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Yonhap News Summary

Economy 13:30 June 30, 2020

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

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(LEAD) New virus cases below 50 for 2nd day, religious gathering-tied infections still on rise

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases were below 50 for the second straight day Tuesday, but cases traced to religious gatherings continued in addition to a rise in imported cases.

The country added 43 cases, including 23 local infections, raising the total caseload to 12,800, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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Biegun planning visit to S. Korea as early as July: sources

SEOUL -- Stephen Biegun, U.S. deputy secretary of state and the point man on North Korea, is planning to visit South Korea as early as next month, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Officials in Seoul and Washington have been in talks to arrange details for the envisioned trip, taking into account various circumstances amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the sources.

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(LEAD) Trump-Kim summit unlikely before U.S. presidential election: U.S. envoy

WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. envoy for North Korea said Monday that another summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is unlikely before the November presidential election in the United States.

Stephen Biegun, deputy secretary of state and lead negotiator on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, made the comment during a virtual forum hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think tank headquartered in Washington.

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Moon set for virtual summit with EU leaders on coronavirus, Korea peace, green energy

SEOUL -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a virtual summit with European Union leaders later Tuesday, as the two sides mark the 10th anniversary of signing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and forging strategic partnerships, Cheong Wa Dae said.

In the session to open in the afternoon, Moon is expected to focus discussions with EU Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on ways to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and strengthen cooperation on the Korean Peninsula issue.

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(LEAD) S. Korea's industrial output suffers extended slump in May amid virus pandemic

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output extended its slump in May as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains, but retail sales reported a robust gain, data showed Tuesday.

The nation's overall industrial production fell 1.2 percent on-month in May, following a 2.8 percent on-month plunge in April, according to data compiled by Statistics Korea.

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Arrival of F-35A stealth fighters delayed due to COVID-19

SEOUL -- A planned arrival of F-35A next-generation fighter jets to South Korea from the United States has been delayed to the second half of the year due to the new coronavirus, a military source said Tuesday.

South Korea began bringing in the advanced stealth fighters in March last year to beef up reconnaissance capabilities under a plan to deploy 40 units through 2021. Last year, 13 F-35As arrived here.

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(LEAD) BOK, finance ministry to purchase FX bonds in market stabilization efforts

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) and the country's financial authorities are moving to purchase foreign currency-denominated bonds in their latest effort to help stabilize the local currency market, the bank said Tuesday.

"As part of efforts to secure new policy measures, the Bank of Korea and the finance ministry are moving to introduce a new foreign currency supply system by purchasing foreign currency bonds under repurchase agreements," the BOK said in a released statement.

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S. Korea sends rotational troops to UAE using aerial tanker

SEOUL -- South Korea mobilized one of its aerial tankers Tuesday to send rotational troops to the United Arab Emirates, the defense ministry said.

The Air Force's KC-330 left Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, earlier in the day carrying the 17th batch of the 170-strong Akh Unit, according to the ministry.

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Finance minister urges National Assembly to swiftly approve 3rd extra budget

SEJONG -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki on Tuesday called for the National Assembly to swiftly approve a third extra budget to revive the virus-hit economy, saying the budget would benefit more than 6.4 million people if implemented.

Hong made the remarks in a parliamentary speech as the National Assembly ended a monthlong standstill and the ruling Democratic Party paved the way for a budget review.

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S. Korea ready to supply record high electricity during summer

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it is ready to supply a record high amount of electricity in July and August to brace for a possible hike in electricity demand during the widely anticipated hot and humid summer season.

The move came as the country's maximum electricity demand is estimated to range from 87.3 million to 90.8 million kilowatts (kW) during the summer, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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