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Today in Korean history

April 13 1397 -- Construction of Seoul's East Gate is completed. 1919 -- A Korean government-in-exile is set up in Shanghai to begin efforts to win independence from Japanese colonial rule. 1977 -- South Korea establishes formal diplomatic ties with Sudan. 1989 -- Moon Ik-hwan, a pastor and reunification activist, is arrested for violating the National Security Law after returning from an unauthorized trip to North Korea. 1995 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic relations with Egypt.

Today in Korean history

April 13 1397 -- Construction of Seoul's East Gate is completed. 1919 -- A Korean government-in-exile is set up in Shanghai to begin efforts to win independence from Japanese colonial rule. 1977 -- South Korea establishes formal diplomatic ties with Sudan. 1989 -- Moon Ik-hwan, a pastor and reunification activist, is arrested for violating the National Security Law after returning from an unauthorized trip to North Korea. 1995 -- South Korea establishes diplomatic relations with Egypt.

Japan, N. Korea to confirm 2008 accord on abduction issue

Japan and North Korea are making final arrangements to reaffirm a 2008 bilateral accord which includes Pyongyang's promise to reinvestigate abductions of Japanese nationals in return for Tokyo easing its unilateral sanctions against North Korea, sources familiar with the matter said Friday. The Japanese government, seeing recent signs of flexibility in North Korea to move forward bilateral negotiations, hopes that the 2008 deal, which Pyongyang unilaterally scrapped, could break the stalemate over the decades-old abduction issue, the sources said.

Japan seeks meeting between Obama, abductees' families

Japan has asked for U.S. President Barack Obama to meet the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents when he visits Japan in late April, a state minister in charge of the abduction issue said Friday. "We have informed Mr. (Robert) King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, of a request (for the meeting) from the families," the minister, Keiji Furuya, said at a press conference.

S. Korean envoy warns of 'grave' situation after N. Korea's nuclear threat

BEIJING, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top nuclear envoy warned Friday of a "grave" situation on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea has threatened to conduct a fresh nuclear test, saying "closer and strategic cooperation" with China is essential in preventing further North Korean provocations. Hwang Joon-kook made the remarks upon his arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, later in the day.

Today in Korean history

April 12 1990 -- President Roh Tae-woo gives amnesty to Kim Hyun-hui, one of the North Korean agents responsible for the in-flight bombing of a South Korean passenger airplane in late 1987. 2003 -- South Korea's lottery gives out a 47 billion won prize, the country's biggest ever. 2004 -- Chung Dong-young quits as chairman of the ruling Uri Party. 2007 -- The Supreme Court sentences Jeong Nam-guy to death for murdering 13 people and injuring seven others from January 2004 to April 2006.

Japan eyes meeting between Obama and abductees' families

The government is planning to arrange a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s when Obama visits Japan later this month, government sources said Friday. Obama is expected to stay in Japan from April 23 to 25, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has expressed his strong intention to solve the abduction issue, which has prevented Tokyo from normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

Japan eyes meeting between Obama and abductees' families

The government is planning to arrange a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s when Obama visits Japan later this month, government sources said Friday. Obama is expected to stay in Japan from April 23 to 25, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has expressed his strong intention to solve the abduction issue, which has prevented Tokyo from normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

S. Korean PM seeks int'l support for unification

BOAO, China, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won asked the international community Thursday to extend support for the reunification of the two Koreas, stressing that a unified Korea will be a new global growth engine. He made the remarks during his keynote speech at the Boao Forum of Asia held in China's tropical island of Hainan. Chung is on his eight-day trip from Wednesday, which will also take him to Pakistan early next week.

S. Korean PM seeks int'l support for unification

BOAO, China, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won asked the international community Thursday to extend support for the reunification of the two Koreas, stressing that a unified Korea will be a new global growth engine. He made the remarks during his keynote speech at the Boao Forum of Asia held in China's tropical island of Hainan. Chung is on his eight-day trip from Wednesday, which will also take him to Pakistan early next week.
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