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Seoul envoys visit North Korea

SEOUL: A South Korean delegation crossed into the North on Tuesday to inspect venues for joint Olympic-linked events, even as Pyongyang demanded Seoul apologize for “despicable” protestors who burned Kim Jong-Un’s image, as controversy mounts over the rapprochement. The two Koreas agreed earlier this month that the North’s athletes would attend February’s Pyeongchang Winter Games [...] The post Seoul envoys visit North Korea appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource: manilatimes_net manilatimes_netJan 23rd, 2018

Chinese, SKorean envoys to discuss North in Seoul

BEIJING: China will send a special envoy to Seoul to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula ahead of proposed talks between North and South Korea, the foreign ministry said Thursday. China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou will visit Friday and Saturday to “exchange views” with Lee Do-Hoon, Seoul’s envoy on Korean peninsula peace talks, [...] The post Chinese, SKorean envoys to discuss North in Seoul appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018

Pyongyang summit to be ‘bold step’ towards ending war, says Moon

Seoul, South Korea --- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday his visit to Pyongyang next month will be a "bold step" towards formally ending the decades-old war with the nuclear-armed North. The two Koreas agreed earlier this week to hold a third meeting between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September as a rapid diplomatic thaw builds on the peninsula following their first summit in April. Moon's trip to the North Korean capital will be the first visit by a South Korean head of state to Pyongyang since 2007. The leaders will "take a bold step towards declaring an end to the war and a peace treaty", Moon said at a ceremony marking the 73rd anniversary of ...Keep on reading: Pyongyang summit to be ‘bold step’ towards ending war, says Moon.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 15th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

World no longer on the brink

NUCLEAR RUIN AVERTED SEOUL, Korea– Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday, as the US president said the world had jumped back from the brink of “nuclear catastrophe”. Tuesday’s unprecedented encounter in Singapore saw the leader of the world’s most […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Trump: World dodged ‘nuclear catastrophe’

SEOUL: Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday, as the US president said the world had jumped back from the brink of “nuclear catastrophe.” Critics have said the unprecedented encounter in Singapore was more style than substance, producing a document [...] The post Trump: World dodged ‘nuclear catastrophe’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Bullish Trump

SEOUL -- Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday, as the US president said the world had jumped back from the brink of "nuclear catastrophe." Tuesday's unprecedented encounter in Singapore saw the leader of the….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Pyongyang-bound Trump says world dodged nuclear catastrophe

SEOUL, South Korea – Donald Trump accepted  an invitation from Kim Jong-un to visit North Korea during their historic summit , Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday, June 13, as the US president said the world had jumped back from the brink of "nuclear catastrophe". Critics have said the unprecedented encounter in Singapore was more style ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

‘Pyongyang-bound’ Trump says world avoided ‘nuclear catastrophe’

SEOUL: Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported Wednesday, as the US president said the world had jumped back from the brink of “nuclear catastrophe.” Tuesday’s unprecedented encounter in Singapore saw the leader of the world’s most powerful democracy shake hands… link: ‘Pyongyang-bound’ Trump says world avoided ‘nuclear catastrophe’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Syria’s Assad says will visit North Korea, news agency reports

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reported, potentially the first meeting between Kim and another head of state in Pyongyang. Syria’s Assad says will visit North Korea, news agency reports SEOUL – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he plans to visit North Korean leader… link: Syria’s Assad says will visit North Korea, news agency reports.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Syria s Assad to meet Kim in North Korea – KCNA

SEOUL, South Korea – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he plans to visit North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang's state media reported Sunday, June 3, potentially becoming the first head of state to meet Kim inside the isolated country. "I am going to visit the DPRK and meet... Kim Jong ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2018

Duterte set to leave for South Korea official visit

President Duterte is ready to reaffirm the country’s bilateral ties with South Korea during his three-day official visit to Seoul from June 3 to 5, even as the Philippines supports the planned talks between the United States and North Korea this month......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 1st, 2018

Top North Korean general on way to U.S. ahead of summit

SEOUL, South Korea – A top North Korean general is headed for the United States in what would be the highest-profile visit in years, reports said Tuesday, May 29 as the two countries prepare for a momentous summit. General Kim Yong-chol landed at Beijing airport on Tuesday and will journey on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 29th, 2018

China s foreign minister in North Korea on rare visit

SEOUL, South Korea – Beijing hopes that talks between the United States and North Korea will be "smooth and achieve substantial progress", China's foreign minister said Wednesday, May 2, during a rare visit to Pyongyang as the Asian superpower tries to mend ties with its nuclear-armed neighbor . The two-day visit by ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2018

SKorea, Japan to cooperate on NKorea

SEOUL: South Korea and Japan on Wednesday vowed to work closely together on North Korea ahead of the looming inter-Korea summit, but their foreign ministers remained divided over long-standing issues of Japan’s wartime crimes and disputed islands. Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono made a rare visit to Seoul armed with a list of issues Tokyo… link: SKorea, Japan to cooperate on NKorea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Japan FM to voice NKorea concerns in rare Seoul visit

SEOUL: Japan’s foreign minister was in South Korea for a rare visit on Wednesday, armed with a list of issues Tokyo wants to push onto the agenda of a looming summit between North and South Korea. The first such visit in more than two years comes at a time of frenetic diplomatic activity in Northeast [...] The post Japan FM to voice NKorea concerns in rare Seoul visit appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Analysis: North Korea’s Kim seen building global status in trip to China

Highlights:  Kim exuded confidence in photographs with China’s Xi -analyst Chinese state TV gave Kim’s visit similar treatment as Trump Kim was accompanied by wife, top aides SEOUL/BEIJING— Accompanied by his wife, greeted by honour guards, and entertained at banquets, Kim Jong Un made his international debut as North Korea’s leader by being wined and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsApr 4th, 2018

Kim Jong-un attends rare concert by South Korean pop stars

SEOUL, South Korea (3rd UPDATE) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday, April 1, attended the first concert in Pyongyang for over a decade by South Korean entertainers, including a K-pop girlband, the latest gesture of reconciliation before a rare inter-Korean summit. The visit, described by many as a cultural ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2018

North Korea s Kim attends South Korea concert in latest reconciliatory move

SEOUL, South Korea (UPDATED) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on Sunday, April 1, attended the first concert in Pyongyang for over a decade by South Korean entertainers, including a K-pop girlband, the latest gesture of reconciliation before a rare inter-Korean summit. The visit, described by many as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

Pyongyang Style? Seoul push for Psy to play North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea –Seoul is pushing for "Gangnam Style" star Psy to perform in next week's historic concerts by South Korean artists in the North's capital, multiple reports said. A team of at least 9 South Korean pop acts are set to visit North Korea next week for ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 26th, 2018

N. Korean dictator, Seoul envoys have openhearted talk

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has held an "openhearted talk" in Pyongyang with envoys for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the Nort.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 6th, 2018