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Yonhap News Summary

Welfare/Medicine 13:30 September 28, 2020

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

(LEAD) New virus cases lowest in 48 days, virus curbs in place ahead of major holiday

SEOUL -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases increased by the smallest number in nearly two months Monday as the country steps up its virus fight ahead of Chuseok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.

The country added 50 more COVID-19 cases, including 40 local infections, bringing the total caseload to 23,661, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The daily new cases are the lowest in 48 days since Aug. 11 when 34 cases were reported.

S. Korea enforces enhanced virus curbs for upcoming holidays

SEOUL -- South Korea on Monday started to implement an enhanced social distancing scheme for upcoming holidays to better curb the nationwide spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government has designated Monday to Oct. 11 as a special period for strengthened virus curbs as many people are expected to travel during the Chuseok holiday, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

N. Korea unresponsive to S. Korea's call for reopening military hotline

SEOUL -- An inter-Korean military communication line remained inoperative as of Monday morning, the defense ministry said, a day after South Korea called for reopening the line for communication related to a proposed joint probe into North Korea's killing of a South Korean fisheries official.

On Sunday, South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae urged the North to restore the military hotline for communication about Seoul's proposal to conduct a joint investigation into the North's killing of the fisheries official drifting in its waters.

U.S. arms control envoy to hold talks in Seoul about China threats

SEOUL -- The U.S. special envoy for arms control was to hold talks with South Korean officials Monday about how to cope with China's arms buildup, as Washington pushes to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia as a counterbalance.

Marshall Billingslea, special U.S. presidential envoy for arms control, will meet with Ham Sang-wook, deputy foreign minister for multilateral and global affairs, Seoul officials said. The U.S. diplomat arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a two-day visit.

Internet banking transactions at new record high in H1

SEOUL -- South Korea's internet banking services continued to grow in the first half, with the number of users and daily transactions rising to new highs, central bank data showed Monday.

The number of internet banking, including mobile banking, came to 164.8 million as of end-June, up 3.5 percent from six months earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Top mobile payment tool Kakao Pay eyes IPO next year

SEOUL -- South Korea's No. 1 mobile payment service provider, Kakao Pay, is pushing for an initial public offering during the first half of next year, industry sources said Monday.

To that end, Kakao Pay has recently chosen local brokerage KB Securities as the lead manager and is preparing to win approval from the Financial Supervisory Service.

Seoul stocks extend gains late Mon. morning on Wall Street rally

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Monday morning, taking a cue from U.S. stock rallies seen last week.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 30.8 points, or 1.35 percent, to 2,309.59 as of 11:20 a.m.

BTS to drop new album 'BE' in Nov.

SEOUL -- K-pop superstars BTS will drop their new album "BE (Deluxe Edition)" next month, the band's agency announced Monday.

"BTS's new album 'BE (Deluxe Edition)' will be released on Nov. 20," Big Hit Entertainment, the band's label-agency, announced on the group's online fan community BTS Weverse.

(LEAD) Rangers' Choo Shin-soo bunts for single in final at-bat of 2020

SEOUL -- If indeed this was his final at-bat for the Texas Rangers, South Korean veteran Choo Shin-soo has gone out in the only way he knows how: playing hard.

With his family watching from the stands, Choo came off the injured list and put a bunt down for a single against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday (local time).

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