tbs eFM 101.3 News http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsMain.do Minor Natural Earthquake Detected Near N. Korea's Nuclear Test Site http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382881&typ_800=U A minor earthquake detected in northeast North Korea this morning, is presumed to be a natural tremor induced by its nuclear test in 2017. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the magnitude 2.5 quake occurred at 9:33 a.m. about 3 kilometers southeast of the North's now defunct Pungye-ri nuclear test site. The North carried out at least six nuclear tests there, including the latest and most powerful explosion in September of 2017. The nuclear test induced a number of natural tremors since, and today's quake seems to be the latest. In May 2018, Pyongyang demolished the site in the presence of foreign journalists as part of its denuclearization pledge.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291845+0900 Inquire 120 DASAN Seoul Call Center On New Coronavirus: Seoul City http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382880&typ_800=O Seoul City says information about the new coronavirus is available via the 120 DASAN Call Center. The city government's public healthcare management director Na Baek-joo said the public can access information related the virus outbreak including designated medical clinics. The announcement came after a growing number of complaints over a long waiting time when calling the 1339 national hotline. Na added more hygiene supplies including hand sanitizers will also be provided to construction sites where many Chinese workers take part in building projects.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291844+0900 (BBC) Number of Infections Of New Coronavirus Rises Sharply, At Quicker Rate Than SARS http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382876&typ_800=M [Anchor] The number of confirmed cases of the new respiratory virus in China has again risen sharply, standing just under 6,000. On top of the nearly 6,000 cases in the mainland, Hong Kong has eight and Macao has five cases of infection. The BBC's Robin Brant reports on the rapid spread of the new coronavirus. [Clip: Brant: 00: 27] "The number who've died and the number affected continues to increase daily at a significant rate. The death toll is up around 20 percent on yesterday. Those who contracted this new type of coronavirus is up by near to 30 percent. Both of those according to official figures from the Chinese government. Although it is believed to be less deadly, this virus appears to be spreading more quickly than the SARS outbreak 18 years ago. More people have now been infected here."■ Jenna Lee 202001291832+0900 Complaints Over Online Face Mask Sales Rise As Some Sellers Jack Up Prices http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382875&typ_800=J Complaints over skyrocketing prices of face masks by some online sellers are growing as demand for face masks has soared amid the new coronavirus outbreak. Although a range of price options are available, some sellers have been jacking up the prices for their items by as much as up to 12 times. According to Yonhap, more than 40 cases complaints have been reported to the Korea Consumer Agency, while a growing number of consumers in online communities are expressing their complaints over the hiking prices. Most cases have reportedly been occurring in open markets like e-commerce websites, where intervention is difficult as sellers can freely upload their offers on the sites.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291822+0900 Some 700 Korean Evacuees From Wuhan To Be Registered In Jincheon, Asan http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382871&typ_800=N [Anchor] Some-700 Korean South Koreans to be airlifted this week from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, will be quarantined at two locations in the central part of the country and monitored for two weeks. Two government facilities in Jincheon and Asan of Chungcheong Province have been designated as suitable facilities. Our Woongtae Ryu has the details. [Reporter] According to the government, National Human Resources Development Institute in Jincheon in North Chungcheong and Police Human Resources Development Institute in Asan in South Chungcheong have been chosen for the facilities to quarantine those return from Wuhan. A safety ministry official said that the two facilities were decided for the mission given their locations from local medical institutions, airports and distance from the local residents. Each facility is around 10 kilometers away from the downtown of each city and difficult to be accessed by the public transportation. Previously nominated facilities in Cheonan and Mokcheon have been scrapped off the list due to backlash from the local residents. Starting tomorrow, Second vice foreign minister Lee Tae-ho will lead the evacuation mission with over 20 government officials aboard the first plane scheduled to leave Incheon International Airport in the morning. A second chartered plane will leave at noon to Wuhan, followed by two other planes to take off from Gimpo Airport on Friday. Meanwhile, confirmed cases of infection of the coronavirus in South Korea remain at four, unchanged from Monday, while 155 have been tested negative and released from observation and test results for 28 are expected within today. Woongtae Ryu, eFM News.■ Woongtae Ryu 202001291810+0900 Asiana Airlines To Suspend Some China Flights Amid Coronavirus Outbreak http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382811&typ_800=J Asiana Airlines will temporarily suspend some of its routes to China from next week. The South Korean flag carrier said starting February 1 it will suspend flight services from Incheon to Guilin and to Haikou until further notice. Flights from Incheon to Changsha will also be halted from February 3. Earlier this week, local low-cost carrier Air Seoul revealed it was temporarily suspending all its Chinese routes. Jeju Air, Eastar Jet and Jin Air have also decided to halt some of their services to Chinese cities.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Meeyeon Ahn 202001291700+0900 Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk Suspended From Duty As Professor After Indictment http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382850&typ_800=P Former justice minister, Cho Kuk, has been suspended from his duty as a professor at Seoul National University. The move comes after Cho was indicted earlier this month on bribery and other charges in relation to a scandal involving his family. The university said it reached the decision considering that the charges pressed against Cho make it difficult for him to perform his job. It distinguished the administrative action from punishment, including dismissal, and whether to punish him would depend on the outcome of trial proceedings. Cho is able to keep his status as a professor, but he cannot teach. Following the decision, Cho said on this Facebook post that he finds inappropriate for the university to take such a measure based only on the indictment, but he will calmly accept the decision.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291659+0900 Australian Lab First Grows Coronavirus Outside China http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382843&typ_800=M Australian scientists have successfully replicated the new coronavirus, becoming the first to recreate the virus outside China. The Doherty Institute in Melbourne said on Wednesday that the lab-grown coronavirus will be used to generate an antibody test that would allow the virus to be detected in patients who haven't shown symptoms. Upon the outbreak, China was quick to trace the genome of the virus and make the information public, but did not share the virus itself. The latest discovery, a major step toward finding a vaccine against the deadly virus, will be shared with the World Health Organization and around the world.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291659+0900 USFK Sends 60-Day Notice Of Potential Furlough To S. Korean Employees Amid Tough SMA Talks http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382853&typ_800=N U.S. Forces Korea has begun sending a 60-day notice of potential furloughs to its nearly 9,000 South Korean employees, in an apparent move to further pressure Seoul to pay more over the allies' defense cost-sharing. The USFK said in a press release on Wednesday, due to the 2019 special measures agreement lapse and the continued absence of a subsequent agreement, it began notifying South Korean employees of a potential administrative furlough that could take effect from April 1st. It said the 60-day notice comes in line with U.S. law, and that it provided the employees with a six-month notice last October. The U.S. military also added that to remain "open and transparent, the USFK will host town hall meetings across the peninsula for its South Korean workers through tomorrow. Washington has demanded a significant increase in Seoul's financial contributions to stationing U.S. troops in Korea. South Korea has maintained that the negotiations should proceed within the framework of the previous SMA, which expired at the end of December. The two sides are expected to hold the next round of talks over the issue in Seoul next month.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Hyeryeon Chung 202001291658+0900 S. Korea To Bring Back Citizens From Wuhan http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382851&typ_800=N South Korea will send a chartered plane to the Chinese city of Wuhan this week to bring back its citizens there amid increasing anxiety and concerns about the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The first plane is expected to leave Incheon International Airport tomorrow morning with over 20 government officials aboard led by Second vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho. A second chartered plane will continue the operation as it is set to leave at noon heading to Wuhan. The government's team together with evacuated Korean citizens will return to Gimpo International Airport. Two other chartered planes are also set to use Gimpo Airport on Friday to bring back the remaining citizens.■ Meeyeon Ahn 202001291655+0900 Fears Of New Coronavirus Spreading In College Campuses http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382844&typ_800=P Fears over the new coronavirus have been reportedly spreading to university campuses in South Korea upon the return of many Chinese students from their winter vacation. While some students express their concerns calling for their schools to come up with measures to prevent possible spread of the virus, some are guarding against groundless fears and hate remarks about Chinese students. Individual universities including Seoul National, Yonsei and Sogang universities have begun to take countermeasures, asking students who have traveled to the Chinese city of Wuhan to return after 14 days. Ewha Woman's University canceled group campus tours and orientation programs. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said it is discussing ways with universities to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Jenna Lee 202001291606+0900 Japanese Evacuation Flight Brings Back Workers From Wuhan http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382845&typ_800=M The first group of Japanese evacuated from Chinese city of Wuhan has arrived in Tokyo. Four of the over 200 evacuees reportedly had minor symptoms and were taken to a hospital in Tokyo which is specialized in treating infectious diseases. The Japanese government sent a chartered flight to pick up its people, most of whom resided close to the Wuhan seafood market linked to the first cases of the new coronavirus. Japan has seven cases including what could be the first human-to-human infection in the country. Officials in the country say about 650 Japanese citizens and their families in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hebei province had sought to return home.■ Meeyeon Ahn 202001291603+0900 China, WHO Work On Coronavirus Containment As Death Toll Surpasses 130 http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382820&typ_800=M [Anchor] China has confirmed 26 more fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak as of Wednesday morning, raising the death toll to over 130, with nearly 6,000 cases of infection. As the Chinese government works with the World Health Organization and other authorities to contain the rapidly spreading disease, foreign governments have begun evacuating their citizens from the province at the epicenter of the outbreak. Our Christine Min has more. [Reporter] Of the more than 130 deaths from the virus so far, most have been reported in China's Hubei province, considered ground zero of the outbreak. Meanwhile, the number of cases has reached nearly 6,000, exceeding that of the SARS outbreak in 2002 that infected more than 5,300 people in mainland China. More than 50 million people are essentially locked down in and around the infected region to prevent the respiratory disease from spreading. But as anxiety and concerns mount, countries such as the United States and Japan have already begun airlifting their citizens out of Wuhan. South Korea plans to send four chartered planes to the city from Thursday to Friday to evacuate some 700 of its nationals. France also said it intends to begin evacuating its citizens in the coming days. In efforts to get hold of the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with the chief of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in Beijing on Tuesday. The two agreed to allow international experts into the country to help investigate the situation and boost containment efforts. Christine Min, eFM News.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Christine Min 202001291237+0900 Magnitude 7.7 Quake Hits Carribean http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382819&typ_800=M A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake has struck the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and Cuba. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor hit Tuesday at 2:10 p.m. Eastern Time and was centered 139 kilometers northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometers west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba. The epicenter was recorded at a relatively shallow 10 kilometers beneath the surface. There were no reports of casualties or heavy damage. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned the quake could generate waves up to about 1 meter above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize, but later issued a message saying the danger had passed. A series of strong aftershocks were felt, including one measured at magnitude 6.1.■ <Image: Yonhap News> Rosyn Park 202001291231+0900 S. Korea To Cover All Domestic Coronavirus-Related Costs http://tbs.seoul.kr/eFm/newsView.do?idx_800=2382818&typ_800=N The government plans to cover the costs associated with domestic efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. The health ministry announced Wednesday that the government will pay for all expenses related to the screening of suspected cases, treatments for the disease and the isolation of infected patients. The ministry said it will cover everything from the moment a patient is hospitalized until he or she is discharged, with the only exception being if the patient gets a checkup for other, non-virus related illnesses. DNA testing to determine if a person has the novel coronavirus costs over 100,000 won, with drug treatment, hospital beds and other special equipment needed to monitor an infected patient likely to run into the tens of millions of won.■ <Photo: Yonhap News> Christine Min 202001291230+0900