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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:23 June 16, 2020

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

(LEAD) N. Korea appears to have blown up inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong: sources

SEOUL -- North Korea appears to have blown up the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong, military sources said Tuesday, after warning of action against South Korea in propaganda leaflets.

Smoke was seen and an explosion was heard from the region earlier in the day, the military sources said, adding they are trying to determine exactly what happened.

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Cheong Wa Dae convenes top security meeting on N. Korea's demolition of liaison office

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae convened an emergency meeting of top security officials Tuesday, hours after North Korea demolished the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong.

The National Security Council meeting was set to open at 5 p.m.

According to the defense and unification ministries, North Korea blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong at 2:49 p.m.

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With control of key committee, ruling party gains impetus in prosecution reform

SEOUL -- The ruling Democratic Party (DP) has gained major impetus for its long-standing drive to reform the prosecution, having taken the chairmanship of the National Assembly's Legislation and Judiciary Committee this week.

Defying a boycott by the main opposition United Future Party (UFP), the DP and other left-leaning minor parties elected Rep. Yun Ho-jung, a four-term ruling party lawmaker, as the chairman of the parliamentary committee on legislation and judiciary in a plenary assembly session on Monday.

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S. Korea to extend mask rationing to mid-July but up purchase limit

SEOUL -- South Korea will extend a state-led mask rationing scheme, originally set to end this month, to mid-July, to help citizens easily buy protective masks to fight the new coronavirus outbreak, the country's drug safety agency said Tuesday.

The government has decided to extend the scheme, supposed to end on June 30, to July 11 and review whether to further extend the scheme later after closely monitoring market situations. according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

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N.K. paper insists the country has no coronavirus cases

SEOUL -- North Korean state media outlets claimed Tuesday that the new coronavirus has not hit the communist country, six months after the virus first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan and later spread throughout the world.

The Minju Joson, the newspaper of the North's cabinet, said that "not a single person has been infected with the coronavirus in our country as a result of strict measures against the virus and an orderly nationwide system that reached all sectors of society from the capital to the provinces."

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(LEAD) Cash-strapped Doosan to sell core construction equipment maker unit

SEOUL -- Cash-strapped Doosan Group plans to sell its key construction equipment maker unit Doosan Infracore Co. as part of its self-rescue measures to receive financial support from creditor banks, industry sources said Tuesday.

South Korea's 15th-largest conglomerate is seeking to sell its shares and assets to improve its financial structure and repay debts held by the flagship unit Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. in return for a 3.6 trillion-won (US$2.98 billion) lifeline from state-run banks.

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BTS producer Bang Si-hyuk makes Billboard's '2020 Indie Power Players' list

SEOUL -- Bang Si-hyuk, head of BTS' management agency Big Hit Entertainment, was chosen by American music publication Billboard as one of the top leaders in the global independent record industry in 2020.

Bang, 47, was included on Billboard's "2020 Indie Power Players" list published on Monday (local time), compiled by staff at the U.S. music trade publication.

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Seeking KBO return, embattled ex-MLB player Kang Jung-ho to hold presser next Tuesday

SEOUL -- Former major league player Kang Jung-ho, hoping for a return to the South Korean league despite a checkered past marred by multiple drunk driving arrests, will meet with the media next week, his agency said Tuesday.

Leeco Sports Agency said Kang will hold a press conference at a Seoul hotel next Tuesday for his first public appearance since returning from the United States on June 5.

Per the government mandate on all international arrivals during the coronavirus pandemic, Kang remains in a two-week quarantine.

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BOK minutes suggest additional rate cut may be in offing

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) may be left with no choice but to further push down its policy rate to yet another record low should the pandemic-sparked economic fallout continue to worsen down the road, minutes from the BOK's latest rate-setting meeting showed Tuesday.

In the May 28 meeting, the BOK's seven-member board voted unanimously to slash the base interest rate to a new record low of 0.50 percent, with one board member temporarily excluded from the vote due to a possible conflict of interest.

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Seoul stocks spike over 5 pct on Fed's asset purchase scheme

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks spiked over 5 percent Tuesday on the Federal Reserve's plan to purchase corporate bonds, which fueled optimism over a quicker-than-expected recovery in the global economy. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 107.23 points, or 5.28 percent, to close at 2,138.05. Trading volume was high at about 947 million shares worth some 13.4 trillion won (US$11.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 868 to 26.

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