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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 September 14, 2020

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

(2nd LD) New virus cases under 200 for 12th day; eased virus curbs applied in greater Seoul

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 200 for the 12th straight day Monday, but health authorities remain on alert over continued cluster infections across the nation and untraceable cases.

The country began eased virus curbs in the greater Seoul area for the next two weeks, allowing eateries, franchise coffee chains and other facilities to operate normally under stricter quarantine measures.

(LEAD) Prosecutors question justice minister's son over alleged special favors

SEOUL -- Prosecutors questioned Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae's son over the weekend over allegations he got special extended leave during his mandatory military service in 2017, the prosecution said Monday.

The Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors Office said they called in the 27-year-old, surnamed Seo, on Sunday, and one of Choo's former aides on Saturday.

(LEAD) N. Korea's paper urges antivirus efforts in typhoon-hit areas

SEOUL -- North Korea's official newspaper called Monday for stepped-up antivirus efforts in typhoon-hit areas as a large number of people have been mobilized for recovery efforts.

North Korea has been scrambling to restore areas hit hard by three consecutive typhoons in recent weeks that flooded houses, streets and rice-producing regions.

Cheong Wa Dae dismisses criticism against phone service fee subsidy plan, says the aid is meaningful

SEOUL -- Cheong Wa Dae reaffirmed a plan Monday to provide all South Koreans, aged 13 or older, with 20,000 won (US$16.80) in one-off financial support for their communication service charges despite a backlash against it.

The government made the policy decision through "a lot of consideration," Lee Ho-seung, senior secretary to President Moon Jae-in for economic affairs, said during a radio interview.

S. Korean trade minister to head to Washington to drum up support for her bid to become WTO chief

SEOUL -- South Korea's trade minister plans to visit the United States this week to win support for her bid to become the new head of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee will depart for her four-day trip to Washington on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, where she plans to meet U.S. government and business officials.

HDC shares climb after Asiana deal collapses

SEOUL -- Shares in HDC Hyundai Development Co. climbed after its planned acquisition of debt-ridden Asiana Airlines Inc. fell through last week amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 10 a.m., HDC shares rose 1.2 percent to 25,050 won, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.9 percent gain, as it was relieved of the financial burden of taking over the carrier.

BTS leader RM donates 100 mln won to state-run art foundation

SEOUL -- RM, the leader of K-pop super group BTS and a well-known art buff, has donated 100 million won (US$84,000) to the art foundation of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) on the occasion of his birthday last week, the foundation announced Monday.

The donation will be used to distribute 4,000 art catalogues of leading South Korean contemporary art masters, including Kim Whan-ki, Lee Jung-seob and Yoo Young-kuk, to 400 public and school libraries across the country, according to the MMCA.

In 2017, U.S. fired missile to show target precision to N. Korea: Woodward book

WASHINGTON -- The United States had launched a precision missile in 2017 to demonstrate to North Korea its ability to precisely strike any target, be it the North's launch site or its leader watching a test launch, Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward says in his soon-to-be-released book "Rage."

The move came in response to North Korea's test-firing of its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States, Woodward said in his new book, "Rage," set to be released Tuesday.

Seoul stocks extend gains late Mon. morning on tech gains, eased virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korean shares extended gains late Monday morning on the back of advances in tech shares and eased social distancing measures against the new coronavirus.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 30.34 points, or 1.27 percent, to 2,427.03 as of 11:20 a.m.

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