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Nov 2, 2015

US, South Korea defence chiefs vow no tolerance for N.Korea provocation

SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. and South Korean defence chiefs urged North Korea on Monday to immediately cease all activities related to its nuclear programme and said they will have no tolerance for any military provocation by Pyongyang.

U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter and South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo also expressed “grave concern” over the North’s intent to conduct a long-range missile launch and a nuclear test, a joint statement issued after their talks said.

Nov 2, 2015

U.S., South Korea defense chiefs vow no tolerance for North Korea provocation

SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. and South Korean defense chiefs urged North Korea on Monday to immediately cease all activities related to its nuclear program and said they will have no tolerance for any military provocation by Pyongyang.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo also expressed “grave concern” over the North’s intent to conduct a long-range missile launch and a nuclear test, a joint statement issued after their talks said.

Oct 28, 2015

South Korea’s Park to play balancing act between China and Japan

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye faces a delicate balancing act between her country’s rapidly developing ties with Beijing and U.S. pressure to mend ties with Tokyo as she hosts the first three-way summit in three years with China and Japan.

Sunday’s summit will be a major diplomatic breakthrough for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has courted Park amid a push by Washington for its two main Asia allies to move beyond their bitter wartime history in the face of a growingly assertive China.

Oct 11, 2015

China-backed trade pact playing catch-up after U.S.-led TPP deal

SEOUL (Reuters) – Left outside the U.S.-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact struck last week, China and India approach this week’s talks for a huge Asia-wide equivalent with fresh urgency, lest competitor nations steal a march on export access.

Beijing is a key driver of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed 16-nation free-trade area that would be the world’s biggest such bloc, encompassing 3.4 billion people.

Sep 27, 2015

Satellite, missile test or space junk? North Korea readies launch

SEOUL (Reuters) – The satellite that North Korea launched into space three years ago circles the earth every 95 minutes at an altitude of about 540 km (335 miles), its orbit decaying.

No signal has ever been detected from the crude-looking 100-kg (220-pound) hunk of black metal that the North said was mounted with cameras to take images and transmit them back to Pyongyang.

Sep 19, 2015

North Korea could seek concession on resort, missile for reunions

SEOUL (Reuters) – If North Korea goes ahead with reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean war it is going to expect rewards from the South in return, perhaps the reopening of a border tourist spot or even tacit acceptance of an expected missile test.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye wants to build confidence with the unpredictable North under her policy of “Trustpolitik”.

Sep 15, 2015

North Korea says main nuclear complex operational, warns U.S.

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said on Tuesday its main nuclear complex was operating and it was working to improve the “quality and quantity” of its weapons which it could use against the United States at “any time”.

The comments follow a declaration by the North in 2013 vowing to restart all nuclear facilities, including the main nuclear reactor in Yongbyon that had been shuttered.

Sep 15, 2015

N.Korea readying satellite, suggesting long-range missile launch

SEOUL, Sept 15 (Reuters) – North Korea’s space agency is
building a new satellite and readying it for launch, state media
said late on Monday, with any use of a long-range rocket
suggesting that the secretive state has made advances developing
a ballistic missile.

North Korea has been expected to launch an upgraded
long-range ballistic missile, which would violate international
sanctions, as it prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the
founding of its ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on Oct. 10.

Aug 28, 2015

Ending standoff with North Korea boosts South’s President Park

SEOUL (Reuters) – Beset by crisis, scandal and a sluggish economy in the first half of her single five-year term, South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s approval rating soared in a poll released on Friday after a pact with North Korea brought back the rivals from the brink of conflict.

Park’s rating in a Gallup poll climbed a remarkable 15 percentage points from a week earlier to 49 percent, the highest in nearly a year, after the accord early on Tuesday ended an armed standoff in one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints and cleared the ground for further engagement with Pyongyang.

Aug 28, 2015

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un hails accord with South as landmark

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called this week’s accord between the rival Koreas “a landmark occasion” paving the way for defused military tension and improved ties, but said it was the strength of its armed forces that made the deal possible.

North and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to end a military standoff that sparked an exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of the world’s most heavily-fortified borders.