South Korea

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Korea Deal: N. Says Sorry, South Cuts Propaganda

Deal struck after marathon 30 hours of talks to deescalate tensions

(Newser) - South Korea says it has agreed to halt propaganda broadcasts in a matter of hours after North Korea expressed regret over a recent land mine blast that maimed two South Korean troops, and CNN reports that it will lift its "semi-state of war." South Korean national security adviser... More »

50 N. Korean Subs Go Missing

S. Korea military official says subs have disappeared off radar, raising concern

(Newser) - Top government officials from the Koreas met over the weekend in the border town of Panmunjom to discuss keeping the peace , Reuters reports. But North Korea seems to be hedging its bets after a South Korean military official said that 50 of its northern foe's submarines have disappeared, the... More »

North, South Korea Back Off War Footing at Deadline

They hold rare peace talks after days of threats

(Newser) - The West is not waking up to a shooting war between North and South Korea, despite an ultimatum by the North to that effect. Instead: peace talks. Pyongyang had demanded that the South dismantle its propaganda-blaring loudspeaker systems along the border by about 4am Eastern or risk "all-out war,... More »

N. Korea Says It Is in 'Quasi-State of War'

Pyongyang orders troops to be ready for battle by tonight

(Newser) - More tough talk from North Korea: The country says its troops are now in a "quasi-state of war" and they've been ordered to be battle-ready by this evening, reports the AP , which notes that a "quasi-state of war" has existed along the Korean border for decades. The... More »

North, South Korea Fire at Each Other

South fires back after Pyongyang rocket hits

(Newser) - Things are heating up between the Koreas once again: North Korea and South Korea fired at each other today in the first such clash on land since a deadly attack on a South Korean island in 2010, the New York Times reports. After the North fired what is believed to... More »

Man, 80, Sets Self on Fire Over WWII Brothels

He had joined protesters demanding apology from Japan for 'comfort women'

(Newser) - For more than 20 years, South Korean activists have organized weekly protests in front of Seoul's Japanese Embassy to demand an apology for its women and girls who were used as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War II, reports the AP . But while those demonstrations have... More »

South Korea: North Crept Across Border, Planted Mines

South swears 'severe retaliation' after 2 soldiers lose legs

(Newser) - Two South Korean soldiers maimed near the border with North Korea last Tuesday were victims of a North Korean attack, officials say. The South Korean Defense Ministry claims North Korean soldiers crept across the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone to plant mines outside the South's guard post near Paju, reports... More »

North Korea Launch Pad Seems to Have Gotten Bigger

Which could mean it can now launch longer-range missiles: report

(Newser) - Rumors of a new North Korea rocket launch are circulating again as government sources inform Yonhap news agency that the country has almost finished modifiying the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. A taller, 220-foot launch tower—a full 55 feet longer than the previous tower—has been spotted via satellite imagery.... More »

Student Caught in Ivy League Admissions Lie

She had become a sensation in South Korea media as 'Genius Girl'

(Newser) - An Ivy League hoax has unraveled, one that illustrates South Korea's "twisted obsession with degrees," in the words of AsiaOne . It involves a teenage girl at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, one of the nation's top high schools—the kind... More »

In Rarest of Moves, Defector Walks Across the DMZ

Teen risked land mines, gunfire to reach South Korean post

(Newser) - For the first time in three years, a North Korean soldier has defected to the South after walking through the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. South Korea's defense ministry says a teenager reached a South Korean guard post today in Hwacheon and was taken into... More »

How a 68-Year-Old Threw South Korea Into a Panic

95 MERS cases traced to man who visited Middle East

(Newser) - When a 68-year-old man visited a clinic in Asan, South Korea, on May 12, and again two and three days later, doctors were stumped by his coughing and wheezing. He was referred to a larger hospital in Pyeongtaek, then a smaller one in Seoul before X-rays on May 17 suggested... More »

S. Korea Hit by Biggest MERS Outbreak Beyond Middle East

Fear of infection amplified by government response

(Newser) - Two people have died in South Korea and another 30 have tested positive for the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, in what is now considered the largest MERS outbreak outside of the Middle East. Most of the 1,100 MERS cases reported since 2012 have come from the... More »

Kerry Has Harsh Words for N. Korea: Horrific, Grisly ...

... and 'reckless, grotesque, horrendous'

(Newser) - US Secretary of State John Kerry today accused North Korea of a litany of crimes and atrocities while reassuring South Korea of America's "ironclad" security commitments. Kerry blamed North Korea for breaking promises, making threats, and showing "flagrant disregard for international law" by continuing to build its... More »

Captain in Ferry Disaster Sentenced to Life in Prison

Lee Joon-seok previously only got 36 years

(Newser) - The South Korean ferry captain responsible for last year's disaster that killed more than 300 people, mostly schoolchildren, was given an increased sentence of life in prison today by an appellate court that convicted him of homicide. A district court in November had sentenced Lee Joon-seok to 36 years... More »

Leaders Meet Fury on Ferry Disaster Anniversary

Angry S. Korea families unmoved by pledge to raise Sewol

(Newser) - Angry relatives of passengers who drowned in a ferry sinking snubbed South Korea's president on the disaster's anniversary today, even as she pledged to salvage the ship. Tears and grief mixed with raw fury as black-clad relatives and their supporters mourned the 304 victims of the ferry Sewol,... More »

57 Dogs Saved From S. Korean Dog-Meat Farm

They're going up for adoption in California

(Newser) - More than 50 dogs going up for adoption in San Francisco have an unusual pedigree: All were destined to become dinner before their rescue. Two groups, Humane Society International and the Change for Animals Foundation, removed the 57 animals from a dog-meat farm in South Korea and flew them to... More »

North, South Korea Languages Drifting Apart

After 7 decades, about one-third of words are different

(Newser) - On one side of the line that has divided two societies for so long, the words arrive as fast as globalization can bring them—English-based lingo like "shampoo," ''juice," and "self-service." To South Koreans, they are everyday language. To defectors from North Korea,... More »

Cops: Korea Attacker Intended to Kill Ambassador

Pyongyang fires 7 more missiles

(Newser) - The South Korean man who slashed Mark Lippert so severely that the US ambassador needed 80 stitches in his face is expected to face attempted murder charges. Kim Ki-jong attacked Lippert to protest US-South Korea military drills , and police say that although Kim claims he only wanted to wound the... More »

Knifed US Envoy Leaves Hospital

'I feel pretty darn good, all things considered,' Mark Lippert says

(Newser) - Mark Lippert has escaped his "deserved punishment [representing] warmonger United States" and his "knife shower of justice." The 42-year-old US ambassador to South Korea was discharged today from the Seoul hospital where he's been recuperating after a knife attack last week at the hands of a... More »

N. Korea Hails 'Knife Shower of Justice' on Ambassador

State says attack on Mark Lippert was 'deserved punishment for warmonger US'

(Newser) - North Korea doesn't usually go out of its way to congratulate anyone from South Korea on anything, but today it praised the pro-North activist who allegedly attacked US Ambassador Mark Lippert with a knife yesterday, Yonhap reports. The dispatch from the state's Korean Central News Agency sent out... More »

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