expand ties in a wide array of energy-related projects, including the decommissioning of nuclear plants, in line with their quests to utilize more sustainable resources.

The cooperation came as a follow-up to an agreement reached by Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo and German counterpart Peter Altmaier in Berlin last year, in which they vowed to bolster cooperation in the energy segment.

S. Korea calls for 'contingency guidelines' to keep up trade amid crisis

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday suggested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) draw up "contingency guidelines" to brace for major events, such as the ongoing new coronavirus pandemic, that could put global trade under major strain.

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee made the remark during the virtual meeting with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, where the two shared ideas on ways to minimize the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic on global trade, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

U.S. amb tweets Biegun making S. Korean chicken stew on Mother's Day

SEOUL -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun may feel deprived of the chance to savor his favorite Korean chicken stew in Seoul, given the lack of in-person diplomacy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it has certainly not stopped him from making the dish at home.

USFK labor union thanks Seoul gov't for special law, urges U.S. to make swift defense deal

SEOUL -- The labor union of South Korean employees for the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) thanked the government Tuesday for enacting a special law providing financial support for furloughed workers, while calling on the United States to swiftly clinch a defense cost-sharing deal.

Around 4,000 employees were placed on unpaid leave starting April 1 amid the protracted stalemate in negotiations to work out a new Special Measures Agreement (SMA) that stipulates how much Seoul would pay for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong USFK.

U.S. offers to S. Korea declassified documents on 1980 pro-democracy movement: ministry

SEOUL -- The United States has provided South Korea with declassified diplomatic documents on a 1980 pro-democracy movement here, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, raising hopes that the documents could shed more light on a bloody military crackdown on the uprising.

On Monday, Washington handed over copies of about 140 pages of State Department documents, including those produced by the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, regarding the May 18 movement in the southwestern city of Gwangju.

Telegram sex chatroom operator admits to wrongdoings, apologizes to victims

ANDONG, South Korea -- An operator of Telegram chat rooms in which dozens of people were coerced into performing obscene acts, admitted to his wrongdoings and apologized to victims on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old university student, who confessed to using the alias "God God" in the Telegram chat service, answered "Yes, I admit it" when asked by reporters whether he admits to charges against him.

S. Korea to enhance resource security under new blueprint

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday unveiled a new blueprint for its resource development projects with a goal of enhancing "resource security" amid increased uncertainties and protectionism.

Under the 2020-2029 vision, the country plans to diversify its resource portfolio and reinforce its readiness against external crises, such as the virus pandemic, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(LEAD) Game maker NCsoft Q1 net soars on new title

SEOUL -- South Korea's leading game publisher NCsoft Corp. said Tuesday its first-quarter earnings rose more than doubled thanks to strong sales of a new mobile game.

Consolidated net income stood at 195.4 billion won (US$159 million) in the January-March period, up 162 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

S. Korea renews call for Japan to lift exports curbs

SEOUL -- South Korea on Tuesday renewed its call for Japan to lift trade regulations against its neighbor, stressing that the Asian neighbors should join forces to overcome economic jitters sparked by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo initiated a trade war against Seoul in July last year by imposing restrictions on exports of three key industrial materials critical for South Korea's chip and display industries, namely photoresist, etching gas, and fluorinated polyimide.

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