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Yonhap News Summary

All Headlines 13:30 June 04, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) Greater Seoul under threat of further spread, high alert over 'silent' virus spreaders

SEOUL -- New virus cases in greater Seoul continued to rise Thursday amid a steady increase in cases linked to religious gatherings, putting health authorities on high alert over further spread in the densely populated metropolitan area amid concerns over asymptomatic "silent" virus spreaders.

The country added 39 more cases of the new coronavirus, including 33 local infections, raising the total caseload to 11,629, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(2nd LD) S. Korea suffers largest current account deficit in nearly decade in April

SEOUL -- South Korea suffered the largest current account deficit in almost a decade in April due mainly to a sharp decline in exports caused by the coronavirus pandemic, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country posted a current account deficit of US$3.12 billion in the month, marking a turnaround from a $5.96 billion surplus the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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(3rd LD) S. Korea to legislate ban on anti-Pyongyang leaflet campaign after N.K. threats

SEOUL -- South Korea called Thursday for a halt to a civic campaign to send anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into North Korea, hours after the communist nation threatened to scrap a military tension reduction agreement and exchange projects unless Seoul stops the campaign.

The unification ministry also said it is planning to legislate a ban on such "tension-causing acts," arguing that the campaign causes danger to the lives and property of residents in border regions where the leaflets are sent via giant balloons.

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Court begins process to sell assets of Japanese firm involved in wartime forced labor

SEOUL -- A local court has embarked on a process to effectuate its ruling on seizing assets of a Japanese firm involved in wartime forced labor as the country's government failed to deliver it.

According to the legal representatives for four Korean plaintiffs Wednesday, the Pohang branch of Daegu District Court, in southeastern Korea, decided Monday to publicly notice the court's ruling made last year on seizing the Korean assets of Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. over Tokyo's World War II forced labor.

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As temperature rises in S. Korea, worries grow over wearing face masks

SEOUL -- The temperature in South Korea's southern inland area was forecast to hit 35 C Thursday, raising concerns over wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

A heat wave advisory was set to go into effect in Daegu, 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul, as well as the nearby counties of Cheongdo, Gimcheon, Chilgok, Seongju, Goryeong and Gyeongsan, starting 11 a.m.

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Employment insurance may face depletion this year on virus: report

SEOUL -- South Korea's state employment insurance scheme could run out of money this year if the novel coronavirus continues to hit the country's job market until year-end, a report said Thursday.

The report from the National Assembly Budget Office estimated that the number of unemployment benefit recipients could reach 1.84 million should April's employment situation last till the end of the year.

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N. Korea slams Pompeo for saying China poses threat

SEOUL -- North Korea lashed out at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday over his recent remarks calling for safeguarding Western values from Chinese threats, denouncing the appeal as "nonsense" and "rubbish."

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday (local time), Pompeo repeatedly described China's ruling Communist Party as "aggressive" and as an "authoritarian" regime that "views itself as intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies and Western values."

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(LEAD) S. Korea's 'Peninsula,' 'Heaven' among Cannes' 2020 official selection

SEOUL -- "Peninsula" by South Korean filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho and "Heaven: To The Land of Happiness" by fellow Korean director Im Sang-soo were selected among the 73rd Cannes Film Festival lineup Wednesday (local time).

The two Korean films made the list of the 2020 Official Selection, consisting of 56 movies, which would have been screened had the festival not been canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

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Over 30,000 public institution employees work from home in Q1

SEOUL -- More than 30,000 employees at South Korea's state-run institutions worked from home in the first quarter of the year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Thursday.

A total of 31,148 workers at 363 state firms and other public institutions telecommuted in the January-March period, according to state portal All Public Information in One (ALIO).

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5 companies to recall nearly 120,000 vehicles

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz and three other companies will voluntarily recall nearly 120,000 vehicles to fix faulty components, the transport ministry said Thursday.

This is the latest in a series of recalls by carmakers operating in South Korea and vehicle importers due to problems with the components of vehicles they sell here.
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