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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 May 13, 2020

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

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(LEAD) Infections linked to Itaewon clubs soar to 119

SEOUL -- Seoul saw another spike in infections linked to nightspots in the Seoul neighborhood of Itaewon on Wednesday, bringing the number of cases across the country to 119.

Of the total, infections in Seoul reached 69, with 14,121 people having undergone tests for the coronavirus, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a press briefing.

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(LEAD) S. Korea tracking hidden virus cases tied to Itaewon amid community spread concerns

SEOUL -- South Korea's health authorities again urged those who visited Itaewon in Seoul, the site of yet another cluster infection, to receive coronavirus tests amid growing concerns over community spread.

The 26 new cases of COVID-19, with 20 of them tied to nightclubs and bars in Itaewon, brought the nation's total novel coronavirus cases to 10,962, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(Yonhap Feature) For baseball-starved American fans, ESPN brings S. Korean baseball as 'savior'

SEOUL -- Eduardo Perez, a former major leaguer now working as a color commentator for ESPN, does not usually need a lot of sleep. But this spring, his sleeping schedule has been, in his own words, "obliterated," because of his new assignment of calling live South Korean baseball games for the sports cable giant.

ESPN has signed a deal to televise six Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) games per week. The deal was announced on the eve of the May 5 Opening Day, and the first game on ESPN that Perez called began at 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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N. Korea presumed to have replaced chief of military intelligence bureau

SEOUL -- North Korea is believed to have replaced the chief of its primary intelligence agency accused of a string of secret operations against South Korea, including the 2010 sinking of a warship, according to Seoul's latest who's who in Pyongyang's ruling elite.

Rim Kwang-il, an army general, replaced Jang Kil-song last December as head of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the North's military intelligence agency, according to the who's who book, titled "Information on key figures in North Korea."

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(2nd LD) S. Korea's drop in jobs sharpest since 1999 amid virus pandemic

SEJONG -- South Korea reported the sharpest drop in its April employment since 1999 as the coronavirus pandemic hammered job markets, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people in South Korea stood at 26.56 million in April, 476,000 people fewer than a year ago, marking the biggest on-year decline since February 1999.

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LG Chem sends officials to India over deadly gas leak

SEOUL -- South Korean chemical giant LG Chem Ltd. said Wednesday that it has sent a team to India to find out the cause of a recent gas leak that killed 12 people.

A team of eight officials, led by Noh Kug-lae, president of the petrochemicals business, also plans to check the safety of LG Polymers India to prevent the reoccurrence of such an accident.

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U.S. assumes N.K. leader is 'alive and well': nat'l security adviser

WASHINGTON -- The United States assumes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "alive and well" based on photos released by the country's state media, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Tuesday,

Speaking to reporters at the White House, O'Brien refused to say whether the photos have been verified for authenticity.

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Reduced S. Korea-U.S. military drills impact readiness:ex-USFK commander

WASHINGTON -- Scaling down combined military exercises between South Korea and the United States does have an impact on readiness, a former commander of U.S. Forces Korea said Tuesday.

Ret. Gen. Walter Sharp was referring to the major allied exercises that have been reduced in scope to facilitate denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea.

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