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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 September 07, 2020

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

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(2nd LD) New virus cases dip below 200 for 5th day; tougher virus curbs in greater Seoul extended

SEOUL -- The number of daily coronavirus cases in South Korea stayed below 200 for the fifth straight day on Monday, but health authorities remain alert over continued sporadic cluster infections across the country.

The country added 119 more COVID-19 cases, including 108 local infections, raising the total caseload to 21,296, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

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Resurgence of virus may prompt Korean economy back into contraction: KDI

SEJONG -- South Korea's economy is likely to reverse back into a contraction unless health authorities swiftly contain the recent resurgence of the new coronavirus, a state-run think tank said Monday.

"A resurgence of COVID-19 has increased the probability that the Korean economy will reverse back into a contraction," the Korea Development Institute (KDI) said in its English-language Monthly Economic Trends publication.

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BTS' Billboard win expected to create economic effect worth 1.7 tln won: report

SEOUL -- An estimated 1.7 trillion won (US$1.43 billion) worth of economic effect is expected to be created by K-pop sensation BTS' conquest of the Billboard Hot 100 chart last week, government data showed Monday.

Last week, BTS debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's main singles chart with its latest English-language single "Dynamite," becoming the first South Korean singer or group to achieve the feat.

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(LEAD) Mutually beneficial inter-Korean ties will help accelerate peace and nuclear talks: minister

SEOUL -- Mutually beneficial inter-Korean relations will help move the stalled denuclearization talks forward, the unification minister said Monday, calling for the two Koreas to take the lead in achieving "complete, verifiable and irreversible peace."

Unification Minister Lee In-young made the remarks in his online speech for the Korean Global Forum for Peace, an annual forum organized by his office, stressing that he will push for cooperation with the North in public health and other areas beneficial to the two Koreas.

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Party members respond swiftly to N.K. leader's calls for recovery efforts

SEOUL -- Some 300,000 North Koreans in Pyongyang have volunteered to help with recovery efforts in typhoon-hit eastern regions after leader Kim Jong-un called on party members in the capital city a day earlier to step forward to help, state media reported Monday.

In an open letter sent to party members in Pyongyang, Kim said about 12,000 elite party members of the capital city will be sent to North and South Hamgyong Provinces each to help with recovery efforts, the Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday.

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(2nd LD) Typhoon Haishen making landfall in Ulsan, disrupting flights, train services, plants

SEOUL -- Typhoon Haishen made landfall in Ulsan, north of the major southern port city of Busan, as it was traveling northward passing waters near Busan on Monday morning, bringing the country under its influence with heavy rains and strong winds, the weather agency said.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said the season's 10th typhoon arrived some 30 kilometers southwest of Ulsan at around 9 a.m., slightly changing its course westward. It was forecast to escape to waters northeast of Gangneung, Gangwon Province, at around 2 p.m.

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Naver webcomic's monthly active users top 67 mln in Aug.

SEOUL -- The webcomic arm of South Korea's top portal operator, Naver Corp., said Monday that the number of its monthly active users, or MAUs, surpassed 67 million globally last month.

Line Webtoon, a global service provided by Naver Webtoon Corp., said its MAUs rose 2 million in August from a month earlier.

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Pastor to be reincarcerated after court cancels bail

SEOUL -- A controversial pastor at the center of a COVID-19 resurgence in the country will be reincarcerated after a court canceled his bail Monday, legal sources said.

Jun Kwang-hoon, who pastors Sarang Jeil Church in northern Seoul, was accused by prosecutors last month of violating the conditions for his bail by taking part in large-scale anti-government rallies in downtown Seoul.

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Selective 2nd emergency handouts to fulfill solidarity, fairness: DP leader

SEOUL -- The government's plan to release a second round of emergency handouts to only those in greater need would bolster national solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic and fulfill social justice, the ruling party leader, Rep. Lee Nak-yon, said in his parliamentary speech Monday.

"People who are experiencing greater pain should be the ones (the government) helps first ... that's solidarity, as well as a way to fulfill justice," the ruling party leader said in his address marking the opening of a new regular National Assembly session. It kicked off last Tuesday for a 100-day run. It is Lee's first parliamentary speech since being elected the DP's chairman late last month.

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Vice FM Choi to meet Chinese, Japanese ambassadors amid Sino-U.S. rivalry, looming leadership change in Japan

SEOUL -- First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun was set to meet the Chinese and Japanese ambassadors on Monday, his ministry said, amid the intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry and a looming leadership change in Japan.

Since taking office last month, Choi has held and planned online and offline meetings with his foreign counterparts and ambassadors from major countries as part of efforts to ensure their support for Seoul's policy agenda, including its push for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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S. Korea's tourism income hits 17-year low in Q2 due to coronavirus pandemic

SEOUL -- South Korea's tourism income hit a 17-year low in the second quarter of this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.

For the April-June period, the country posted US$1.19 billion in tourism income, down 78.6 percent from $5.57 billion over the same period last year, according to data by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

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Korean firms' interim dividends sink over 21 pct on coronavirus

SEOUL -- South Korean listed companies' half-year dividends tumbled more than 20 percent this year on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, market data showed Monday.

Local listed firms paid out 2.92 trillion won (US$2.46 billion) in interim dividends in June, down 21.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from market tracker FnGuide.

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Expanded social distancing rules take effect as coronavirus keep spreading

SEOUL -- A set of tougher social distancing restrictions continued Monday to affect the daily lives of residents in Seoul and nearby areas, with eating at franchise bakeries and ice cream shops prohibited under a supplementary step.

The government earlier extended the so-called Level 2.5 alert against COVID-19 transmissions through this weekend, as it was struggling to bring a new wave of cluster infections under control.

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(Yonhap Feature) Big Hit Edu aims to help global ARMY connect with BTS via Korean learning

SEOUL -- Along with the global explosion of K-pop, the need among global fans to better understand what K-pop artists are singing, saying and writing in Korean has grown significantly.

The online edition of American business magazine Forbes highlighted in a recent article that many international fans of K-pop nowadays are turning to "fan translators on social media platforms as the most accessible news source."

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(LEAD) Samsung bags 8 tln-won equipment supply deal from Verizon

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea' leading tech firm, on Monday said it will supply network equipment to U.S. telecommunications giant Verizon for 7.89 trillion won (US$6.6 billion).

Samsung said it will supply network solutions, including 5G, for the next five years until Dec. 2025.

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Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin to face Yankees for 1st time this season

SEOUL -- Ryu Hyun-jin will take on his old nemesis, the New York Yankees, for the first time as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays this week.

Ryu has been named the Blue Jays' starter for the opening tilt of a three-game series at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, at 6:37 p.m. Monday (local time), or 7:37 a.m. Tuesday in South Korea. Ryu has a 3-1 record after eight starts this year with a 2.51 ERA, the fourth lowest in the AL.

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S. Korea to hike 2021 promotional budget for 'Korean Wave'

SEJONG -- South Korea will significantly hike its 2021 budget to promote the "Korean Wave," as Korean pop culture enjoys a growing popularity worldwide, according to the finance ministry Monday.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has set aside 696.1 billion won (US$584.8 million) for next year's budget to promote the nation's soft power, up 42.7 percent from this year's budget.

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WTO to launch selection process for new chief

SEOUL -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) will kick off the selection process for its new leader this week, with South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee locking horns with candidates from seven other countries.

During the first round of the process that will run through Sept. 16, representatives from 164 member states will provide a maximum of four preferences, after which three candidates will be removed from the race.
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