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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 October 08, 2020

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

Moon calls for all-out support for Yoo Myung-hee's WTO chief bid

SEOUL -- President Moon Jae-in instructed his government Thursday to focus every effort on helping Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee win the ongoing race to become the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), his office said.

Moon issued the message during a meeting with Cheong Wa Dae aides following reports that Yoo has advanced to the final round in the competition, together with Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.

Unification minister orders probe into information leak on ex-N.K. diplomat's defection

SEOUL -- Unification Minister Lee In-young said Thursday he has ordered an investigation into the leak of information about a senior North Korean diplomat's defection to South Korea, rebutting speculation that the government could have disclosed it for political reasons.

Lee made the remark during a parliamentary audit session amid questions about how it became known this week that Jo Song-gil, who served as acting ambassador at North Korea's Embassy in Italy before disappearing in late 2018, has been living in South Korea since July last year.

(2nd LD) Virus cases fall back to double digits; potential spike still worrisome

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new infections rose by double digits Thursday, while the country is still worried over a possible resurgence of the coronavirus after a long holiday and another three-day break set for later this week.

The country added 69 COVID-19 cases, including 60 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,422, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

S. Korea to decide whether to further extend tougher virus curbs over weekend

SEOUL -- South Korea will decide over the weekend whether to extend tougher virus curbs in place across the nation since late August as the country assesses the post-Chuseok holiday virus situation, health authorities said Thursday.

The country designated Sept. 28-Oct. 11 as a special two-week period for tougher virus curbs across the country due to concerns that new virus cases may resurge after the three-day Chuseok fall harvest holiday that ran through last Friday.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 7th day on U.S. stimulus hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks extended their winning streak to seven straight sessions Thursday, thanks to the massive foreign buying that stemmed from U.S. stimulus hopes. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.02 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,391.96.

(2nd LD) LG expects best-ever Q3 results on robust home appliance, TV sales

SEOUL -- LG Electronics Inc. on Thursday expected its best-ever third-quarter earnings, as its home appliance and TV sales apparently got a boost from pent-up demand amid the pandemic-driven stay-at-home trend.

In its earnings guidance, the South Korean tech firm projected its operating profit at 959 billion won (US$831 million) for the July-September period, up 22.7 percent from a year earlier.

S. Korea launches probe into Google over potential fair trade violations

SEOUL -- South Korea has launched an antitrust investigation into Google over its plans to enforce commission fees for in-app purchases made through its mobile application store, a top official said Thursday.

The U.S. tech giant has come under intense scrutiny from South Korean regulators after it updated its global policy late last month to make all apps on its Play store use its proprietary billing system.

JCS chief says conditions for OPCON transfer could be revised if transition delayed too much

SEOUL -- Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul said Thursday conditions for the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul need to be revised if the transition is delayed too much.

Won made the remark during a parliamentary audit session, saying that South Korea is currently trying its best to meet the conditions as soon as possible under the framework agreed with the United States.

S. Korea, China agree to extend currency swap deal

SEOUL -- South Korea and China have agreed to extend their bilateral currency swap agreement, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said Thursday, in a move aimed at helping ease a potential liquidity crunch amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

In 2017, the BOK and People's Bank of China extended the won-yuan currency swap deal worth 64 trillion won (US$55.3 billion) for three years, and the arrangement was set to expire Saturday.

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