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Yonhap News Summary

Economy 13:17 July 10, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) New virus cases fall below 50; imported infections, those at churches persist

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases fell below 50 on Friday, but imported cases and infections tied to churches continued despite enhanced anti-infection measures.

The country added 45 cases, including 22 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,338, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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(4th LD) Seoul mayor found dead hours after reported missing: police

SEOUL -- Seoul Mayor and presidential hopeful Park Won-soon was found dead at a Seoul mountain on Friday, hours after his family reported him missing, police said.

A police search team found his body in the forested hills of Mount Bugak near his official residence, one minute after midnight. He is presumed to have died of suicide.

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(4th LD) Another summit with U.S. 'not needed,' 'not beneficial': Kim's sister

SEOUL -- Another summit with the United States is "not needed" and "not beneficial" for North Korea as long as there is no change in Washington's negotiating position, the sister of leader Kim Jong-un said Friday.

Kim Yo-jong made the remark in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency after U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this week that he would hold another summit with the North's leader "if I thought it was going to be helpful."

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(3rd LD) S. Korea to impose steeper taxes on multiple home owners to curb housing prices

SEJONG -- South Korea will raise property ownership tax rates for multiple home owners, the finance ministry said Friday, in the latest move to curb housing prices.

The current 0.6 percent to 3.2 percent ownership tax on people who own three or more homes will be raised to 1.2 percent to 6 percent, the ministry said in a statement.

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(2nd LD) Pompeo doesn't rule out another U.S.-N. Korea summit

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States is "very hopeful" about continuing dialogue with North Korea, including another summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if appropriate.

Pompeo made the remark shortly after his deputy and top U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, departed Seoul following meetings with South Korean officials on the nuclear impasse with the North.

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Google Korea pays 600 bln won in penalty tax: sources

SEOUL -- The South Korean unit of U.S. tech giant Google Inc. has paid the local tax office 600 billion won (US$501 million) in back corporate taxes, sources said Friday.

Google Korea made the payment in January after the National Tax Service (NTS) slapped the penalty tax on the company for not paying proper taxes for profits generated in the country.

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(LEAD) Two dead and 28 injured in hospital fire in southwestern region

GOHEUNG, South Korea -- Two were killed and 28 others injured, eight among them in serious condition, in a hospital fire in the country's southwestern region, officials said Friday.

The fire broke out at a hospital in Goheung, 473 kilometers south of Seoul, at 3:34 a.m. It was extinguished at 6:01 a.m.

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Tougher anti-infection measures set to be implemented at churches

SEOUL -- South Korea will begin Friday to ban churches from holding small gatherings other than regular worship services in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus tied to religious facilities.

Churches should also use QR-code based entry logs as part of anti-infection measures, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

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Seoul stocks extend losses late Friday morning on virus concerns

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended losses late Friday morning as investor sentiment waned amid concerns over a resurgence of new coronavirus infections in major economies.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 12.31 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,155.59 as of 11:20 a.m.
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