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World's middle powers voice concern over N.K. missiles, nuke threat

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of the world's five middle power countries, including South Korea and Australia, have expressed "grave" concerns over North Korea's recent missile launches, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday. Wrapping up their two-day meetings in Mexico City from Sunday, the foreign ministers of the so-called MIKTA countries -- Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia -- adopted a joint communique on the situation in the communist North, according to the ministry.

China issues rare public warning over N. Korea's nuclear threat

BEIJING, April 15 (Yonhap) -- China on Tuesday issued a rare public warning to North Korea not to carry out a nuclear test, saying it does not support the North's "threat of a nuclear test." "We do not support a joint military drill (between South Korea and the U.S.) nor support the threat of a nuclear test (by North Korea)," China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, when asked about the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Obama may return ancient Korean seals on upcoming trip to Seoul

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. government may return a set of Korean national treasures, shipped out of the country by an American soldier during the Korean War, when President Barack Obama visits Seoul next week, diplomatic sources here said Monday. "The two sides are in the final stage of consultations to complete relevant procedures," a source said. There is a possibility that the process will finish ahead of Obama's departure for Asia next Tuesday, added the source.

More rounds of talks likely on 'comfort women': S. Korea

South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday more rounds of talks are likely to be held between this country and Japan to discuss the issues related to Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, following talks set for Wednesday in Seoul. "It would be the best if all issues on 'comfort women' are resolved by holding talks just one time, but, otherwise, it's necessary to hold more talks," Cho Tai Young said during a press briefing.

S. Korea, Japan to hold talks on wartime sex slavery this week

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Japan will hold high-level talks on the latter's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women in Seoul this week, with attention focused on Tokyo's stance on the emotive issue, officials said Tuesday. The director general-level meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, will be the first venue reserved for addressing the wartime atrocities, which remains one of the vexing sources of frayed bilateral ties.

S. Korea spurns N. Korea's call for joint probe into drones

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday rejected North Korea's demand that the rival Koreas conduct a joint investigation into drones that Seoul claimed Pyongyang had sent to the South for spying purposes. South Korea said last week that it believes North Korea was the origin of three unmanned aerial vehicles that crashed near the heavily guarded border area in the South, though conclusive evidence has yet to be found.

Today in Korean history

April 16 1906 -- An express train from the southeastern port city of Busan travels 450 kilometers to Seoul in 11 hours, a record speed for that era. In 2004, the nation's new high-speed Korea Train Express, or KTX, covered that distance in about two hours and 40 minutes.

S. Korea rejects N. Korea call for joint probe into suspected drones

South Korea on Tuesday rejected North Korea's call for a joint probe into drones that Seoul claimed Pyongyang had sent to the South to spy. "In no case would a suspect be allowed to investigate evidence of his own crime," an unidentified official from the presidential office told reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency. He also said South Korea will continue its probe into the drones to prove the drones were from North Korea.

S. Korea spurns N. Korea's call for joint probe into drones

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday rejected North Korea's demand that the rival Koreas conduct a joint investigation into drones that Seoul claimed Pyongyang had sent to the South for spying purposes. South Korea said last week that it believes North Korea was the origin of three unmanned aerial vehicles that crashed near the heavily guarded border area in the South, though conclusive evidence has yet to be found.

S. Korea spurns N. Korea's call for joint probe into drones

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea rejected on Tuesday North Korea's demand that the rival Koreas conduct a joint investigation into drones that Seoul said Pyongyang sent to the South for spying purposes. South Korea said Friday that it believes North Korea was the origin of three unmanned aerial vehicles that crashed in the South, though conclusive evidence has yet to be found, adding it will continue investigations into the drones in a scientific manner to ensure that the drones belonged to North Korea.
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