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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:30 May 19, 2020

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

(LEAD) Fire at LG Chem lab kills 1, injures 2

SEOUL -- A fire at a research center of LG Chem Ltd. killed one worker and injured two others Tuesday, firefighters said.

The blaze occurred at the company's catalyst lab in the central city of Seosan, some 120 kilometers south of Seoul, at around 2:20 p.m. Firefighters extinguished it at around 3:30 p.m.

(LEAD) schools reopen for high school seniors Wednesday as planned

SEOUL -- Schools finally reopen Wednesday for high school seniors after a spate of delays due to safety concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The planned school reopening for high school third graders will proceed as scheduled, 79 days after the original semester start day of March 2, the education ministry said. But it will proceed in a limited fashion: Classes will be shortened and no extracurricular activities will be allowed.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks soar to over 2-month high on hope of vaccine development

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks jumped by more than 2 percent on Tuesday, joining other Asian and global stock markets in a rally that came on hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19. The local currency sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) spiked 43.50 points, or 2.25 percent, to close at 1,980.61, extending its winning streak to a third day.

(3rd LD) Hospital virus outbreak rekindles concerns over cluster infections

SEOUL -- South Korean health authorities were put on edge again on Tuesday as yet another cluster case looms, at a major hospital in Seoul, following mass infections tied to nightclubs and bars in the nightlife district of Itaewon.

Four nurses working at Samsung Medical Center, one of the country's five major general hospitals, were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19, and more related cases are likely to come as transmission routes are unknown, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(3rd LD) 4 nurses at major Seoul hospital infected with COVID-19, facilities partially suspended

SEOUL -- Four nurses working at Samsung Medical Center have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday, raising concerns over the first infection involving health workers at a major hospital here.

Four nurses working at the cardiothoracic and ob-gyn operating rooms in the hospital in southern Seoul tested positive on Monday and Tuesday, local government officials said Tuesday.

(2nd LD) N. Korea faces 860,000-ton grain shortage: unification ministry

SEOUL -- North Korea is presumed to be facing a shortage of around 860,000 tons of grain this year amid worries that the coronavirus pandemic could aggravate the situation, a unification ministry official said Tuesday.

The projection is based on an earlier estimate by a local state-run institute that the North produced around 4.64 million tons of grain last year, which was below the 5.5 million tons widely believed to a minimum amount needed to feed its 25 million people.

(2nd LD) S. Korea files protest at Japan over repeated Dokdo claims in annual diplomatic book

SEOUL -- The foreign ministry called in a senior Japanese diplomat on Tuesday to lodge a protest after Tokyo's latest annual diplomatic book repeated territorial claims to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Kim Jung-han, director general for Asia and Pacific affairs at Seoul's foreign ministry called in Hirohisa Soma, a senior official from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to express regret over the book's content and urge for Tokyo to retract the claims.

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