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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 16:59 July 22, 2020

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

SME exports dip 13.4 pct in Q2 on coronavirus

SEOUL -- Exports by South Korean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sank at a double-digit rate in the second quarter of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.

Local SMEs' overseas shipments came to US$22.5 billion in the April-June period, down 13.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, marking a sharp turnaround from the 2 percent on-year increase in their exports in the first quarter, which were worth $24.2 billion.

(3rd LD) Cluster infections, imported cases push new virus cases above 60

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases rebounded to over 60 on Wednesday due to a rise in locally transmitted infections and imported cases, with the greater Seoul seeing a sharp increase in virus cases tied to a nursing home and a front-line military unit.

The country identified 63 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,879, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, 29 were local infections.

U.S. push for troop flexibility could boost chances of off-peninsula USFK missions

SEOUL -- The U.S. push for greater "strategic flexibility" for its forces deployed around the world could increase the chances of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) being mobilized for missions beyond the Korean Peninsula, experts said Wednesday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday that he wants to pursue more rotational force deployments into theaters as it give the U.S. "greater strategic flexibility in terms of responding to challenges around the globe."

(LEAD) Civic groups call on rights commission to probe alleged sex abuse by late mayor

SEOUL -- Civic groups representing the victim of the alleged sexual harassment by the late mayor of Seoul called on the national rights commission Wednesday to conduct an independent probe of the incident, rejecting the Seoul government's proposal to launch a joint probe team.

They also urged city officials to take responsibility for contributing to what they claimed was a hierarchical work culture that turned a blind eye to the case.

N. Korea has unpaid loan of US$40 mln with U.N. agricultural agency: report

SEOUL -- North Korea has not paid back its outstanding loan of US$39.95 million owed to a United Nations agricultural development agency for nearly a decade, the agency said in a recent report.

In its annual report, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said North Korea has only reimbursed $10.54 million out of the $50.49 million it borrowed from the agency.

Dolby Laboratories opens premium cinema in S. Korea

SEOUL -- Dolby Laboratories Inc., a U.S.-based audio and imaging technology giant, on Wednesday opened its premium cinema in South Korea in partnership with local multiplex operator Megabox.

South Korea's first Dolby Cinema will be at the Megabox COEX branch in southern Seoul, one of the biggest movie theaters in the country.

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