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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 29, 2020

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

New virus cases bounce back to over 40 on surge in imported cases

SEOUL -- The number of new daily coronavirus in South Korea bounced back to above 40 Wednesday as both imported cases and local transmissions climbed up.

The country added 48 cases, including 34 imported cases, raising the total caseload to 14,251, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Military to resume reserve forces' training in September in scaled-back manner over coronavirus

SEOUL -- The defense ministry decided to hold this year's regular training sessions for reserve forces in a scaled-back manner starting in September after monthslong delay due to the new coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.

The training for the country's 2.75 million-strong forces was supposed to kick off in March across the nation, but it has been put off several times due to COVID-19.

Satellite imagery suggests uranium enrichment ongoing at N.K. nuclear complex: U.S. monitor

SEOUL -- Commercial satellite imagery suggests that North Korea is continuing activities possibly related to uranium enrichment at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, a U.S. monitor has said.

Regular appearances of railcars and what were believed to be liquid nitrogen (LN) tanker trailers at the uranium enrichment plant indicate that some sort of ongoing enrichment operations, according to 38 North.

Korea's consumer sentiment soars to 5-month high in July

SEOUL -- South Korea's consumer sentiment continued to improve this month from a month earlier, reaching the second-highest point since the country reported its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus six months earlier, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country's composite consumer sentiment index came to 84.2 in July, up 2.4 points from the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Big companies trim about 12,000 jobs on coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korea's large businesses have cut nearly 12,000 jobs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

According to data from CEO Score, the number of subscribers to the country's state pension fund at 498 large corporations fell by 11,880 between February and June.

The decline contrasts with an increase of 3,747 subscribers during the same period a year earlier.

Coronavirus revives Jeju's past glory as S. Korea's best honeymoon destination

SEOUL-- Goh Dong-wan, a 34-year-old office worker based in Seoul, had a plan to go to Europe for his honeymoon after his wedding on April 11.

But the once-in-a-lifetime trip, which he prepared last year, was scrapped as the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted overseas flights and prompted European countries to impose entry bans.


Korean display makers' TV panel shipments sharply down in H1: report

SEOUL -- South Korean display makers' TV panel shipments in the first half of the year decreased sharply as they push to scale down their LCD business, a report showed Wednesday.

Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. -- the country's top two players -- were ranked fifth and sixth respectively in terms of global TV shipments in the January-June period, according to a report from market researcher TrendForce.


UNICEF grants sanctions waiver for aid project in N. Korea

SEOUL -- The United Nations has granted a sanctions waiver for one of its agencies to provide assistance to North Korea for its fight against malaria and tuberculosis amid the global coronavirus pandemic, a U.N. website showed Wednesday.

The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) received the exemption for its plan to send US$758,920 worth of medical equipment needed to treat patients suffering from such diseases, according to the website.


Unification ministry to brief U.N. rapporteur on decision to probe activist groups over

anti-N.K. leafleting

SEOUL -- Unification ministry officials will hold a video meeting with the United Nations special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights this week to explain the ministry's recent decision to probe activist groups over campaigns to send anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the communist nation, an official said Wednesday.

The meeting with Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana, set for Thursday, comes after the ministry said it would inspect dozens of activist groups, including those run by North Korean defectors, to see if they are operating in accordance with their declared business purposes.


Pompeo cites S. Korea as 'democratic friend' that shares American values

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has mentioned South Korea as one of America's "democratic friends" that value freedom and economic prosperity under the rule of law, as he criticized China for undermining such values.

Pompeo made the remark Tuesday after he and Defense Secretary Mark Esper held annual "two plus two" ministerial consultations in Washington with their Australian counterparts. China was a key topic in this year's meeting.


N.K. media outlet slams S. Korea for joining U.S.-led RIMPAC exercises

SEOUL -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Wednesday slammed South Korea for its decision to participate in a U.S.-led multinational maritime exercise slated to kick off next month amid global efforts against the coronavirus.

The biannual Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), designed to enhance combined operational capabilities for maritime security, is set to be held from Aug. 17 to 31.

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