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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:10 May 14, 2020

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

(5th LD) Itaewon clubgoers again urged to get virus tests to stem further spread

SEOUL -- South Korea reported a steady rise in new virus infections linked to nightclubs and bars in Seoul's most popular nightlife neighborhood, putting health authorities on alert against secondary and tertiary infections traced to the capital city's second-largest virus cluster.

A total of 29 new cases of COVID-19 were added as of Wednesday, with 26 of them being local infections, bringing the nation's total number to 10,991, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) Itaewon-linked chain transmissions grip greater Seoul area

SEOUL -- Chain infections coming from nightspots in the neighborhood of Itaewon were reported in the capital area Thursday, raising fears over what health authorities called "a truly cruel virus" further spreading in the area that is home to half of all South Koreans.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 133 cases traced to Itaewon, a vibrant area known for its nightlife and international community, as of Thursday at noon.

Last plenary meeting of 20th National Assembly set for next Wednesday

SEOUL -- Rival political parties agreed Thursday to hold the last plenary meeting of the 20th National Assembly next week to handle bills linked to people's livelihoods.

The meeting will convene next Wednesday to pass a set of legislation, including a revision to the employment insurance act, before the new parliament will begin its four-year term on May 30.

Coronavirus to put greater strain on exports than 2008 crisis: minister

SEJONG -- South Korea's industry minister said Thursday the country's exports are not likely to rebound in the near future as the new coronavirus pandemic has strained Asia's fourth-largest economy more severely than the 2008 financial crisis did.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to have a greater impact on exports than the 2008 financial crisis, and last for a longer period," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said in a meeting with reporters.

LG Polymers moving styrene monomer from India after deadly gas leak

SEOUL -- LG Polymers India, an affiliate of South Korean chemical giant LG Chem Ltd, said Thursday it has begun transporting styrene monomer in its plant and styrene tanks at a port to South Korea following a recent deadly gas leak.

Gas leaked from LG Polymers India last Thursday, killing 12 people and sickening more than a thousand near the plant in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Asiana to reopen 13 int'l routes in June as virus woes ease

SEOUL -- Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea's second-biggest carrier, said Thursday it will resume flights on 13 international routes next month as the coronavirus outbreak seems to have passed its peak.

The move comes on the heels of its bigger local rival Korean Air's similar plan.

(LEAD) Lotte Shopping delivers 'earnings shock' in Q1 amid coronavirus pandemic

SEOUL -- Lotte Shopping Co., the operator of South Korea's biggest department store and a leading discount store, said Thursday it swung to the red in the first quarter, mainly due to an industry-wide slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The key unit of retail giant Lotte Group reported a net loss of 43.3 billion won (US$35.3 million) on a consolidated basis for the January-March period, shifting from a profit of 109.2 billion won a year earlier.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks end lower on grim economic outlook

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower Thursday as investor sentiment was dented by a grim forecast for global economic recovery amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 15.46 points, or 0.80 percent, to close at 1,924.96.

BTS to stage live online concert next month in time of virus quarantine

SEOUL -- Having rescheduled the entire itinerary of its world tour this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, K-pop boy band BTS will stage a live online concert next month, inviting fans from across the world, its management agency said Thursday.

The septet will connect with its fans "Army" through the livestreaming event, "Bang Bang Con the Live," on the evening of June 14 (Korean time), Big Hit Entertainment announced on the Weverse mobile application and its SNS accounts.

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