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China backs US-N. Korea nuclear freeze deal

China Thursday welcomed North Korea’s agreement to freeze nuclear activities in return for massive US food aid, a deal that raised cautious hopes of eased tensions under Pyongyang’s new young leader. South Korea and Japan also hailed Pyongyang’s commitment to suspend its uranium enrichment programme along with nuclear and long-range…

North Korea vows ‘sacred war’ against South Korea and the U.S.

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea threatened on Saturday to wage a “sacred war” in response to joint military exercises planned by its arch-rival South Korea and the United States, saying it was determined to keep Washington from imposing its political will on it. The statement was issued by the North’s…

North Korea threatens retaliation over South’s war games

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea warned South Korea on Sunday that it would shell islands close to their disputed sea border if the South violates its territorial waters during a military drill reported to begin in the Yellow Sea this week. The official KCNA news agency also quoted the North’s…

Western students lag Asians by three years: study

Western schoolchildren are up to three years behind those in China’s Shanghai and success in Asian education is not just the product of pushy “tiger” parents, an Australian report released Friday said. The study by independent think-tank The Grattan Institute said East Asia was the centre of high performance in…

South Korean minister opposes ‘corporate-bashing’

South Korea’s finance minister spoke out against “corporate-bashing” by politicians who are calling for a tighter rein on conglomerates, as they try to woo voters ahead of elections. “The recent wave of corporate-bashing by the ruling and opposition parties is feared to deepen a divide among citizens,” Bahk Jae-Wan told…

Year of the Dragon roars into Asia

A billion-plus Asians welcomed the Year of the Dragon on Monday with a cacophony of fireworks, hoping the mightiest sign in the Chinese zodiac will usher in the wealth and power it represents. From Malaysia to South Korea, millions of people travelled huge distances to reunite with their families for…

South Korea plans robo-cops to police prison

The South Korean Ministry of Justice is hiring, but they’re not looking for human help at the moment: they want robo-cops. In an announcement late last year, South Korean officials said they would be deploying three autonomous robot guards at their prison facility in Pohang. The guards are to monitor…

Activists send winter socks to North Korea

Activists in South Korea on Saturday sent winter socks carried by gas-filled balloons across the border to the impoverished North, where they can easily be exchanged for food. One pair of socks is thought to fetch about 22 pounds (10 kilos) of corn — enough to sustain a person for…

Kim Jong Un test fires short-range missile in North Korea

North Korea test-fired a short-range missile off its east coast on Monday, the same day it announced the death of leader Kim Jong-Il, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. The agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying the missile launch was unrelated to the announcement that Kim had died…

S.Korea, U.S. resume talks on nuclear energy

South Korea is reportedly pushing for US permission to recycle spent nuclear fuel for power generation as the two countries resumed talks to revise a 1974 pact on the use of atomic energy. The focus of the three-day talks until Thursday will be the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including Seoul’s right…

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