The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.
(2nd LD) Moon: Gov't, firms in same boat against virus crisis
SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in emphasized Thursday that the government and corporate sector are "in the same boat" amid the COVID-19 crisis, calling for joint efforts to safeguard jobs and the industrial ecosystem.
"The government and firms are passing through a dark tunnel aboard the same boat," he said, wrapping up a meeting with a group of business leaders, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend winning streak to 5th session
SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed higher Thursday to extend their winning streak to a fifth session, the longest period of this year, on growing hope over the resumption of global business activities. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 8.67 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 1,998.31. Trading volume was moderate at some 588 million shares, worth about 8.5 trillion won (US$6.92 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 463 to 363.
Incheon orders shutdown of 'coin noraebang,' gov't considers following suit to stem virus spread
SEOUL -- The city of Incheon has ordered the two-week closure of coin-operated karaoke rooms in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the central government said Thursday.
During a regular briefing, Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health official, said the city implemented the two-week ban on such karaoke rooms, called "coin noraebang" in Korean, until June 3, as a series of infections was traced to a visitor to such an establishment.
Unification minister refutes speculation over possible lifting of 2010 sanctions on N. Korea
SEOUL -- Just because sanctions imposed on North Korea following its deadly sinking of a South Korean naval ship in 2010 have mostly lost their effect does not mean that Seoul is considering the possibility of lifting them, Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said Thursday.
On Wednesday, Yoh Sang-key, the ministry's spokesperson, told reporters that much of the sanctions have mostly lost their intended effect and pose no obstacle in expanding "room" in inter-Korean relations, as previous governments have made various "exceptions" in implementation.
S. Korea, U.S. exchange ideas on economic initiative against China: source
SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States exchanged broad ideas about a U.S. initiative to diversify global supply chains away from China last year, but the discussions remained conceptual, a diplomatic source said Thursday.
The remarks came a day after Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, said that he and South Korean officials talked about the Economic Prosperity Network (EPN) initiative during the allies' Senior Economic Dialogue (SED) in Seoul in November.
N. Korea's official paper denies leaders can magically contract space
SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper denied its leaders can magically contract space, a long tradition used to idolize founder Kim Il-sung and late leader Kim Jong-il, in the latest sign of a change in the regime's myth-making efforts.
The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, carried an article on Wednesday denying its leaders can practice "chukjibeop," a hypothetical method of folding space and traveling far distances in a short period of time that has been used by the North to deify its leaders.
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