12 Stories

S. Korea to North: Time for Reunification?

Seoul broaches the idea of reunification tax

(Newser) - Given North Korea's penchant of late for threatening nuclear destruction and seizing fishing boats, the South had a strange message today: Let's get together. In a speech marking the Koreas' liberation from Japan, President Lee Myung-bak today called for a special tax that would pave the way for Seoul to... More »

Thatcher Urged Gorbachev to Block German Reunification

British leader warned Soviets that the change would endanger security

(Newser) - Margaret Thatcher called on Mikhail Gorbachev to halt German reunification months before the Berlin Wall came down, newly unearthed Kremlin documents reveal. Thatcher—telling the Soviet leader he should disregard NATO pronouncements on the issue—said the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact wasn't in the interests of the West, the... More »

20 Years Later, Berlin Starts Saving Wall

(Newser) - After many years of indifference, Berliners have started getting serious about saving what's left of the most famous symbol of the Cold War, Der Spiegel reports. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, locals viewed it as merely an unfortunate reminder of  a bad past and little thought was given... More »

Poll: Half of East Germans Positive on Communism

Nostalgic Germans believe life was better before the Berlin Wall came down

(Newser) - They may not be pining for the Stasi or the Trabant, but half of people recently polled in the former East Germany are thinking, in hindsight, that Communism wasn't so bad after all, Der Speigel reports. Nearly 20 years after the Berlin Wall came down, the poll finds  that 49% ... More »

N. Korea to Shut Border With South

Pyongyang angered by South Korean government's actions

(Newser) - North Korea says it will cut access to South Korea on Dec. 1, by closing the border and severing the sole civilian phone link between the two nations, the BBC reports. The North has grown increasingly hostile to the South since it elected President Lee Myung-bak, who promised to “... More »

Kim's Death Unlikely to Breed Chaos

Doomsday scenarios for North Korean succession farfetched

(Newser) - With Kim Jong Il conspicuously out of the public eye in recent months, some speculate that his death could shatter the North Korean government and precipitate humanitarian and possibly military crises. But the reality of succession, Philip Bowring writes in the International Herald Tribune, is likely to be far more... More »

US Embassy Returns to Berlin's Heart

But 'Fort Knox at the Brandenburg Gate' riles many in German capital

(Newser) - With the July 4 backdrop, the US opened its new embassy in Berlin today, bringing to a close a project planned since reunification. The new facility stands near the historic Brandenburg Gate, the same location as its pre-World War II predecessor. But, the New York Times reports, the building has... More »

Helmut Kohl, 78, Marries Girlfriend in Hospital

Health fears mount for architect of German reunification

(Newser) - Helmut Kohl, the chancellor first of West Germany and then of a reunified Federal Republic, has married at the age of 78. But the wedding, to an economist 30 years his junior, took place in a hospital amid fears that he is in deteriorating health. As the Independent reports, Kohl's... More »

Cyprus Will Resume Unity Talks

Opening of key street in divided capital signals thaw between Greek, Turkish blocs

(Newser) - Leaders of the Greek and Turkish portions of Cyprus said today they will restart negotiations on reunification of the Mediterranean island, Reuters reports. Dimitris Christofias, recently elected leader of Greek Cyprus, and Mehmet Ali Talat, who represents Turkish Cyprus, also announced that Ledra Street, a key shopping avenue long shut... More »

Communist Cyprus Prez to 'Work Within Free Market'

'Pragmatic' winner not hard-line red: analysts

(Newser) - New President Dimitris Christofias' win in Cyprus makes him the first Communist ever to lead an EU state—but he has pledged to work within the free market, reports the Guardian. His party has a Marxist manifesto, but analysts say that Christofias is a pragmatist whose policies are more social... More »

Greek Cypriots Elect Prez Committed to Unifying Isle

Cyprus leaders already agree to hold talks

(Newser) - Greek Cypriots have elected a communist president committed to reunification with the Turkish northern section of the divided island. Dimitris Christofias, educated  in the old Soviet Union, won 54% of the vote in a race against his right-wing rival. The new leader has promised to hold negotiations with the president... More »

Taiwanese Nationalists Win Big

Party seeks reunification, while independence-seeking president reels from results

(Newser) - Taiwan’s China-friendly opposition party dominated parliamentary elections today, the BBC reports, dealing a blow to the hard-line president 2 months before his own poll. The KMT, which supports closer ties with Beijing, trounced the ruling DPP, winning 72% of the seats in the 113-seat chamber. President Chen Shui-bian, resigning... More »

12 Stories