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Jul 30, 2014

S.Korea president’s party wins vote, green light for economic reforms

SEOUL, July 30 (Reuters) – South Korean voters in 15
districts gave President Park Geun-hye’s ruling party an
enhanced parliamentary majority in by-elections on Wednesday,
and the political momentum to drive an economic stimulus
programme and regulatory reforms.

Park has made the economy a priority in the second year of
her five-year term and recently appointed a finance minister
with a brief to stimulate consumption and ease restrictions on
the sagging property market in Asia’s fourth largest economy.

Jul 30, 2014

Control of assembly, reform plans at stake in South Korea by-elections

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean voters in 15 districts chose lawmakers on Wednesday in by-elections that could determine whether President Park Geun-hye’s ruling party can retain a majority to push through her economic stimulus policy and regulatory reform.

Park has made boosting the economy a priority in her second year of a single term and recently appointed a finance minister who has pledged to stimulate consumption and ease restrictions on the sagging property market.

Jul 4, 2014

China’s Xi invites South Korea joint effort on Japan’s wartime past

SEOUL (Reuters) – China and South Korea have a common interest in ensuring Tokyo is held to account for its wartime past, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday, amid their shared concerns about Japan’s more assertive security strategy.

Tokyo’s new defensive policy, adopted in a cabinet resolution this week, has angered China, whose ties with Japan have frayed due to a maritime row, mistrust and the legacy of past Japanese military aggression.

Jul 3, 2014

China and S.Korea leaders restate opposition to North’s nuclear arms

SEOUL, July 3 (Reuters) – The leaders of South Korea and
China on Thursday restated their firm opposition to the nuclear
ambitions of North Korea, Beijing’s erstwhile ally, and to work
towards concluding talks on a free trade deal by the end of the
year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul, his fifth
meeting with the South Korean leader since they both took office
last year, seeks to strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties.

Jul 3, 2014

China’s Xi visits South Korea as ties strengthen, wary eye on the North

SEOUL (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in South Korea on Thursday, hoping to strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties while Seoul is expected to push Beijing to increase pressure on ally North Korea to end its pursuit of nuclear arms.

The visit will include Xi’s fifth summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye since both took office last year.

Jun 30, 2014

China’s Xi heads to Seoul with North Korea on his mind

SEOUL (Reuters) – The president of China, North Korea’s only major ally, visits South Korea this week where the leaders of the two countries are expected to call on Pyongyang to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons, although Beijing will make sure it is not seen as taking sides.

In a visit certain to be watched carefully in Pyongyang, President Xi Jinping will be holding talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye for the fifth time in a year, without yet meeting the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

Jun 26, 2014

South Korean president’s leadership under question over PM troubles

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye rejected the resignation of her prime minister on Thursday and asked him to stay on after her second nominee for the job stood aside over controversial comments he had made about Korea’s troubled past with Japan.

The decision to keep incumbent Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who tendered his resignation two months ago over the government’s flawed response to a ferry disaster, heightened concerns about her ability to rule and push through reforms.

Jun 12, 2014

Ferry family boss eludes South Korea’s biggest and most bizarre manhunt

SEOUL, June 12 (Reuters) – South Korea’s biggest and most
bizarre manhunt, linked to a ferry disaster in which hundreds
drowned, has come full circle at the compound of a sect known
for its organic ice cream as police on Thursday used earth
movers to search for tunnels.

Police have raided the grounds of the Evangelical Baptist
Church in Anseong, a two-hour drive south of Seoul, twice as
they try to flush out church co-founder Yoo Byung-un, 73, South
Korea’s most wanted man since the Sewol ferry sank in April
killing more than 300 people, mostly children from the same
school.

Jun 7, 2014

North Korea detains U.S. tourist; three now in custody

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said it had detained an American tourist for violating its laws after entering the secretive state in April, bringing the number of U.S. citizens held by Pyongyang to three.

Pyongyang has held a number of U.S. citizens in the past, using them as a tool to extract visits by high-profile figures, including former President Bill Clinton, but it has recently rejected visits by officials to discuss their cases.

Jun 6, 2014

North Korea says detains U.S. tourist, three now in custody

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it had detained an American tourist for violating its laws after entering the secretive state in April, bringing the number of U.S. citizens held by Pyongyang to three.

Pyongyang has detained a number of U.S. citizens in recent years, using them as a tool to extract visits by high-profile figures, including former President Bill Clinton, for propaganda means.