SEOUL (Reuters) – The first payouts from South Korea’s state pension fund only started in 2008, but faced with the fastest ageing population among developed nations and one of the lowest birthrates, the country needs to deal with a looming funding crunch.
The world’s third-largest state fund by assets is generating more than $2 billion a month in new net funding as contributions outpace payments, but by 2034 that will end as South Koreans retire and the working age population falls.
SEOUL (Reuters) – Impoverished North Korea threatened on Friday to open fire on South Korea if it allows activists to go ahead with plans to drop anti-North leaflets on its territory, its most strident warning against its long-time foe in months.
North Korea, which is still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in merely a truce, often uses shrill rhetoric denouncing its rich, capitalist neighbor and threatening all-out war.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader promoted a new army marshal after sacking his top general in what a South Korean official report said was a bid to impose authority on a military that has been the backbone of his family’s long rule over the isolated state.
But analysts said the moves, just seven months since rising to power, do not suggest any fundamental change by Kim Jong-un to the policies of his grandfather and father which have left North Korea constantly on the brink of famine and ostracized by the most of the world.
SEOUL (Reuters) – It might not be Lady Gaga’s pop music extravaganza rolling into town, but North Korea’s young dictator is taking unprecedented steps to breathe some fun into his repressive regime, helped by women rock stars in miniskirts and killer heels, and cultural icons from the usually reviled United States.
Kim Jong-un, the late-20s head of state who took over the family dynasty last December, gave the performance a thumbs up at the end. The gerontocrats who make up the ruling elite in the hermit nation also applauded enthusiastically, according to an hour and forty minutes of footage released on Thursday by North Korea’s state broadcaster KRT.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has resumed construction work on an experimental light water reactor (ELWR) in a move that could extend its capacity to produce more material for nuclear weapons, website 38North reported on Thursday.
Based on April 30 satellite images, work halted in December at the reactor had now re-started, said the website (38north.org), run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and former U.S. State Department official Joel Wit.
SEOUL, April 15 (Reuters) – Smarting from a failed rocket
launch, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has little choice but
to stick to his father’s playbook of milking an impoverished
country to develop weapons and blackmail the international
community for aid and recognition.
Far from fearing a coup or instability after Friday’s public
fiasco, the third of his line to rule North Korea will lead
celebrations on Sunday to mark the centenary of the birth of his
grandfather, the founder of the world’s only Stalinist monarchy,
“Eternal President” Kim Il-sung.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea lauded the military might built up by deceased leader Kim Jong-il on Thursday, likely tying his young successor to the same policies that have set Northeast Asia on edge as the impoverished state inches closer to nuclear weapons capability.
A gathering of 100,000, soldiers in uniform and bare-headed civilians, gathered in silence in wintry sunlight in the capital Pyongyang to mourn the passing of the man who had led the country for 17 years until his death on December 17.
SEOUL (Reuters) – The world watched anxiously on Wednesday as North Korea staged a huge funeral in the capital, Pyongyang, for former leader Kim Jong-il, searching for signs of what to expect from the isolated nation that may be close to attaining nuclear weapons capacity.
Bleak pictures from state television showed a funeral cortege led by a limousine carrying a huge picture of the 69-year-old, who died on December 17, passing serried ranks of olive green-clad soldiers whose bare heads were bowed in homage in the main square of the snow-covered capital.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s military staged a huge funeral procession on Wednesday in the snowy streets of the capital Pyongyang for its deceased “dear leader,” Kim Jong-il, readying a transition to his son, Kim Jong-un.
Pictures from state television showed a funeral cortege led by a limousine carrying a huge picture of the 69-year old, who died on December 17, passing serried ranks of olive green-clad soldiers whose heads were bowed.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea will hold a funeral procession on Wednesday for its deceased “dear leader”, Kim Jong-il, making way for his son, Kim Jong-un, to become the third member of the family to run the isolated and unpredictable Asian country.
The coming year was supposed to mark North Korea’s self-proclaimed transformation into a “strong and prosperous” nation, but it faces a dangerous transition to a young, untested leader at a time when dictatorships across the world have tumbled.