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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:32 September 16, 2020

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

Trump says without him, U.S. would have been in nuclear war with N. Korea

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump insisted his country could have been in a nuclear war with North Korea if he had not been elected four years ago.

"Everybody said because of my personality, they said he'll be in a war immediately," Trump said of his election four years ago in a town hall event hosted by U.S. television network ABC. "Look at North Korea, how that's worked."

(LEAD) New virus cases under 200 for 2 weeks; marked slowdown still not in sight

SEOUL -- South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 200 for the 14th consecutive day on Wednesday, but a marked slowdown still appears to be some way off as local infections rebounded to triple-digit figures amid no letup in cluster infections and untraceable cases.

The country added 113 more COVID-19 cases, including 105 local infections, raising the total caseload to 22,504, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

(LEAD) Unification minister calls for N. Korea to implement summit agreements

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young called Wednesday for North Korea to implement agreements the leaders of the two Koreas reached during their 2018 summit talks and move forward the stalled inter-Korean relations.

Lee made the appeal during his first trip to the truce village of Panmunjom since his inauguration in July, also expressing hope for reopening of severed communication lines and resumption of "open-minded" dialogue between the two Koreas as soon as possible.

Ruling party chief voices hope for improved Seoul-Tokyo ties under new Japanese PM

SEOUL -- The chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday voiced hope for improved South Korea-Japan relations ahead of the expected appointment of Yoshihide Suga as the new Japanese prime minister.

Suga is set to win a parliamentary vote for prime minister later Wednesday following his election as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday. He will succeed Shinzo Abe, who has resigned over health issues.

N. Korea continues missile development: defense minister nominee

SEOUL -- North Korea is continuing to develop its missile capabilities, Defense Minister nominee Gen. Suh Wook said Wednesday, vowing to sternly respond to any provocations.

Suh made the remark in an opening speech during a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly amid speculation that the North could showcase a new strategic weapon at the 75th founding anniversary of its ruling party on Oct. 10.

PM warns of stern response against mass Oct. 3 rallies amid pandemic

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun pleaded with conservative civic groups Wednesday to withdraw plans to stage massive anti-government rallies in early October as the country is struggling to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The prime minister warned once again that the government will deal sternly with any illegal mass rallies to avert transmission risks.

S. Korea's exports of virus test kits rebound in August

SEOUL -- South Korea's exports of coronavirus test kits rebounded in August as the world grappled with a resurgence of the novel coronavirus, data showed Wednesday.

In the first 20 days of August, exports of virus test kits stood at US$106 million, compared with $123 million in July.

N. Korean leader vows continued cooperation with China in letter to Xi

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to further develop his country's relationship with China and support their joint efforts to defend socialism, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Wednesday.

Kim's latest pledge came in a letter sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who earlier sent a congratulatory message on the 72nd anniversary of the foundation of North Korea.

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