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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:00 July 27, 2020

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

(3rd LD) New virus cases dip below 30, imported cases still in focus
(ATTN: UPDATES with more info throughout; CHANGES photos)

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell back to below 30 on Monday as imported cases dwindled from a record high over the weekend, but the country is still on guard against a steady rise in cases coming in from overseas.

The country added 25 new cases, including 16 cases from abroad, bringing the total to 14,175, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Moon appoints new unification minister to serve as point man on Pyongyang

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in appointed Lee In-young, a four-term ruling party lawmaker, Monday as new unification minister in charge of inter-Korean relations, Cheong Wa Dae announced.

Accordingly, Lee's tenure has begun as of the day, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok wrote in a text message to reporters.

China to resume visa services for S. Korean students, employees

BEIJING/SEOUL -- China has agreed to resume visa issuance for South Korean students, employees hired to work in the country and those with residence permits, Seoul's top envoy in Beijing said Monday.

Ambassador Jang Ha-sung told reporters that the two countries have recently agreed on visa issuance for the three groups: students who were studying or plan to study in China, employees holding Z work visas and those who have valid residence permits.

(LEAD) S. Korea says runaway defector unlikely to have contracted virus, questioning N.K.'s claims
(ATTN: RECASTS throughout, CHANGES headline; ADDS byline, more info with comments from experts)

SEOUL -- A North Korean defector suspected to have fled to his communist homeland had neither tested positive for the coronavirus nor come into contact with confirmed patients, health officials said Monday, raising questions about Pyongyang's claims that he came back with virus symptoms.

The North claimed Sunday that the defector returned to his hometown in the border city of Kaesong on July 19 and that multiple tests showed he is suspected of virus infection. The North also said leader Kim Jong-un declared a state of emergency for the region and blocked off the city to prevent the virus from spreading.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day losing streak on stimulus hopes
(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed higher Monday, snapping a three-day losing streak, as stimulus steps in major economies boosted investors' appetite for risk. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.42 points, or 0.79 percent, to close at 2,217.86. Trading volume was high at about 918 million shares worth some 9.3 trillion won (US$11.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 561 to 284.

(LEAD) Moon calls for all-out measures for recovery of S. Korea's recession-hit economy
(ATTN: MODIFIES paras 2-3; UPDATES with remarks on coronavirus in last 6 paras)

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday the government will use every available policy means to pull off a prompt economic recovery, calling the third quarter of this year a crucial period.

He noted that Asia's fourth-largest economy posted negative growth for the past two consecutive quarters due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the economy has fallen into a recession, although Moon did not use that term publicly.

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