South Korea

South Korea's Moon urges Biden admin to follow up on Kim, Trump summit

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should hold talks with North Korea to build on progress that President Donald Trump had made with leader Kim Jong Un.

Biden takes office on Wednesday amid a prolonged stalemate in negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes in exchange for U.S. sanctions relief.

SKorean court gives Samsung scion prison term over bribery

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong was sent back to prison on Monday after a South Korean court sentenced him to two and a half years over his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that spurred massive street protests and ousted South Korea’s then-president.

In a much-anticipated retrial, the Seoul High Court found Lee guilty of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that helped strengthen his control the country’s largest business group.

N Korea holds huge military parade as Kim vows nuclear might

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea rolled out developmental ballistic missiles designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that punctuated leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand his nuclear weapons program.

State media said Kim took center stage in Thursday night’s parade celebrating a major ruling party meeting where Kim vowed maximum efforts to bolster his nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian rivals and the American homeland to counter what he described as U.S. hostility.

S.Korea's top court upholds 20-year prison sentence on ex-president Park

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's top court upheld a 20-year prison sentence on former President Park Geun-hye Thursday in a retrial of the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the former head of state.

The Supreme Court sentenced Park to 15 years in prison for bribery and another five years for other charges with a fine of 18 billion won (16.4 million U.S. dollars) and a forfeit of 3.5 billion won (3.2 million U.S. dollars), upholding the high court's ruling in July last year.

North Korea ends party meeting with calls for nuclear might

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed all-out efforts to bolster his country’s nuclear deterrent during a major ruling party meeting where he earlier laid out plans to work toward salvaging the broken economy.

Separately, Kim’s powerful sister criticized South Korea’s military for saying it had seen an apparent military parade taking place in Pyongyang. Kim Yo Jong, who was described last year as being in charge of inter-Korean relations, said in a statement Wednesday that such close tracking proved Seoul’s “hostile approach” toward its rival.

N. Korea’s Kim adds title: General secretary of ruling party

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was given the new title of general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, a designation formerly held by his late father and grandfather, state media reported Monday, in a move apparently aimed at bolstering his authority amid growing economic challenges.

Giving Kim the new title was the latest in a series of steps that North Korea has taken during its ongoing ruling party congress, the first of its kind since 2016.

North Korea's Kim calls U.S. 'our biggest enemy' in challenge to Biden

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for more advanced nuclear weapons and said the United States is “our biggest enemy,” state media said on Saturday, presenting a stark challenge to President-elect Joe Biden just days before he takes office.

Washington’s hostile policies would not change regardless of who occupies the White House but dropping those policies would be key to North Korea-U.S. relations, Kim said, according to state news agency KCNA.

N. Korea threatens to build more nukes, cites US hostility

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal as he disclosed a list of high-tech weapons systems under development, saying the fate of relations with the United States depends on whether it abandons its hostile policy, state media reported Saturday.

Kim’s comments during a key meeting of the ruling party this week were seen as applying pressure on the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has called Kim a “thug” and has criticized his summits with President Donald Trump.

South Korean delegation heads to Iran over seized oil tanker

SEOUL, Jan 8 (NNN-AGENCIES) — A South Korean delegation left for Iran on Thursday to negotiate the early release of an oil tanker and its crew seized in strategic Gulf waters this week.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said it had seized the South Korean- flagged Hankuk Chemi — which it said was carrying 7,200 tonnes of “oil chemical products” — for infringing maritime environmental laws.

The Guards said the arrested crew were from South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Tokyo angered after South Korea court orders Japan to compensate 'comfort women'

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court on Friday ordered Japan to compensate 12 women who were forced to work in its wartime brothels, a ruling that drew a strong rebuke from Tokyo and threatened to rekindle a diplomatic feud between the two countries.

Reminders of Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula are contentious for both sides, with many surviving “comfort women” - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims - demanding Tokyo’s formal apology and compensation.

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