U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as warning to North Korea

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as warning to North Korea

BUSAN, South Korea, Sept 23 (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on Friday for the first time in about four years, due to join South Korean ships in a military show of force aimed at sending North Korea a message, officials said. USS Ronald Reagan and ships from its accompanying strike force docked at a naval base in the southern port city of Busan. Its arrival marks the most significant deployment yet under a new push to have more U.S. nuclear-capable "strategic assets" operate in the area to deter North Korea. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol…
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U.S. aircraft carrier to visit S.Korea for first time since 2018

U.S. aircraft carrier to visit S.Korea for first time since 2018

SEOUL, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier will visit South Korea this week for joint drills for the first time in about four years, officials of both countries said on Monday, as the allies seek to deploy U.S. nuclear-capable "strategic assets" to deter North Korea. USS Ronald Reagan will arrive at a naval base in the southern port city of Busan on Friday, South Korea's Navy said in a statement. "By conducting combined drills, the Navies of the two countries plan to strengthen their military readiness and demonstrate the firm resolve of the South Korea-U.S. alliance for peace…
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South Korean police arrest woman over NZ children found dead in suitcases

South Korean police arrest woman over NZ children found dead in suitcases

SEOUL, Sept 15 (Reuters) - South Korean police arrested a woman on Thursday charged with murdering what is believed to be her two children whose remains were found in suitcases in New Zealand last month. The 42-year-old Korean-born New Zealand woman is suspected of fleeing to South Korea in 2018 after allegedly killing her then 7-year-old and 10-year-old children in Auckland, authorities said. The woman, who denied the murder allegations, was arrested after global police agency Interpol issued a red notice, the Korean National Police Agency said. "I did not do it," she told reporters as she was escorted from…
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South Korea braces for ‘very strong’ typhoon

South Korea braces for ‘very strong’ typhoon

SEOUL, Sept 5 (Reuters) - South Korea raised its typhoon-alert to its highest level on Monday as approaching Typhoon Hinnamnor forced flight cancellations, the suspension of some business operations and the closure of schools. Heavy rain and strong wind pounded the south of the country as the typhoon approached from the south at a speed of 33 km per hour (20.5 mph). Hinnamnor is expected to make landfall southwest of the port city of Busan early on Tuesday, after reaching the holiday island of Jeju on Monday. President Yoon Suk-yeol said he would be on emergency standby, a day after…
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South Korea, U.S. begin military drills amid North Korea backlash

South Korea, U.S. begin military drills amid North Korea backlash

SEOUL, Aug 22 (Reuters) - South Korea and the United States began their annual joint military drills on Monday with a resumption of field training, officials said, as the allies seek to tighten readiness posture over North Korea's potential weapons tests. The summertime exercises, renamed Ulchi Freedom Shield this year and scheduled to end on Sept. 1, came after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, vowed to "normalise" the combined exercises and boost deterrence against the North. The drills were scaled back in recent years because of COVID-19 and as Yoon's predecessor sought to restart talks…
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South Korea’s Yoon pardons Samsung’s Jay Y. Lee to counter ‘economic crisis’

South Korea’s Yoon pardons Samsung’s Jay Y. Lee to counter ‘economic crisis’

SEOUL, Aug 12 (Reuters) - South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol pardoned Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee on Friday, with the justice ministry saying the business leader was needed to help overcome a "national economic crisis". The pardon is largely symbolic, with Lee already out on parole after serving 18 months in jail for bribery in a scandal that led to massive protests and brought down then-President Park Geun-hye in 2017. However, analysts said the pardon should mean Lee will be able to carry out business activities with fewer legal restrictions, and could herald some large investments from Samsung,…
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South Korea, China clash over U.S. missile shield, complicating conciliation

South Korea, China clash over U.S. missile shield, complicating conciliation

SEOUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) - China and South Korea clashed on Thursday over a U.S. missile defence shield, threatening to undermine efforts by the new government in Seoul to overcome longstanding security differences. The disagreement over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system emerged after an apparently smooth first visit to China by South Korea's foreign minister this week. China, contending THAAD's powerful radar could peer into its airspace, curbed trade and cultural imports after Seoul announced its deployment in 2016, dealing a major blow to relations. South Korea's presidential office said on Thursday the system stationed in the…
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Torrential rain lessens in S.Korean capital amid heavy flood damage

Torrential rain lessens in S.Korean capital amid heavy flood damage

SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Torrential rains that have slammed South Korea's capital, Seoul, diminished on Wednesday after killing at least nine people and damaging about 2,800 homes and other buildings. More rain was forecast for Wednesday, but less than the heavy downpours on Monday and Tuesday that submerged some streets and buildings, trapping people in flooded apartments and stranding cars. At least five people had been killed in Seoul as of early Wednesday, as well as three in the neighbouring Gyeonggi Province and one in Gangwon Province, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters. At least 17…
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In first visit to China, South Korean foreign minister seeks to reassure Beijing over U.S. ties

In first visit to China, South Korean foreign minister seeks to reassure Beijing over U.S. ties

SEOUL, Aug 8 (Reuters) - South Korea foreign minister Park Jin is set for his first visit to China on Monday as President Yoon Suk-yeol's government seeks to reassure Beijing about their relationship despite stronger ties with the United States and tensions over Taiwan.  Park is scheduled for a three-day stay in the eastern port city of Qingdao, during which he will hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Seoul's foreign ministry said. Park is the first high-level official to travel to China since Yoon took office in May.  His trip comes after Beijing expressed outrage over U.S. House Speaker Nancy…
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Photo Story: South Korea-US joint air force drill

Photo Story: South Korea-US joint air force drill

A handout photo made available by the Republic of Korea Air Force shows a South Korean FA-50 light attack fighter (L) and two US A-10 anti-tank aircraft fly in formation during a joint drill, in South. The five-day Buddy Wing exercise between South Korean and US air forces, which began on 01 August focuses on the allies' capability to carry out joint air support operations. Via EPA-EFE/ROK AIR FORCE
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Pelosi vows support to denuclearise N.Korea, plans to visit Korea border

Pelosi vows support to denuclearise N.Korea, plans to visit Korea border

SEOUL, Aug 4 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her South Korean counterpart vowed on Thursday to support efforts to maintain a strong deterrence against North Korea and achieve its denuclearisation. A joint statement was issued after Pelosi met South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo in Seoul, in which they expressed concerns over the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats. "Both sides expressed concerns about the dire situation of North Korea's growing threat," the statement said. "We agreed to support the efforts of the two governments to achieve practical denuclearisation and peace through international cooperation and diplomatic dialogue, based…
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Photo Story: South Korea-US joint air force drill

Photo Story: South Korea-US joint air force drill

An undated handout photo made available by the Republic of Korea Air Force shows a South Korean KA-1 fighter (top) and two US A-10 anti-tank aircraft fly in formation during a joint drill, in the skies over South Korea. The five-day Buddy Wing exercise between South Korean and U.S. air forces, which began on 11 July, focuses on the allies' capability to carry out joint air support operations. Via EPA-EFE/ROK AIR FORCE
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South Korea’s Yoon to meet U.S., Japan leaders in Spain during NATO summit

South Korea’s Yoon to meet U.S., Japan leaders in Spain during NATO summit

SEOUL/YOKOHAMA, June 26 (Reuters) - South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will meet leaders of the United States and Japan on Wednesday during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid, an official at the presidential office said on Sunday. The trilateral meeting, which would be the first such gathering since September 2017, is scheduled to for 2:30 p.m., though changes can be made, the official said. President Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are not likely to hold a separate meeting, the official added. Separately, a Japanese government official also told Reuters that the three leaders will hold…
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EPA’s Eye In The Sky: Gyeongju, South Korea

EPA’s Eye In The Sky: Gyeongju, South Korea

A general view of moats protecting Wolseong, the royal palace of the ancient Silla Dynasty (57 BC-935 AD) in Gyeongju, some 370km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, unveiled after repair work that started in 2018. The moats are up to 40 meters wide and 500 meters long. Wolseong Palace is part of the Gyeongju Historic Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo - EPA-EFE/YONHAP
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South Korea truckers return to work after strike

South Korea truckers return to work after strike

SEOUL, June 15 (Reuters) - South Korea's unionised truckers headed back on the roads on Wednesday after the union and the transport ministry reached a tentative late-night agreement, ending a nationwide strike that crippled ports and industrial hubs. The transport ministry and truckers union agreed on late Tuesday to extend the truckers' minimum freight rates and continue discussing expanding a guarantee of minimum pay for carrying cargo to cover additional products. The transport ministry will also review expanding fuel subsidies.  Shares in some affected industries rose in early trade, after the eight-day strike had delayed cargo shipments from autos to cement and alcohol, costing…
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FACTBOX – Impact of strike by South Korean truckers on autos, steel, others

FACTBOX – Impact of strike by South Korean truckers on autos, steel, others

. June 13 (Reuters) - Thousands of South Korean truckers were on strike for the seventh day on Monday, protesting over pay as fuel costs surge, disrupting production, slowing port operations and posing new risks to a strained global supply chain.  South Korean industries, including auto, steel, petrochemical and cement, faced accumulated losses worth about 1.6 trillion won ($1.2 billion) as of Sunday due to the ongoing trucker strike, the industry ministry said.  Following are details of the disruption, lost production and reactions from union officials and businesses: AUTOS The trucker strike had cost the South Korean auto industry about 5,400 vehicles…
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South Korean industries face losses worth $1.2 bln due to trucker strike, military deploys trucks to ship containers

South Korean industries face losses worth $1.2 bln due to trucker strike, military deploys trucks to ship containers

SEOUL, June 13 (Reuters) - South Korean industries, including auto, steel, petrochemical and cement, face accumulated losses worth about 1.6 trillion won ($1.24 billion) as of Sunday due to the ongoing trucker strike, the country's industry ministry said on Monday. The industry ministry said in a statement the estimated 1.6 trillion won was based on losses in production, shipment and exports. South Korea military is operating some 100 cargo trucks consigned by the Ministry of Transport to ship containers in and out of major ports including Busan to respond to a nationwide truckers strike that began on June 7, the Ministry of…
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Striking South Korean truckers put brakes on port activity

Striking South Korean truckers put brakes on port activity

ULSAN, South Korea, June 10 (Reuters) - Defiant South Korean truckers embarked on broader and more aggressive strike action on Friday, threatening to severely curtail deliveries of raw materials for semiconductors and petrochemical products. Entering its fourth day, the strike protesting soaring fuel costs halved production at Hyundai Motor Co's 005380.KS biggest factory complex on Thursday and has disrupted shipments for a range of companies including steelmaking giant POSCO .  Container traffic at ports has also slowed sharply. At Busan port, which accounts for 80% of the country's container activity, traffic was down to a third of normal levels on Friday, a government official said.…
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S.Korea, U.S. launch eight missiles in response to N.Korea missile tests

S.Korea, U.S. launch eight missiles in response to N.Korea missile tests

SEOUL, June 6 (Reuters) - South Korea and the United States said they fired eight surface-to-surface missiles early on Monday off South Korea's east coast, responding to a barrageof short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on Sunday. The action is a demonstration of "the capability and readiness to carry out precision strikes" against the source of North Korea's missile launches or the command and support centres, South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited the South Korean military as saying. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office last month, has vowed to take a tougher line against the North and agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden at a May summit in Seoul to upgrade…
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South Korea, U.S. stage rare drills with air carrier

South Korea, U.S. stage rare drills with air carrier

SEOUL, June 4 (Reuters) - South Korea and the United States staged their first combined military exercises involving an American aircraft carrier in more than four years, Seoul's military said on Saturday, amid reports that North Korea was preparing for a nuclear test. The three-day drills took place in international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa until Saturday, including air defence, anti-ship, anti-submarine, and maritime interdiction operations, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. The exercises came amid signs that North Korea is gearing up to conduct a nuclear test for the first time since 2017. Seoul officials…
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EPA’s Eye In The Sky: Legoland Korea, South Korea

EPA’s Eye In The Sky: Legoland Korea, South Korea

Legoland Korea amusement park on Jungdo Island in the lake city of Chuncheon, north of Seoul, South Kore. The world's largest Legoland, a project by Britain's Merlin Entertainment Group, opened on 05 May when the country celebrated Children's Day. Photo: EPA-EFE/YONHAP
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Breakthrough infections may be less contagious

Breakthrough infections may be less contagious

Fully vaccinated individuals who get infected with the coronavirus spread the infection to fewer people and are contagious for less time compared to people who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, a small study from South Korea suggests. In 173 hospital workers with COVID-19, including 50 who had breakthrough infections, researchers found that the virus had been transmitted to others in the hospital by 7% of the vaccinated group compared with 26% of the unvaccinated, even though the two groups had similar viral loads when diagnosed. In a separate group of 45 people with mild COVID-19 who were being quarantined, the…
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Vaccine protection wanes faster for cancer patients

Vaccine protection wanes faster for cancer patients

COVID-19 vaccines are effective in most cancer patients, but less so than in the general population and the efficacy wanes more quickly, according to a large study. When the Delta variant of the coronavirus was predominant in the UK, researchers tracked 377,194 individuals with cancer and more than 28 million people without malignancies. After two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer /BioNTech  or AstraZeneca, overall vaccine effectiveness against infection was 69.8% in the general population and only slightly lower, at 65.5%, for cancer patients, the researchers reported on this week in The Lancet Oncology. Three-to-six months later, however, vaccine…
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Biden says U.S., S.Korea alliance works to deter N.Korea, keep Indo-Pacific free

Biden says U.S., S.Korea alliance works to deter N.Korea, keep Indo-Pacific free

SEOUL, May 21 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden said on Saturday the 70-year alliance between the United States and South Korea was built on opposition to changing borders by force, and working together to deter North Korea and keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open. Biden made the comment at a summit with South Korea's new President Yoon Suk-yeol, during which Yoon said the transformation of trade and supply chains provided further reasons to develop the alliance. U.S. President Joe Biden and his new South Korean counterpart will search for ways on Saturday to break a diplomatic stalemate with North Korea, as…
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UPDATED: Biden arrives in South Korea for talks with President Yoon

UPDATED: Biden arrives in South Korea for talks with President Yoon

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea, May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday, the first leg of his first trip to Asia as president. Biden was greeted at the U.S. air base at Osan by South Korean foreign minister Park Jin, and the commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea, Paul LaCamera, among other American and South Korean officials. US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, USA, as he travels to South Korea and Japan, on his first trip to Asia as President. EPA-EFE/Oliver Contreras / POOL Biden was…
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South Korea’s Yoon says security situation tense amid talk of North Korea’s possible nuclear test

South Korea’s Yoon says security situation tense amid talk of North Korea’s possible nuclear test

SEOUL, May 11 (Reuters) - South Korea's new president Yoon Suk-yeol said on Wednesday the security situation on the Korean peninsula was difficult, citing talk of a possible nuclear test by the North. Yoon made the comment during a meeting with secretaries, urging officials to stay alert to better respond in such situations, according to a pool report from the South Korean presidential office. "The security situation is tough, with many from abroad also concerned amid talk of (North Korea) resuming the nuclear tests," the new president said. Yoon took office on Tuesday amid increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula,…
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American aircraft carrier deploys off Korean peninsula amid tensions with North – official

American aircraft carrier deploys off Korean peninsula amid tensions with North – official

The USS Abraham Lincoln strike group is operating in waters off the Korean peninsula, a U.S. official said, after South Korean media reported that the ships were deployed amid tensions over North Korea's missile tests. The official said the group is in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, for exercises with Japanese forces to reassure allies and partners in the region. The move comes as U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that North Korea could carry out an underground nuclear test in the coming days. This is the first time since 2017 that a carrier group has deployed to…
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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says tens of thousands killed in Mariupol, seeks military aid from South Korea

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy says tens of thousands killed in Mariupol, seeks military aid from South Korea

Tens of thousands of people have likely been killed in Russia's assault on the southeastern city of Mariupol, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address to South Korean lawmakers on Monday (April 11), as he asked Seoul for any military aid it could provide. Reuters has confirmed widespread destruction in Mariupol but could not verify the accuracy of his estimate of those killed in the city, which lies between eastern areas of Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists and Russian-annexed Crimea. Zelenskiy did not specify which weapons he sought, but said South Korea had many weapons that could not only help…
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South Korea’s president-elect wants U.S. nuclear bombers, submarines to return

South Korea’s president-elect wants U.S. nuclear bombers, submarines to return

SEOUL, April 6 (Reuters) - Advisers to South Korea's president-elect sought redeployment of U.S. strategic assets, such as nuclear bombers and submarines, to the Korean peninsula during talks held on a visit to Washington, one of the advisers said on Wednesday. The team of foreign policy and security aides to incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol met U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan as Yoon seeks a more constant security presence to deter threats from North Korea as it steps up weapons tests. "Deploying the strategic assets is an important element of reinforcing the extended deterrence, and the issue naturally came up during the…
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N.Korea says it will strike with nuclear weapons if South attacks

N.Korea says it will strike with nuclear weapons if South attacks

North Korea opposes war but would use nuclear weapons if South Korea attacked, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said on Tuesday, in a warning that analysts said is probably aimed at the South's incoming conservative president. Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the government and ruling party, said it was a "very big mistake" for South Korea's minister of defence to make recent remarks discussing attacks on the North, state news agency KCNA reported. South Korean Defence Minister Suh Wook had said on Friday that his country's military has a variety of missiles with significantly improved range, accuracy and power, with…
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Tattooing ban upheld by South Korean court

Tattooing ban upheld by South Korean court

The Constitutional Court in Seoul upheld a ban on tattooing this week, confirming South Korea as the only developed country that permits no one but medical professionals to perform the procedure. Tattoo artists derided the decision, calling it backward and lacking cultural understanding. Despite the decades-old ban, South Korea has nearly 50,000 tattoo artists, who risk police raids and prosecution for practising their trade.   Violating the ban is punishable by fines of up to 50 million won ($41,300) and prison terms - usually two years, though the law provides for as much as life. Tattooist associations have initiated a…
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South Korea’s total COVID cases top 10 million as crematoria, funeral homes overwhelmed

South Korea’s total COVID cases top 10 million as crematoria, funeral homes overwhelmed

SEOUL, March 23 (Reuters) - South Korea's total coronavirus infections topped 10 million, or nearly 20% of its population, authorities said on Wednesday, as surging severe cases and deaths increasingly put a strain on crematories and funeral homes nationwide. The country has been battling a record COVID-19 wave driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant even as it largely scrapped its once aggressive tracing and quarantine efforts and eased social distancing curbs.  The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 490,881 cases for Tuesday, the second highest daily tally after it peaked at 621,205 on March 16. The total caseload rose…
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New South Korean President to move presidential office to defence ministry

New South Korean President to move presidential office to defence ministry

SEOUL, March 20 (Reuters) - South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, breaking with decades of tradition, said on Sunday he will move the presidential office from the Blue House to the defence ministry compound, a step estimated to cost $40 million. Yoon, who narrowly won a bitter March 9 election, had pledged to relocate the office to a more accessible place, and open the Blue House in Seoul to the public.  He also said on Sunday he would move his official residence to Hannam-dong, a neighbourhood that houses many business executives and diplomats. Yoon's plans have met with mixed reactions from South Koreans,…
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South Korea elects conservative outsider as president in tectonic shift

South Korea elects conservative outsider as president in tectonic shift

SEOUL, March 10 (Reuters) - Conservative South Korean opposition candidate Yoon Suk-yeol rode to victory in a tight presidential election on a wave of discontent over economic policy, scandals and gender wars, reshaping the political future of Asia's fourth-largest economy. His victory in Wednesday's bitterly fought election marks a stunning turnaround for the main conservative bloc, now known as the People Power Party, which has regrouped since the 2017 snap election after the impeachment and ouster of then President Park Geun-hye. Yoon is a former prosecutor-general involved with Park's case who fell out with outgoing President Moon Jae-in after being appointed by him, gaining…
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Korean Air to cancel passenger flights to Moscow, reroute cargo flights

Korean Air to cancel passenger flights to Moscow, reroute cargo flights

SEOUL, March 4 (Reuters) - Korean Air Lines Co Ltd  said on Friday it plans to cancel four passenger flights to and from Moscow for the next two weeks, adding that the airline could not refuel its planes in Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The South Korean carrier said it also plans to reroute cargo flights that originally passed through Moscow, sending them instead directly from Incheon, South Korea, to destinations in Europe without making stops in Russia until March 18. "We were informed by a Russia-based refueling service provider this afternoon that we can no longer refuel our planes at…
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South Korea bans exports of strategic items to Russia, joins SWIFT sanctions

South Korea bans exports of strategic items to Russia, joins SWIFT sanctions

SEOUL, Feb 28 (Reuters) - South Korea will tighten export controls against Russia by banning shipments of strategic items and join Western countries' moves to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Monday. "The Korean government condemned Russia's armed invasion of Ukraine and, as a responsible member of the international community, decided to actively participate in the international community's efforts, including economic sanctions, for a peaceful resolution of the situation," the ministry said in a statement. Among the strategic items that could be controlled are supplies of electronics, semiconductors, computers, information and communications, sensors and…
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South Korea surpasses 1 million total COVID cases with daily record

South Korea surpasses 1 million total COVID cases with daily record

SEOUL, Feb 6 (Reuters) - South Korea on Sunday surpassed one million cumulative COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, as health officials reported a daily record of 38,691 new infections driven by an Omicron variant outbreak. South Korea saw its first confirmed COVID-19 case on January 20, 2020, and soon became the first country outside China to battle a major outbreak. An aggressive strategy of tracking, tracing, masking and quarantining helped South Korea to blunt that initial wave and keep overall cases and deaths low without widespread lockdowns, but the spread of the Omicron variant is driving case numbers to…
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South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins

SEOUL, Jan 26 (Reuters) - South Korea's daily new coronavirus cases exceeded 13,000 for the first time on Wednesday, driven by the spread of the Omicron variant, as the government launched a new pilot testing scheme to meet skyrocketing demand. The record 13,012 cases for the previous 24-hour period came just a day after the tally first topped 8,000 despite the extension of tough social distancing rules. The highly contagious but less-lethal Omicron became the dominant variant in South Korea last week, and the daily numbers could more than double or surge to even higher levels in the coming weeks,…
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Returned N.Korea defector struggled to resettle in South, lived meagre life

Returned N.Korea defector struggled to resettle in South, lived meagre life

A former North Korean defector who made a risky and rare cross-border return home last week had struggled in South Korea, officials and media reports said on Tuesday, sparking fresh debate over how such defectors are treated in their new lives. South Korea's military identified the man who crossed the heavily armed Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas on Saturday as a North Korean who defected to the South in a similar area just over a year ago. The man's plight shed new light on the lives of re-defectors and raised questions about whether they had received adequate support…
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S.Korea’s conservatives falter in election race over blunders, internal strife

S.Korea’s conservatives falter in election race over blunders, internal strife

Deepening internal strife and a series of political blunders are throwing the campaign of the leading presidential candidate from South Korea's opposition into disarray, sending his poll numbers nose-diving and giving a boost to rivals. Yoon Suk-yeol, the flag bearer of the conservative People Power Party, is set to face off against his rival from the ruling Democratic Party, Lee Jae-myung, in the March 9 presidential election. Housing prices and other domestic issues are largely expected to sway voter sentiment, but the election would shape Seoul's balancing act between the United States and China, and how South Korea coordinates with…
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Person spotting crossing DMZ likely previous defector from N.Korea

Person spotting crossing DMZ likely previous defector from N.Korea

SEOUL, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The person observed crossing the heavily fortified border from South Korea into North Korea last week is presumed to be a North Korean who had previously defected to the South, Seoul's defence ministry said on Monday. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) had said it carried out a search operation after detecting the person on Saturday https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/south-korean-crosses-armed-border-rare-defection-north-2022-01-02 on the eastern side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. "The authorities presume the person is a North Korean defector and are in the process of verifying related facts," the Ministry of National Defence…
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South Korea’s Moon pardons disgraced Park amid tight presidential race

South Korea’s Moon pardons disgraced Park amid tight presidential race

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in granted a pardon to former President Park Geun-hye, who was in prison after being convicted of corruption, the justice ministry said on Friday, amid a tight presidential race. Park, 69, became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote in 2017 to impeach her over a scandal that also landed the heads of two conglomerates, including Samsung, in jail. She was brought down after being found guilty of colluding with a friend to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates mostly…
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South Korea: End to Korean War agreed to ‘in principle’

South Korea: End to Korean War agreed to ‘in principle’

North and South Korea, the US, and China have agreed in principle to declare a formal end to the Korean War, says the South's President Moon Jae-in. But talks have yet to begin because of North Korea's demands, he added. The Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty. North and South Korea have technically been at war ever since - backed by China and the US respectively - and locked in a tense relationship. Mr Moon, who is currently visiting Australia, was speaking at a joint press conference in Canberra…
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South Korea’s COVID-19 rules put some vaccinated foreigners in limbo

South Korea’s COVID-19 rules put some vaccinated foreigners in limbo

SEOUL, Dec 6 (Reuters) - South Korea imposed stricter measures on Monday to contain growing coronavirus infections and the Omicron variant, leaving some foreign residents vaccinated overseas effectively barred from places such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas. South Korea recognises the vaccination status of Korean citizens who were vaccinated overseas but not foreigners, unless they entered the country under a quarantine exemption. Some foreign residents, particularly from Europe and the United States, were vaccinated earlier in the year when South Korea had not yet made vaccines available and were not eligible for the quarantine exemptions that were extended to certain…
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South Korea reports record-high COVID-19 cases, deaths

South Korea reports record-high COVID-19 cases, deaths

SEOUL, Dec 4 (Reuters) - South Korea reported a record daily 5,352 new COVID-19 infections and 70 deaths, while a nationwide total of nine cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Saturday. The government on Friday announced that people visiting restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces will have to show vaccine passes. It is also reducing the limit on private gatherings to six people in the greater Seoul area, from 10 currently, and to eight from 12 for those residing outside of the capital, starting next Monday. The hospitalisation…
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U.S., South Korea to update war plans while urging diplomacy with North Korea

U.S., South Korea to update war plans while urging diplomacy with North Korea

SEOUL, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The military chiefs of the United States and South Korea said on Thursday they plan to update contingency war plans and review their combined military command while urging North Korea to return to diplomacy. North Korea's missile and weapons developments are increasingly destabilising for regional security, U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said after talks with his South Korean counterpart, Suh Wook. Austin and U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were in Seoul for the first such annual military talks with South Korean officials since U.S. President Joe Biden took…
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South Korea eases curbs, imposes vaccine passports in ‘living with COVID-19’ campaign

South Korea eases curbs, imposes vaccine passports in ‘living with COVID-19’ campaign

SEOUL, Nov 1 (Reuters) - New rules aimed at moving South Koreans toward "living with COVID-19" came into effect on Monday, with the easing of a range of curbs and the introduction of vaccine passports at high-risk venues such as gyms, saunas and bars. The switch of focus comes as more than 75% of the country's population has been fully vaccinated. The first phase of the revised rules is due to last for a month, with plans to scrap all restrictions by February. "The return path to everyday life, to which we're taking the first step today, is a path…
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High demand for ‘Squid Game’ tracksuits cheers S.Korea’s struggling garment sector

High demand for ‘Squid Game’ tracksuits cheers S.Korea’s struggling garment sector

The "Made in Korea" green tracksuits and pink jumpsuits worn by characters in Netflix's global hit "Squid Game " have proven a pre-Halloween bright spot for a South Korean garment industry struggling during the pandemic. A 500-square-metre (598-square-yard) garment factory in the Seongbuk district of the capital Seoul was humming this week, green and pink thread flying off stacked spools off serger machines with loud knocking noises in a race to meet orders. "October is usually a slow month for the sewing industry, but thanks to Squid Game and Halloween, we are scrambling to stitch," factory owner Kim jin-ja, 54,…
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South Korea’s Moon vows ‘Korea space age’ after rocket test falters

South Korea’s Moon vows ‘Korea space age’ after rocket test falters

GOHEUNG, South Korea, Oct 21 (Reuters) - South Korea's first domestically built space rocket blasted off on Thursday, but failed to fully place a dummy satellite into orbit, delivering mixed results for a test launch that represents a major leap for the country's ambitious space plans. The three-stage KSLV-II Nuri rocket, emblazoned with the national flag, rose on a column of flame from its launch pad at Naro Space Center at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT). The Nuri, or "world", rocket is designed to put 1.5-tonne payloads into orbit 600 to 800 km (370 to 500 miles) above Earth, as part…
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South Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge from ‘Squid Game’

South Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge from ‘Squid Game’

South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband has sued Netflix to pay for costs from increased network traffic and maintenance work because of a surge of viewers to the U.S. firm's content, an SK spokesperson said on Friday. The move comes after a Seoul court said Netflix should "reasonably" give something in return to the internet service provider for network usage, and multiple South Korean lawmakers have spoken out against content providers who do not pay for network usage despite generating explosive traffic. Netflix said it will review SK Broadband's claim, and seek dialogue and explore ways in the meantime…
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