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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 July 21, 2020

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

(3rd LD) S. Korea's first military satellite launches atop SpaceX rocket

WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korea's first military communications satellite was successfully launched into space Monday, Seoul's arms procurement agency said, making the country the world's 10th to own a communications satellite for military purposes only.

The Anasis-II satellite lifted off atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket manufactured by U.S commercial space firm SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:30 p.m. (U.S. time), according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

(2nd LD) No discussions on USFK troop reduction during S. Korea-U.S. defense chiefs' talks

SEOUL -- No discussions took place on U.S. troop levels in South Korea when Defense Minister Jeong Kyung-doo spoke by phone with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday, the defense ministry said.

The 50-minute conversation came just days after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon has presented the White House with options to reduce troop levels in South Korea amid a deadlock in negotiations to share the cost of the American troop presence.

Minister nominee calls for humanitarian cooperation with N.K. independently of 'working group' with U.S.

SEOUL -- South Korea should pursue inter-Korean humanitarian cooperation independently of the "working group" forum set up to coordinate North Korea policy with the United States, unification minister nominee Lee In-young said Tuesday.

Lee, a four-term lawmaker, made the remarks during a meeting with reporters in central Seoul, adding that "small-scale trade" with the North especially in humanitarian areas could be a way to overcome restraints posed by global sanctions in expanding cross-border exchange and cooperation.

(LEAD) New virus cases bounce back to over 40 on cluster infections, imported cases

SEOUL -- South Korea reported more than 40 additional new coronavirus cases on Tuesday due to cluster infections tied to a nursing hospital in the capital city, while imported cases remained high.

The country identified 45 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,816, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, 20 were local infections.

Chartered flights to bring bizmen to Vietnam, China this week

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it plans to send businessmen on chartered flights to Vietnam and China this week as the new coronavirus pandemic has virtually suspended global air traffic, disrupting their travels.

Under the plan, around 570 businessmen from 240 companies will start being sent to Vietnam on chartered airplanes Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's exports drop 12.8 pct in first 20 days of July

SEJONG -- South Korea's exports dropped 12.8 percent on-year in the first 20 days of July amid the economic fallout from the new coronavirus, customs data showed Tuesday.

The nation's outbound shipments stood at US$24.6 billion in the July 1-20 period, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

S. Korea to expand FTA network to overcome virus pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea said Tuesday it will speed up efforts to expand its free trade agreement (FTA) networks to overcome the economic jitters sparked by the new coronavirus pandemic.

"South Korea will not only focus on opening markets but seek to build a sustainable partnership with developing nations on the back of FTAs," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said during a conference with business organizations and companies held in Seoul.

Daewoo Shipbuilding joins hands with Port of Rotterdam to develop smartships

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's second-largest shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed with the Netherlands' Port of Rotterdam Authority to develop ship-related smart technologies.

Under the agreement, Daewoo Shipbuilding will push for a study to develop smartships suitable for digitized ports with the port authority over the next three years in order to dominate the future autonomous ship market, the shipbuilder said in an e-mailed statement.

Samsung, Hyundai Motor heirs set to discuss cooperation in mobility biz

SEOUL -- Heirs of South Korea's top two conglomerates -- Samsung and Hyundai Motor -- will discuss possible cooperation in the electric vehicle (EV) and mobility businesses, the groups said Tuesday.

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung's de-facto leader, will share his views on future mobility solutions with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun later in the day following his visit to the automaker's Namyang Research & Development Center in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.

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