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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.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 302 (Feb. 27, 2014)

INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS S. Korea offers aid to N. Korea to contain FMD SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea has offered to provide aid to North Korea to help contain the first outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the communist country in about three years, a government official said on Feb. 24, amid signs of warming ties between the archrivals. South Korea also proposed that the rival Koreas hold talks at a convenient time for the North to discuss Seoul's humanitarian assistance to the North, the unification ministry official said.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 302 (Feb. 27, 2014)

INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS S. Korea offers aid to N. Korea to contain FMD SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea has offered to provide aid to North Korea to help contain the first outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the communist country in about three years, a government official said on Feb. 24, amid signs of warming ties between the archrivals. South Korea also proposed that the rival Koreas hold talks at a convenient time for the North to discuss Seoul's humanitarian assistance to the North, the unification ministry official said.

US ex-envoy says dialogue vital with North Korea

The US diplomat who led the last substantive denuclearization negotiations with North Korea urged fresh dialogue Wednesday, warning that the long gap in talks only aggravated the risks. Christopher Hill represented the United States in six-nation talks in which Pyongyang agreed in 2005 and 2007 to give up its nuclear weapons in return for aid and security guarantees. Relations have since worsened significantly, with North Korea defiantly carrying out another nuclear test last year.

Kerry slams N. Korea as 'an evil, evil place'

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called for global attention on North Korea, denouncing the isolated Asian nation as "an evil, evil place." "North Korea is one of the most closed and cruel places on earth. There's no question about it. There's evil that is taking place there that all of us ought to be deeply and are deeply concerned about," the top US diplomat said. The top US diplomat said he had had serious talks in China about North Korea including the challenge of the dealing with its suspect nuclear program.

Separated Koreans part again in tears with no hope of reunion

By Kim Kwang-tae and Joint Press Corps MOUNT KUMGANG, North Korea, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of South Korean and North Koreans burst into tears as they bade farewell, perhaps for good, to each other on Tuesday at a North Korean mountain resort after their first reunions since the 1950-53 Korean War. Some of them sang doleful Korean folk songs as their long-lost relatives from North Korea were told to take buses at the end of their final reunions that lasted only about 50 minutes at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North's east coast.

North Korea to avoid war rhetoric for now: China experts

BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is unlikely to repeat last year's threats of war over ongoing South Korea-U.S. military drills, raising hopes that Seoul and Pyongyang might seek more exchanges following just-ended reunions of families separated for decades, two Chinese experts said Tuesday. However, it is still far from clear whether such possible confidence-building measures between Seoul and Pyongyang could help resolve a long-running standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, with the North showing no sign of giving up its nuclear ambitions, they said.
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