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Apr 16, 2014

More than 300 people missing after South Korea ferry sinks – coastguard

SEOUL (Reuters) – More than 300 people were missing after a ferry sank off South Korea, the coastguard said on Wednesday, with a three-fold increase in the number of passengers unaccounted for put down to a miscalculation by officials.

The ferry was carrying 477 people, of whom 164 were confirmed rescued, coastguard officials said. Two people were confirmed dead after the ferry listed heavily onto its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea’s southwest coast.

Apr 16, 2014

Scores rescued from sinking S.Korean ferry, two dead – officials

SEOUL, April 16 (Reuters) – About 160 passengers, including
high school students, were plucked to safety on Wednesday in a
dramatic rescue from a South Korean passenger ferry sinking with
475 on board, officials said, although at least two people had
died.

South Korean officials said the rescue operation was still
underway and it was difficult to offer any confirmed information
about the remaining 300 or so people on board.

Mar 31, 2014

North, South Korea trade artillery rounds into the sea: Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters as part of a drill on Monday, prompting the South to fire back, officials in Seoul said, but the exercise appeared to be more saber-rattling from Pyongyang rather than the start of a military standoff.

The North had flagged its intentions to conduct the exercise in response to U.N. condemnation of last week’s missile launches by Pyongyang and against what it says are threatening military drills in the South by U.S. forces.

Mar 31, 2014

North, South Korea exchange artillery fire off west coast

SEOUL (Reuters) – North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Monday off their disputed western maritime border, Seoul scrambled jets and residents of a South Korean island fled to bomb shelters in the most dramatic escalation of tensions since 2010.

One North Korean shell landed in South Korean waters, although none hit South Korean land, unlike in 2010 when a barrage killed two soldiers and two civilians.

Mar 26, 2014

North Korea fires missiles as U.S., Japan, South Korea leaders meet

SEOUL/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – North Korea fired missiles into the sea on Wednesday just as U.S. President Barack Obama brought together the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss how to deal with Pyongyang and to thaw chilly ties between Washington’s two key Asian allies.

The launch of the two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles began at 2:35 a.m. Japan and Korea time, Japan and South Korea said – precisely when South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were sitting down with Obama in The Hague.

Mar 26, 2014

N.Korea fires missiles as U.S., Japan, S.Korea leaders meet

SEOUL/THE HAGUE, March 26 (Reuters) – North Korea fired
missiles into the sea on Wednesday just as U.S. President Barack
Obama brought together the leaders of South Korea and Japan to
discuss how to deal with Pyongyang and to thaw chilly ties
between Washington’s two key Asian allies.

The launch of the two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles
began at 2:35 a.m. Japan and Korea time (1735 GMT Tuesday),
Japan and South Korea said – precisely when South Korean
President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
were sitting down with Obama in The Hague.

Feb 22, 2014

North Korea rejects UN human rights report as ‘lies and fabrications’

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea on Saturday rejected the findings of a U.N. panel, which accused the state of crimes against humanity that evoked Nazi-era atrocities, saying they were based on “lies and fabrications deliberately cooked up by hostile forces and riff-raffs.”

North Korean security chiefs and even Kim Jong Un should face international prosecution for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings of its people, U.N. investigators said on Monday in a report.

Feb 14, 2014

North, South Korea agree on family reunions, no link to exercises

SEOUL (Reuters) – North and South Korea agreed on Friday to proceed with reunions of families separated by the Korean War despite an earlier North Korean demand that they could only go ahead if the South postponed military exercises with the United States.

The agreement clearly represented a concession by the North, which has made unpredictable diplomatic moves over the past month. The North had proposed the reunions, but then threatened to withdraw consent over a sortie by a U.S. B52 bomber.

Feb 13, 2014

South Korea rejects North’s demand for delay of joint drills with U.S.

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has rejected a demand by its northern neighbor to postpone this month’s military drills with the United States to avoid overlap with planned reunions of families separated during the Korean War, an official said on Thursday.

The demand, made at a rare high-level meeting between the North and South on Wednesday, raised the possibility that the reunion event might be scuttled and deal a setback to weeks of confidence-building efforts by Seoul.

Feb 12, 2014

North and South Korea seek better ties at rare high-level talks

SEOUL (Reuters) – North and South Korea held their first high-level talks in seven years on their fortified border on Wednesday, exploring ways to improve ties while the South and the United States geared up for military exercises that have angered the North.

The meeting was set up with unusual speed and great secrecy at the North’s suggestion last week, the latest example of conflicting signals coming from North Korea that included an abrupt cancellation of an invitation for a U.S. envoy to visit.