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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 July 17, 2020

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

(LEAD) New virus cases hover around 60 for 2nd day, imported cases in focus

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases came in at around 60 for the second straight day on Friday as the country grapple with rising imported cases and an uptick in local infections.

The country added 60 cases, including 39 imported cases, raising the total to 13,672, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) Consumption shows signs of rebound, but export slump continues: finance ministry

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry said Friday that local consumption showed signs of a rebound, but the coronavirus pandemic continued to stagnate exports.

In a monthly report, called the Green Book, the Ministry of Economy and Finance painted a somewhat positive picture of the economy, compared with its June report.

Seoul stocks extend gains late Friday morning amid stimulus hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks traded higher late Friday morning on the back of growing expectations for stimulus measures in major economies.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.02 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,197.78 as of 11:20 a.m.

(LEAD) Court rejects police request for access to late mayor's mobile phones

SEOUL -- A Seoul court has denied a police request to access mobile phones used by late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as part of their ongoing probe to determine the exact cause of his death, police said Friday.

Police had filed a request to acquire the call history for three mobile phones under Park's name, including his official phone that was retrieved when Park was found dead at a Seoul mountain last week.

S. Korea to airlift more nationals from Iraq's growing virus infections next week

SEOUL -- South Korea will airlift more Korean workers next week from Iraq where new coronavirus infection cases are spiking, the prime minister said Friday as the country is on alert over imported virus cases from the Arab country.

South Korea has confirmed 34 infection cases among the about 100 Korean construction workers who returned from Iraq on a chartered flight earlier this week.

S. Korea reiterates vow to crack down on anti-Pyongyang leaflets

SEOUL -- Efforts to improve the human rights of North Koreans, including guaranteeing their right to know, should be made in a way that does not escalate tensions, the unification ministry said Friday, renewing its pledge to crack down on launches of leaflets into the communist nation.

The remark comes after a local newspaper reported Friday that Park Sang-hak, the defector activist heading Fighters for a Free North Korea, and an international organization are preparing to file a petition to the United Nations against the South Korean government.

(LEAD) Moon urges prudent approach on levying more capital gains taxes on stock investors

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in on Friday stressed the need to keep encouraging retail stock investors here with a focus on boosting South Korea's equity market, Cheong Wa Dae said.

The statement came in response to a strong backlash against the government's taxation law revision plan to expand capital gains taxes for retail investors.

(LEAD) S. Korea's trade minister confident Japan will consider credentials in choosing WTO chief

GENEVA -- South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee voiced confidence Thursday that Japan will look at her credentials as a candidate rather than bilateral disputes in choosing its pick for the next World Trade Organization chief.

The global trade body is preparing to select a new director-general to succeed Roberto Azevedo of Brazil, who is set to step down next month.

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