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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:00 July 24, 2020

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

(LEAD) Baseball, football fans to be allowed back in stadiums

SEOUL -- The wait is over for South Korean sports fans.

The government announced on Friday that fans of professional baseball and football will be allowed to attend games as early as Sunday, though on a limited basis.

(2nd LD) Four soldiers in Pocheon test positive for coronavirus

SEOUL -- Four more soldiers at front-line units tested positive for the new coronavirus following a cluster infection reported on a nearby base, the defense ministry said Friday, raising concerns over further spread of the virus in barracks.

The soldiers from three different units in Pocheon, some 45 kilometers north of Seoul, were confirmed to have COVID-19, after visiting an on-base church Sunday that confirmed patients from a nearby unit visited on the same day, according to the ministry.

Seoul stocks nearly flat on virus concerns, stimulus hopes

SEOUL-- South Korean shares traded nearly flat late Friday morning on growing investor wariness about the economic impact of the virus pandemic and stimulus hopes.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1.52 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,217.71 as of 11:20 a.m.

(2nd LD) Greater Seoul dogged by cluster infections, daily imported cases in double digits for month

SEOUL -- South Korea's new daily virus cases fell back to below 50 on Friday, but the country may report more infection cases coming in from overseas down the road as around 300 nationals arrived here from virus-hit Iraq.

The country identified 41 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,979, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, 28 were local infections, most of which were reported in the Seoul metropolitan area.

(LEAD) Moon replaces five secretaries; ex-vice defense minister installed in NSC

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in appointed Suh Choo-suk, former vice defense minister, as the No. 2 official at Cheong Wa Dae's national security office Friday in a reshuffle of his secretaries.

Suh replaces Kim You-geun, deputy director of national security, and he will double as chief of the secretariat of the National Security Council (NSC).

Heavy downpours pummel S. Korea, unleash flash floods, leave 4 dead or missing

SEOUL -- Heavy downpours with strong winds have hit South Korea, causing flash floods that killed three people and left scores of people stranded in floodwater.

The Central Disaster Management Headquarters said three people were found dead in their cars Thursday night, submerged in rain water in the southern port city of Busan. One man was reported missing after being swept away by a flooded stream in Ulsan, northeast of Busan.

(Yonhap Feature) Exotic animal cafes back in spotlight over virus risk

SEOUL -- For a refresh, Rhee Haeri, an office worker in Seoul, used to visit a neighborhood cafe where she could pet a meerkat, a unique experience in the country.

"I loved visiting such cafes and looking at rare animals," Rhee said.

U.S. official says N.K. must return to diplomatic engagement

WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. official has emphasized the need for North Korea to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement, the State Department said Thursday.

David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, raised the issue during a videoconference Monday with senior officials from member states of the East Asia Summit, the department said in a press release.

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