Tag Archives: Seoul

N. Korea says Kim supervised weapons tests, criticizes Seoul

N. Korea says Kim supervised weapons tests, criticizes SeoulNorth Korea said Sunday leader Kim Jong Un supervised test-firings of an unspecified new weapons system, which extended a streak of launches that are seen as an attempt to build leverage ahead of negotiations with the United States while driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul. The report by North Korean state media came hours after President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed a desire to meet again to start nuclear negotiations after the end of ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, and apologized for the flurry of recent short-range ballistic launches that rattled U.S. allies in the region.



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Seoul: NKorea in worst economic contraction in 2 decades

Seoul: NKorea in worst economic contraction in 2 decades



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The Latest: Seoul says 2nd NKorea missile flew 430 miles

The Latest: Seoul says 2nd NKorea missile flew 430 milesSouth Korea says one of the two North Korean missiles flew 690 kilometers (430 miles), longer than initially suspected. South Korea earlier said both missiles flew about 430 kilometers (270 miles) before landing in the waters off the country’s east coast on Thursday. South Korea’s military later said it and the United States had determined the second missile flew longer.



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Seoul Pollution Cloud Dents Support for South Korea's Leader

Seoul Pollution Cloud Dents Support for South Korea's LeaderMoon’s government was dealt a blow when a summit it helped broker between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un broke down in late February. A weekly poll by Gallup Korea on Friday showed Moon’s approval rate fell 3 percentage points from a week earlier to 46 percent, while his disapproval rate rose 3 percentage points to 45 percent — the highest in about two months. The top reason cited by those who disapproved of Moon was his administration’s inability to tackle economic issues such as boosting job rates and managing fallout from a rapid increase in minimum wages.



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S. Korea, US sign deal on Seoul paying more for US military

S. Korea, US sign deal on Seoul paying more for US militarySEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea and the U.S. on Friday formally signed a deal on Seoul's increased payment for the U.S. troop deployment, amid worries about the future of the countries' decades-long military alliance.



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Seoul: Increased vehicle movement at NKorea's ICBM center

Seoul: Increased vehicle movement at NKorea's ICBM centerSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's military said Thursday it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and missile facilities after the country's spy agency told lawmakers that new activity was detected at a research center where the North is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.



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North Korea nuclear and missile bases being monitored by Seoul after new activity spotted

North Korea nuclear and missile bases being monitored by Seoul after new activity spottedSouth Korea’s military is carefully monitoring North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities after it said new activity has been detected at the intercontinental ballistic missiles plant. The US and South Korean militaries are maintaining close intelligence coordination over developments at the North’s missile research centre in Pyongyang and a separate long-range rocket site, Seoul’s Defence Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said on Thursday. Spy chief Suh Hoon told politicians briefed by the South’s National Intelligence Service he viewed the activity as missile-related, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said.



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Seoul calls for three-way talks after Trump-Kim collapse

Seoul calls for three-way talks after Trump-Kim collapseSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has proposed semiofficial three-way talks with the United States and North Korea as it struggles to put nuclear diplomacy back on track after the collapse of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.



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Next U.S.-North Korea summit must give concrete results: Seoul

Next U.S.-North Korea summit must give concrete results: SeoulForeign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the two leaders should make “really great big strides” on the road to denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, in line with international demands. Trump and Kim met in Singapore last June for an unprecedented summit, producing a promise to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula, but the two sides have since struggled to agree how to implement the pledge. Critics of U.S. efforts say that summit only boosted Kim’s international stature while doing little to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal that now threatens the United States.



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South Korea's Kim Jong-un fan clubs prepare welcome as North Korean leader vows visit to Seoul

South Korea's Kim Jong-un fan clubs prepare welcome as North Korean leader vows visit to SeoulNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un has written a rare letter to Seoul vowing to “frequently” meet Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president, to discuss nuclear disarmament.  In the missive, described by South Korean officials as warm in tone, Kim pledged to pursue peace between the two countries and expressed regret that he had been so far unable to visit South Korea after Mr Moon invited him to do so in September.  But he expressed a strong will to visit the South Korean capital in the future and Mr Moon welcomed his overtures via his social media account. “If we meet together with sincerity, there is nothing we cannot achieve,” Mr Moon said. The North Korean leader, long denounced as a dictator in the South, can expect a warm welcome from at least a section of the South Korean population if he arrives. In recent months fan clubs have sprung up to prepare a welcoming party for his visit.  Earlier this month, dozens of South Korean university students in black winter coats sat down on a frozen pathway in Seoul’s Maronie Park to discuss their unlikely new hero. Clutching bunches of pastel pink rosebays, symbolising the sea of flowers that greeted Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, on his trip to Pyongyang in September, they broke into song. “Let’s make reunification happen a minute sooner,” the students chanted, in a refrain referring to their political goal to see the Korean peninsula unified. The meeting, attended by The Telegraph, was a stark reflection of the perceptional shift taking place in the South. “Until now, we did not know Kim’s true self. We only saw the media portrayal of him as an evil man!” one speaker said.  Such scenes would have been unthinkable in the South Korean capital one year ago. Not only because Pyongyang was still threatening Seoul and Washington with the prospect of war but because the South’s National Security Act was prepped to jail anyone “praising, inciting or propagating the activities of an anti-government organisation.”  South Korean President Moon Jae-in was given a warm welcome in Pyongyang in September Credit: Pool/AP The enforcement of the 1948 law has been relaxed during President Moon’s 18-month-old administration as he pursues a diplomatic détente with Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons and missiles programme and bring peace to the peninsula.  The more tolerant political atmosphere has allowed at least a dozen civic groups – collectively known as the ‘Paektu Praise Committee’- to spring up as an unofficial welcoming squad for Kim’s planned visit to Seoul.  Although the confirmation and timing of his unprecedented trip has not yet been nailed down, the groups are already preparing. Some are learning the dance moves of a North Korean art troupe, while others are visiting schools to collect welcome messages.  At the Maronie Park event in mid-December, enthralled students watched a short drama about a local family excited about Kim coming to Seoul. “I like our Chairman Kim more than BTS!” yelled the family’s father, referring to a K-pop band that has stormed the global charts this year.  To one side, a pop-up photo gallery displayed highlights of 2018’s Korean diplomatic calendar – Kim and President Moon’s first meeting on the border in April, holding their hands in the air, smiling with their wives on a group trip to the North’s Mount Paektu.  A student welcome committee organised a pop-up gallery in Seoul of President Moon's meetings with Kim Credit: Junho Lee “I believe the events we hold influence people’s reactions to Kim’s visit. Many people who didn’t really know about Kim’s visit see our event and learn more,” said participant Ha In-cheol, 23. “We do receive many positive reviews. People write postcards saying ‘Welcome to the South’, ‘We hope you visit us soon’. We also sell stickers and badges welcoming Kim and many people buy them,” he said.  In a Telegraph interview, Kim Han-sung, 28, who heads up the ‘Korea Progressive University Student’s Union’, a branch of the praise committee, said the welcoming parties had been inspired in part by President Moon’s warm reception in Pyongyang.  “The people there welcomed him with the Unified Korea flag and flowers. We plan on doing the same thing when Kim comes here. We are also planning for a candlelight cultural festival, campaigns, and street performances to welcome him,” he said.  The groups are practicing songs popular with the North’s Samjiyon orchestra, a traditional music ensemble that performed at the South Korea Winter Olympics earlier this year. The orchestra’s greatest hits include “Let us run towards the future” and “We welcome you”.  Left wing groups in Seoul are taking a positive view of Kim Jong-un Credit: Junho Lee “All these songs are very meaningful in the relationship of the two Koreas,” said Mr Kim.  But he admitted that, despite a generally positive public reaction to their street activities, pro-Pyongyang activists were coming under fire online. “We receive lot of attacks on the internet,” he said.  The rise of left-wing groups promoting positive engagement with Kim Jong-un has also sparked a backlash from conservatives which analysts say could erode public support for Mr Moon. The president’s ratings are already on a downward spiral due to the country’s economic woes.  Meanwhile, defectors who have taken shelter in the South after fleeing hardships and persecution in the pariah regime have also been left aghast at Kim’s sudden surge in popularity after long being portrayed as a ruthless dictator.  At the Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) office in Seoul, some said they were baffled by the positive reactions to his planned visit, reported the Korea Times.  “I had a miserable life in North Korea, I was sentenced to one of the harsh prison camps. Later, after I was released, I escaped, but I got captured and sent back. Then my life in that living hell became even worse,” said Eunhwa, a woman who arrived in the South in 2015.  “I'm so surprised to hear South Koreans saying nice things about Kim Jung-un. It means they really don't understand the evil to the north.” Mikyung, a woman who escaped North Korea in 2016 said she was amazed at the South’s high expectations about Kim’s desire for peace. “It should be clear to anyone who understands the regime that it is seeking survival on its own terms, not to compromise,” she said.  “He will continue trying to exert complete control over everyone within North Korean territory and maybe even the entire Korean Peninsula.”        



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