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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:31 July 20, 2020

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

(2nd LD) New virus cases at over 3-week low, imported cases still rising

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases fell below 30 for the first time in more than three weeks on Monday in a potential sign of a slowdown in virus infections, but imported cases continued to rise by double digit figures.

The country identified 26 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,771, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, just four were local infections.

Gov't to expand employment insurance to all workers by 2025: minister

SEOUL -- South Korea plans to put all working citizens under employment insurance coverage by 2025 as part of its ambitious policy project aimed at overcoming the new coronavirus pandemic, the labor minister said Monday.

With the plan, some 21 million people are forecast to be covered by the state employment insurance scheme by 2025, compared with the current figure that falls short of 14 million.

N.K. paper stresses surveillance on possible virus spread through imported goods

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper called Monday for increased surveillance against the possibility of the inflow of the coronavirus via imported goods as it is striving to stave off an outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

North Korea's media outlets have intensified calls for antivirus efforts since leader Kim Jong-un demanded "maximum alert" against COVID-19, saying complacency will lead to an "unimaginable and irretrievable crisis."

Moon's approval rating hits 9-month low amid falling support from core base: Realmeter

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating plunged to 44.8 percent, the lowest in nine months, as an increased number of people in their 30s, especially women, have turned their backs on the liberal-minded president, a poll showed Monday.

In a five-day survey on 2,516 adults nationwide through last Friday, the rating dropped 3.9 percentage points from a week earlier, according to Realmeter. It marks the lowest since 41.4 percent in the second week of October last year, when South Korea was in the midst of huge political rifts over Moon's appointment of Cho Kuk, one of his closest aides, as justice minister. Cho and his family were accused of having made illegal or unfair financial gains and received favors in schooling.

S. Korean man detained for lying to authorities tracing COVID-19

INCHEON -- A man who worked at a private education institution in Incheon was detained for not cooperating with authorities who were tracing the new coronavirus and apparently worsening the outbreak in the western port city, police said Monday.

The 24-year-old, who contracted the virus after visiting nightclubs in the Seoul neighborhood of Itaewon in early May, is suspected of lying to health authorities about his job and itinerary, which eventually led to a community spread in Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul.

S. Korea to soon draw up measure to supply more homes in Seoul, neighboring area

SEJONG -- South Korea will soon draw up measures to supply more homes in Seoul and its neighboring area, the finance ministry said Monday, in the latest move to curb rising home prices.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and senior policymakers held a meeting earlier in the day and discussed measures to help resolve housing supply shortage in the densely populated area, the ministry said in a statement.

Employment rate for 40-somethings hits 21-year low amid pandemic

SEJONG -- The employment rate for people in their 40s in South Korea hit a 21-year low in June as the coronavirus pandemic hammered job markets, data showed Monday.

According to the data from the nation's statistics agency, the employment rate for 40-somethings stood at 76.9 percent last month, marking the lowest rate since June 1999.

S. Korea's household debt highest in world in comparison with GDP

SEOUL -- South Korean households' debt is one of the world's highest when compared to the country's economic size while its debt grew at one of the highest rates in the first three months of the year, a report showed Monday.

As of end-March, South Korea's household debt came to 97.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the highest among 39 countries reviewed by the U.S.-based Institute of International Finance (IIF).

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