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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 July 31, 2020

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

(LEAD) New virus cases rebound, imported cases still hampering virus fight
(ATTN: UPDATES with more info throughout; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases bounced back to above 30 Friday as infections coming in from overseas have showed no signs of letting up amid resurgences in global virus cases.

The country added 36 cases, including 22 imported cases, raising the total caseload to 14,305, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The number of locally transmitted cases reached 14.

(LEAD) More S. Korean workers return home from virus-hit Iraq
(ATTN: UPDATES 2nd para)

SEOUL -- Another group of South Korean workers returned home from virus-hit Iraq on Friday on a chartered plane, which may jack up imported cases here down the road, health authorities said.

The plane carrying 72 South Korean nationals who worked at Iraqi construction sites arrived at Incheon International Airport earlier in the day. Of the arrivals, 31 showed symptoms of the novel coronavirus, health authorities said.

Marine Corps general to be relieved of command over security failure in N.K. defector's border crossing

SEOUL -- The military decided to relieve a two-star Marine Corps general of his command over a border security failure in connection with a North Korean defector's recent return to his communist homeland, a military official said Friday.

The border crossing by the 24-year-old man, surnamed Kim, became known after North Korea reported Sunday that a "runaway" returned home in the border city of Kaesong with coronavirus symptoms and that the entire city was blocked off to prevent the spread of the virus.

Pompeo reaffirms U.S. goal of N. Korea's complete denuclearization

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday reaffirmed America's goal of North Korea's compete denuclearization, amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the communist country.

The reaffirmation came during a Senate hearing where Republican Sen. Cory Gardner asked Pompeo if Washington still pursues the "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of the Korean Peninsula."

Samsung overtaken by Huawei in global smartphone sales in Q2: report

SEOUL, July 31 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. has dropped to the second spot in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of the year, with China's Huawei Technologies Co. taking the top spot, a report showed Friday.

Samsung shipped 54.2 million smartphones in the April-June period to take a market share of 19.5 percent, according to industry tracker International Data Corp. (IDC). A year ago, Samsung's market share was 23 percent with its shipments reaching 76.2 million units.

(LEAD) S. Korea's industrial output rebounds in June
(ATTN: ADDS details, remarks from 5th para)

SEJONG -- South Korea's industrial output rebounded in June, possibly indicating that the nation's economy hit bottom amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Friday.

The nation's overall industrial production gained 4.2 percent on-month in June, following a 1.2 percent on-month decline in May, according to data compiled by Statistics Korea.

(2nd LD) LG Chem Q2 net profit jumps 5 times on EV battery output
(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 5, 7-12)

SEOUL -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's leading chemical firm, said Friday that its second-quarter net profit jumped five times from a year earlier on the back of improved production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Net profit reached 419.1 billion won (US$352 million) in the April-June period, compared with 83.8 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

N. Korean economy rebounds in 2019 on exports: BOK

SEOUL -- North Korea's economy is estimated to have expanded 0.4 percent from a year earlier in 2019, marking its first positive growth in three years on increased exports that came despite a wide range of international sanctions that limit trade, South Korea's central bank said Friday.

"North Korea's real gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.4 percent in 2019. (It) turned narrowly positive for the first time in three years since 2016 when it expanded 3.9 percent," the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a report.


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