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Japan, U.S., S. Korea agree to cooperate on N. Korea nuke threat

Japan, the United States and South Korea reaffirmed their cooperation Monday in dealing with a recent threat by North Korea that it could conduct "a new form" of nuclear test, a Japanese official said. The agreement reached in a three-way meeting involving senior diplomats in Washington was part of efforts to address Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions that were pledged in a trilateral summit last month in the Netherlands.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan issue joint warning to N. Korea

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, April 7 (Yonhap) -- In a show of unity in dealing with North Korea, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan jointly warned the communist nation Monday not to take any more provocative steps. "If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test, we, along with the international community, will make it pay the price for that," South Korea's top nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-kook told reporters in Washington, D.C. "North Korea's nuclear test would be a direct challenge to the international community, and a threat to peace and security in the world."

Gov't to push selective deregulation: PM

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said Monday that the government's deregulation campaign is designed to remove only excessive regulations, not all of them, amid criticism over the possibility of "indiscriminate" deregulation. President Park Geun-hye has initiated a drive to eliminate non-essential regulations in a bid to reinvigorate Asia's fourth-largest economy. Ministries and agencies have announced their plans to remove regulations after accepting complaints and recommendations from businessmen and workers.

Gov't to push selective deregulation: PM

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said Monday that the government's deregulation campaign is designed to remove only excessive regulations, not all of them, amid criticism over the possibility of "indiscriminate" deregulation. President Park Geun-hye has initiated a drive to eliminate non-essential regulations in a bid to reinvigorate Asia's fourth-largest economy. Ministries and agencies have announced their plans to remove regulations after accepting complaints and recommendations from businessmen and workers.

S. Korean president calls for tighter vigilance against North

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye called Monday for tighter vigilance against North Korea, days after its leader Kim Jong-Un warned of a "very grave situation" on the peninsula. At a meeting with top aides, Park noted North Korea had recently threatened a fresh nuclear test, test-fired missiles and lobbed artillery shells across the sea border. Three drones suspected to have flown from the North to scout South Korea's military facilities were also found in the South over the past month.

Ranking NIS official quizzed over evidence forgery

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- A ranking South Korean intelligence official has undergone questioning by prosecutors over his alleged role in forging Chinese government documents to frame a North Korean defector for espionage, prosecution sources said Monday. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office probing the case called in the official of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), only identified by his surname Choi, on Sunday for questioning, sources at the prosecution office said.

Park expresses regret over handling of corruption involving presidential staff

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye expressed regret Monday in the wake of criticism that her office dealt too leniently with corruption involving its own staff by just sending those officials to their original ministries and agencies without additional punishment. Last week, a local newspaper carried a series of critical reports about 10 presidential staff members getting off the hook without any punishment after they committed corruption and other irregularities and that most of them are faring well in their original agencies.

N. Korea shuts down department of leader's executed uncle: report

North Korea has shut down a ruling Workers' Party department that was headed by Jang Song Taek, the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong Un who was killed as a traitor last December, and executed or interned 11 high-ranking officials, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday. Citing a source, the Chosun Ilbo daily said Jang's closest confidants Ri Yong Ha and Jang Su Gil were purged along with nine other high-ranking party officials, while around 100 lower-ranking party officials loyal to Jang were sacked.

Large conglomerates unclear in criteria for top management wages: report

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's largest conglomerates have yet to disclose their criteria in determining how much money is paid to top managers, a local corporate consulting firm said Monday, adding to public criticism that the large amount of paycheck they take home is often excessive and undeserved. According to EFC, which analyzed 2013 annual reports released by the country's top 10 business groups, Samsung and SK groups gave their registered directors more bonuses than wages, while others such as Hyundai Motor and LG used wages as the main means for compensation.

N. Korea's unmanned attack drones capable of striking S. Korea: official

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's unmanned attack drones are believed to be capable of striking all targets in South Korea, a government official said Sunday, amid new security concerns over North Korea's spy drones. North Korea has deployed unmanned attack drones it unveiled in March last year during military drills meant to destroy low-flying cruise missiles and test the accuracy of unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
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