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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:09 September 14, 2020

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

(3rd 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) Tests on 1,440 people find only 1 has coronavirus antibodies in S. Korea: KDCA

SEOUL -- Only one out of 1,440 people has antibodies for the new coronavirus in South Korea, a second round of antibody tests in the country showed Monday, reinforcing the notion that the nation's aggressive containment efforts might have curbed the prevalence of the virus.

The result also indicated that herd immunity, which refers to a scenario where enough people in a community develop immunity to an infection so that the infection stops spreading, is impossible in South Korea, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Moon says walking tightrope inevitable between virus control, economy

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday that South Korea should walk a fine line between antivirus efforts and measures to revitalize the economy, which is why the government has decided to relax some social distancing measures.

He was responding to a view that his administration was too "hasty" with its decision to lower the COVID-19 alert from Level 2.5 to Level 2 in the greater Seoul area, while the daily count of infections was staying in the triple digits.

(LEAD) N. Korea unlikely to test-fire SLBM around October anniv.: defense minister nominee

SEOUL -- North Korea has not shown signs of preparations to fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) anytime soon and chances of an SLBM launch on the occasion of October's founding anniversary of the Workers' Party appear low, defense minister nominee Gen. Suh Wook said Monday.

Suh made the comment in written answers to questions from lawmakers for his National Assembly confirmation hearing slated for Wednesday amid speculation that the North could test-fire an SLBM around the party's 75th anniversary on Oct. 10.

(LEAD) HDC, Asiana shares fall after deal collapses

SEOUL -- Shares in HDC Hyundai Development Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. fell Monday after the property developer's planned acquisition of the debt-ridden carrier collapsed last week amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

HDC fell 0.2 percent to 24,700 won (US$21) and Asiana plunged 2.5 percent to 3,965 won, far underperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.3 percent gain.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rally on tech gains, eased virus curbs

SEOUL -- South Korean shares jumped more than 1 percent Monday on the back of advances in tech shares and eased social distancing measures against the new coronavirus in the country. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 31.22 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 2,427.91.

(LEAD) 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.

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