Category Archives: Main events in South Korea

Main news on South Korea

28 OCTOBER 2019

Korea to bolster fintech cooperation with ASEAN

South Korea’s financial regulator said Monday it will deepen cooperation with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the financial technology sector

11 OCTOBER 2019

South Korea’s army says will cut force by 100,000 in three years

The Army plans to slash troop numbers by nearly 100-thousand in the next three years due to demographic decline and a need to enhance unit structures

10 OCTOBER 2019

South Korea may acquire nuclear submarines after North’s missile test

South Korea’s navy is considering acquiring nuclear-powered submarines, it said on Thursday (Oct 10) in a surprise announcement which would change the balance of power in North-east Asia and is likely to upset several of its neighbours

07 OCTOBER 2019

Seoul fears US is delaying envoy’s approval in retaliation for scrapping of security pact, sources say

South Korea has waited two months for the US government’s approval of its appointed ambassador to Washington, raising concern that the US is delaying its nod in retaliation for Seoul’s abandonment of a security pact with Japan


Seoul eyes intelligence-sharing pact with Bangkok as President Moon Jae-in seeks pivot to Asean

To signal its growing interest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), South Korea will seek an intelligence-sharing pact – called the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) – with Thailand

31 AUGUST 2019

South Korean lawmakers visit disputed islands as tensions with Japan mount

A group of South Korean lawmakers on Saturday visited islands disputed with Japan, sparking a protest from the Japanese foreign ministry as the countries’ already tense relationship deteriorates further

25 AUGUST 2019

South Korea starts drills at Japan-claimed islands

South Korea’s navy has launched a drill around a group of small islands claimed by both Tokyo and Seoul as the feud between the two countries escalates. Japan said the islands were “obviously” part of its territory

22 AUGUST 2019

Japan Protests S. Korea’s Decision to Scrap Intel-Sharing Pact

Japan’s foreign minister said on Thursday (Aug 22) that Tokyo “strongly” protested against South Korea’s decision to scrap a military intelligence-sharing pact, calling the move “extremely regrettable”

21 AUGUST 2019

Japan, South Korea agree on need for dialogue to repair frayed ties

Japan and South Korea agreed on Wednesday (Aug 21) on the need for dialogue to resolve a feud over compensating Korean wartime workers that has spilled over into trade, and put a deep chill on ties between Washington’s two Asian allies

12 AUGUST 2019

Korea to exclude Japan from trade whitelist in September

South Korea is set to drop Japan as a preferred trading partner in September in response to Tokyo’s recent decision to exclude Seoul from its whitelist, officials said Monday

9 AUGUST 2019

Seoul and Tokyo’s trade war puts military pact at stake

The General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, went into effect in November 2016 as the two neighbours agreed to step up cooperation in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat


8 AUGUST 2019

Japan OKs first S Korea high-tech export since curbs, but with a warning

Japan has approved shipment of a high-tech material to South Korea for the first time since imposing export curbs last month, but doubled down on political pressure and warned it could broaden restrictions on deliveries to its Asian neighbor

5 AUGUST 2019

US and South Korea start joint war games a week after Kim Jong-un fired six missiles and warned of ‘consequences’ if Trump holds military drills

Seoul and Washington began annual joint military exercises on Monday (Aug 5), defying warnings from Pyongyang that the war games will jeopardise nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea

1 AUGUST 2019

Japan, S.Korea FMs meet amid souring relations

Relations between Japan and South Korea appear to be at a stalemate as the countries’ foreign ministers mainly repeated their stances on thorny current issues at a meeting Thursday’s-white-list.html

29 JULY 2019

South Korea to send naval unit to Strait of Hormuz: Report

On Monday, a local daily reported that Korea has decided to send the Cheonghae Unit that operates in waters off Somalia, citing an unnamed senior government official. However, Seoul’s Defense Ministry said it has not made a decision

23 JULY 2019

Russia and South Korea give conflicting claims over airspace spat

South Korean air force jets fired 360 rounds of warning shots Tuesday after a Russian military plane twice violated South Korea’s airspace off the country’s eastern coast, Seoul officials said in an announcement that was quickly disputed by Russia

19 JULY 2019

South Korean man dies after setting himself on fire outside Japanese embassy in Seoul

A man in his seventies has died after self-immolating inside his car in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, authorities in the South Korean capital said Friday

12 JULY 2019

Why is Korea so dependent on Japanese materials?

The aggravating trade dispute with Japan reveals some hard truths about South Korea’s lack of basic technologies despite being dubbed as a tech powerhouse, not to mention the dire need to diversify its supply channels to reduce its heavy dependence on the neighboring nation

8 JULY 2019

Moon urges Japan to reconsider export restrictions on Korean tech firms

President Moon Jae-in on Monday urged Japan to withdraw restrictions on exports of hi-tech materials to South Korea, while calling on government agencies to work closely with the business community to deal with the “unprecedented emergency.”

4 JULY 2019

Korea warns of retaliatory steps against Japan’s export curbs

South Korea on Thursday delivered a stern warning to Japan regarding restrictions on exports of high-tech materials to Korea, calling Japan’s decision a breach of international law and vowing “corresponding steps” if necessary

15 JUNE 2019

Decrypting the Russia–South Korea relationship

Observing South Korea–Russia relations offers insights into how the ongoing security standoff with Pyongyang affects Russia’s interests within Northeast Asia. A core feature at present of Moscow–Seoul ties is the New Northern Policy, a South Korean plan for economic integration that Russia is receptive of

10 JUNE 2019

Lee Hee-ho: S. Korean ex-first lady, women’s rights activist and Nobel Laureate dies

The widow of late South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, known for her women’s rights activism and involvement in her husband’s “sunshine” policy of engagement with the isolated North, has died at the age of 96

25 MAY 2019

Bong Joon-ho: 1st Korean winner of Cannes’ top prize with savage satire Parasite

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the Palme d’Or top prize at Cannes Film Festival Saturday with Parasite, a bravura satirical morality tale about the widening gap between rich and poor in his homeland

18 MAY 2019

US State Dep’t approves possible sale of SM-2 missiles to S. Korea: DSCA

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of SM-2 Block IIIB ship-to-air missiles to South Korea for an estimated cost of $313.9 million, according to a US defense agency

10 MAY 2019

Korean tourist freed by French commando after kidnapping in Burkina Faso

A South Korean tourist being held captive by an unidentified armed gang in Burkina Faso has been released following a rescue operation by France’s special forces, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Friday

8 MAY 2019

2 Russian aircraft breach S Korea’s air defence zone

South Korea scrambled multiple jets in response to its air defence identification zone (KADIZ) being allegedly violated by two Russian Tupolev Tu-142s last week

30 APRIL 2019

South Korea : Bills fast-tracked, but tension remains in parliament

The bills at the center of contention between the ruling and opposition parties have been put on the fast track, but the National Assembly remains tense and there is a long road ahead before they are passed into law

19 APRIL 2019

Uzbekistan, S.Korea sign deals worth $12bn during Moon visit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday signed deals worth $12 billion with Uzbekistan during a week-long tour of Central Asia, as he seeks to ease reliance on China and the US

11 APRIL2019

South Korea’s constitutional court rules to lift abortion ban

South Korea’s constitutional court ruled to lift the country’s 66-year-old ban on abortion on Thursday, in a landmark decision that will decriminalise the medical procedure by the end of 2020

3 APRIL 2019

South Korean police apologize and army expresses regret for 1948 Jeju massacres

South Korean police apologized for the first time Wednesday over massacres that killed 10,000 people decades ago and the military expressed deep regret as President Moon Jae-in seeks to re-examine history

2 APRIL 2019

Indonesia, a central pillar of Seoul’s New Southern Policy: Korea Herald columnist

Indonesia and Korea recently agreed to re-open negotiations for establishing Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA)

6 MARCH 2019

Former S.Korean president Lee Myung-bak released on bail

South Korea’s former president Lee Myung-bak has been released on bail after nearly a year in detention, as he appeals corruption convictions

5 MARCH 2019

S Korea saw low GDP growth, income rise in 2018

South Korea grew by a six-year low of 2.7% last year, but national per capita income exceeded US$30,000 for the first time, according to data released by the Bank of Korea, or BOK, Tuesday

3 MARCH 2019

US and South Korea scrap major military exercises to ease tensions with North

South Korea and the US are eliminating their massive springtime military drills and replacing them with smaller exercises in what they call an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis

27 FEBRUARY 2019

Ex-Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn becomes new chief of Liberty Korea Party

South Korea’s main opposition Liberty Korea Party on Wednesday chose former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as its chief, alongside new supreme council members to head the party for the next two years, including the upcoming general election and presidential election

21 FEBRUARY 2019

Indian PM Narendra Modi on two-day South korea visit

Seoul: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here Thursday on a two-day visit to strengthen India’s strategic ties with South Korea and seek to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including trade and investment

10 FEBRUARY 2019

South Korea, US ink provisional defense cost-sharing pact with an 8,2 % increase for Seoul

South Korea will pay 1.03 trillion won ($916 million) for the upkeep of the U.S. forces in South Korea (USFK), 8.2 percent more than what it spent last year, the two countries agreed Sunday. It’s the first time Seoul has ever agreed to pay above the 1 trillion won mark as U.S. President Donald Trump urges allies across the world to pay more for their own defense


South Korea and US to share costs of troops after ‘in principle’ deal for Seoul to contribute US$1 billion

The United States and South Korea have reached an agreement “in principle” on sharing the cost of stationing US troops in the Asian country, the State Department said on Monday

23 JANUARY 2019

U.S. known to have asked for US$ 1.2 billion of defense contributions from South Korea

Washington is pushing Seoul to pay at least $1 billion annually to host American troops in South Korea – and threatening to withdraw U.S. forces if it refuses

13 JANUARY 2019

South Korean defense budget to be increased 7.5% per year until 2023

The South Korean national defense budget is to be increased by an average of 7.5% each year between 2019 and 2023, for a total investment of 270.7 trillion won (US$242 billion) over the five-year period

10 JANUARY 2019

Pres. Moon says Japan must adopt ‘humbler’ attitude to historical issues

President Moon Jae-in insisted that Japan needs to take a humbler approach in dealing with the bad blood caused by the two countries’ (quote) “unfortunate history,” referring to Japan’s colonization of Korea in the early 20th century


South Korea Approves $300 Mln Deal to Buy US Missiles for Aegis System

South Korea has decided to purchase a new batch of SM-2 ship-to-air missiles from the United States to equip three new destroyers with the Aegis system, South Korean Defence Ministry’s procurement department said on Friday


Seoul voices concerns as more Chinese military aircraft spread their wings in South Korean air defence zone

South Korea has voiced its frustration about repeated intrusions into its air defence identification zone by Chinese military aircraft, moves that analysts say reflect Beijing’s opposition to strengthening ties between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington

28 NOVEMBER 2018

Korea successfully test-launched locally developed rocket

South Korea on Wednesday (Nov 28) successfully conducted a rocket engine test launch, officials said, paving the way for the development of its own space launch vehicle

27 NOVEMBER 2018

South Korea to buy Israeli early warning radar to deter North despite thaw

South Korea plans to buy two Israeli early warning radar systems, it said on Tuesday (Nov 27), as it reinforces air defences against North Korea despite fast-improving relations

26 NOVEMBER 2018

South Korean lawmakers land on disputed isle, prompting Japan protest

A group of South Korean lawmakers landed on an islet disputed with Japan in the East China Sea on Monday (Nov 26), prompting a protest from Tokyo and straining ties at a time when stalled talks over North Korea’s nuclear programme call for close coordination

21 NOVEMBER 2018

South Korea says it will dissolve Japan-funded ‘comfort women’ foundation

South Korea has said it would close a controversial Japanese-funded foundation set up to help former war-time sex slaves, a decision Japan said risked souring ties between the two countries


South Korean Defense chief apologizes for military’s sexual assaults during 1980 democracy crackdown

Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo has issued an official apology for the sexual assaults committed by South Korean soldiers during the harsh crackdown on the Pro-Democracy movement in the southwestern city of Gwangju,.. 38 years ago


US, South Korea set delayed military drills; North Korea urges end to pressure

The United States and South Korea will begin small-scale military drills on Monday (Nov 5) that were delayed during talks with North Korea, days after Pyongyang threatened to restart work on its nuclear programme if international pressure does not ease–south-korea-set-delayed-military-drills–north-korea-urges-end-to-pressure-10896580


Korean top court rules religious belief valid reason for refusing military service

Korea’s top court recognized the right of people to refuse mandatory military service for their religious and conscientious beliefs in a landmark ruling, Thursday, creating a powerful precedent that could spare hundreds of young men from prison sentences every year

30 OCTOBER 2018

South Korean Supreme Court orders Japanese firm to pay compensation for Korean wartime forced labour

South Korea’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of compensating four laborers who were forced to work at a Japanese steel mill during WWII. Tokyo decried the ruling as “unthinkable” and threatened a firm response

19 OCTOBER 2018

What’s South Korea’s problem with refugees?

South Korea refused to grant refugee status to hundreds of Yemenis who fled the catastrophic war in their home country, allowing them to stay here only on temporary humanitarian visas

18 OCTOBER 2018

US opposed to Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border

The United States has opposed a plan by South and North Korea to set up a no-fly zone over their heavily fortified border – the latest sign of a rift between Seoul and its top ally

5 OCTOBER 2018

Former president Lee Myung-bak sentenced to 15 years

The conservative politician will have to pay some 20 million dollars in fines and forfeiture. His charges include abuse of power and embezzlement. All living former South Korean presidents have been jailed after completing their mandate

4 OCTOBER 2018

South Korea reiterates a demand that Japan should remove its “rising sun” naval flag from a warship participating in an international fleet review at Jeju island next week

Many South Koreans associate the symbol with Japanese military aggression during World War II and have expressed anger over the potential display of the alleged “war-crime flag” during the Oct. 10-14 event


New US-South Korea trade pact spurs hopes for Nafta, China deals

The signing of a renegotiated free-trade agreement between the US and South Korea is spurring optimism that export markets for American farm goods won’t shut down and may even expand


South Korea launches its first missile-capable submarine despite improved relations with the North

The Republic of Korea (ROK)’s President Moon Jae-in said Friday that his country will keep peace through strength as its security strategy amid thawing ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

24 AUGUST 2018

South Korea’s ex-President gets prison time extended to 25 years

A South Koean appeals court on Friday increased the sentence of former President Park Geun-hye by one year to 25 years for the over the corruption that led to her impeachment last year

23 AUGUST 2018

Fears that suspension of US-South Korea military exercises may have dangerous repercussions

Government officials have played down the potential impact on military readiness and effectiveness, but defence experts issue warnings

3 AUGUST 2018

S Korean President Orders Reform of Defense Intelligence Unit

The country’s Defense Ministry announced a plan to reform the DSC amid allegations that the unit considered the possibility of introducing martial law last year to quell protests against then-President Park Geun-hye

27 JULY 2018

Korea’s defense ministry unveils comprehensive military reform plan

It aims to use technology to build a more versatile, efficient and effective fighting force.
It’s a comprehensive plan called « Defense Reform 2.0 » that’ll cost around 240 billion dollars over the next five years

20 JULY 2018

South Korea court hands ex-president Park 8 more years in jail

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Park, who already received a 24-year jail term over separate corruption charges, colluded with her former aides to cause the loss of government funds worth 3.3bn won ($2.91m) from the National Intelligence Service

4 JULY 2018

How sustainable is the China-South Korean thaw?

With North Korea apparently coming in from the cold, relations are also warming between South Korea and China. This is good news for Seoul

1 JULY 2018

South Korea officially drops its maximum workweek to 52 hours to promote work-life balance

South Korea officially dropped its maximum workweek to 52 hours on Sunday (July 1), in an effort to improve the quality of life among its citizens by tackling the country’s notoriously long work hours

29 JUNE 2018

US troops move into new Camp Humphreys after 70 tense years of military presence in South Korea’s capital

The United States formally ended seven decades of military presence in South Korea’s capital on Friday with the opening of a new headquarters farther from the tense border with North Korea

28 JUNE 2018

South Korea to offer alternative service for conscientious objectors

South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered the revision of current laws by next year to give conscientious objectors — those who refuse mandatory military service on grounds of conscience or religious beliefs — the option to perform an alternative service of a civilian nature

US to Keep Current Number of Troops in South Korea – Defense Secretary

The United States will keep its current level of troops in South Korea in order to maintain Washington’s defense commitment to its Asian ally, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday, as quoted by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency

Hwang Sok-yong Wins French Prize for Asian Literature

Korean novelist Hwang Sok-yong has been awarded the Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature for his book “At Dusk.”

23 JUNE 2018

Ex-South Korean premier and spy agency founder Kim Jong-pil dies

Kim Jong-pil, the founder of South Korea’s spy agency whose political skills helped him also serve twice as prime minister, first under his dictator boss and later under a man his agency kidnapped, has died. He was 92

13 JUNE 2018

Donald Trump’s announcement to end military wargames with South Korea leaves former general ‘speechless’

President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would suspend military exercises with South Korea left one of their most experienced military leaders “speechless”

South Korean ruling party sweeps local elections

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) has swept the local elections as well as by-elections for 12 empty National Assembly seats

5 JUNE 2018

Philippines, South Korea sign 4 agreements to boost relations

South Korea has offered the Philippines $1 billion in official development assistance to help finance President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program

2 MAY 2018

US troops ‘will stay in South Korea’ even if peace treaty is signed with North

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday dismissed claims that US troops stationed in the country would have to leave if a peace treaty was signed with the North

16 APRIL 2018

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who was abducted by North Korea’s Kim Jong-il with her ex-husband, dies aged 91

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who once escaped North Korea with her film-director ex-husband Shin Sang-ok after the pair were kidnapped on the orders of Kim Jong-il in 1978, has died aged 91 after an illness, according to local media

11 APRIL 2018

Korea-Japan foreign ministers hold talks on bilateral ties and N. Korea’s nuclear issue

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan have reaffirmed their mutual goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and agreed to develop peaceful and progressive Seoul-Tokyo ties

9 APRIL 2018

South Korea’s ex-president Lee indicted for corruption

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was formally indicted for corruption Monday, becoming the latest of the country’s ex-leaders to face criminal charges

6 APRIL 2018

Former S. Korean president Park Geun-hye sentenced to 24 years for corruption

South Korea’s disgraced former president Park Geun-hye was jailed for 24 years Friday (Apr 6) for corruption, closing out a dramatic fall from grace for the country’s first woman leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule

1 APRIL 2018

South Korea and US launch lower key army drills as tensions ease

An annual joint military exercise involving US and South Korean troops has kicked off. But the drill is not as high-profile as usual, amid an easing of diplomatic tensions on the Korean Peninsula

30 MARCH 2018

Seoul protests over disputed island claims in Japan’s textbooks

South Korea summoned Tokyo’s ambassador on Friday to protest over new educational guidelines requiring high school students to be taught that disputed islands belong to Japan’s-textbooks

26 MARCH 2018

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in proposes weaker presidential powers as jail looms for ex-leaders

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday proposed weakening the powers of his office and lowering the voting age in a package of constitutional reforms, while allowing the head of state to be re-elected

25 MARCH 2018

Korea, UAE pledges cooperation in defense

President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan agreed, Sunday, that defense cooperation is the core of relations between Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

22 MARCH 2018

Ex-South Korean president Lee Myung-bak arrested ‘for taking US$10.2 million in bribes while in office’

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has been arrested for allegedly taking 11 billion won (around US$10.2 million) in bribes while in office – making him the last of the country’s four living ex-leaders to be embroiled in a criminal inquiry

9 MARCH 2018

Paralympics start in PyeongChang

The Winter Paralympic Games have kicked off in PyeongChang. South Korea is hosting the Games for the first time

25 FEBRUARY 2018

Politicized Winter Olympics end in S Korea

The Winter Olympics have concluded in South Korea’s Pyeongchang amid highly politicized efforts to create a rapprochement between North Korea and its foes

13 FEBRUARY 2018

Disgraced ex-South Korean leader Park’s secret confidante Choi Soon-sil jailed for 20 years

The secret confidante of ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye was convicted on Tuesday and jailed for 20 years for her key role in the scandal that brought down the head of state


Winter Olympics in South Korea kicks off with colourful opening ceremony of fire and ice

The Winter Olympics sparks to life in a vivid, colourful ceremony of fire and ice in South Korea, and the diplomacy is just as choreographed in the stadium where leaders from nations that are sworn enemies sat close together


South Korea greets Russia as the bear turns east

In less than thirty years, previously non-existent diplomatic relations between Russia and South Korea have transformed into a formidable economic partnership. As of 2015, South Korea ranked as Russia’s seventh-largest trading partner for exports and imports

30 JANUARY 2018

South Korean ambassador to Singapore dismissed

South Korea’s ambassador to Singapore Lee Sang-deok has been dismissed from his post, the Korea Times reported on Jan 30

27 DECEMBER 2017

‘Comfort women’ row with Japan unresolved despite 2015 deal, S Korea says

South Korea says 2015 agreement with Japan over South Korean women forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels fails to meet the victims’ needs

11 DECEMBER 2017

US, Japan and South Korea host joint missile tracking drills

The US, South Korea and Japan have started joint exercises to track missiles from North Korea, Seoul’s military has said. The two-day drills come just weeks after Pyongyang launched its most advanced missile to date


South Korea to build unit of swarming drones to counter nuclear-armed North

The South Korean army plans to create a combat unit of weaponised drones next year that would be capable of swarming nuclear-armed North Korea in the event of a conflict


US, South Korea launch massive joint air exercise

Hundreds of aircraft including two dozen stealth jets began training Monday as the United States and South Korea launched a massive combined air force exercise

18 NOVEMBER 2017

China wins its war against THAAD without firing a shot

A detente between China and South Korea may be good news for the Korean economy and a necessary step towards resolving the North Korea issue, but at the same time it threatens to degrade regional security for years to come


South Korea’s main opposition party strips impeached president of membership

South Korea’s main opposition Liberty Korea Party decided Friday to strip former president Park Geun-hye, who was impeached and stood trial over corruption charges, of her membership


South Korean President Moon Jae-in rules out developing nuclear weapons to guard against threat from Pyongyang

South Korea will not develop atomic weapons of its own despite the threat from the nuclear-armed North, President Moon Jae-in declared on Wednesday

31 OCTOBER 2017

South Korea, China agree to bring exchange, cooperation back onto ‘normal’ track

South Korea and China have agreed to put their bilateral relations back on the right track, apparently normalizing ties thathave been soured over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, the foreign ministry said Tuesday

27 OCTOBER 2017

Moody’s project Korea to post 3% GDP growth this year and 2.8% in 2018

Moody’s Investors Service says South Korea is on course to post three percent GDP growth this year, citing the country’s diversified and competitive economy with strong potential for high income levels


South Korea tests new ‘stealth’ cruise missile in show against Kim Jong-un regime

The country’s military said the air-to-surface Taurus missile, fired from an F-15 fighter jet, travelled through obstacles at low altitudes before hitting a target off its western coast

21 AUGUST 2017

US-South Korea hold military drills amid tension

The United States and South Korea have kicked off their annual military exercise, known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian

30 JUNE 2017

Moon and Trump discuss security, trade and future alliance at first summit

President Moon Jae-in faced a demand on Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump to resolve trade imbalance between the two countries and pay more of the cost for the presence of U.S. troops in Korea, while winning assurances for stronger defense measures to deter North Korea’s rapidly advancing threats

20 JUNE 2017

Trump ‘furious’ over Seoul’s North Korea ‘appeasement’

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in will visit Washington next week amid reports that US President Donald Trump is vexed over delay in deployment of an anti-missile system and perception that Seoul is appeasing North Korea

19 JUNE 2017

New South Korean president vows to end use of nuclear power

 South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has vowed to phase out the country’s dependence on nuclear power, warning of “unimaginable consequences” from a Fukushima-style meltdown

18 JUNE 2017

UN veteran becomes South Korea’s first female foreign minister

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday appointed a veteran diplomat as the country’s first female foreign minister, tasked with easing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

11 JUNE 2017

South Korea names new defence minister days after North tests new anti-ship cruise missile

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Sunday nominated a former navy chief as his defence minister, the president’s office said, as the government faces challenges tackling North Korea’s rapidly developing weapons programme

7 JUNE 2017

South Korea suspends deployment of more THAAD pièces

South Korea suspends any further deployment of a controversial US missile system to the country until an environmental impact assessment ordered by President Moon Jae-in is completed

30 MAY 2017

Shocked’ South Korea leader Moon orders probe into why US delivered four extra THAAD launchers without telling him

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a probe into the introduction of four THAAD anti-missile launchers in addition to two deployed by the US military before his election, his spokesman said on Tuesday

23 MAY 2017

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye on trial for corruption

South Korea’s former president, Park Geun-hye, has denied corruption charges at the start of a criminal trial that could send the country’s first female leader to prison for life

10 MAY 2017

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in sworn in, offers to visit N. Korea

South Korea’s new president was sworn into office on Wednesday, declaring that he is prepared to visit the nuclear-armed North “if the conditions are right”

9 MAY 2017

Who is Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s new president?

Moon’s victory in the race to the presidential Blue House in Seoul could herald an era of rapprochement with North Korea, and an unlikely meeting of minds with Donald Trump over Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes

Liberal Moon Jae-in wins election by landslide

Left-leaning former human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in won South Korea’s presidential election by a landslide, an exit poll predicted when voting closed Tuesday

2 MAY 2017

US anti-missile system operational in South Korea

The US military says its controversial Thaad missile defence system is now operational in South Korea

30 APRIL 2017

South Korea confirms US will pay for THAAD after Trump uncertainty

South Korea said Washington had reaffirmed it would shoulder the cost of deploying the THAAD anti-missile system, days after US President Donald Trump said Seoul should pay for the US$1 billion system designed to defend against nuclear-armed North Korea

20 APRIL 2017

Donald Trump accused of ‘shocking ignorance’ as he repeats Chinese claim that Korea was part of China

Donald Trump, the US president, has been accused of “shocking ignorance” after asserting that Korea “used to be a part of China” shortly after a meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese president

17 APRIL 2017

Park Geun-hye: ex-South Korean president formally charged in corruption probe

South Korean prosecutors on Monday formally charged ex-President Park Geun-hye over a high profile corruption and influence-peddling scandal that has paralysed the country’s government for months

6 APRIL 2017

South Korea test fires 800km-range ballistic missile that can hit any part of North Korea

South Korea has successfully test-fired a home-developed ballistic missile with a range long enough to hit any part of North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday (April 6)

5 APRIL 2017

Supporters of former South Korean president establish new political party

Supporters of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye have established a new political party with the aim of founding a conservative movement to exonerate the imprisoned former leader, local media reported on Wednesday

3 APRIL 2017

The Democratic Party of Korea selects Moon Jae-in as its official presidential candidate

South Korean human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in won the liberal Democratic Party primary vote on Monday, setting him on course to become the next president and perhaps take a softer line on North Korea

31 MARCH 2017

South Korean ex-president Park Geun-hye arrested and jailed over corruption allégations

Park Geun-hye, the former South Korean president, has been arrested and jailed over a high profile corruption scandal that has already seen her ousted from office and prompted early élections

30 MARCH 2017

South Korea, Vietnam aim for more muscular ties

Vietnam asks South Korea for backing in the South China Sea against China; Seoul wants more coordination with Hanoi on North Korea’s mounting threat. So are the two strong trade and investment partners set to upgrade their strategic ties into a more comprehensive bilateral Relationship?

20 MARCH 2017

South Korea complains to WTO over China’s response to anti-missile system

South Korea has complained to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about Chinese retaliation against South Korean companies over the deployment of a US anti-missile defence system in the South, the trade minister said on Monday

14 MARCH 2017

US to deploy missile-capable drones on border with North Korea

The US has declared it will permanently station missile-capable drones in South Korea in the latest round of military escalation in north-eastern Asia

11 MARCH 2017

South Korea election to be held by May 9 at latest

A South Korean presidential election to choose a successor to ousted leader Park Geun-hye will be free and fair and held by May 9 at the latest, the election commission chairman said on Saturday

10 MARCH 2017

Park Geun-hye: South Korean court removes president over scandal

Park Geun-hye has become the first democratically elected South Korean president to be forced from office, after the country’s constitutional court upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach her over a corruption and cronyism scandal that could see her face criminal charges

7 MARCH 2017

US starts deploying advanced anti-missile system THAAD in South Korea after defiant North’s latest test

The United States started to deploy the first elements of its advanced anti-missile defence system in South Korea on Tuesday after North Korea’s test of four ballistic missiles, US Pacific Command said, despite angry opposition from China

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


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


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


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


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


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


“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


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


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


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


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


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”