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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:00 September 11, 2020

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

(2nd LD) New virus cases under 200 for 9th day, S. Korea undecided on easing virus measures

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 200 for the ninth consecutive day Friday, but the country is still undecided over whether to extend enhanced virus measures in the greater Seoul area due to sporadic cluster infections and untraceable cases.

The country added 176 more COVID-19 cases, including 161 local infections, raising the total caseload to 21,919, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Gov't to decide whether to ease social distancing after watching situation for 1 or 2 more days: PM

SEOUL -- The government plans to decide whether to ease the tougher social distancing requirements in Seoul and the broader capital area after watching the virus situation for one or two more days, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Friday.

"Keeping an eye on the virus situation for one or two (more) days, the government will determine its position on the future quarantine measures after hearing sufficient opinions from experts," the prime minister said in a regular government COVID-19 response meeting. "We still have time (for deliberation), although it's not enough."

(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. to launch working-level 'alliance' dialogue: vice FM

WASHINGTON -- South Korea and the United States agreed Thursday to set up a new working-level dialogue channel to allow quick and constant consultation on various issues between the two countries, Seoul's First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun said.

Choi reached the agreement during talks with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun in Washington. The two sides also agreed to commit themselves to moving forward the countries' long-stalled discussions on defense cost-sharing, Choi said.

Chief of new disease control agency appointed in special ceremony at her local office

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in attended a rare ceremony outside Cheong Wa Dae to appoint Jeong Eun-kyeong, South Korea's disease control czar, as head of a new agency to operate autonomously with more authority and workforce.

Jeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), has been tapped to lead the upgraded state body, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), which will be launched Saturday to replace the KCDC.

Gov't to enhance virus-related privacy protection amid concerns over data breach

SEOUL -- The South Korean government on Friday announced additional measures to protect personal information, as the prolonged fight against the coronavirus pandemic has led to excessive data disclosures.

The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) released the measures to protect privacy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at minimizing harnessing private information.

Samsung to benefit from Huawei ban in long run: analysts

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. is likely to benefit from U.S. sanctions on Chinese tech titan Huawei Technologies Co. in the long run, analysts here said Friday.

The U.S. sanctions, which ban the supply of semiconductors made with American equipment or software to Huawei without prior approval from Washington, are set to take effect next Tuesday.

S. Korea to bolster investment in digital infrastructure

SEJONG -- South Korea will step up its investment in digital infrastructure as the coronavirus pandemic reinforced digital transformation, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Friday.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has taken place at a faster pace," Hong told an online forum on the digital economy.

S. Korea's money supply grows at fastest clip in nearly 11 years in July

SEOUL -- South Korea's money supply grew at the fastest pace in nearly 11 years in July as household and corporate lending grew amid a long streak of low rates and the new coronavirus outbreak, central bank data showed Friday.

The country's M2 stood at 3,092.8 trillion won (US$2.6 trillion) as of end-July, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

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