2020 in South Korea

The following lists events in the year 2020 in South Korea.

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South Korea

See also:Other events of 2020
Years in South Korea
Timeline of Korean history
2020 in North Korea






  • 2 March: There were over 4,200 confirmed cases.[9] With an additional 4,000 cases of COVID-19 within two weeks, and roughly 60% of the total infections nationwide having stemmed from the church, the Seoul city government asked prosecutors to press charges against the religious group's founder and senior members for murder, causing harm, and for violating the Infectious Disease and Control Act.[10] Interviews have occurred with all 230,000 members of the religious group and nearly 9,000 were said to be showing symptoms of the virus.[11] Due to the number of infections in the country, ninety-five countries have banned or limited entry for South Korean passport holders.[12] Testing is also conducted at drive-through testing sites where patients do not leave their vehicles, but are met by medical personnel in hazmat suits over several stations. The process is completed in a few minutes and results come in several days.[13]
  • 8 March: The KCDC in South Korea announced that 79.4% of confirmed COVID-19 cases were related to group infection. KCDC also announced that outbreak associated with Shincheonji Church totaled 4,482 infections, accounting for 62.8% of the total confirmed cases.[14][15]
  • 13 March: Since the first time since the outbreak on 20 January in which the number of recoveries, 177, was larger than the number of those who newly tested positive, 110.[16][17][18] However, with the recent cluster of cases in the Seoul Capital Area, there are new fears that infections may rise sharply.
  • 17 March:
    • The controversy about Shincheonji also continued, and generated international interest. After the lawsuit started by the Mayor of Seoul, the police raided the church premises to check whether the list of members supplied by Shincheonji pursuant to a request by the authorities was, as the Mayor argued, not complete. The authorities checked the list seized during the raid with the one Shincheonji had supplied, and concluded that discrepancies were minor.[19]
    • Around 79 church devotees were infected with the virus after attending the River of Grace Community Church. The infections were claimed to have been caused by spraying salt-water into followers' mouths, under the belief that this would protect them from the virus.[20][21] Nearly 140 churches in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul and is part of the Greater Seoul Area, will be closed if they do not implement preventative measures, including temperature checks, two-meter separation, and the wearing of masks.[22]
  • 30 March: As more churches are holding services despite a government order for social distancing, on 30 March, the controversial Manmin Central Church in Guro, Seoul became a cluster with 22 infections linked to a gathering in early March in which the group was preparing stock footage to use for online worship services. Other church clusters have appears in the cities of Suwon, Busan, Geochang, and Bucheon.[23]


  • 1 April: 2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Korea — As infection rates have risen outside Korea leading to increases of sick arriving in the country (476 of 9,661 cases were imported as of 30 March), the KCDC will be implementing stronger infectious disease control measures for travelers coming from overseas as of 1 April. Additionally, new self-quarantine measures for travelers coming from Europe or the United States will be in effect from the same day. For example, those showing symptoms but test negative, and those who are without symptoms and are staying short-term in Korea, need to quarantine for two weeks in a government provided facility.[24] Costs for the stay at the facility are the responsibility of the individual and total 100,000 won (US$81) per day.
  • 13 April: 2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Korea — It was reported that at least 116 individuals who were infected and later cleared of the virus had again tested positive. The cause for this is under investigation but early speculation considered faulty tests, reactivation of the virus instead of re-infection, or remnants of the virus might remain yet not be harmful to the host or other individuals.[25]
  • 15 April: The 2020 South Korean legislative election will be held this year. The Democratic Party and its satellite, the Platform Party, won a landslide victory, taking 180 of the 300 seats (60%) between them. The conservative alliance between the United Future Party and its satellite Future Korea Party won only 103 seats, the worst conservative result since 1960.[26][27]
  • 17 April: 2020 coronavirus pandemic in South Korea — The KCDC stated that it knew of 163 patients who were said to have recovered, but again tested positive. The exact cause was not known but they stated several possibilities.[28]
  • 18–22 April: After several days with new infections numbering in the single digits (April 18, 20, 22), the government announced it was going to start lifting restrictions starting with stores, and public services; After seeing Korea successfully lower cases of infection, President Moon Jae-in has engaged in "coronavirus diplomacy" with leaders of other nations, part of which involved exporting test kits to more than 20 countries.[29] On April 26, confirmed patient number 31 in Daegu was discharged after 67 days.[30]


  • 28 October: President Moon Jae-in announced South Korea's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, reaffirming Korea's Green New Deal.[31][32]



  1. ^ 박상수 (January 20, 2020). "S. Korea reports 1st confirmed case of China coronavirus". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "Koreas to temporarily close inter-Korean liaison office over virus concern". Korean Herald. January 30, 2020. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "South Koreans least trusting of Japan among six nations surveyed". The Japan Times. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  4. ^ 박상수 (10 February 2020). "Top U.S. envoy congratulates Parasite director for winning Oscar". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  5. ^ "신종 코로나바이러스 한국인 첫환자 확인". MK (in Korean). 서진우. Archived from the original on 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  6. ^ Shin, Hyonhee; Cha, Sangmi (2020-02-20). "'Like a zombie apocalypse': Residents on edge as coronavirus cases surge in South Korea". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  7. ^ Taylor, Adam (23 February 2020). "China says most new coronavirus cases in Hubei, as outbreak widens in South Korea, Iran, Italy". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2020-02-23. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  8. ^ Kim, Nemo (23 February 2020). "'It's ruining everyone': eerie quiet reigns in coronavirus-hit South Korean city". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2020. Barring the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, South Korea now has the highest number of infections outside China.
  9. ^ "476 additional cases are confirmed". Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2 March 2020. As of 0:00, 2 March 2020, 476 additional cases are confirmed, compared to yesterday afternoon (16:00, 1 March) which brings in total number of confirmed cases to 4,212.
  10. ^ "Seoul city seeks murder charges against sect founder over virus". Yahoo!. Agence France-Presse. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Coronavirus: South Korea sect leader to face probe over deaths". BBC. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  12. ^ Kim, Suki (4 March 2020). "How South Korea Lost Control of Its Coronavirus Outbreak". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020. Citing the number of covid-19 diagnoses in South Korea, ninety-five countries, including China and Japan, now ban or limit entry by South Korean nationals.
  13. ^ Watson, Ivan; Jeong, Sophie (3 March 2020). "South Korea pioneers coronavirus drive-through testing station". CNN. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  14. ^ [출처: 중앙일보] [코로나 종합] 서울백병원 환자 1명 확진…"대구 거주 숨기고 내원". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean).
  15. ^ "New cases of infections drop for third day". m.koreatimes.co.kr. 9 March 2020. Archived from the original on 10 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  16. ^ 서진우; 이석희; 우성덕 (13 March 2020). "코로나 '골든크로스'…완치>신규 확진자". 매일경제 MBN (in Korean). Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  17. ^ "대구서 코로나19 확진자 보다 완치자 많은 '골든크로스' 확연". DongA (in Korean). 15 March 2020. Archived from the original on 15 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  18. ^ 김동우 (15 March 2020). "15일 우한코로나 확진자 8162명…'골든 크로스' 사흘째". New Daily (in Korean). Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  19. ^ Kim, So-hyun (17 March 2020). "'Shincheonji didn't lie about membership figures'". The Korea Herald. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Coronavirus: saltwater spray infects 46 church-goers in South Korea". South China Morning Post. 16 March 2020. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  21. ^ "South Korea church used saltwater spray amid coronavirus outbreak". UPI. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Coronavirus: South Korea threatens to close churches for not enforcing preventive measures". South China Morning Post. Reuters and Associated Press. 17 March 2020. Archived from the original on 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  23. ^ Chan-kyong, Park (30 March 2020). "Coronavirus cluster emerges at another South Korean church, as others press ahead with Sunday services". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  24. ^ "The updates on COVID-19 in Korea as of 30 March". Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  25. ^ Smith, Josh (13 April 2020). "South Korea reports more recovered coronavirus patients testing positive again". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  26. ^ "South Korea's governing party wins election by a landslide". Al Jazeera. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  27. ^ McCurry, Justin (16 April 2020). "South Korea's ruling party wins election landslide amid coronavirus outbreak". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  28. ^ Se Eun Gong (17 April 2020). "In South Korea, A Growing Number Of COVID-19 Patients Test Positive After Recovery". NPR. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  29. ^ McCurry, Justin (23 April 2020). "Test, trace, contain: how South Korea flattened its coronavirus curve". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  30. ^ "대구 지역 코로나19 '31번째 확진자', 67일 만에 퇴원". news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  31. ^ "South Korea formally commits to cutting emissions to net zero by 2050". Climate Home News. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  32. ^ "UN chief hails Republic of Korea's vow to achieve carbon neutrality". UN News. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  33. ^ "배우 고수정 사망…향년 25세" [Actor Ko Su-jung died ... 25 years old] (in Korean). 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  34. ^ "조선황실 마지막 옹주 이해원씨 별세" [The last Emperor of the Joseon Dynasty, Lee Hae-won, died] (in Korean). 2020-02-09. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  35. ^ "미국인 웃겼던 코미디언 자니윤 별세…이제 무대는 천국으로" [American funny comedian Janie Yoon dies ... Now the stage is heaven] (in Korean). Korea Daily. 2020-03-10. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  36. ^ "이차수 전 대구 북구의장 코로나19 사망 소식에 보건당국 비상" [Health authorities emerged after news of the death of Corona 19, former chairman of the Daegu Buk-gu] (in Korean). Yonhap News Agency. 2020-03-10. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  37. ^ "소설가 현길언 전 한양대 교수 별세...향년 80세" [Novelist Hyun Gil-eun, former professor at Hanyang University, died] (in Korean). Eduin News. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  38. ^ "예술원 회원 문덕수 시인 타계 …모더니즘 문학에 기여한 거목" [Artist Deok-Soo Moon Poet Mangye… Contributions to Modernism Literature] (in Korean). 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  39. ^ "배우 문지윤, 18일 급성 패혈증으로 사망" [Actor Moon Ji-yoon dies from acute sepsis on the 18th] (in Korean). E-Daily. 2020-03-19. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  40. ^ "'한국 새의 아버지' 조류학자 원병오 교수 별세" ['Korean Father of Birds', Orthologist Won Byeong-oh dies] (in Korean). Chosun Media. 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  41. ^ "Ex-Prime Minister Chung passes way at 91". Yonhap News Agency. 2020-04-12. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  42. ^ Zhong, Raymond (25 October 2020). "Lee Kun-hee, Who Built Samsung Into a Global Giant, Dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2020.