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South Korea coastguard denies divers have entered capsized ship

JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korea's coastguard said on Friday divers have not yet entered the hull of the capsized ferry where more than 270 people, most of them school children on a field trip, are missing. South Korea's YTN television earlier said divers had entered the hull and were searching the dining hall and cafeteria of the Sewol ferry where many of the passengers were believed to be at the time of Wednesday's accident. (Reporting by Ju-min Park, writing by Jack Kim)

Obama offers deepest sympathy to South Korea

US President Barack Obama on Thursday offered "deepest sympathies" to the families of the victims of a ferry sinking in South Korea, from which nearly 300 people, mostly children, are missing. "The bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people are strong and enduring," Obama said in a statement also offering the condolences of his wife Michelle. "Our hearts ache to see our Korean friends going through such a terrible loss, especially the loss of so many young students.

Nearly 300 missing in shipwreck off South Korea

Seoul, Apr 16 (EFE).- Three people were killed and nearly 300 others, the majority of them high school students, are missing following the sinking of a ferry Wednesday in the Yellow Sea off South Korea, officials said. A total of 292 people are listed as missing in the shipwreck, one of the worst disasters in the country's history, the government said. Rescue teams continue searching for survivors, officials said, adding that 164 people, including 78 students, were evacuated from the vessel.

South Korea blocks Ashley Madison adultery website

South Korea has blocked the newly launched Korean version of the global adultery hook-up site Ashley Madison, saying Wednesday that it threatened family values in a country where marital infidelity is a crime. The Korean site of the Canada-based company -- slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair" -- went online in the middle of last month, garnering close to 50,000 subscribers in its first week. Under a 1953 statute that criminalises adultery, an unfaithful spouse in South Korea can receive a prison sentence of up to two years for conducting an affair.

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 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.

N. Korea warns S. Korea will pay dear price for slander

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Monday that it will force South Korea to pay a dear price for its criticism of the North's dignity, the latest in a series of verbal threats against the South. The rival Koreas agreed in February to halt cross-border slander during their first high-level talks in seven years. Still, the North has since claimed South Korea hurled mud at the North's leadership and its social system with the communist country citing, among other things, anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

N. Korea warns S. Korea will pay dear price for slander

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Monday that it will force South Korea to pay a dear price for its criticism of the North's dignity, the latest in a series of verbal threats against the South. The rival Koreas agreed in February to halt cross-border slander during their first high-level talks in seven years. Still, the North has since claimed South Korea hurled mud at the North's leadership and its social system with the communist country citing, among other things, anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

South Korea, Japan to hold rare official talks on 'comfort women'

SEOUL (Reuters) - Senior South Korean and Japanese officials will meet this week to discuss Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday. Ties between the two close U.S. allies have long been poisoned by what South Korea consider Japan's failure to atone for its wartime past, including the issue of so-called comfort women, forced to work in Japanese brothels.

S. Korea, Australia sign bilateral FTA for possible enactment within year

SEJONG, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Australia officially signed a free trade agreement (FTA) Tuesday eliminating tariffs on major traded goods including autos and beef, nearly five years after they started negotiations. The countries hope to get respective legislative ratification and enact their FTA before the end of the year, according to South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
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