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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 13:00 June 29, 2020

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

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(LEAD) New virus cases dip to below 50; cluster infections traced to churches in focus

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases fell back to below 50 on Monday, but a continued rise in cluster infections, mostly tied to churches, put to the test the country's capability to fight the virus.

The country added 42 cases, including 30 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,757, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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Seoul stocks trade lower late Monday morning on virus concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean shares traded lower late Monday morning despite trimming earlier losses sparked by renewed fears of the new coronavirus stemming from a spike in the number of new cases at home and abroad.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 18.82 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,115.82 as of 11:20 a.m.

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(LEAD) Gov't holds hearing on defector groups over anti-N.K. leafleting

SEOUL -- The unification ministry held a hearing Monday to give two North Korean defector groups a final chance to explain themselves before going ahead with a decision to revoke their operation permits for sending propaganda leaflets into the North.

The hearing came weeks after the ministry decided to file a criminal complaint with police against Fighters for a Free North Korea and Kuensaem and revoke their business permits for their sending of leaflets into the North.

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Retail sales up 2 pct in May on higher demand for online shipping

SEOUL -- Retail sales in South Korea increased 2 percent in May from a year earlier as people purchased more sanitary items and foodstuffs through online platforms in the face of the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Monday.

The combined sales of 26 major offline and online retailers reached 11.63 trillion won (US$9.65 billion) last month, up from 11.4 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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Samsung tipped to log robust Q2 earnings on chip biz: analysts

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s second-quarter earnings could be better than expected, analysts here said Monday, as its robust chip business is likely to offset losses in its smartphone and display businesses amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Samsung was expected to log 53.39 trillion won (US$44.4 billion) in sales in the April-June period, down 5.5 percent from a year earlier, while operating profit was estimated to drop 2.3 percent on-year to 6.44 trillion won over the period, according to data compiled by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency.

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WTO to discuss opening panel over Seoul-Tokyo trade row

SEOUL/GENEVA -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) plans to discuss the establishment of a panel to deal with the year-long trade row between South Korea and Japan, after Seoul reopened the case at the Geneva-based trade body amid a lack of progress in their bilateral talks.

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting over the panel establishment is slated for later in the day, according to trade officials here.

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Army upgrades command and control system

SEOUL -- The Army's command and control system has been upgraded to improve commanders' ability to make decisions in real time in combat situations, the arms procurement agency said Monday.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration said it has completed the second improvement project on the Army's C4I -- command, control, communication, computer and intelligence -- system and deployed the new version to some front-line corps and military educational institutions.
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