South Korea

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South Korean Leader Offers to Resign in Surprise Move

Opposition calls surprise announcement a ploy to delay impeachment

(Newser) - South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that she will resign her office once Parliament develops a plan for a safe transfer of power. The surprise announcement—which the opposition called a ploy to delay impeachment—comes amid prosecution claims that she colluded with a friend who wielded government power... More »

S. Korean President Caught With 364 Viagra Pills

The discovery is expected to make things hard for her

(Newser) - If your political scandal lasts longer than four hours, maybe get rid of all that Viagra you've got stashed in the presidential office. The BBC reports authorities investigating South Korean president Park Geun-hye for corruption discovered more than 300 Viagra pills in her office. A spokesperson for Park tells... More »

With Heavy Heart, She'll Soon See the Son She Gave Up

'I should have kept him even if we starved together'

(Newser) - "I have so much to tell him, especially how sorry I am," 61-year-old Kwon Pil-ju tells the New York Times . "But I am at a loss because I don't know English." In a matter of weeks, Kwon's son, 41-year-old Adam Crapser, will return to... More »

Thousands Rally to Demand South Korea's President Quit

Protesters accuse Park Geun-hye of treason

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of downtown Seoul on Saturday, using words including "treason" and "criminal" to demand that President Park Geun-hye step down amid an explosive political scandal, the AP reports. The protest came a day after Park apologized on live television... More »

S. Korean Leader Accepts Responsibility for Strange Scandal

Park Geun-hye says 'sad thoughts trouble my sleep'

(Newser) - South Korea's president bowed as she arrived at the podium and shook as she spoke. For nine minutes, she apologized, she expressed remorse, and she reached out for sympathy. In the face of nearly universal outrage among South Koreans, Park Geun-hye accepted full responsibility for an increasingly bizarre political... More »

Cult Leader's Daughter Arrested Amid Korea Crisis

Officials fear she might flee the country or destroy evidence

(Newser) - Choi Soon-sil, the cult leader's daughter at the heart of the political scandal engulfing South Korea, said Monday that she "deserves death." She was arrested instead. Reuters reports that Choi, who is accused of using her close ties to President Park Geun-hye to profit from influencing government... More »

Woman at Center of Korea Scandal: 'I Deserve Death'

Cult leader's daughter mobbed outside Seoul court

(Newser) - Telling reporters Monday that she "deserves death," the woman at the center of a scandal roiling South Korea met prosecutors examining whether she used her close ties to President Park Geun-hye to pull government strings from the shadows and amass an illicit fortune, the AP reports. "Please,... More »

S. Korean Leader Embroiled in Crazy, Mystical Scandal

President Park Geun-hye linked to adviser who is like a shaman

(Newser) - South Korea is embroiled in a complex political scandal that threatens to bring down President Park Geun-hye. Park has been caught seeking input on key speeches from Soon-sil, a personal friend with no official government position. Quartz describes Soon-sil as a cult-like figure, a "Rasputin-like mystery woman" who exerts... More »

Man Adopted in US 37 Years Ago Being Deported to Strange Country

Adam Crapser's adoptive parents never got him US citizenship

(Newser) - A South Korean man flown to the US 37 years ago and adopted by an American couple at age 3 has been ordered deported back to a country that is completely alien to him, the AP reports. Adam Crapser is currently confined in an immigration detention center in Washington state... More »

US Condemns Failed N. Korean Missile Test

Reiterates 'ironclad' commitment to South Korea's security

(Newser) - US defense agencies detected an attempted missile launch in western North Korea late Friday, near the city of Kusong, Reuters reports. The object—believed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile—failed immediately after launch, per South Korea's military. American and South Korean defense agencies declined to provide any... More »

Kim Jong Un Reportedly Hit By More Defections

Gov't says asylum seekers haven't contacted Japan

(Newser) - One or two officials may have followed the lead of a diplomat in London and defected from North Korea. A Health Ministry official stationed at North Korea's embassy in Beijing—tasked with sourcing medical supplies for a clinic visited by Kim Jong Un and his family—has reportedly sought... More »

N. Korea Soldier Walks Across DMZ to Defect

He made it across 2.5 heavily fortified miles

(Newser) - South Korea's military said Thursday that a North Korean soldier had crossed the border between the rivals to defect. South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said military officials were investigating the North Korean soldier, who defected across the central-east portion of the military demarcation line, which is inside... More »

S. Korea: We're Willing to Kill Kim Jong Un

Defense minister delivers blunt comments in parliament

(Newser) - This should calm tensions on the Korean peninsula. Asked in parliament on Wednesday whether South Korea had a plan in place to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should the need arise, the country's defense minister didn't beat around the bush. "Yes, we do have... More »

Quake Was North Korea's Biggest Nuclear Test Yet

Pyongyang says it has reached 'higher level'

(Newser) - In what Seoul called an act of "fanatic recklessness," North Korea carried out its biggest nuclear test yet early Friday, angering allies and enemies alike. The test registered as a 5.3-magnitude quake; Middlebury Institute expert Jeffrey Lewis tells Reuters that signals a blast of up to 30... More »

Shipping Line Goes Bankrupt, Causes Global Chaos

Hanjin bankruptcy could affect Xmas sales

(Newser) - The bankruptcy of the Hanjin shipping line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into confusion, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether tons of goods will reach their shelves. The South Korean giant filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and stopped accepting new cargo. With its... More »

On Day 3 of War Games, North Korea Acts Out

Seoul says missile flew 310 miles, a record for the country

(Newser) - North Korea on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile from a submarine into the sea in an apparent protest against Monday's start of annual South Korea-US military drills . The missile fired from a submarine off the eastern coastal town of Sinpo flew about 310 miles, the longest flight of a... More »

As War Games Begin, N. Korea Threatens to Turn DC to 'Ashes'

Cue the military rhetoric amid tensions over defection of top diplomat

(Newser) - South Korea and the United States began annual military drills Monday despite North Korea's threat of nuclear strikes in response to the exercises that it calls an invasion rehearsal. Such fiery rhetoric by Pyongyang is not unusual, but the latest warning comes at a time of more tension following... More »

This T-Shirt Got a Video Game Actress Fired

South Korea dealing with its own GamerGate

(Newser) - A South Korean actress' voice won't be heard in two video games after people complained about a T-shirt she wore bearing an offensive slogan: "Girls do not need a prince." Not offended? Neither is the feminist network Megalia. Splinter group Megalia4 sold the shirts to fund lawsuits... More »

North Korea Suffers 'Highest-Ranking' Defection

Thae Yong Ho has defected to South Korea

(Newser) - A North Korean diplomat stationed in London vanished in mid-July, and Seoul is now explaining why: Thae Yong Ho has defected to South Korea, in what the BBC reports could be the "highest-ranking" defection North Korea has experienced. The New York Times calls Thae the "No. 2" official... More »

North, South Korean Gymnasts Unite for Selfie

Moment hailed as triumph of Olympic spirit

(Newser) - "This is why we do the Olympics," tweeted political scientist Ian Bremmer after an iconic moment in Rio. Gymnasts Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-Jong of North Korea posed for a selfie during training, where they were seen chatting happily despite the tension between their nations,... More »

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