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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:29 June 23, 2020

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

(LEAD) New virus infections bounce back on imported cases, community spread still at large

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases bounced back Tuesday due mainly to a surge in imported cases, with most traced to sailors on a Russia-flagged ship docked in the southeastern city of Busan. The spread of the virus in the Seoul metropolitan area and outside the capital continued.

The country added 46 cases, including 16 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,484, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(2nd LD) N. Korean defectors' group says it sent leaflets to North overnight

SEOUL -- A group of North Korean defectors in the South claimed Tuesday it sent anti-North Korea leaflets across the border overnight from the western border city of Paju.

Police said one of the balloons used for sending the leaflets was found in a town in the mountainous eastern province of Gangwon.

(LEAD) N. Korea completes setting up some 20 loudspeakers along border

SEOUL -- North Korea has completed setting up around 20 propaganda loudspeakers in regions along the inter-Korean border, about half of which had been removed under a 2018 summit agreement with South Korea, a military source said Tuesday.

The North was first seen reinstalling the loudspeakers inside the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas on Sunday in the latest in a series of actions ramping up tensions on the Korean Peninsula in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent across the border by defectors and other activists here.

Moon urges parliament to handle extra budget bill to battle pandemic

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in pressed the National Assembly in an unusually strong tone Tuesday to approve the government's plan for another batch of supplementary budgets intended to support South Korea's fight against the new coronavirus and curb its impact on the economy.

His call came as the parliament is still in limbo due to partisan strife over the selection of the heads of major standing committees.

Daegu files damage suit against religious sect of Shincheonji for mass coronavirus infections

DAEGU -- Daegu, once the epicenter of South Korea's new coronavirus outbreak, filed a civil damage suit against a fringe religious sect for allegedly causing mass infections by hindering the city's quarantine efforts, the city said Tuesday.

The city, the country's fourth-largest with 24.3 million people, filed the suit with the Daegu District Court on Thursday against the Shincheonji Church of Jesus and its chairman, Lee Man-hee.

(Yonhap Interview) Leafleting into N. Korea exercise of right to freedom of expression: U.N. rights official

SEOUL -- The sending of leaflets into North Korea by defectors is an exercise of the right to freedom of expression, a U.N. official said, amid Pyongyang's threats to punish Seoul for failing to stop the launches that criticize the North Korean leader.

Signe Poulsen, head of the Seoul office of the U.N. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, made the remarks amid heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the North threatened to retaliate against the South for what it called Seoul's "connivance" at the floating of anti-Pyongyang materials in large balloons.

S. Korea begins to restrict visa issuance, flights from Pakistan, Bangladesh over virus

SEOUL -- South Korea began to suspend visa issuance and non-scheduled flights to restrict entry from Pakistan and Bangladesh Tuesday in the face of a spike in new coronavirus cases imported from the two nations.

The government decided on Sunday to stop issuing new visas to nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh, except for diplomatic and urgent business purposes. Holders of non-professional employment (E-9) visas will be banned from entering the country if they are from areas that lack facilities for a two-week self quarantine.

Seoul stocks trade higher late Tues. morning on tech rally

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded higher Tuesday as major tech companies took a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 10.32 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2,137.05 as of 11:20 a.m.

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