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Yonhap News Summary

All News 12:57 June 09, 2020

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

(3rd LD) N.K. refuses to answer calls from S. Korea after vowing to sever all phone lines

SEOUL -- North Korea did not answer daily phone calls from South Korea via liaison and military hotlines on Tuesday morning after vowing to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent from the South.

The decision to sever all phone lines at noon Tuesday was the latest in a series of angry protests the communist nation has made since last week while blasting Seoul for failing to stop North Korean defectors from sending propaganda leaflets criticizing Pyongyang's leadership.

(News Focus) N. Korea voices frustration over ties, seeks to close ranks through S. Korea bashing: experts

SEOUL -- North Korea's decision to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines appears aimed at voicing its pent-up frustration over South Korea's failure of advancing inter-Korean relations and also intended to strengthen its bargaining power in cross-border issues, experts said Tuesday.

The latest hard-line move is also seen as efforts to close ranks and rally domestic support behind the Kim Jong-un regime through "South Korea bashing" as Pyongyang must be facing a double whammy of growing its anemic economy under the strain of global sanctions and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, they said.

(2nd LD) Court rejects arrest warrant for Samsung heir Lee in succession probe

SEOUL -- A court in Seoul early Tuesday refused to issue an arrest warrant for Samsung Group's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, who are under investigation over succession-related allegations.

The Seoul Central District Court turned down the prosecution's request to put Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, behind bars, citing that there is not sufficient probable cause for his arrest.

(LEAD) Virus fight at inflection point over cluster infections in greater Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea is ratcheting up efforts to stem the further spread of the new coronavirus in the capital region amid concerns over a potential hike in new cases traced to cluster infections.

The country added 38 new cases, including 35 local infections on Tuesday, raising the total caseload to 11,852, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). It marked daily new cases of below 40 for the second straight day, and a slight decrease from 57 cases a day earlier and 51 on Saturday.

HDC calls for renegotiations over Asiana acquisition amid virus

SEOUL -- HDC Hyundai Development Co. on Tuesday called for renegotiations with creditors over its planned acquisition of Asiana Airlines Inc. due to the growing impact of the new coronavirus on the airline industry.

In December, HDC Hyundai Development formed a consortium with Mirae Asset Daewoo to sign a deal to acquire a 30.77 percent stake in Asiana from Kumho Asiana Group, as well as new shares to be issued and Asiana's six affiliates, for 2.5 trillion won (US$2.2 billion).

(LEAD) Ex-US envoy Lippert appointed YouTube's Asia-Pacific public policy head

SEOUL -- Mark Lippert, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, has been named to head regional policy of the video streaming service YouTube in the Asia-Pacific region, tech giant Google Inc. said Tuesday.

Lippert -- who served as the last U.S. ambassador to South Korea under former President Barack Obama -- was appointed as director, government affairs and public policy of YouTube Asia Pacific as of last month, according to Google, which owns YouTube.

KBO's career saves leader eligible to return from gambling suspension Tuesday

SEOUL -- The greatest closer in South Korean baseball will be eligible to return from a gambling suspension Tuesday.

Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions, the all-time saves leader in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) with 277, has served his 72-game suspension, stemming from an overseas gambling conviction. The KBO handed down the ban in 2016 after Oh received a court fine for gambling. The half-season suspension kicked in when Oh rejoined the Lions last August after getting released by the Colorado Rockies.

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