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Yonhap News Summary

Diplomacy 17:00 June 23, 2020

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

(3rd LD) 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).

S. Korea calls on UNESCO to mull canceling Japanese industrial sites' World Heritage designation

SEOUL -- South Korea has called on the U.N. cultural agency to consider removing Japanese industrial revolution sites from the World Heritage list, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, in a bid to pressure Japan to keep its pledge to honor wartime forced labor victims.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha sent a letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay to make the request, as Japan failed to deliver on its promise to ensure that a newly opened information center on 23 Meiji-era sites offer explanations on the forced labor issue.

(LEAD) After choppy session, Seoul stocks end higher on eased Sino-American trade woes

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded higher Tuesday on eased concerns related to the U.S.-China trade dispute. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 4.51 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,131.24. Trading volume was high at about 906 million shares worth some 13.3 trillion won (US$11 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 586 to 262.

Ex-MLB player Kang Jung-ho apologizes over DUI cases, begs for chance to play in KBO

SEOUL -- Contrite over his past drunk driving arrests, former major leaguer Kang Jung-ho apologized for his actions Tuesday in his bid for a return to the South Korean league.

"I know that no word can ever wash away the things I did, and I deeply regret my wrongdoing," Kang said at the start of a press conference at a Seoul hotel. It was his first public appearance since returning from the United States on June 5. He spent the next 14 days in government-mandated quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Samsung heir makes another on-site visit amid uncertainties

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday made his third on-site visit in less than 10 days to check the company's future strategy amid global uncertainties.

Lee, the de facto leader of the top conglomerate Samsung Group, discussed the tech giant's business strategy with senior executives at its home appliance business division in Suwon, just south of Seoul.

(LEAD) Moon says revision of labor laws crucial for ILO conventions

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in emphasized the significance Tuesday of revising South Korea's major labor-related laws to allow the jobless and dismissed workers to join unions and improve the overall rights of employees here, as the government is pushing for the ratification of some key conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

He was speaking during a weekly Cabinet meeting held at Cheong Wa Dae, according to presidential deputy spokesman Yoon Jae-kwan.

Exhibition kicks off in honor of foreign Korean War veterans

SEOUL -- An exhibition of photos and paintings opened Tuesday in gratitude for foreign soldiers who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War as part of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict, the veterans affairs ministry said.

An opening ceremony took place at Incheon International Airport, the main gateway of South Korea, which will be followed by openings at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul and the United Nations Peace Memorial Hall in the southeastern city of Busan through November, according to the ministry.

Shincheonji to donate blood plasma of 4,000 members recovered from COVID-19

SEOUL -- Shincheonji, a minor religious sect, said Tuesday that it will donate blood plasma of thousands of its congregants who have recovered from the novel coronavirus to support the development of a vaccine or drug to treat the virus.

"The government has helped us a lot, having our followers treated," a Shincheonji official said. "Now we think it is time to do something. So we've decided to donate blood plasma of our recovered members."

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