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China draws red line' on North Korea, says won't allow war on peninsula

BEIJING (Reuters) - China declared a "red line" on North Korea on Saturday, saying that China will not permit chaos or war on the Korean peninsula, and that peace can only come through denuclearization. China is North Korea's most important diplomatic and economic supporter, though Beijing's patience with Pyongyang has been severely tested following three nuclear tests and numerous bouts of saber rattling, including missile launches.

U.S. envoy still hopeful for missionary's release from North Korea

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is still hopeful of securing the release of an American missionary being held in North Korea, the U.S. human rights envoy for the country said on Thursday, even though two trips he has had scheduled for the purpose have been canceled. Ambassador Robert King said there had been no progress on the Kenneth Bae case since his last trip was called off in February.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 303 (March 6, 2014)

TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 1) Seoul offers Red Cross talks to regularize family reunions SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea on March 5 proposed holding Red Cross talks with North Korea to discuss holding reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on a regular basis. A follow-up to South Korean President Park Geun-hye's instructions the previous day, the proposal entails holding working-level talks on March 12 on the South Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

U.S. urges North Korea to exercise restraint after rocket launches

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department urged North Korea on Monday to exercise restraint and to avoid provocative actions following reports that it launched two short-range missiles. "We urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions that aggravate tensions," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. "We urge North Korea to exercise restraint and take steps to improve its relations with its neighbors."

North Korea to free Australian Christian missionary: KCNA

By Choonsik Yoo SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday it would deport an Australian missionary for promoting Christianity and its KCNA state news agency carried a picture of a handwritten confession by the elderly man who was arrested last month. The KCNA said John Short committed a criminal act by distributing tracts from the bible at a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang on Kim Jong Il's birthday, a national holiday in North Korea to mark the ruling dynasty's second leader.

North Korea fires two short-range missiles

North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Monday, the second in a series of launches that Seoul has denounced as a calculated provocation. "Both missiles flew more than 500 kilometres," a South Korean defence ministry spokesman told AFP. The range would suggest they were the same as the four Scud missiles the North fired in similar fashion on Thursday -- just days after South Korea and the United States launched annual joint military exercises.

North Korea condemns Australian judge behind U.N. rights report

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Friday condemned an Australian judge who led a U.N. investigation that concluded that North Korean security chiefs and possibly its leader should face justice for torture and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities. North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency, citing a pro-North Korean politician from Brazil, said the judge, Michael Kirby, had manipulated evidence at the behest of North Korea's old enemy, the United States.

North Korea fires short-range missiles in apparent exercise

By Choonsik Yoo SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea fired four short-range missiles over the sea off its east coast on Thursday, a media official at South Korea's Defence Ministry said, while providing no information on the purpose of the firing. North Korea fired the missiles at 5:42 p.m. (0342 ET) from a mountain site just north of the border with South Korea, the official said. Launches by the North of short-range missiles are not uncommon as part of military exercises.

N.Korea test-fires four short-range missiles

North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles into the sea Thursday, Seoul's defence ministry said, in an apparent show of force to coincide with South Korea-US joint military exercises. A ministry spokesman told AFP the missiles, with an estimated range of around 200 kilometres (125 miles), were fired off the east coast of North Korea. "Our military will maintain tight vigilance in preparation for additional launches or any military provocation from the North," the spokesman said.

U.S. needs to do more in approach to North Korea talks: report

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. foreign policy and North Korea experts said in a report released on Wednesday that the United States should engage more with North Korea as a way to revive talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program.
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