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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:25 May 15, 2020

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

(2nd LD) S. Korea at critical juncture to stem further cases linked to Itaewon cluster

SEOUL -- South Korea on Friday reported 29 more coronavirus cases, with most tied to cluster infections in Seoul, putting health authorities on alert against secondary and tertiary infections.

The 27 new cases of COVID-19 detected Thursday, with 22 of them being local infections, brought the nation's total number to 11,018, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) S. Korea says virus pandemic increases downside risks to economy

SEOUL -- The coronavirus pandemic has increased downside risks to the South Korean economy, with exports and job markets suffering from economic devastation, the finance ministry said Friday.

In a monthly report, called Green Book, the Ministry of Economy and Finance painted a bleaker picture of the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic compared with its April report.

Karaoke facilities emerge as infection routes in Seoul

SEOUL -- Some recent infections linked to nightspots in the Seoul neighborhood of Itaewon were found to have spread through karaoke facilities, highlighting the need for added caution at entertainment facilities.

A city official said Monday that health authorities have identified a link between recent infections at the university district of Hongdae, western Seoul, and cases linked to nightclubs and bars in Itaewon.

(LEAD) Korean Air passengers required to wear masks from Monday

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's biggest airline, said Friday it will require all passengers on domestic routes to wear masks on board beginning next week.

Korean Air has joined its global peers, like United Airlines Inc. and American Airlines Inc., to adopt the rules requiring masks to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

(Yonhap Feature) Medical workers' courage and sacrifice most appreciated in S. Korea's virus fight

SEOUL -- When South Korea's virus curve was on the verge of a steep rise in late February, Kim Sung-dug, a veteran nurse with two decades of experience, arranged a family meeting to reveal her decision -- to volunteer to help coronavirus patients in the virus-hit Daegu.

It was not a easy decision for her with three kids and a husband, but the nurse at the Daejeon Veterans Hospital persuaded her family and friends that it was a matter of principle at a time when many virus-infected people need intensive medical care.

(LEAD) U.S.-S. Korea defense cost deal needs to be 'fully acceptable' to Moon, Trump: official

WASHINGTON -- The United States and South Korea are negotiating a defense cost-sharing agreement that will be fully acceptable to both President Donald Trump and President Moon Jae-in, a U.S. official said Thursday.

The two countries have been wide apart on how much Seoul should contribute to the cost of keeping 28,500 American troops stationed on the peninsula.

(Yonhap Interview) In 2nd KBO season, American outfielder wants to 'improve on everything'

SEOUL -- It was almost exactly a year ago that Preston Tucker made his South Korean baseball debut with the Kia Tigers.

From May 17, 2019, until the end of his regular season on Sept. 28, the American outfielder barely missed any time. After 95 games, in which he batted .311/.381/.479 with nine home runs and 50 RBIs, Tucker admitted he was spent.

Seoul stocks pare earlier gains late Friday morning

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks traded lower late Friday morning, after getting off to a strong start, as investors expressed concerns over the deepening tension between Washington and Beijing over the virus pandemic, which could lead to another bout of trade tensions.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged down 4.98 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,919.98, as of 11:20 a.m.

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