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Yonhap News Summary

Politics 16:58 July 07, 2020

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

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(3rd LD) New virus infections below 50 for 2nd day, imported cases on higher plateau

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new virus cases hovered below 50 on Tuesday for the second consecutive day, but the country witnessed a rise in both locally transmitted infections in metropolitan areas and imported cases.

The country added 44 cases, including 20 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,181, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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S. Korea to end mask rationing scheme on Sunday

SEOUL -- South Korea will terminate a mask rationing system on Sunday as the supply of face masks designed to help fight the new coronavirus has stabilized, the country's drug safety agency said Tuesday.

As prices of protective masks skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 outbreak here, the country introduced the mask rationing system in early March in a bid to smooth out high demand.

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(2nd LD) U.S. nuke envoy arrives in Seoul after N.K. spurns possibility of talks

SEOUL -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for talks about denuclearizing North Korea, as the communist nation again rejected the possibility of resuming negotiations with the United States.

Biegun, who doubles as Washington's chief nuclear envoy, landed at the U.S. Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, sources said. Alex Wong, deputy special representative for the North, is believed to have traveled with him.

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(LEAD) With key figures banned, triathlon body shifts focus to mysterious 'team doctor'

SEOUL -- With some principal figures in a snowballing abuse scandal in South Korean triathlon having been disciplined, the sport's national governing body will now turn its eyes to a largely mysterious man that athletes referred to as "doctor," despite his lack of a medical license.

Choi Suk-hyeon, a former triathlete on Gyeongju City Hall's semi-pro club, took her own life in late June but not before making allegations of physical and verbal abuse against her former coach Kim Gyu-bong, two older teammates and the so-called team doctor named Ahn Joo-hyeon.

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Exports of cultural goods tops US$10 bln on games, character IPs

SEOUL -- South Korea's annual exports of cultural goods exceeded US$10 billion won for the first time in 2019, led by gains in the games and character intellectual property (IP) sectors, a government report showed Tuesday.

The estimate of combined overseas exports of some 2,500 firms in 11 culture and entertainment sectors last year reached $10.4 billion, up 8.1 percent from 2018, according to the annual content industry statistics produced jointly by the culture ministry and its affiliated Korea Creative Content Agency.

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(3rd LD) Samsung Q2 earnings beat estimate on chip biz, one-time gains

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. on Tuesday projected a stronger than expected second-quarter performance as solid demand for server chips appeared to offset a slump in smartphone sales amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, while one-time gains in the display business also helped push up its bottom line.

In its earnings guidance, the South Korean tech giant expected its operating profit at 8.1 trillion won (US$6.7 billion) for the April-June period, up 22.7 percent from 6.6 trillion won a year ago.

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(2nd LD) LG Electronics delivers estimate-beating Q2 earnings amid pandemic

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. on Tuesday delivered market estimate-beating second-quarter earnings as its home appliance business apparently performed better than expected amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In its earnings guidance, South Korea's No. 2 electronics firm estimated its operating profit to be 493.1 billion won (US$412 million) for the April-June period, down 24.4 percent from a year ago.

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(2nd LD) ITC favors Medytox over Daewoong in botulinum toxin strain dispute

SEOUL -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has sided with South Korean drugmaker Medytox Inc. in a trade dispute, saying its local rival Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. stole secrets on a botulinum toxin strain, industry officials here said Tuesday.

In its preliminary verdict, a U.S. trade judge on Monday (U.S. time) ruled that Daewoong Pharmaceutical's wrinkle treatment products were developed by using stolen trade secrets, recommending a 10-year ban on imports.

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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day winning streak on growing virus concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks fell by more than 1 percent Tuesday amid growing fears over the resurgence of the new coronavirus at home and overseas. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 23.76 points, or 1.09 percent, to close at 2,164.17, ending its three-session winning streak. Trading volume was high at about 837 million shares worth some 14.7 trillion won (US$12.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 581 to 263.

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BLACKPINK's new song debuts at No. 33 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart

SEOUL -- BLACKPINK landed at No. 33 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart with its latest single "How You Like That," according to the American music trade publication Tuesday, setting a new record for K-pop girl groups.

Billboard's official Twitter account announced that "How You Like That" will debut at No. 33 on this week's Hot 100 chart, and at No. 1 on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart.
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