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Mar 27, 2015

South Korea demands release of two men accused by North Korea of espionage

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea demanded on Friday the immediate release of two of its citizens that North Korea said it had arrested, accusing them of spying for the South.

Late on Thursday, the North’s official KCNA news agency showed images of two middle-aged men it identified as Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil speaking at a news conference in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

Mar 27, 2015

Insight – The $50 device that symbolises a shift in North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – A $50 (34 pounds) portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government’s efforts to keep its people isolated – a symbol of change in one of the world’s most repressed societies.

By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed “notel”, a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand.

Mar 27, 2015

The $50 device that symbolizes a shift in North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government’s efforts to keep its people isolated – a symbol of change in one of the world’s most repressed societies.

By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed “notel”, a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand.

Mar 10, 2015

U.S. envoy to South Korea to maintain open stance despite attack

SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to South Korea said on Tuesday he plans to maintain his open, approachable style despite being slashed by a knife-wielding Korean nationalist five days ago, causing him wounds that required 80 stitches in his face.

Lippert had quickly become known for his informal demeanour since becoming ambassador in November but last week’s attack raised questions about his security arrangements.

Mar 10, 2015

U.S. ambassador to South Korea leaves hospital after knife attack

SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to South Korea left a Seoul hospital on Tuesday, five days after he was slashed by a knife-wielding Korean nationalist with a history of violent protest, causing wounds that required 80 stitches to the envoy’s face.

Police are seeking to bring charges including attempted murder against Kim Ki-jong, 55, for the attack at a forum discussing Korean reunification. The ambassador, Mark Lippert, suffered a deep facial gash and a puncture wound on his wrist.

Mar 6, 2015

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert underwent two-and-a-half hours of surgery after he was slashed in the face by a Korean nationalist in an attack at a breakfast forum in Seoul on Thursday to discuss Korean reunification.

Lippert, 42, was bleeding from deep wounds to his face and wrist but was able to walk after the attack. Doctors said later his condition was stable after “very successful” surgery that required 80 stitches in his face as the White House expressed optimism for his quick return to his duties.

Mar 5, 2015

North Korea to reopen Pyongyang marathon to foreign runners

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea is set to reopen an international marathon to overseas runners after ending a ban on most foreigners entering the country because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus, tour companies said on Thursday.

North Korean officials had previously told travel agencies specializing in tours to the isolated country that foreign runners were no longer allowed to participate in the marathon scheduled for April in the capital, Pyongyang.

Mar 5, 2015

U.S. ambassador to South Korea slashed in face by assailant

SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was slashed in the face by a Korean assailant at a breakfast forum in the capital early on Thursday, police and a witness said, but was not seriously wounded.

Lippert, 42, was bleeding from a facial wound but was walking after the attack as he was taken to the hospital. He was later reported to be in a stable condition.

Mar 3, 2015

North Korea reopens borders after months-long Ebola shutdown

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea officially reopened its borders on Tuesday to foreign tourists and businessmen nearly five months after shutting them over fear of the deadly Ebola virus, tour agencies and a diplomatic source told Reuters.

“We’ve had it confirmed officially that the border is now open,” said Troy Collings, manager of the China-based Young Pioneer Tours, which takes Western tourists into North Korea.

Mar 2, 2015

North Korea ending Ebola travel restrictions: tour firms

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea is ending a ban on foreign tourists imposed more than four months ago because of worries about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, two tour operators and a source in regular contact with North Korean officials said on Monday.

North Korea is one of the world’s most isolated countries and is thousands of miles from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It has reported no cases of the virus, which has killed more than 9,000 people.