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Yonhap News Summary

Defense 17:30 May 18, 2020

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

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(4th LD) New 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.

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High-profile sex offender exposed to public view en route to prosecution

SEOUL -- A 24-year-old alleged mastermind of a high-profile digital sexual exploitation ring was forced to stand in front of the public Monday following an earlier police decision to disclose his identity.

Moon Hyung-wook, a university student, appeared before reporters at the Andong Police Station in Andong, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in the afternoon before being handed over to the prosecution for further investigation and an indictment.

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S. Korea postpones joint maritime live-fire drills after N.K. protest

SEOUL -- South Korea has decided to postpone a major maritime firing exercise, initially scheduled for this week, due to adverse weather conditions, the defense ministry said Monday, rejecting allegations the decision was aimed at avoiding angering North Korea.

The Army, the Air Force and the Navy had planned to carry out their biannual live-fire drill off the southeastern coast of Uljin on Tuesday, involving major assets, such as ballistic missiles, combat ships and fighter jets.

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Korean Air chief vows efforts for turnaround amid virus pandemic

SEOUL -- The chief of Korean Air Lines Co., the country's biggest carrier, on Monday said the company will redouble efforts to normalize its operations to overcome the fallout from the new coronavirus on the airline industry.

In an email sent to employees, Korean Air Chairman Cho Won-tae said, "The company will make every effort to overcome the current COVID-19 crisis and put its suspended flights back on track as soon as possible."

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Seoul stocks close higher on hopes of global stimulus

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Monday on hopes of global stimulus measures and rising oil prices. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar amid a renewed trade dispute between the United States and China.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 9.83 points, or 0.51 percent, to close at 1,937.11. Trading volume was moderate at about 752.7 million shares worth some 9.24 trillion won (US$7.49 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 424 to 423.

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Entry screening for Panmunjom tours to be shortened to 3 days: unification ministry

SEOUL -- The up-to-two-week screening process required for South Koreans wishing to visit the truce village of Panmunjom on the border with North Korea is likely to be shortened to three days, the unification ministry said.

The ministry has been in talks with the United Nations Command (UNC), which controls access to the border area, to shorten the screening process, an official said, amid criticism it is unfair for South Koreans to go through such a long security clearance process while an average of three days is needed for foreigners.

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Seoul education office issues guidelines for school reopening

SEOUL -- Seoul educational authorities announced guidelines for school operations on Monday, as the country prepares to reopen schools with new coronavirus infections slowing down.

In a phased reopening plan, high school seniors will return to school on Wednesday and younger students will follow gradually until June 8.
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