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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:40 May 18, 2020

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

(LEAD) S. Korea to provide 10,000 masks to Native American veterans

SEOUL -- South Korea will provide 10,000 masks and other health protective items to Native Americans who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War to help them combat the new coronavirus, the veterans affairs ministry said Monday.

The 70th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee will deliver the masks and hand sanitizers to the Navajo veterans in an expression of appreciation for their contribution during the war, according to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.

Coronavirus drives unemployment to new high in Jan.-April

SEOUL -- The number of jobless South Koreans hit a record high in the first four months of the year due mainly to the coronavirus impact, a report showed Monday.

Roughly 2.08 million people in the country remained unemployed during the January-April period, according to the report from Rep. Choo Kyung-ho of the main opposition United Future Party.

The figure was the largest since data tracking began in 2000. The report was based on raw data from Statistics Korea.

Samsung heir visits chip factory in China amid virus recovery

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited the company's chip factory in China to assess an expansion plan following the country's reopening of its economy amid a slowdown in coronavirus infections, the company said Monday.

Lee, the de facto leader of South Korea's top conglomerate, inspected Samsung Electronics' chip plant in Xian, some 1,000 kilometers southwest of Beijing, and encouraged workers there trying to overcome the fallout from the pandemic.

"To secure new growth engines, we need to be preemptive and be prepared for forthcoming changes," Lee said in comments provided by the company. "We have no time and we cannot lose this moment."

SsangYong Motor's ability as going concern in doubt

SEOUL -- The auditor of SsangYong Motor Co. recently refused to deliver an opinion on the carmaker's ability to run normally as a company after it posted a sharply widened net loss in the first quarter, SsangYong Motor said Monday.

In the company's first-quarter earnings report to the financial regulator, KPMG Samjong Accounting Corp. was skeptical about SsangYong's ability to continue as a going concern, as it continued to post hefty net losses for the 13th consecutive quarter through the first quarter.

N.K. propaganda outlet slams those responsible for Gwangju uprising on 40th anniversary

SEOUL -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Monday slammed a former South Korean president over the bloody crackdown on a 1980 pro-democracy uprising, urging fair punishment for an atrocity "worse than that of the German Nazis."

Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, made the accusation as South Korea marks the 40th anniversary of the May 18 uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju quelled ruthlessly by the military junta led by then Gen. Chun Doo-hwan.

The crackdown left more than 200 people killed and 1,800 others wounded.

Samsung's chip production up 57 pct in Q1: report

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s chip production in the first quarter of the year increased 57.4 percent from a year earlier despite the spread of the novel coronavirus, the company's quarterly business report showed Monday.

Samsung, the world's largest memory chip maker, produced 277.4 billion units of semiconductors in the January-March period, up from 176.2 billion units a year earlier, according to the report. Its chip factory operation rate was 100 percent.

(LEAD) Moon underscores 'May spirit' from Gwangju democratization movement

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in pledged every form of support Monday for the long overdue task of finding the truth about the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Gwangju in 1980.

Addressing South Korea on the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratization Movement, he also repeatedly emphasized the "May sprit" shown by Gwangju citizens at that time. He said the spirit still resonates not just in the country's democracy but also its response to the coronavirus crisis.

"The government will do its best to find facts on the May 18 (incident)," the president said during an official anniversary ceremony held at the May 18 Democracy Square in front of the former South Jeolla Provincial Government Office in Gwangju, 270 kilometers south of Seoul.

(2nd LD) Virus cases stay low amid respite from club infections

SEOUL -- South Korea added 15 new cases of the coronavirus Monday as the country saw clear signs of a slowdown in nightclub-linked infections.

The new cases, detected Sunday, brought the country's total to 11,065, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Five of them were local infections.

The country added 13 new cases a day earlier, the lowest daily increase since Itaewon, a nightlife district in Seoul, emerged as a hotbed for coronavirus infections this month.

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