S. Korea: Covid-19 problems lessening as tension with N. Korea rising

Circus members performing during a drive-in circus in a parking lot in Seoul, South Korea. The circus's aim is to provide entertainment for people during the coronavirus outbreak. - AP

SEOUL, Sept 27 (Xinhua): South Korea reported 95 more cases of Covid-19 as of Sunday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 23,611.

The daily caseload stayed below 100 for two straight days, but the double-digit increase continued owing to cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.

Of the new cases, 33 were Seoul residents and 18 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

Twenty-two were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 3,183.

Two more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 401. The total fatality rate stood at 1.70 percent.

A total of 82 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 21,248. The total recovery rate was 89.99 percent.

Since Jan 3, the country has tested more than 2.29 million people, among whom 2,254,028 tested negative for the virus and 18,878 are being checked.

Meanwhile, AFP reported North Korea said on Sunday it is searching for the body a South Korean official killed by its troops, but warned that South Korean naval operations in the area threatened to raise tensions.

North korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a rare apology on Friday for the fatal shooting of the South Korean fisheries official in North Korean waters.

Seoul then urged Pyongyang to further investigate the fatal shooting and suggested it could be a joint probe by the two sides. South korea's military has accused the North's soldiers of killing the man, dousing his body in fuel and setting it on fire near the sea border.

North Korean state news agency KCNA said on Sunday that the country's authorities were considering ways to hand over the body to the South if it is found.

The report called it an "awful case which should not have happened" but warned that South Korean naval operations near the site of the incident had crossed into North korean waters.

"We urge the south side to immediately halt the intrusion across the military demarcation line in the west sea that may lead to escalation of tensions," KCNA said.

A spokesman for South korea's Ministry of National Defense had no immediate comment on the North's accusations.

South Korea has mobilised 39 vessels, including 16 naval ships, and six aircraft for the search, which continued on Sunday despite the North korean complaints, South korean news agency Yonhap said. North korea was beginning its own search operation to recover the body, KCNA said.

"We also took more necessary security measures in order to make sure that no more incident spoiling the relations of trust and respect between the north and the south would happen in any case, true to the intention of our Supreme Leadership," the report added, without elaborating.

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S. Korea , Covid-19 , Lesser , N. KOrea , Diplomatic Row , Rising


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