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Nov 11, 2014

North Korea halts talks with EU over U.N. draft on international court referral

UNITED NATIONS/SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has halted talks with the main sponsor of a U.N. resolution urging the country’s referral to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, following months of attempts to win over key supporters of the draft.

In a statement dated Oct. 30 and given to U.N. states, North Korea’s U.N. mission said it had suspended talks with the European Union on the resolution.

Oct 20, 2014

South Korea concert victims’ families call for leniency

SEOUL (Reuters) – The families of 16 people who died after falling through a ventilation shaft at a South Korean open-air concert asked for leniency on Monday for event organizers despite fresh concerns about safety six months after a ferry disaster.

Opposition lawmakers chided the government for a lack of substantive improvements in safety despite repeated pledges to tighten standards, with one member of parliament saying: “The Republic of Korea has become the republic of disasters”.

Oct 14, 2014

N. Korea leader Kim re-appears, with walking stick-state media

SEOUL, Oct 14 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
shown using a cane for support, re-appeared in state media on
Tuesday after a lengthy public absence that had fuelled
speculation over his health and grip on power in the secretive,
nuclear-capable country.

Several pictures on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun
newspaper showed Kim smiling and gesturing on a visit to a
housing development, although there was no indication which day
the event took place. He was surrounded by aides and wearing his
signature dark buttoned suit, and appeared to be supporting
himself with a black walking stick.

Oct 14, 2014

North Korea leader Kim appears in public with walking stick: state media

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, using a cane for support, visited a housing development, state media reported on Tuesday, ending a lengthy absence from public view that had fueled speculation over his health and grip on power in the secretive country.

Several pictures on the front page of Tuesday’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim smiling and gesturing, surrounded by aides and wearing his signature dark buttoned suit and appearing to be supporting himself with a black cane.

Oct 13, 2014

North Korean leader Kim makes first appearance since September 3 – KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a residential district and a science academy, state media reported early on Tuesday, ending a lengthy absence from public view that had fuelled speculation over his health and grip on power in the secretive country.

The report of Kim’s appearances could not be independently verified by Reuters, and pictures were not immediately available. North Korean state TV had not yet begun its daily broadcast early on Tuesday.

Oct 13, 2014

North Korean leader Kim makes first appearance since September 3

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a residential district and a science academy, state media reported early on Tuesday, ending a lengthy absence from public view that had fueled speculation over his health and grip on power in the secretive country.

The report of Kim’s appearances could not be independently verified by Reuters, and pictures were not immediately available. North Korean state TV had not yet begun its daily broadcast early on Tuesday.

Oct 13, 2014

N. Korean leader Kim makes first appearance since Sept. 3 – KCNA

SEOUL, Oct 14 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
visited a residential district and a science academy, state
media reported early on Tuesday, ending a lengthy absence from
public view that had fuelled speculation over his health and
grip on power in the secretive country.

The report of Kim’s appearances could not be independently
verified by Reuters, and pictures were not immediately
available. North Korean state TV had not yet begun its daily
broadcast early on Tuesday.

Oct 9, 2014

New star emerges in North Korea amid speculation over Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) – The man in the olive drabs and oversized Soviet-style military cap who strode through South Korea’s main airport last week has climbed from an obscure desk job in North Korea to the most powerful position outside the ruling Kim family.

Hwang Pyong So, now a top military aide to the North’s leader Kim Jong Un, has had an unprecedented rise to the top rungs of North Korea’s leadership in the space of a few years. With intense speculation on the whereabouts of Kim after his disappearance from official media for over a month, Hwang is even more in focus.

Oct 8, 2014

For South Korea’s Park, talks with North could rejuvenate her tenure

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea is prepared to discuss its sanctions against the North in a rare meeting with Pyongyang officials, a sign of flexibility as the South’s Park Geun-hye seeks to reenergize her presidency with a breakthrough in bilateral ties.

The opportunity comes after a delegation headed by Hwang Pyong So, believed to be the second highest-ranking official in Pyongyang outside the family of leader Kim Jong Un, visited the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon, west of Seoul, last week with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Sep 22, 2014

Ferry disaster weighs on S. Korean president steeled by tragedy

SEOUL, Sept 22 (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s voice trembled as she tried to comfort parents gathered near a makeshift morgue to identify the bodies of their children, among the hundreds drowned in a ferry disaster.

“I know very well the sorrow of losing a family member because I’ve experienced it,” said Park, whose parents were both killed when she was in her 20s. “My heart aches thinking about how you feel.”