Lee Myung-bak

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North Korea: 'Special Actions' Will Crush South's Leadership

North Korean army promises 'unprecedented peculiar means and methods'

(Newser) - North Korea's military says it will launch "special actions" soon meant to wipe out conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's administration. The army statement carried by state media Monday said the actions will last 3 to 4 minutes and be carried out "by unprecedented peculiar means... More »

Kim Jong Il's Will: Keep Peace by Building Nukes

But purported document advises waiting for a new president in South Korea

(Newser) - Kim Jong Il's last wish was for peace with South Korea—or at least, it was according to a document that a pair of South Korean think tanks claim is the dear leader's will. In it, Kim writes that North Korea should renounce its war with South Korea,... More »

US-South Korea Free Trade Opens to Cheers, Jeers

Korean left vows to change, repeal, if they win looming elections

(Newser) - The US-South Korea free trade agreement takes affect today, despite plenty of opposition in both countries, reports Reuters . As South Korea is the fourth-largest economy in Asia, US officials touted the deal as a major win for the American economy. "Starting today, Korea's doors are wide open for... More »

South Korea's Lee Visits White House

State visit coincides with new free trade agreement

(Newser) - President Obama welcomed Lee Myung-bak to the White House with all the requisite pomp and circumstance today, touting the newly-minted free trade agreement between South Korea and the US. “With our landmark trade agreement, we will bring our nations even closer, creating new jobs for both our people and... More »

South Korea's President: We're Not Afraid of War

He promises 'relentless' retaliation in radio address

(Newser) - Lee Myung-bak has a message for Kim Jong Il: Bring it on. In a radio address today, the South Korean president said he wasn’t afraid of war with the North, and vowed that his military would “respond relentlessly when they come under attack.” He told the people... More »

South Korea: We Will Bomb North if Attacked Again

But some still question the president's willingness to attack

(Newser) - South Korea is done taking crap from the North: It will deploy jets to bomb North Korea if Pyongyang attacks it again, said President Lee Myung-bak's newly appointed defense minister today. "In case the enemy attacks our territory and people again, we will thoroughly retaliate to ensure that the... More »

S. Korea: We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

President Lee Myung-bak announces tougher military policy

(Newser) - South Korea’s policy barring a military response to North Korean aggression is no more, said President Lee Myung-bak. “North Korea has provoked us on many occasions, but this is the first time they have made a direct attack on South Korean soil,” he noted. “Launching a... More »

China: Time for 6-Party Korea Talks

US-South Korea military exercises begin

(Newser) - As South Korea and the US begin naval exercises prompted by North Korean aggression, China is urging an emergency renewal of six-party talks on the matter, reports the New York Times . China wants to meet with North and South Korea, Japan, Russia, and the US in Beijing in the coming... More »

South Korea Eases Retaliation Rules

President walks tightrope over response to attacks

(Newser) - After declaring plans to boost defenses , South Korea announced a shift in military policy to make retaliation easier, the New York Times reports. New rules will allow South Korea’s military a more forceful response to any attack from Pyongyang. But with the public largely opposed to a military response,... More »

North: Drills Pushing Koreas to 'Brink of War'

Top US commander visiting island shelled by N. Korea

(Newser) - US-South Korean military exercises planned for this weekend are pushing the rival Koreas to "the brink of war," North Korea warns. A statement from the country's news agency described the drills, involving the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, as a reckless plan by "trigger-happy elements," the... More »

US Carrier Heads to Korean Waters

Military exercises to 'demonstrate strength of alliance'

(Newser) - The USS George Washington left a naval base in Japan today, bound for Korean waters to carry out joint exercises with the South Korean military. US officials say that while the 4 days of military exercises set to begin on Sunday were "planned well before yesterday's unprovoked artillery attack,... More »

South Korea Threatens 'Enormous Retaliation'

Lee: Deadly attack 'completely unforgivable'

(Newser) - Talk of all-out war is coming from both Koreas after yesterday's attack on a South Korean island by the north . South Korean President Lee Myung-bakhas put the country's military on its highest alert level and warned that the shelling is a "completely unforgivable" attack on civilians that cannot go... More »

US-South Korea Trade Deal Hits the Rocks

But broader G20 pact near

(Newser) - After days of furious negotiating, the US has failed to strike a free trade deal with South Korea. President Obama still hopes that the deal can be reached within a few weeks, but probably not before Obama leaves Seoul, the LA Times reports—a Korean official said that Lee Myung-bak... More »

S. Korea Blocks Trade With N. Korea

US backs South's new more aggressive stance

(Newser) - Tensions on the Korean peninsula were ratcheted up today when South Korea suspended trade with the North, closing its waters to North Korean ships. Showing a newly aggressive stance, President Lee Myung-bak also called on Pyongyang to apologize for the torpedo attack that sank a South Korean warship in March,... More »

South Korea to Workers: Take a Vacation Already

Directive forces hardest working developed nation to take more time off

(Newser) - South Koreans work more hours than any other developed nation but the country's production is lagging, a grim reality the government is trying to upend by forcing civil employees to take more of their allotted vacation days. A recent study shows that the average government worker takes just six of... More »

S. Korea Pardons Samsung Chief to Lead Olympic Bid

Convicted embezzler holds seat on Olympic Committee

(Newser) - South Korea has granted a pardon to a former Samsung chairman found guilty of embezzlement to allow him to lead the country's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics. President Lee Myung-bak said he pardoned Lee Kun-hee to allow him to keep his seat on the International Olympic Committee and to... More »

Latest Undeserved Honor: Black Belt

Obama is now a master of tae kwon do, with 0 years practice

(Newser) - This has gone too far. First President Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize “without actually producing any peace,” writes Andrew Malcolm. Now the South Korean president has awarded him a black belt in tae kwon do “after zero long years of study. What would Chuck Norris do?”... More »

Obama: We Will Sanction Iran

Obama ups pressure on Tehran, North Korea in South Korean speech

(Newser) - Barack Obama offered his toughest talk yet on nuclear issues today in a joint press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Obama blasted Iran for turning down a deal to turn their nuclear stockpiles into fuel rods, “for internal political reasons, or perhaps because they are stuck in... More »

US, South Korea Offer North 'Grand Bargain' on Nukes

Obama's envoy heading to Pyongyang next month

(Newser) - South Korea's president says he and President Barack Obama have agreed to offer North Korea a "grand bargain" aimed at ending the North's nuclear program. President Lee Myung-bak, speaking at a joint news conference today in Seoul, said the deal would be similar to his proposal for a package... More »

N. Korea Envoy Meets With South's Prez

(Newser) - An envoy from Kim Jong-il met with South Korea's president today to deliver the first direct communication between the two nations in 18 months, reports Reuters. The content of Kim's message to President Lee Myung-bak was not disclosed. But the fact that the 30-minute meeting happened at all indicates an... More »

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