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South Korea moves to address growing concerns over earthquake

  South Korea has started to roll out measures to address the increasing public concern over the risk of earthquakes, after the nation was hit by two of the strongest earthquakes over the past two years. Korea has long been regarded as an earthquake-free country but the latest record-high quakes in Pohang and Gyeongju have triggered concerns over future quakes on the peninsula, with experts here forecasting possibilities of stronger quakes hitting in the future. Primary concerns are over the low rate of seismic safety features for buildings here, citing the wide range of damages suffered by the quake-hit cities located in the southeastern part of the nation. Accordin...Keep on reading: South Korea moves to address growing concerns over earthquake.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 1st, 2018

South Korea wants new heights for ASEAN ties amid North Korea threat

MANILA, Philippines – South Korea on Monday, November 13, said it is “determined” to bring its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to “new heights” amid growing concerns over persistent threats from its neighbor North Korea . South Korean President Moon Jae-in made the statement during the ASEAN-South Korea ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 13th, 2017

North Korea calls Trump nuclear button boast the bark of a rabid dog

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea on Tuesday, January 16, denounced President Donald Trump's tweeted message that he has a bigger nuclear button than its leader Kim Jong-Un as the "spasm of a lunatic" and the "bark of a rabid dog". Kim used his annual New Year address to warn he ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Rival Koreas agree to talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea --- The rival Koreas agreed Saturday that their talks next week will address a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, rather than the participation of the nation's athletes. Pyongyang wanted talks on sending its athletes and other officials to the February Olympics to be held at a later date so that Monday's talks can focus primarily on its art troupe's participation in the Games, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. The South agreed to the North's proposal, the ministry said. Officials from the two Koreas met earlier this week in the border village of Panmunjom, their first talks in more than two years. At that meeting they ...Keep on reading: Rival Koreas agree to talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

North Korea offers talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea --- South Korea said Saturday that North Korea proposed that their talks next week address a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, rather than the participation of the nation's athletes. Pyongyang wants talks on sending its athletes and other officials to the February Olympics to be held at a later date so that next Monday's talks can focus primarily on the North Korean art troupe's participation in the Games, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. Officials from the rival Koreas met earlier this week in the border village of Panmunjom, their first talks in more than two years. At that meeting they agreed to hold mili...Keep on reading: North Korea offers talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Two Koreas agree to hold military talks to defuse tension – Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea –  North and South Korea agreed on Tuesday, January 9, to hold military talks to ease growing tension on the peninsula, the two sides said after the first civilian cross-border talks in more than two years.  The rivals agreed to "defuse the current military tension and to hold ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Seoul: North Korea to send delegation to Olympics in South

By Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea agreed Tuesday to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul officials said, as the bitter rivals sat for rare talks at the border to discuss how to cooperate in the Olympics and improve their long-strained ties. The Koreas' first talks in two years were arranged after North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un recently made an abrupt push for improved ties with South Korea after a year of elevated tensions with the outside world over his expanding nuclear and missile programs. Critics say Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions on the North. During the talks, the North Korean delegation said it would send an Olympic delegation, which includes officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others, South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters, according to media footage from the border village of Panmunjom, the venue for the talks. The South Korean delegation, for its part, proposed North Korea send a big delegation and conduct a joint march during the Feb. 9-25 Game's opening and closing ceremonies, Chun, one of the five South Korean negotiators, said. He said South Korea also suggested resuming temporary reunions of families separated by war and offering military talks designed to reduce animosities in frontline areas. South Korea also stressed the need to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Chun said. North Korea responded by saying the two Koreas must try to promote peace and reconciliation through dialogue, he said. The two sides were to continue their negotiations later Tuesday at Panmunjom, the only place on the tense border where North and South Korean soldiers are just feet away from each other. A North Korean soldier late last year defected to the South across Panmunjom amid a hail of bullets fired by his comrades. He was hit five times but survived. The meeting began with an amicable atmosphere Tuesday morning, with chief North Korean delegate Ri Son Gwon saying he hopes the talks would give "a New Year's first gift — precious results (of the talks) to the Korean nation." Ri's South Korean counterpart, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, said he also hopes they would come up with a "good gift" for people in both Koreas. The overall prospect for the negotiations was still unclear. The two Koreas have a long history of ending key talks without any agreement and failing to follow through with rapprochement accords. An agreement on the North's Olympic participation had been widely expected before the talks began, but the Koreas remain sharply at odds over how to improve their overall ties. North Korea is expected to demand rewards in return for South Korea's offer for family reunions and military talks, like Seoul halting propaganda broadcasts and scaling back or halting military drills with the U.S., observers say. Suspension of the military drills would be unacceptable for Seoul because that would seriously undermine the alliance with its chief ally the United States, which wants to put more pressures on Pyongyang. The North views the drills as a rehearsal for a northward invasion. President Donald Trump on Saturday expressed hope for some progress from the talks and said he was open to talking with Kim himself. But U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley later said the U.S. administration isn't changing its conditions regarding talks with North Korea, saying Kim would first need to stop weapons testing for a "significant amount of time." In his New Year's Day address, Kim said there is an urgent need to improve inter-Korean ties and that he is willing to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Games. He urged Seoul to halt the military drills with the U.S. and said he has a "nuclear button" to launch missiles at any target in the United States. South Korean liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue as a way to defuse the North Korean nuclear standoff, welcomed Kim's outreach and proposed talks at Panmunjom. Kim quickly accepted. "As President Moon has said, the improvement of relations between North and South Korea cannot advance separately from resolving North Korea's nuclear program," Brian Hook, a chief adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, told reporters in a conference call late Monday Washington time. "And so, we remain focused on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong Un to the table for meaningful negations." The Trump administration agreed last week to delay springtime military drills with South Korea until after the Games. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis insisted the delay was a practical necessity to accommodate the Olympics, not a political gesture. Trump and Kim traded bellicose warlike rhetoric and even crude insults last year, as the North conducted it sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation and three tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The International Olympic Committee said Monday it has "kept the door open" for North Korea to take part in the Games. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the registration deadline has been extended and that the Switzerland-based committee supports North Korean athletes in the qualification process, while respecting U.N. sanctions against North Korea......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea on Tuesday, January 2, proposed high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9, after the North's leader Kim Jong-Un called for a breakthrough in relations and said his country might attend the Winter Olympics  in the South next month. Kim used his annual New Year address to warn he ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Kim says North Korea could participate in South’s Winter Olympics

Kim Jong-Un on Monday gave the first indication that North Korea could participate in next month's Winter Olympics in the South, despite tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. "I sincerely hope the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be staged successfully," said Kim, the North Korean leader, in his new year's address to the nation. "We are willing to take necessary measures including to dispatch our delegation. "For this purpose, authorities of the North and South would be able to meet in the near future," he said. Seoul's presidential Blue House responded positively to Kim's proposal for talks about sending a delegation to the Games. "We welcome it," a state...Keep on reading: Kim says North Korea could participate in South’s Winter Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 1st, 2018

Kim says NKorea could participate in South’s Winter Olympics

SEOUL: Kim Jong-Un on Monday gave the first indication that North Korea could participate in next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, despite tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “I sincerely hope the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be staged successfully,” said Kim, the North Korean leader, in his new year’s address to the nation. “We… link: Kim says NKorea could participate in South’s Winter Olympics.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 1st, 2018

YouTube seals deal with top music label amid streaming moves

YouTube said Tuesday that it had sealed a licensing agreement with the world's largest music label conglomerate Universal as the video behemoth explores creating a new streaming service. YouTube, which is part of Google, said it reached a long-term agreement with the Universal Music Group, months after a deal with competitor Warner Music. A joint statement did not specify the terms but hinted that the agreement would address compensation by YouTube, a constant source of irritation within the music industry. "This important step forward provides our recording artists and songwriters improved content flexibility and growing compensation from YouTube's ad-supported an...Keep on reading: YouTube seals deal with top music label amid streaming moves.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

DIGITAL MONEY | Moves in South Korea to make cryptocurrency trading more transparent

A South Korean blockchain association announced measures to boost transparency in trading of cryptocurrencies, agreed by 14 exchanges in the country including the world’s busiest virtual currency exchange, Bitthumb......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

K-pop titans BTS break into U.S. Top 40

NEW YORK, USA – Boy band BTS, pop mega-stars in South Korea known for their dance moves and social media prowess, broke into the Top 40 on the US singles chart for the first time on December 4. "Mic Drop" debuted at number 28, driven by a particularly strong showing in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

Tensions rise ahead of U.S.-South Korea military drill

WASHINGTON DC, USA – Tensions were on the rise Sunday, December 3, ahead of the largest ever US-South Korea air exercise, with Pyongyang calling it an "all-out provocation" that could lead to nuclear conflict as a US lawmaker warned of a growing likelihood of "preemptive war" on the divided ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 4th, 2017

NKorean missile frustrates SKorean Olympic preparations

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Just when South Korea thought it was finally creating a buzz for February's Winter Olympics, North Korea fired its most powerful missile yet and re-ignited safety worries about the small mountain town that will host the games not far from the rivals' anxious border. The Pyeongchang Olympics probably aren't in jeopardy because of Wednesday's launch for a number of reasons, including that the North is unlikely to attack the more powerful, U.S.-backed South. Despite its belligerent neighbor, South Korea is also one of the safest places in the world with a wealth of experience hosting international sporting events. Still, the launch, which followed a 10-week lull, was a frustrating development for Pyeongchang's organizers, who have only recently got on track after facing construction delays, controversies over cost overruns and wary sponsors. They can also do little to calm international fears created by North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons and missile tests. Shortly after North Korea fired the Hwasong-15 into the sea Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened a national security meeting where he ordered government officials to closely review whether the launch could hurt South Korea's efforts to successfully host the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 9. South Korea wants more than a million spectators for the Olympics, which will be held just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border, and expects 30 percent of them to be foreign visitors. Organizers have struggled for months to spark enthusiasm for the games locally, where the national conversation over the past year have been dominated by a massive a massive corruption scandal that toppled and jailed the last president and North Korea's flurry of weapons tests. Sung Baikyou, an official from Pyeongchang's organizing committee, on Thursday downplayed worries that North Korea would scare away athletes and visitors to Pyeongchang. Organizers and government officials have held briefings and site inspections for Olympics officials, members and sponsors to reassure them of South Korea's security readiness. The 92 nations that have so far registered to participate in the Pyeongchang Games represent the largest ever Winter Olympics field. And after a slow start, organizers had managed to sell more than half of the available tickets by the end of November. Sung said there hasn't been any talk with the International Olympic Committee about moving or canceling the games. "It wouldn't make sense for anyone to cancel tickets to Pyeongchang because of fears about North Korea," Sung said. "There's no war; bombs aren't being dropped on Pyeongchang." Hyun Jae-gyung, an official from Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating and hockey events during the Olympics, said cancelations at hotels and other accommodation facilities in the areas have been few and sporadic and unlikely linked to security concerns. But there's nothing organizers can do if North Korea raises fears even higher with more tests. North Korea has conducted 20 ballistic missile launches just this year, and the tests are becoming increasingly aggressive; some in the South fear that Washington might consider a pre-emptive strike on the North as the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Wednesday may be able to reach anywhere in the continental United States. Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea's presidential office, thinks it's highly unlikely that the North will do any significant weapons tests or other aggressive acts that would disrupt the Olympics. After Hwasong-15's successful flight test, delighted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that the country has "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force." Many experts, including Koh, believe that this suggests the country could soon consider its nuclear program as "enough" and shift the focus to its dismal economy. It would do nothing for heavily-sanctioned Pyongyang to worsen its awful reputation by creating trouble during the Olympics, Koh said. In recent government statements, including the one announced after Wednesday's missile test, North Korea has repeatedly claimed itself as a "responsible" and "peace-loving" nation, something it has been emphasizing since the United States relisted the country as a state terror sponsor, Koh said. "Even if they do conduct a missile or nuclear test during the Olympics, the games will go on as tests don't start wars. But I think there's almost no possibility that they will," said Koh. "If anything, they might have pushed hard to get their tests done before the start of the Olympics." It would help ease worries if North Korea participates in the Pyeongchang Games. While a North Korean figure skating pair qualified for the Olympics in September, it's unclear whether the North will let them compete in the South. North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea's capital Seoul and has ignored the South's proposals for dialogue in recent months. Securing North Korea's commitment to attend the Pyeongchang Games will be a critical topic at the IOC's next executive board meeting in December, which will be the last one before the start of the Olympics. The IOC has already offered to pay the costs should North Korea decide to participate, and Pyeongchang officials have been talking about granting special entries for North Korean athletes in some ice sports. Kim Kyung-hyup, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling party, said Thursday that Seoul should consider sending a special envoy to the North to persuade it to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. Other than hoping that North Korea accepts the invitation, organizers are stuck. "If there's any other solution, tell me," Sung said. "It's not like we can jump up and catch North Korean missiles with a net.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

Rare quake hits South Korea

SEOUL — A rare 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit South Korea’s southeast Wednesday afternoon, the second most powerful quake on record, in a country that seldom experiences significant tremors. The quake, which was felt across much of the country including in the capital Seoul, struck at the shallow depth of nine kilometres….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsNov 15th, 2017

South Koreans demonstrate to show support, disapproval of Trump

SEOUL, South Korea --- Hundreds of South Koreans took to the streets of Seoul on Tuesday for two separate demonstrations, one to show support for visiting President Donald Trump and the other to voice disapproval of the US leader amid concerns over North Korea's nuclear threats. Surrounded by thousands of police officers and a tight perimeter created by buses, hundreds of anti-Trump protesters rallied at a boulevard near the US Embassy, holding banners that read "No Trump" and "No War." The demonstrators accused the outspoken president of raising tensions with North Korea and pressuring Seoul to buy more US weapons. They also criticized him for pressing Seoul to redo a bilatera...Keep on reading: South Koreans demonstrate to show support, disapproval of Trump.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

Trump due in Seoul amid North Korea tensions

SEOUL, South Korea – Donald Trump's marathon Asia tour moves on Tuesday, November 7, to South Korea, another key ally in the struggle with nuclear-armed North Korea, but one with deep reservations about the US president's strategy for dealing with the crisis. As tensions over Pyongyang's weapons program have soared, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

Trump due in Seoul amid North Korea tensions

SEOUL, South Korea --- Donald Trump's marathon Asia tour moves on Tuesday to South Korea, another key ally in the struggle with nuclear-armed North Korea, but one with deep reservations about the US president's strategy for dealing with the crisis. As tensions over Pyongyang's weapons programme have soared, the US president has traded personal insults and threats of war with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but his next stop, Seoul -- and its 10 million inhabitants -- would be on the front line of any conflict. "Getting ready to leave for South Korea and meetings with President Moon, a fine gentleman," Trump tweeted early Tuesday, adding: "We will figure it all out!" Trump f...Keep on reading: Trump due in Seoul amid North Korea tensions.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

South Korea will not develop nuclear weapons — president

SEOUL -- South Korea will not develop atomic weapons of its own despite the threat from the nuclear-armed North, President Moon Jae-In declared Wednesday. “A push by North Korea to become a nuclear state cannot be accepted or tolerated,” Moon said in an address to parliament. “We also will not….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2017