13 FEBRUARY 2017
S.Korea’s Saenuri Party adopts new name
South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party has decided to take on a new name in the wake of a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye
11 FEBRUARY 2017
China expels 32 South Korea missionaries amid missile defence tension
China has expelled 32 South Korean Christian missionaries, a Seoul official has said, amid diplomatic tens between the two countries over the planned deployment of a US missile defence system
2 FEBRUARY 2017
In Seoul, US defence chief Mattis says South Korea alliance is ‘strong’
US Defence Secretary James Mattis has reassured the leader of South Korea that the alliance between the two nations remains strong
1 FEBRUARY 2017
Ban Ki-moon says he won’t run for South Korea’s presidency in surprise announcement
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared that he won’t run for South Korea’s presidency. He had been expected to seek the position after a corruption scandal saw President Park Geun-hye impeached
30 JANURY 2017
In South Korea, the People’s Party refuses to accept Ban Ki-moon
People’s Party Chairman Park Jie-won said Sunday his party cannot accept former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a leading presidential hopeful, for now
16 JANUARY 2017
Contentious US-Korea missile defense system delayed
The deployment of a controversial US missile defense system in South Korea designed to protect against North Korean aggression could be delayed, Seoul’s defense ministry said on Monday
8 JANUARY 2017
Beijing freezes military ties with Seoul
At least seven joint military events between Korea and China have been cancelled since Seoul agreed to deploy a U.S. antimissile defense system on the peninsula, according to a government insider
South Korean monk self-immolates over ‘comfort women’ deal
A South Korean monk set himself on fire to protest the government’s deal with Japan on compensation for wartime sex slaves. Japan’s PM Abe has also called on Seoul to remove a « comfort woman » statue as part of the deal
5 JANUARY 2017
President Park Geun-hye accused of ‘broadly and gravely’ violating South Korean constitution as impeachment trial begins
The Constitutional Court in South Korea has pushed ahead with the start of an impeachment trial against the country’s president, despite her refusal to attend.
27 DECEMBER 2016
Split in Saenuri Party is biggest in Korean history
The launch of the new conservative party, tentatively called the New Conservative Party for Reform (NCPR), is scheduled for Jan. 24, and it is guaranteed to upend the conservative’s strategy for the 2017 presidential race
22 DECEMBER 2016
South Korean ruling party on the verge of splitting as fallout from presidential scandal intensifies
A split would complicate any presidential bid by outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who had been widely expected to compete as a centre-right candidate
9 DECEMBER 2016
Park Geun-hye: South Korean MPs vote to impeach president
South Korea’s parliament has passed a motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a scandal involving her and close aides. Park is to be suspended from her duties
5 DECEMBER 2016
Korea raises 2017 defense budget to US$34 bil.
According to South Korea’s defense ministry on Monday, the defense budget for 2017 has been set at 34 billion U.S. dollars
29 NOVEMBER 2016
South Korea’s embattled president offers to relinquish power
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday (Nov 29) asked parliament to find a way for her to give up power and decide when she should step down amid an influence-peddling scandal, but the opposition said she was just trying to avoid impeachment
23 NOVEMBER 2016
South Korea, Japan sign intelligence-sharing deal on North Korea
South Korea and Japan have signed a controversial agreement to pool military intelligence on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The deal lets both countries bypass the United States when sharing information about North Korea
20 NOVEMBER 2016
South Korea prosecutors say President Park was accomplice in corruption scandal
South Korean prosecutors said on Sunday that they believed President Park Geun-hye was an accomplice in a corruption scandal that has rocked her administration, in a heavy blow to her fight for political survival
14 NOVEMBER 2016
Japan, South Korea ink controversial intelligence deal
South Korea and Japan reached a controversial deal on Monday (Nov 14) to share defence intelligence, Japanese officials said, despite protests from opposition parties and activists in Seoul
12 NOVEMBER 2016
Anti-government rally in Seoul largest in nearly 30 years
The biggest street protest in nearly three decades was held in the heart of Seoul with up to 1 million people calling for President Park Geun-hye to resign
8 NOVEMBER 2016
South Korea President Park willing to relinquish some power, asks parliament to nominate new PM
South Korean President Park Geun Hye said on Tuesday (Nov 8) that she will withdraw her nominee for prime minister if parliament recommends a candidate and is willing to let the new premier control the cabinet, seeking to defuse a crisis rocking her presidency
4 NOVEMBER 2016
« My heart is breaking », says South Korean President Park Geun-hye in tearful apology
South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s has made a tearful apology for her role in a “heartbreaking” political scandal that has engulfed her administration – but it has failed to mollify opposition parties
2 NOVEMBER 2016
President Park appoints Kim Byong-joon as new prime minister
President Park’s designation of a liberal prime minister could mark the beginning of a politically neutral cabinet, one where the new prime minister would have greater power over domestic affairs, while the head of state would focus on external affairs, including diplomacy and defense. »
29 OCTOBER 2016
Mass protest in Seoul against South Korean President
Thousands of protesters held a candlelight rally in the South Korean capital on Saturday (Oct 29), calling on President Park Geun-hye to step down over allegations that allowed a close personal friend to meddle in state affairs
24 OCTOBER 2016
South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye calls for two-term, longer presidencies
The constitution should allow the president a second term in office and the terms themselves should be longer, according to President Park Geun-hye. Presidents are currently limited to a single five-year term
7 OCTOBER 2016
Is South Korea a ‘nation in trouble’?
The headlines in South Korea’s newspapers have been largely negative in recent months, dominated by scandal, political impasse and social unrest. But some say it shows the nation is evolving into a mature society
30 SEPTEMBER 2016
South Korea announces new site for US missile shield as ties with Beijing worsen over Chinese fishermen’s deaths
South Korea’s announcement on Friday of the final site of a US-built antiballistic missile system drew firm opposition in Beijing and a vow to take “necessary measures” to counter the shield
14 SEPTEMBER 2016
U.S. doesn’t want to bring back its nukes to South Korea
A U.S. official Tuesday opposed growing calls for a reintroduction of American tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea in the wake of Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test
11 AUGUST 2016
What would a Trump presidency mean for the US–South Korea alliance?
Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the value of forward deployment in US security strategy and has threatened to pull back from the alliance if South Korea, among other treaty allies of the United States, does not ‘reimburse us much more substantially. As a result, some analysts in the region are concerned about the effect of a Trump presidency
10 AUGUST 2016
South Korea’s ruling party elects new leader
South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party has elected a new leader, Lee Jung-hyun. The lawmaker has close ties with President Park Geun-hye
8 JULY 2016
US and South Korea agree THAAD missile defence deployment
The U.S. and South Korea have agreed to deploy an advanced military defense system that could intercept North Korean missiles following continued weapons testing by Pyongyang in defiance of U.N. résolutions
3 JUNE 2016
Korea and U.S. differ over Thaad parley
South Korea and the United States appeared to be at loggerheads on Friday over the deployment of an advanced missile defense system on the peninsula, particularly over whether the two would discuss the issue at an upcoming talk between their defense chiefs.
1 MAY 2016
South Korean president visits Iran
South Korea’s president has arrived in Tehran in the first such high-level visit since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1962
13 APRIL 2016
After 16 years, South Korea ruling party loses parliamentary majority
South Korea’s conservative ruling party said it had « disappointed » voters after it suffered a serious setback in Wednesday’s general election, losing its 16 years of parliamentary majority
6 MARCH 2016
South Korea, U.S. to kick off largest-ever joint exercise
South Korea and the United States will launch their largest-ever joint exercise this week to warn North Korea against further provocations, a South Korean military official said Sunday
04 MARCH 2016
Seoul and Washington postponed talks on Thaad finally get off the ground
Seoul and Washington officially launched talks Friday on the deployment of the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system in South Korea, a bolstering of their joint missile defense posture that has been fiercely protested by some neighboring countries
22 FEBRUARY 2016
S Korea urges Japan to stop islets provocations
South Korea on Monday urged Japan to stop provocations over disputed islets lying halfway between the two countries as Japan sent a senior government official to attend the controversial « Takeshima Day » event.
13 FEBRUARY 2016
U.S. deploys more Patriot missiles in South Korea
The United States temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea in response to North Korea’s nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch, ahead of talks next week to set up an even more sophisticated U.S. missile defense in a move that has worried China and Russia.
27 JANUARY 2016
South Korean defense chief says Thaad must be considered
Minister of National Defense Han Min-koo said Monday that Seoul needs to seriously consider the deployment of a U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-ballistic missile system on the Korean Peninsula
10 JANUARY 2016
U.S. B-52 bomber flies over S. Korea in solidarity after N. Korean nuclear claim
A B-52 bomber jet from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam flew over Osan, South Korea, on Sunday « in response to a recent nuclear test by North Korea, » United States Pacific Command said
7 JANUARY 2016
Indonesia, South Korea sign $1.87 billion fighter jet development deal
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed two separate contracts with the Indonesian defense ministry and the country’s state-run defense firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) in Jakarta, Thursday, to jointly develop Korea’s indigenous fighter jets
28 DECEMBER 2015
Korea and Japan reach historic agreement on sex slave issue
South Korea and Japan have reached a landmark agreement on the thorny issue of wartime sex slaves, known as comfort women, that has long strained relations
20 DECEMBER 2015
Korea’s trade pacts with China, Vietnam, New Zealand go into effect
Korea’s free trade agreement with China took effect on Sunday, along with separate trade pacts with Vietnam and New Zealand
5 DECEMBER 2015
Tens of thousands rally against South Korea president
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in the South Korean capital on Saturday accusing President Park Geun-hye of pushing pro-business labour laws and attacking personal and political freedoms.
30 NOVEMBER 2015
South Korea’s Assembly ratifies FTA with China
The National Assembly ratified a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, Monday, after weeks of tug-of-war negotiations over how to protect farming and other industries that will suffer from the deal
26 NOVEMBER 2015
S Korea holds state funeral for ex-president Kim Young-Sam
South Korea on Thursday buried former president Kim Young-Sam, following a snow-swept state funeral for the man whose 1992 election victory brought a formal end to more than 30 years of military rule
25 NOVEMBER 2015
New South Korea-U.S nuclear treaty goes into effect
A new nuclear treaty between South Korea and the United States came into effect replacing the one that had been in place for the last 42 years
21 NOVEMBER 2015
Former South Korean president Kim Young-sam dies at 87
Former South Korean President Kim Young-Sam, who became the country’s first civilian ruler after more than 30 years of military rule, died on Sunday, hospital officials said. He was 87
1 NOVEMBER 2015
South Korea, China, Japan put hostility aside at rare summit
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Chinese and Japanese premiers Li Keqiang and Shinzo Abe discussed a wide range of topics, from free trade to the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme
21 OCTOBER 2015
South Korean Seong-Jin Cho wins Chopin piano competition
South Korea’s Seong-Jin Cho, 21, has won the prestigious 17th international Frederic Chopin piano competition in the Polish capital, Warsaw
16 OCTOBER 2015
Obama asks Park to speak out against China
US President Barack Obama has asked South Korean President Park Geun-hye to speak out against China when it fails to abide by international norms and rules
South Korean Professors declare boycott against government-issued history text
Dozens of history professors from the country’s most prestigious universities, including Korea and Yonsei University, have issued statements against the government’s decision to publish a single history textbook starting in 2017
13 OCTOBER 2015
South Korea to issue ‘correct history textbook’ to students
The South Korean government has said it will replace the country’s school history books with a single text, which will be called the « correct history textbook »
22 SEPTEMBER 2015
U.S. denying Seoul key fighter jet technologies
Washington has rejected the transfer to Korea of four core technologies in F-35 stealth fighter jets that are needed to develop indigenous KF-X aircraft, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) confirmed Tuesday
Japan, US, S.Korea FM talks to be held on Sep. 29
The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea will meet in New York next week to discuss the possibility of North Korea launching a long-range missile. A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday announced that the meeting will be held on September 29th on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
11 SEPTEMBER 2015
South Korea’s generation of discontent
In South Korea 410,000 young people in their 20s are looking for work and unemployed. This is up from 330,000 in 2013 and is a 15-year high. But this deepening societal crisis should come as little surprise
2 SEPTEMBER 2015
If China had to choose, it would be South Korea
South Korea is a liberal democracy, but China is still its largest trade partner. In recent years, South Korea’s trade with China has exceeded its combined trade with Japan and the US, which are its second and third largest trade partners.
26 AUGUST 2015
President Park to attend China’s war victory military parade
According to the Presidential office the decision to attend the September 3rd event at the Tiananmen Square, was made after considering Seoul’s friendly cooperative relations with Beijing, and hopes for Beijing’s future role in bringing peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula
16 AUGUST 2015
After 70 years of turbulent transition, South Korea’s democracy faces new challenges
In the chaotic decades that followed the 1945 liberation from Japan’s colonial rule, South Koreans had limited rights to pick their own leaders, express political beliefs, and participate in any form of policymaking
7 AUGUST 2015
Korean traditional dance master Lee Mae-bong dies at 88
Korean dance guru Yi Mae-bang died of a sudden illness stemming from old age at a hospital in Gangnam, southern Seoul, Friday morning. He was 88
17 JUNE 2015
South Korean defense budget plan is largest ever
The Ministry of National Defense has created its largest-ever budget proposal, mainly aimed at building deterrence infrastructure against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, which it submitted to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance
3 JUNE 2015
South Korea test-fires missile that can strike all of the North
South Korea on Wednesday test-fired two ballistic missiles capable of hitting any part of North Korea, in an apparent response to recent bellicose boasts from Pyongyang about its nuclear and missile capabilities
1 JUNE 2015
China, S. Korea sign free-trade pact
China and South Korea on Monday formally signed a free-trade agreement that would remove most tariffs between Asia’s largest and fourth-largest economies, whose trade is already worth more than US$200 billion.
21 MAY 2015
Justice chief Hwang Kyo-ahn named new Korean P.M.
President Park Geun-hye on Thursday nominated Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as the new prime minister, calling him “the right man” to achieve political reforms proposed in the wake of a high-profile graft scandal involving her close confidants.
18 MAY 2015
Korea, India to upgrade partnership
South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Monday agreed to elevate the level of bilateral ties to a “special strategic partnership” and start negotiations to revise a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which is equivalent to a free trade deal, by June next year
27 APRIL 2015
South Korea’s prime minister Lee Wan Koo steps down over bribery scandal
Prime Minster Lee Wan Koo offered to quit last week, two months after taking the country’s No. 2 post. He was at the heart of a corruption scandal involving a dead businessman and other high-profile figures.
16 APRIL 2015
Korea, U.S. form joint defense committee to counter N. Korean threats
Seoul and Washington have agreed to form a ‘Deterrence Strategic Committee.’The deal was signed by deputy-level defense ministers from South Korea and the U.S. in Washington on Wednesday, local time
14 APRIL 2015
Korea, Japan hold first security talks for 5 years
South Korea and Japan on Tuesday held their first high-level security talks in more than five years despite simmering tensions over territorial and historical disputes
6 APRIL 2015
South Korea condemns Japanese books as bid to repeat ‘past mistakes’
South Korea condemned on Monday (Apr 6) Japan’s approval of textbooks that it said distorted history by claiming disputed islands, summoning Japan’s ambassador and warning that the approval was a sign Japan was prepared to repeat its colonial wartime past.
21 MARCH 2015
China, Japan, South Korea hold first FM talks for three years
The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan gathered in Seoul on Saturday for their first meeting in nearly three years, aimed at calming regional tensions rooted in territorial and other diplomatic disputes
5 MARCH 2015
U.S. ambassador in Seoul injured in slash attack by activist
The US ambassador to South Korea has been attacked by a knife-wielding man shouting anti-war slogans during a public event at an arts centre in Seoul
26 FEBRUARY 2015
South Korean court strikes down adultery law
South Korea’s Constitutional Court has struck down a 60-year-old statute outlawing adultery under which violators faced up to two years in prison.
22 FEBRUARY 2015
Japan calls for return of isles from S Korea
Japan urged South Korea again Sunday to return disputed islets, one of the issues which have soured ties between the two US allies. Seoul controls the islands which it calls Dokdo. They are known in Japan as Takeshima.
16 FEBRUARY 2015
Lee Wan-koo confirmed as South Korea prime minister
The National Assembly confirmed Lee Wan-koo as prime minister Monday by a vote of 148 to 128. Five votes were counted as invalid
15 FEBRUARY 2015
Seoul ranks No. 10 in defense spending
South Korea ranked 10th in defense spending in 2014, according to an annual report. The report on the world’s top 15 defense-spending countries by Britain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies showed that Seoul’s defense expenditures amounted to $34.4 billion.
6 FEBRUARY 2015
President calls for proactive measures to boost fertility rate
President Park Geun-hye on Friday called for measures to tackle the country’s critically low fertility rate and aging population, which are considered some of the biggest threats to the economy.
22 JANUARY 2015
Top South Korea court confirms jail term for pro-North MP
South Korea’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a nine-year prison sentence for a former leftist lawmaker convicted of inciting an armed revolt in the event of war breaking out with North Korea
5 JANUARY 2015
South Korea party UPP vows to fight dissolution
A minority leftist political party that was constitutionally dissolved last month has said it will fight in court to maintain its parliamentary seats, and accused the conservative government of authoritarian tendencies.
19 DECEMBER 2014
S. Korea’s constitutional court orders dissolution of leftist Unified Progressive Party
South Korea’s constitutional court on Dec. 19 ordered the dissolution of a small leftist political party hounded by claims of pro-North Korea views, a move critics say exposes limits of freedom of expression in a country once ruled by military dictators.
21 NOVEMBER 2014
South Korea’s Press: The Illusion of Freedom
Intricate web of connections, a frowning government, keep a tight leash on reporting
7 NOVEMBER 2014
Pentagon OKs sale of PAC-3 missiles to Korea
The U.S. government has approved a possible sale to South Korea of PAC-3 interceptor missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.405 billion, a U.S. defense agency said
6 NOVEMBER 2014
South Korea suspends $2.1 billion deal to upgrade fighter jets
South Korea has suspended a $1.61 billion (S$2.1 billion) deal to upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighter jets because of delayed work and cost over-runs, a government agency said Thursday
26 OCTOBER 2014
No easy retirement in South Korea
Out of work and out of pocket, South Korean retirees are struggling to force their way back into an unwelcoming job market in an effort to supplement meagre or non-existent pensions.
23 OCTOBER 2014
US, South Korea delay Seoul’s wartime control of forces
US and South Korean officials agreed Thursday to delay transfer of the Pentagon’s control of Korean troops in the event of war with the North, with no new transfer date set.
21 OCTOBER 2014
Amnesty slams ‘abuse’ of migrants in S. Korea
Migrant farm workers in South Korea face rampant abuse under a “shameful” government work permit system that encourages exploitation, Amnesty International said in a report published Monday.
13 OCTOBER 2014
Seoul mayor endorses same-sex marriage
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon told a US newspaper that he personally supports same-sex marriage and would like to see South Korea being the first country in Asia to legalise it, during his recent visit to San Francisco
6 OCTOBER 2014
UN cites ‘serious’ S. Korean racism
The UN’s top expert on racism outlined Monday « serious problems » faced by migrant workers and foreign marriage partners in South Korea, ranging from discriminatory exploitation and maltreatment to racist verbal abuse.
25 SEPTEMBER 2014
S. Korea aims to strengthen air defence
South Korea is stepping up efforts to strengthen its air defence with its final approval this week of a deal to purchase 40 F-35 radar-evading warplanes for deployment from 2018 through 2021 at a cost of 7.3 trillion won (US$7 billion)
19 SEPTEMBER 2014
Ex-Japan PM Hoshiro Mori visits South Korea in hope of easing troubled ties
Former Japanese premier Hoshiro Mori brings a letter from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he meets South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a visit to Seoul from Friday, a government spokesman, as Tokyo seeks a thaw in frosty ties
Asian Games begin in Incheon
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye opened the Incheon Asian Games at a glittering, K-Pop inspired ceremony Friday as North Korean athletes received an unexpectedly warm welcome.
17 SEPTEMBER 2014
South Koreans more unhappy and unhealthy than other Asians
South Koreans are unhappier and unhealthier than other less wealthy Asian neighbors, a public opinion poll showed Tuesday, reflecting depressing levels of sentiments on people’s lives in Asia’s fourth-largest economy nation.
4 SEPTEMBER 2014
US, S. Korea ‘create army unit to destroy North’s nukes’
South Korea said Thursday it would create a joint military unit with the United States, as a report suggested the contingent would target North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction if a full-scale conflict broke out.
29 AUGUST 2014
Sex abuse against teens rising: report
The number of teenage victims of sex crimes went from 7,893 in 2011 to 8,808 in 2012 and 9,721 in 2013, according to police data revealed by Rep. Lee Cheol-woo of the Saenuri Party. Most victims were female, but the number of male victims was 506, marking a 75 percent increase from two years earlier
27 AUGUST 2014
President Park’s Measures To Deal With Economic Challenges – Analysis
The economic virus that hit Japan leading to the prolonged period of stagflation until the arrival of Abenomics with promise of revival, hit its neighbouring country, South Korea, as well affected by the same virus. While exports remained strong, if not bullish, sluggish consumer spending did not help revive growth.
25 AUGUST 2014
South Koreans ‘will be extinct by 2750’
South Koreans will be ‘extinct’ by 2750 if nothing is done to halt the nation’s falling fertility rate, according to a study by The National Assembly Research Service in Seoul.
16 AUGUST 2014
Pope Francis beatifies 124 South Korean Catholic martyrs
Pope Francis has celebrated a large open-air Mass to beatify 124 of South Korea’s first Catholics at a ceremony in the capital Seoul.
14 AUGUST 2014
Under threat of a possible fourth North Korean nuclear test, should South Korea develop its own nuclear weapon?
Nuclear tensions are again ratcheting up on the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang threatening a fourth nuclear weapons test in what one U.S. analyst described as its new “allergic reaction” to routine military exercises by South Korea and United States scheduled to start on August 18
Pope in S. Korea on first Asia visit for 15 years
Pope Francis on Thursday kicked off a five-day visit to South Korea fuelled by the Vatican’s desire to expand the Church in Asia despite challenges posed by governments like atheist China
6 AUGUST 2014
Popes’ special ties with Korea
As the nation eagerly awaits the Aug. 14-18 visit of Pope Francis, The Korea Times looks back on the special ties the country has had with the Vatican
2 AUGUST 2014
Uncertainties linger over future Korea-China relations
Uncertainty lingers over how the relationship between the former Cold War foes will evolve amid shifts in the regional security landscape that were triggered mainly by China’s reemergence as a major power in the Asia-Pacific
31 JULY 2014
S. Korea ruling party boosts majority with key poll wins
President Park Geun-Hye’s Saenuri Party won 11 of an unprecedented 15 by-elections contested on Wednesday, leaving it with 158 legislators in the 300-seat National Assembly
25 JULY 2014
China, South Korea Establish Military Hotline
High-level defense officials met in Beijing to establish a hotline and discuss Japan’s collective self-defense
3 JULY 2014
China, S. Korea summit pushes North over nuclear weapons
In a joint statement after their talks, the Chinese and South Korean presidents, Xi Jinping and Park Geun-Hye, reaffirmed their « firm opposition » to the development of nuclear weapons on the peninsula, but seemed divided on how best to persuade the North to give up its bombs.
China and South Korea poised for bilateral trade deal
Chinese and South Korean leaders have pledged to sign a bilateral trade agreement by the end of this year and introduce direct trading of their currencies to spur cross-border renminbi transactions and deepen economic ties in two of Asia’s largest economies.
26 JUNE 2014
South Korean PM keeps job after nominees pull out
South Korea’s president has decided to retain the country’s current prime minister after two possible replacements for the job both abandoned their nominations because of questions over past behavior
24 JUNE 2014
South Korea president takes hit as second PM nominee falls
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s dwindling political fortunes took another hit on Tuesday as her second nominee for prime minister was forced to withdraw over past remarks about Japanese colonial rule
13 JUNE 2014
President tightens grip with reshuffle
President Park Geun-hye replaced seven ministers on Friday, completing several weeks of personnel shake-ups to salvage public trust in the government and move on from the ferry disaster
7 JUNE 2014
S. Korea donates warship to Manila
South Korea will donate a corvette warship to the poorly-equipped Philippine navy amid growing tensions — particularly with China — over maritime territorial disputes in the region, the government said
5 JUNE 2014
S Korean president Park pledges to speed up reform after elections
President Park Geun-hye said Thursday she humbly accepts the results of the nationwide local elections and will push forward with her reform agenda in a speedier manner
22 MAY 2014
South Korea’s Park names Ahn Dai-hee as new prime minister
Ahn’s appointment comes in the wake of former premier Chung Hon-won announcing his resignation at the end of April. Chung stood down because of perceived mistakes in the way that the government responded to the Sewol ferry disaster
10 MAY 2014
South Korea’s poverty-stricken elderly
Nearly half of South Korea’s elderly (65 or older) live below the poverty-line. In response to economic vulnerability and social isolation, the suicide rate among the elderly has tripled since 2000
29 APRIL 2014
South Korea president apologises over ferry disaster
South Korea’s president has apologised for her government’s failure to prevent a ferry disaster that left up to 300 people dead or missing and for the inadequate emergency response
27 APRIL 2014
The South Korean prime minister resigns over the government’s handling of the ferry which sunk with more than 300 people on board.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won offered to resign Sunday, taking responsibility for “a slew of problems” that both enabled and worsened the severity of a ferry sinking that has left more than 300 dead or missing
25 APRIL 2014
Allies to review command transfer timing
The leaders of South Korea and the U.S. agreed Friday to reconsider the timing of Washington’s transfer of its wartime operational control of Korean troops, scheduled for 2015, in the face of persistent North Korean nuclear threat
16 APRIL 2014
More than 270 missing as ferry sinks off the coast of South Korea
Officials said six of the ship’s 462 passengers had died, at least 55 are injured and 179 have been rescued. Many passengers – of which 300 are children – may have been trapped inside the vessel as it listed and sank
28 MARCH 2014
Soldiers’ remains returned to China decades after they died in Korean war
The remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed in the Korean war returned home on Friday, more than 60 years after an armistice ended the fighting.
23 MARCH 2014
Korean and Chinese presidents reaffirm opposition to North Korean nukes
The leaders of South Korea and China on Sunday reaffirmed their opposition to North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, pledging to work closely together for peninsular denuclearization
17 MARCH 2014
Seoul urges Tokyo to show sincerity toward summit
Cheong Wa Dae on Monday renewed its calls for Japan to show “sincerity” in its efforts to improve bilateral relations, stressing the need to set an appropriate mood for a summit between their leaders
12 MARCH 2014
Japan, South Korea Hold High-level Talks Amid Strained Ties
South Korea and Japan held vice ministerial-level talks Wednesday in Seoul to discuss improving strained relations http://www.voanews.com/content/japan-skorea-hold-highlevel-talks-amid-strained-ties/1869376.html
S. Korea spy chief takes heat in forged spy case
South Korea’s spy agency chief came under growing pressure to step down Wednesday over a scandal with political ramifications involving the fabrication of evidence in an espionage case
1 MARCH 2014
South Korea warns Japan over comfort women review
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has warned Japan it will only bring isolation on itself if it reviews a statement acknowledging its wartime use of sex slaves http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26394850
24 FEBRUARY 2014
South Korea begins military drills with US despite North Korean opposition
South Korea has kicked off its annual joint military exercises with the US despite vocal opposition from North Korea. The drills will test a recent improvement in cross-border ties.
17 FEBRUARY 2014
South Korean MP sentenced to 12 years for treason
A South Korean court on Monday sentenced an opposition legislator to 12 years in prison after a rare treason trial saw him convicted of plotting an armed revolt in support of North Korea.
8 FEBRUARY 2014
S. Korean Conscientious Objectors Seek Alternative to Military Service
Korean martyrs beatified
Pope Francis has beatified 124 Korean martyrs from the late 18th and 19th centuries, the Vatican said
4 FEBRUARY 2014
Seoul to expand support for working moms
The government on Tuesday unveiled a package of comprehensive measures to support working mothers so they can better balance work and life, create a family-friendly culture at workplaces and encourage fathers to engage in child rearing at home
3 FEBRUARY 2014
S. Korea prosecutors seek 20 years in MP sedition trial
South Korean prosecutors on Monday demanded a 20-year jail term for a leftist lawmaker on trial for allegedly plotting an armed revolt in support of North Korea.
24 JANUARY 2014
South Korea’s rapid economic rise leaves many of its elderly facing poverty
In a fast-paced nation famous for its high achievers and its big spending on private tutors and luxury goods, half of South Korea’s elderly are poor, the highest rate in the industrialised world.
22 JANUARY 2014
Korea-Japan tension rises over memorial
Tension is intensifying further in Northeast Asia after Japan protested the launch of new facilities devoted to a Korean independence fighter in China, triggering strong condemnation from Seoul
16 JANUARY 2014
Korea, India agree to upgrade trade pact, diplomatic relations
The leaders of South Korea and India agreed to upgrade their economic, diplomatic and security cooperation on Thursday, paving the way for a strategic partnership between the two countries in the future
14 JANUARY 2014
U.S. military reinforcements target North Korea, China
The U.S. is reinforcing its military strength on the Korean Peninsula in an apparent move to better cope with potential security threats from an unpredictable North Korea and a more militarily assertive China.
12 JANUARY 2014
South Korea agrees to pay 5.8% more to host U.S. troops
South Korea on Saturday agreed to pay 920 billion won ($867 million) this year for the upkeep of 28,500 U.S. troops here, an increase of 5.8 percent from last year’s contributions, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday 12
12 DECEMBER 2013
Korea to sell 24 F-50s to Iraq
South Korea scored a $1.1 billion contract with Iraq on Thursday to sell 24 light attack fighters in the country’s largest aircraft export deal, Seoul officials said. Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s sole aircraft maker, is also to strike an additional $1 billion deal soon for logistical support over the next 25 years
8 DECEMBER 2013
South Korea Declares New Air Defense Zone, Overlapping China’s
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the new zone, which will take effect on December 15, will include Ieodo, a submerged reef in waters off the south coast, which China calls Suyan
5 DECEMBER 2013
South Korea’s Free Speech Problem
Criminal indictments for defamation have more than doubled in South Korea, chilling free speech and giving pause to critics of President Park Geun-hye and her party.
4 DECEMBER 2013
Korea’s Domestic Cold War
South Korea’s conservative government is rolling back free speech protections and going after progressive activists and political parties.
28 NOVEMBER 2013
Japan and S Korea defy China defence zone
Japan and South Korea said they have defied China’s newly-declared air defence zone with military overflights, showing Beijing a united front after US B-52 bombers did the same.
13 NOVEMBER 2013
Park, Putin agree to restore trans-Siberian vision
Presidents Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Vladimir Putin of Russia held summit talks on Wednesday in Seoul and agreed to broaden economic cooperation including a Russian-led project to develop a North Korean border port that will set the basis for an envisioned railway link from Korea to Siberia.In a joint statement, the two leaders agreed to seek wider cooperation on short and long-term projects in such fields as shipbuilding, financial infrastructure, logistics, energy, science, space and knowledge sharing.
5 NOVEMBER 2013
Royal welcome for President of South Korea
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh formally welcome The President of the Republic of South Korea to the UK on a state visit, at Horse Guards Parade.
4 NOVEMBER 2013
Korean president says talks with Japan would ‘serve no purpose’
South Korea president Park Geun-Hye says suggested summit would be of no value if Japanese continue to see « no need to acknowledge their past wrongdoings »
25 OCTOBER 2013
S. Korea conducts military drill on disputed islets
The four-hour exercise involving five warships, jet fighters and helicopters, demonstrated « the military’s will to defend » the Dokdo islets, a defence ministry spokesman said.
24 OCTOBER 2013
South Korean foreign aid: Contributing to international security
South Korea’s economic rise is an amazing story. From a country devastated by the Korean War with a per capita gross national income (GNI) of $67, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has grown to the world’s 12th largest economy. Over the past 25 years, South Korea has become an important contributor to international development assistance.
18 OCTOBER 2013
S. Korea slams Japanese minister, lawmakers’ war shrine visit
Seoul on Friday condemned the visit by a Japanese cabinet minister and some 150 lawmakers to the country’s controversial war shrine that it claims glorifies Tokyo’s history of aggression.
12 OCTOBER 2013
S. Korea inks deals worth $10b with Indonesia
Looking to capitalize on Indonesia’s rising number of middle class consumers, South Korea signed seven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on investments worth over US$10 billion The sectors involved comprised transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, information technology, automotive, energy, agriculture and the creative economy
8 OCTOBER 2013
South Korea wants US to keep control over combined wartime defence forces
Sixty years after the end of the Korean war, the United States and South Korea still can’t agree on who should take charge if another war breaks out with the communist neighbour to the north.
2 OCTOBER 2013
US, South Korea Announce ‘Tailored Deterrence’ Strategy
The United States and South Korea today agreed to establish “a bilateral strategy for tailored deterrence against … North Korean nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a press conference
1st OCTOBER 2013
South Korea stages huge military parade
South Korea marked its army’s 65th anniversary by holding its largest military parade to date, displaying long-range missiles described as a deterrent to the threat posed by North Korea.
30 SEPTEMBER 2013
Korean Democracy at a Crossroads
By targeting public officials who scrutinize the country’s notorious internal intelligence service, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye is rolling back hard-won democratic gains in South Korea.
24 SEPTEMBER 2013
South Korea reopens tender for $8bn fighter jet programme
South Korea has decided against selecting Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle Fighter Jet as the winner of its FX-III competition, according to local media reports.
18 SEPTEMBER 2013
S. Korea’s ex-PM defiant after bribery conviction
Han Myeong-sook, former prime minister and ex-leader of South Korea’s main opposition party, faces another long legal battle over bribery accusations which have dealt blow to her political career and reputation as an pro-democracy activist against the military-backed governments in the 1970s and ’80s.
10 SEPTEMBER 2013
South Korean ex-dictator’s family to settle $154m in fines
The family of a former South Korean president convicted of corruption vows to pay back an estimated $154m of corruptly-obtained assets.
9 SEPTEMBER 2013
Boeing Looks Set to Win South Korea fighter Deal
Boeing is set to inch closer to clinching a multibillion-dollar deal to sell 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets to South Korea, as its competitors have effectively been priced out of the contest.
8 SEPTEMBER 2013
S Korea, US map out plan to deter N. Korea nuclear
South Korea and the United States have mapped out a joint operational plan which outlines concrete measures to deter and respond to North Korea’s nuclear threats, a report said Sunday.
7 SEPTEMBER 2013
Gay couple seeks recognition
Movie director and producer Kim-Jho Gwang-soo, left, speaks before his wedding ceremony with his partner Kim Seung-hwan at Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul, Saturday, the first public wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple in a country that does not recognize gay marriage. / Yonhap
4 SEPTEMBER 2013
South Korean Lawmakers Back Arrest of Colleague for Treason
The South Korean National Assembly on Wednesday voted to allow the arrest of an opposition lawmaker on charges of plotting treason in a case that rekindled fears of a pro-North Korean rebellion and concern about the actions of a powerful intelligence agency that has been long accused of meddling in domestic politics under the pretext of hunting Communists.
27 AUGUST 2013
South Korean Fighter Order: AF Backs F-35
Boeing’s F-15SE Silent Eagle has been selected as the only qualified bidder in South Korea’s F-X Phase 3 competition for 60 fighters—but the country’s air force is lobbying to overturn the decision in favor of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
25 AUGUST 2013
Chemical castration requests jump on revised law
The prosecution’s requests for chemical castration for sex offenders rose sharply this year as a revised law allows the hormonal treatment for even those who commit sexual violence against adults, the top prosecution office said
9 AUGUST 2013
Forced laborers seeking justice 70 years on
Nearly seven decades after the Korean Peninsula was liberated from Japan’s colonial rule, the matter of Tokyo’s compensation for Koreans conscripted into forced labor and military service remains unresolved.
5 AUGUST 2013
Park replaces chief of staff
President Park Geun-hye replaced her chief of staff and four senior secretaries on Monday to reinvigorate her administrative drive as she enters the second half of her first year in office.
25 JULY 2013
Korea, U.S. fail to agree on sharing troop upkeep
South Korea and the United States failed Thursday to narrow differences over the sharing of the cost for stationing American troops here as Seoul rebutted Washington’s call for additional financial backing, a government source said
23 JULY 2013
Can South Korea and China become equal partners?
South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s recent visit to China represents a fresh start to ROK–China relations. After North Korea’s sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, ROK-China relations became strained, with Beijing supporting the North. The two countries had enjoyed a rapid 20-year development in their relations since they first opened diplomatic ties in 1992, but the sudden strain demonstrated that their much-envied partnership was limited to economic interdependence. There was little mutual trust in important areas such as politics and security. Now, this might be changing.
11 JULY 2013
Korea, Buddhist monks in turmoil: Gambling and alcohol are ruining us
The venerable Jangju – one of the most important members of the Jogye Order, the largest and most important Buddhist denomination in the country – sounds the alarm: « Some monks are even go to Macau and Las Vegas to gamble. One of us has sold temple land to pay off debts. A cleanout is needed ». http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Korea,-Buddhist-monks-in-turmoil:-Gambling-and-alcohol-are-ruining-us-28442.html
South Korean court orders Japan steel firm to compensate wartime workers
A court in South Korea has ordered a Japanese steelmaker to pay more than £230,000 in compensation to four Korean citizens who said the firm used them as forced labour during the second world war. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/south-korea-court-japan
9 JULY 2013
Seoul slams Tokyo claims over disputed islets
The annual Japanese defence white paper adopted by the cabinet said that the disputed three islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshim in Japan, are historically Tokyo’s land under international law. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/07/20137954039674879.html
27 JUNE 2013
Seoul, Beijing Agree on Denuclearized Korean Peninsula
South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, agreed at a summit in Beijing Thursday to push for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. http://www.voanews.com/content/seoul-beijing-agree-on-denuclearized-korean-peninsula/1690379.html http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130627-432972.html
19 JUNE 2013
South Korea to Buy European Long-Range Missiles
South Korea has decided to upgrade its long-range missile arsenal with European-made weapons, after the Pentagon did not approve the sale of similar U.S. technology. http://www.voanews.com/content/skorea-to-buy-european-longrange-missiles/1684646.html
14 JUNE 2013
SKorea’s ex-spy chief indicted in election scandal
South Korea’s former spy chief was indicted on charges of meddling in last year’s presidential elections by ordering an online smear campaign against opposition candidates, prosecutors said Friday. http://asiancorrespondent.com/109213/skoreas-ex-spy-chief-indicted-in-election-scandal/
29 MAY 2013
South Korean Catholics increase in numbers
Church releases its annual figures. Bishops’ Conference reports more than 5 million Catholics, almost 85,000 more than in 2011. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/South-Korean-Catholics-increase-in-numbers-28057.html
23 MAY 2013
President Park 11th on Forbes list of most powerful women
President Park Geun-hye placed 11th on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women this year. It is the first time Park has made it onto the annual list by the U.S. economic magazine. She is also the only Korean on the roster http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130523000542
7 MAY 2013
Obama meets S Korean president in White House
The US and South Korea are marking the 60th anniversary of forging their bilateral alliance, and are fresh from the most strident round of North Korean threats against them for many years. http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2013/05/201357155049678486.html http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-skorean-president-to-show-unity-on-nkorea/1656198.html http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/07/18089314-south-koreas-iron-lady-park-geun-hye-comes-to-washington?lite
4 MAY 2013
South Korea’s role in Asia, partnership with Australia
South Korea, the seventh country to join the 20-50 club (GDP per capita over US$20,000 and a population of 50 million), lies at the geopolitical centre of Northeast Asia, acting as a bridge which mediates the interests of advanced economies with those of developing ones. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/05/04/south-koreas-role-in-asia-partnership-with-australia/
20 MARCH 2013
South Korea on alert for cyber-attacks after major network goes down
South Korea is investigating a suspected cyber-attack that paralysed systems at major media and banks on Wednesday, amid speculation that the North could be responsible. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/20/south-korea-under-cyber-attack http://www.euronews.com/2013/03/20/south-korean-tv-networks-and-banks-paralysed-by-cyber-attack/
15 MARCH 2013
Civil service, military under scrutiny as Park tightens reins
Civil servants and state-run organizations are coming under close scrutiny as President Park Geun-hye seeks to tighten discipline and stamp out inappropriate conduct. Three separate audits into the military, civil service and state-run companies will be in full swing by next week. The results are expected to affect possible reshuffles of top posts in the organizations http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130314000791
28 FEBRUARY 2013
In S Korea, one newborn boy in five will not marry
Low birthrate and economic competition are undermining South Korea’s social structures. The national statistical institute projects that one boy in five will not marry with a devastating impact on the country’s development. The Church sounds the alarm and offers pro-life support to counter the trend http://www.asianews.it/news-en/In-S-Korea,-one-newborn-boy-in-five-will-not-marry-27268.html
25 FEBRUARY 2013
Park Geun-hye becomes South Korea’s first female president
Park Geun-hye made history Monday by becoming South Korea’s first female president, pledging to secure South Korea against the threat of an increasingly hostile North Korea at the same time as mending bridges with Pyongyang. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/24/world/asia/south-korea-female-president/index.html?hpt=ias_c2 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/02/201322505739252717.html
21 FEBRUARY 2013
Corruption mars Lee’s achievements
One of the slogans of President Lee Myung-bak’s government stated its aim of establishing a “fair society,” but his administration has been severely tarnished by a string of corruption scandals involving members of his family and top aides. http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/02/116_130871.html
29 JANUARY 2013
South Korea’s Unsustainable Military Build-Up
South Korea takes immense pride in its powerful military. According to Globalfirepower.com South Korea (or the ROK) ranked 8th overall in military strength. Indeed, Scott Snyder’s recent CSIS report argues that one noteworthy trend of late “is South Korea’s emergence as a producer rather than a consumer of international security goods despite an ongoing threat from North Korea (or DPRK). http://journal.georgetown.edu/2013/01/28/south-koreas-unsustainable-military-build-up-by-jeong-lee/comment-page-1/#comment-121846
8 JANUARY 2013
South Korea to speed up development of new missiles
South Korea’s new government is to hasten the development and deployment of missiles capable of striking targets anywhere in North Korea. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/9786877/South-Korea-to-speed-up-development-of-new-missiles.html
19 DECEMBER 2012
Park Geun-hye becomes South Korea’s first female president
South Korea has its first ever woman in the top job. The electoral commission has confirmed that the conservative Park Geun-hye has won the presidential election.
27 NOVEMBER 2012
South Korea poll campaign kicks off
Park Geun-hye of the ruling conservative Saenuri party faces Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic United Party in the 19 December polls.
23 NOVEMBER 2012
S Korea marks anniversary of island clashes
South Korea has held a commemoration ceremony to mark the second anniversary of North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island that killed two South Korean troops and two civilians.
18 NOVEMBER 2012
S. Korea’s main opposition party chief quits
The chairman of South Korea’s main opposition party resigned on Sunday in an effort to pave the way for the nation’s liberals to select a single candidate ahead of the December presidential poll. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20121118-384220.html
27 OCTOBER 2012
South Korea’s presidential showdown: The forgotten issue
While the economy dominates the election, South Korea’s next president will have important foreign policy choices to make.
23 OCTOBER 2012
South Korean MPs trigger Japan protest with island visit
A group of South Korean lawmakers on Tuesday 23 visited an isolated set of islands at the centre of a territorial dispute with Japan — prompting an immediate protest from Tokyo http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1232999/1/.html
22 OCTOBER 2012
South Korea blocks leaflet launch after North ‘strike’ threat
South Korean police have blocked activists from sending propaganda leaflets over the border, after threats of military action from North Korea
19 OCTOBER 2012
UNSC seat to give Korea bigger say
South Korea’s entry into the U.N. Security Council will boost the country’s say in global security issues and help facilitate cooperation in addressing North Korea’s nuclear threat, officials and experts said Friday
11 OCTOBER 2012
South Korea Searches its Soul
South Korea, long largely free of street crime, has recently been shocked by a rash of brutal sex crimes and violent attacks, causing soul-searching on why such crimes have increased.
7 OCTOBER 2012
US and S Korea announce new missile deal
South Korea has reached a landmark agreement with the United States to extend the reach of Seoul’s ballistic missiles by more than twice the current limit to counter the threat from North Korea, the government said. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/10/20121076301997225.html http://www.euronews.com/2012/10/07/south-korea-increases-ballistic-missile-capability/
4 OCTOBER 2012
Fight Over Rocky Islets Opens Old Wounds Between South Korea and Japan
As they do on any fine-weather day, ferries on Thursday 4 disgorged hundreds of South Korean tourists at these desolate islets. Some charged onto a wharf, waving the national flag and shouting “Daehanminguk manse!” — “Long live the Republic of Korea!” Others unfurled a “Dokdo is our territory” banner and snapped group photographs.
24 SEPTEMBER 2012
S Korean candidate apologises for father
The ruling party candidate in South Korea’s presidential election offered her « sincere apologies » to victims of the repressive rule of her late father, military strongman Park Chung-Hee.
15 SEPTEMBER 2012
Funeral held for ‘Moonie’ Church founder Sun Myung Moon
Tens of thousands of people have attended the funeral in South Korea of religious leader Sun Myung Moon.
11 SEPTEMBER 2012
S. Korea to increase budget for missiles
South Korea will spend US$2.3 billion dollars over the next five years to secure tactical weapons targeting North Korea’s nuclear weapons facilities and missile bases, a state agency says
2 SEPTEMBER 2012
Unification Church founder Moon Sun Myung dies at 92
Self-styled messiah Sun Myung Moon, whose Unification Church became famous for marrying thousands of people in a single ceremony, has died, aged 92
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19459604 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1223614/1/.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19459920
21 AUGUST 2012
South Korea rejects Japan’s court proposal in island row
South Korea rejected Japan’s formal proposal on Tuesday that the two countries ask the International Court of Justice to settle a long-running island dispute, officials said http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1221296/1/.html
15 AUGUST 2012
South Korea’s Lee says history ‘harming Japan ties’
South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak says ties with Japan are being hampered by its stance on historical issue
13 AUGUST 2012
South Koreans swim to disputed islands amid Japan row
More than 40 South Koreans have begun a relay swim of more than 200km (124 miles) to islands also claimed by Japan amid a serious diplomatic row between the two neighbours.
11 AUGUST 2012
Japan to take islands row to world court
Japan says it will take a long-running territorial dispute with South Korea to the Hague-based International Court of Justice, after Lee Myung-bak, South Korea’s president, made a surprise visit to a group of disputed islands this week.
10 AUGUST 2012
South Korean leader’s islands visit angers Japan
President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea paid an unprecedented visit to remote islands disputed with Japan, sparking anger in Tokyo which recalled its ambassador from Seoul in protest. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/NH11Dg02.html http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/08/201281081820614896.html http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/11/world/asia/south-koreans-visit-to-disputed-islets-angers-japan.html?_r=1&ref=asia
8 AUGUST 2012
Spats mar 20 years of China ties with South Korea
China’s release of a Korean activist late last month was supposed to remove a sharp thorn in relations between the neighbors set to celebrate their 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties. But it was only the start of a new diplomatic spat as the former detainee, Kim Young-hwan, revealed torture and inhumane treatment by Chinese investigators.
11 JULY 2012
South Korea: A president’s brother is held over graft
President Lee’s family has chalked up a first. His 77-year-old elder brother, Lee Sang-deuk, is the first of a sitting president to be jailed. A court ruled that he should be held in custody while allegations against him are investigated, to prevent him from destroying evidence.
5 JULY 2012
Defiant South Korea vows ‘scientific’ whaling
South Korea says it will start whaling under a loophole in a global moratorium that allows scientific research, outraging conservationist nations by using the same tactic as Japan.
2 JULY 2012
South Korea opens ‘mini capital’ in Sejong City
South Korea has inaugurated a « mini capital » designed to act as a new government hub south of the main capital, Seoul.
22 JUNE 2012
South Korea’s population passes 50 million
South Korea’s population will exceed 50 million on Saturday, making it the 26th country to reach the mark, according to a report from Statistics Korea. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/06/22/south-korea-s-population-passes-50-million.html
17 JUNE 2012
Human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in sets S.Korean presidential bid
A man who was once imprisoned by South Korea’s former military dictator, Park Chung-hee, said on Sunday he would seek the centre-left’s nomination to run for president, likely setting up a contest with the daughter of the man who jailed him.
4 JUNE 2012
S. Korea, U.S. struggle over missile pact revision
South Korea and the United States are still struggling to narrow their differences over a proposed revision of a bilateral pact to allow Seoul to develop longer-range ballistic missiles, officials here said Monday 4
28 MAY 2012
Korea seeks to acquire U.S. missiles, choppers
The U.S. Department of Defense is considering selling Harpoon Block II Missiles and Seahawk Helicopters to South Korea. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in press releases last week that it had notified the U.S. Congress of the possible sale of 18 of the missiles, eight of the helicopters and their associated parts, equipment, logistical support and training. The estimated costs are $1.84 billion
25 MAY 2012
S. Korea’s maritime security challenged
With its military prioritizing deterring North Korea and lack of public understanding of maritime security, the country is lagging behind China and Japan despite them repeatedly challenging Korean sovereignty, experts pointed out
14 MAY 2012
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Burma visit
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is to visit Burma, the first time a South Korean leader has visited the country since a deadly bomb attack 29 years ago
13 APRIL 2012
S. Korean opposition party chief quits over poll
« I’m stepping down as the party head to take responsibility, » Democratic United Party (DUP) head Han Myeong-Sook said after the ruling conservative New Frontier Party (NFP) retained its majority in Wednesday’s polls http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120413-339577.html
11 APRIL 2012
South Korea’s ruling party wins elections
The conservative New Frontier Party (NFP) on Wednesday won 152 seats in the 300-seat National Assembly, 25 more than the opposition Democratic United Party (DUP), which was tipped to score an easy victory in earlier opinion polls. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/04/201241123555633872.html http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/news_asia/2012-04-12/Saenuri-Party-Claims-Victory-in-South-Korean-Elections.html#video_section
20 MARCH 2012
Women’s rise reshaping Korean society
In a Korea Institute of Child Care & Education survey of 1,000 couples that had a child in April-August 2010, four in 10 fathers said they had wanted a daughter and only a quarter of them replied they had desired a son, with the others having no preference. Among mothers, a daughter had been preferred by 39.5 percent and a son by 30.3 percent
19 MARCH 2012
‘Lee failed to capture people’s hearts’
President Lee Myung-bak, with his CEO-style of leadership, is failing to connect with the people, a major shortcoming for a national leader and one of the reasons why he is not getting much of the credit he deserves from the public, said an expert on presidential leadership
9 FEBRUARY 2012
South Korea’s Assembly Speaker Resigns Over Bribery Scandal
The speaker of South Korea’s National Assembly resigned on Thursday as prosecutors investigated a lawmaker’s accusation that he had tried to obtain the top leadership post in President Lee Myung-bak’s governing party through bribery
29 JANUARY 2012
Lee’s clique falls in disgrace
President Lee Myung-bak’s last year in office could be somewhat lonesome with most of his closest confidants being forced to leave his side due to corruption. The departures of Lee’s confidants are also likely to push him further into lame-duck status, political analysts said. The conservative leader has already faced isolation, with his ruling Grand National Party trying to distance itself from him ahead of major election
26 January 2012
S Korea grows at slowest in two years
South Korea’s economy is cooling more sharply than expected as weak domestic consumption compounds a slowdown in demand for goods from the world’s seventh biggest exporter. High quality global journalism requires investment. Gross domestic product grew at only 0.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, the slowest rate in two years according to data released on Thursday. In the previous three months GDP grew 0.8 per cent
21 JANUARY 2012
Korea to double fines against illegal fishing by Chinese
The government will submit a bill next month for a law revision that would double fines against illegal fishing, in its latest effort to counteract Chinese fishing boats poaching in South Korean waters in the Yellow Sea, an official said Saturday 21
8 JANUARY 2012
Ruling party considers shortening working hours
13 DECEMBER 2011
China-South Korea tension builds over coast guard murder
Chinese and South Korean media have entered into an exchange of opinions over an incident on Monday 12 in which a South Korean coast guard officer was allegedly stabbed to death and another injured by a Chinese sailor whose boat was stopped for « suspected illegal fishing in South Korean waters”
7 DECEMBER 2011
GNP chief says will ‘recreate’ party
South Korea: Grand National Party chairman Hong Joon-pyo said Wednesday he would lead efforts to rebuild the embattled party if party members allow him as pressure mounted on him to step down and allow former chairwoman Park Geun-hye to take charge
6 DECEMBER 2011
Looted Korean royal texts return home
South Korea celebrated the return of nearly 1,200 ancient documents looted by the Japanese during its 1910-1945 colonial rule, with welcoming ceremonies at Incheon International Airport on Tuesday
22 NOVEMBER 2011
South Korea ratifies long-delayed US trade deal
South Korea’s parliament has ratified a free-trade deal with the US, after years of wrangling over the issue. Members of the ruling Grand National Party, which has a majority, convened to force the bill through in a 151-7 vote. Members of the ruling Grand National Party, which has a majority, convened to force the bill through in a 151-7 vote
21 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines considers South Korean military equipment
The Philippines on Monday expressed its interest in acquiring military helicopters, boats and aircraft from South Korea as part of efforts to
boost its military capabilities amid growing tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.
17 NOVEMBER 2011
S. Korea, Indonesia to deepen defense industry cooperation
Indonesia — South Korea and Indonesia agreed Thursday to strengthen defense industry cooperation and work closely together to carry out Indonesia’s major economic development blueprint, South Korea’s presidential office said.
13 JANUARY 2011
Legal adult age reduced to 19
The age of legal adulthood is to be lowered from the current 20 to 19 under a revised civil law bill, officials said Wednesday. The bill, which was passed by the parliamentary Legislation and Judiciary Committee last month, is expected to be approved at a plenary session of the National
Assembly next month, they said.