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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 13:30 October 16, 2020

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

(2nd LD) New virus cases drop below 50 amid eased social distancing

SEOUL -- South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell sharply Friday, but health authorities are staying vigilant over possible cluster infections amid an eased social distancing scheme.

The country added 47 COVID-19 cases, including 41 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 25,035, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

S. Korea extends special travel advisory due to continued COVID-19 spread

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday it will extend its special travel advisory again for all countries and territories amid the continued spread of the new coronavirus.

The latest measure, which recommends citizens cancel or postpone their overseas travel plans, will remain in place until Nov. 17. The current advisory, issued for the third time Sept. 19, is set to expire Sunday.

S. Korea to launch annual defense drill to deter N. Korea

SEOUL -- South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday it will kick off an annual military exercise next week amid persistent nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

The Hoguk exercise, set to run from Monday through Oct. 30 across the country, will involve the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and diverse programs will be staged, such as joint landing drills and those to defend northwestern islands in the Yellow Sea.

(LEAD) Job losses extend into Sept. amid pandemic, unemployment rate rises to 3.6 pct

SEJONG -- South Korea lost about 392,000 jobs in September, marking a decline in the number of the employed for the seventh consecutive month, as the coronavirus pandemic hammered job markets, data showed Friday.

The country's jobless rate rose by 0.5 percentage point on-year to 3.6 percent in September, with the number of employed people falling to 27.01 million, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

Economic recovery shows signs of delay over virus resurgence: finance ministry

SEJONG -- Economic recovery has shown signs of delay due to a resurgence in new coronavirus infections in mid-August, but the pace of decline in exports eased, the finance ministry said Friday.

In a monthly economic report, called the "Green Book," the Ministry of Economy and Finance also flagged the economy's continuing uncertainty stemming from the virus resurgence.

BOK chief vows soft monetary policy to bolster virus-hit economy

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea (BOK) will maintain a soft monetary policy to bolster the recovery of the South Korean economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the top central banker said Friday.

"The BOK will keep its monetary policy accommodative to help the domestic economy bounce back," BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said at the start of an annual parliamentary audit of the central bank.

Seoul stocks extend losses late Fri. morning on COVID-19 jitters

SEOUL -- South Korean shares widened losses late Friday morning, as a resurgence of the new coronavirus stoked concerns over hopes of a global economic recovery.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 13.53 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,347.68 as of 11:20 a.m.

(LEAD) SK Telecom partners with Uber in mobility biz spinoff

SEOUL -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said Friday it will spin off its mobility platform business into a separate entity as it partners with U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. in a move to strengthen its focus in the connected mobility sector.

The business -- tentatively called T map Mobility Co. -- will be wholly owned by SK Telecom and become a separate company on Dec. 29, the mobile carrier said in a regulatory filing.

Upcoming album by Seventeen exceeds 1 mln in presales

SEOUL -- The upcoming special album by K-pop boy band Seventeen has scored more than 1 million preorders ahead of its release next week, the group's management agency said Friday.

"Presales of 'Semicolon' topped 1.1 million as of Friday," Pledis Entertainment said. "It is expected to become its second million-seller album, following the previous 'Heng:garae.'"

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