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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 17:18 July 02, 2020

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

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(LEAD) S. Korea administers remdesivir for COVID-19 patients for 1st time

SEOUL -- South Korea administered remdesivir, an experimental drug conventionally used for Ebola, for two patients infected with the new coronavirus for the first time on Thursday, health authorities said.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said earlier that the medication developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences Inc. will be used for COVID-19 patients in critical condition.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close higher on recovery hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean shares closed sharply higher Thursday on hopes of an economic recovery fueled by improved U.S. economic indicators. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 28.67 points, or 1.36 percent, to close at 2,135.37. Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 10.4 trillion won (US$8.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 671 to 176.

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Jeju Air's Eastar takeover on brink of collapse amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Jeju Air Co.'s planned takeover of smaller budget carrier Eastar Jet Co. appears to be on the brink of falling through as Jeju Air asked Eastar Jet to settle all of its debts by mid-July to proceed with the deal.

In a letter sent to Eastar on Wednesday, Jeju Air reportedly called on Eastar to pay off all of its debts estimated at up to 100 billion won (US$83 million), including unpaid wages to its employees, delayed payments to subcontractors and office operating expenses, within the next 10 days, a demand that cannot be met by Eastar Jet.

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Church groups call for suspension of summer events amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Two major Protestant church groups in South Korea on Thursday urged churches to suspend and scale down summer events amid growing concerns over coronavirus cluster infections linked to religious gatherings.

More than 60 new virus cases related to churches have been confirmed in Seoul and two nearby cities of Anyang and Suwon as of Thursday, according to health authorities.

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Main opposition to end boycott, return to assembly next week

SEOUL -- Ending its monthlong boycott of the ruling party-controlled National Assembly, the main opposition party will return to the chamber early next week, party leaders said Thursday.

Protesting against the ruling Democratic Party's (DP) unilateral formation of parliamentary standing committees since early June, the main opposition United Future Party (UFP) has been boycotting the assembly's plenary session votes as well as the review of an extra budget bill.

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Moon urges legislation on raising property ownership taxes against soaring housing prices

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in instructed his aides Thursday to push urgently for legislation on imposing more taxes on property ownership, especially on those with high-priced or multiple apartments, as his government has come under ferocious public criticism over unrelenting hikes in housing prices in Seoul and its adjacent cities.

Moon's call represents the government's resolve to tackle the problem, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok,

(END)

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