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Yonhap News Summary

National 17:00 July 06, 2020

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

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Moon calls for lawmakers' support in curbing housing prices, launching anti-corruption probe agency

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in pressed the National Assembly on Monday to help the government's efforts to stabilize the property market and establish a special unit to investigate corruption among senior civil servants, as lawmakers opened a temporary parliamentary session earlier in the day.

He was referring to two of his administration's major and urgent policy tasks, speaking in front of pool reporters at the outset of his weekly meeting with senior Cheong Wa Dae aides.

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Finance minister sees worse Q2 contraction, but vows positive growth in Q3

SEJONG -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday he expects South Korea's second-quarter economic contraction to be worse than the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the government aims to achieve economic growth in the third quarter.

The nation's economy shrank 1.3 percent in the first quarter as the pandemic hit exports and consumption. The Bank of Korea predicted that the economy would contract 0.2 percent this year.

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Recent virus outbreaks in S. Korea seeded most by GH strain: KCDC

SEOUL -- A series of cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area, including the one tied to a nightlife district in downtown Seoul, was seeded most by the so-called GH genetic strain of the new coronavirus, which has been also most detected in other countries, health authorities said Monday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) sequenced genomes of a total of 526 COVID-19 patients, and the GH clade were detected in 333 cases.

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KDB rolls over SsangYong Motor's debt amid pandemic

SEOUL -- The main creditor bank of SsangYong Motor Co. on Monday rolled over the carmaker's 90 billion won (US$7.5 million) worth of debt maturing this month to help it stay afloat amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

The state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) extended the deadline for the payment of 70 billion won maturing on Monday and 20 billion won maturing on July 19 to the end of this year, a KDB spokesman said over the phone.

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Samsung heir vows support for startups

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Monday vowed support for startups in another on-site visit amid global uncertainties.

Lee, the de facto leader of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, visited the tech giant's startup incubation center in Suwon, south of Seoul, and encouraged workers at its in-house startup incubation program named C-Lab.

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Triathletes, coach at center of abuse allegations deny charges

SEOUL -- Two triathletes and their coach at the center of an abuse scandal that led to the suicide of a young athlete denied all allegations levied against them on Monday, despite mounting evidence against them.

Head coach Kim Gyu-bong and two triathletes for the semi-pro club at Gyeongju City Hall in Gyeongju, 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul, were called to testify at an emergency meeting by the National Assembly's subcommittee on sports. The committee convened the meeting in light of the death of Choi Suk-hyeon, who accused Kim, the two athletes and a team therapist named Ahn Joo-hyeon of physically and verbally abusing her for years.

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Seoul stocks rally on recovery hope, coming earnings report season

SEOUL -- South Korean shares rallied Monday on hopes of economic recovery led by the government's extra budget and possible robust earnings from tech companies. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 35.52 points, or 1.65 percent, to close at 2,187.93. Trading volume was high at about 659 million shares worth some 12 trillion won (US$9.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 573 to 267.

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Capital area's net population growth more than doubled in March-April in aftermath of pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's capital city and its surrounding areas saw the net inflow of residents more than double in March and April from a year earlier as the novel coronavirus pandemic hit job markets in local areas, a report showed Monday.

A net 275,000 people moved into Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province in the two-month period, soaring from 128,000 tallied over the same period last year, according to the report by the Korea Employment Information Service.
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