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They celebrated striker Son Heung-min's tearful post-match interview and munched Ghana-branded chocolates to honour the plucky performance by the African nation whose match result ensured South Korea's berth in the knockout round. Cheers erupted from apartment complexes and the streets across South Korea. "I felt absolutely thrilled - we were cornered going into injury time, and Sonny was running like crazy," said Lee Tae-woo, referring to Tottenham Hotspur striker Son, after watching the game with friends. Many on social media circulated Son's interview, in which he said through tears he had not performed well, thanking his team mates for pulling off the dramatic win. The term "Ghana chocolate" was trending on South Korean Twitter, referring to a brand by Seoul-based Lotte Confectionery Co Ltd (280360.KS) using cacao beans from Ghana.
SEOUL, Dec 3 (Reuters) - A former South Korean national security advisor was arrested on Saturday over his suspected manipulation of a 2020 case where a fisheries official was killed at sea by North Korean troops. The incumbent President Yoon Suk-yeol's government has reversed that interpretation, saying there was no evidence of a defection attempt. Prosecutors also launched an investigation into Lee's death and a 2019 case in which two North Korean fishermen were deported to the isolated country against their will. Yoon's ruling People Power party said Moon and his aides "not only let Lee die but killed his honour by claiming his defection while treading on eggshells around (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un's regime." He criticised Moon for demanding evidence to show why his brother did not defect, without presenting any proof to back his own claim.
SEOUL, Nov 30 (Reuters) - South Korea's military said it scrambled fighter jets as two Chinese and six Russian warplanes entered its air defence zone on Wednesday. The planes did not violate South Korea's airspace, it said. An air defence zone is an area where countries demand that foreign aircraft take special steps to identify themselves. Unlike a country's airspace - the air above its territory and territorial waters - there are no international rules governing air defence zones. Moscow does not recognise Korea's air defence zone.
Ye-jin was among 158 people who died in the disaster on narrow lane in Seoul on Oct. 29. "Children who lost their parents are orphans, but there's no word for parents who lost their children. Dressed as Princess Jasmine from the Disney animated film "Aladdin", Ye-jin had gone for the night out in the capital Seoul with two friends. Last week, some relatives of victims held a news conference demanding a government apology and a thorough investigation. Lee Ju-hee, from a collective of human rights lawyers called Minbyun, said nearly 60 families have joined a campaign for justice.
SEOUL, Nov 24 (Reuters) - South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged on Thursday to step up efforts to boost weapons exports and secure cutting-edge defence technologies as he aims to build the country's weapons industry into the world's fourth-largest arms exporter. Yoon hosted a meeting on promoting defence exports for the first time since taking office in May, designed to explore ways to shift the mainstay of the industry to exports from domestic supplies. "The defence industry is a new future growth engine and the pivot of the high-tech industry," Yoon told the meeting held at Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (047810.KS), South Korea's sole warplane developer located in the southeastern city of Sacheon. In August, Yoon unveiled a goal of nurturing the country's defence industry into the world's fourth-largest, after the United States, Russia and France. "Some say that there might be a vacuum in our military force due to defence exports as part of their political offensive, but the government will maintain thorough military readiness posture while actively supporting those exports," Yoon said.
Land Minister Won Hee-ryong said that the government would consider deploying military trucks to areas needed for urgent transport. The Korea Oil Station Association is asking gas station owners to secure enough inventory ahead of the strike, an association official said on Wednesday. "We learned some lessons from the last strike," said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. The transport ministry had said some 7,000 people participated in the June strike, while the union said more than 22,000 took part. The Korea International Trade Association, a shippers' body, said on Wednesday that it has created a task force to handle any disruptions and minimise trade damage.
SEOUL, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Debate is brewing in South Korea over efforts to scrap a decades-old ban on North Korean media, as changing attitudes fuel renewed calls to review a national security law dating from the Cold War. South Korea's National Security Act blocks access to the North's government websites and media, barring efforts at "praising, inciting or propagating" its activities. In a statement to the court before the hearing, the national rights watchdog had called the clauses vague, disproportionate and damaging to fundamental rights. North Korean films, songs and other content are already widely available on YouTube and elsewhere, they added. "The North will likely produce television shows and publications specifically designed to sow more division in the South," said defector Kim Tae-san, a former North Korean ambassador to the Czech Republic.
SEOUL, Nov 19 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to counter U.S. nuclear threats with nuclear weapons as he inspected a test of the country's new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), state media KCNA said on Saturday. "Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to pose threats ... our party and government will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation," the official KCNA news agency said. He ordered swifter development of strategic weapons, and more intensive training for the ICBM and tactical nuclear weapons units to ensure they flawlessly perform their duty "in any situation and at any moment," KCNA said. China and Russia had backed tighter sanctions following Pyongyang's last nuclear test in 2017, but in May both vetoed a U.S.-led push for more U.N. penalties over its renewed missile launches. ICBMs are North Korea's longest-range weapon, and Friday's launch is its eighth ICBM test this year, based on a tally from the U.S. State Department.
SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) - North Korea warned on Thursday of "fiercer military responses" to U.S. efforts to boost its security presence in the region with its allies, state media said, saying Washington is taking a "gamble it will regret". North Korea's foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, slammed a recent trilateral summit between the United States, South Korea and Japan, during which the leaders criticised Pyongyang's weapons tests and pledged greater security cooperation. On Thursday, the South Korean military reported another ballistic missile launch off North Korea's east coast. She referred to her country by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The United States has been saying since May that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, but its actual timing remains unclear.
It was a rare, candid glimpse of the Chinese leader and a reminder of Beijing's testy relations with the West. Besides Biden, Trudeau and Australia's Anthony Albanese, Xi also met the leaders of South Korea, Italy, Argentina, Holland and France for bilateral talks in Bali. Xi was ferried around Bali in his own Hongqi (Red Flag) limousine - Mao Zedong used an earlier model - China's version of the U.S. presidential "Beast" limo. Returning to in-person diplomacy also gives Xi a platform to push Chinese initiatives that further cement its stature as leader of the emerging world. "I think in the coming years you'll see China indeed making a serious effort to implement its major power diplomacy," he said.
SEOUL, Nov 17 (Reuters) - North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday as it warned of "fiercer military responses" to U.S. efforts to boost its security presence in the region with its allies, saying Washington is taking a "gamble it will regret". South Korea's military said the ballistic missile was launched from the North's east coast city of Wonsan at 10:48 a.m. (0248 GMT). The United States has been saying since May that North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, but its actual timing remains unclear. South Korea's Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, who handles intra-Korea affairs, said the North might postpone its nuclear test for some time, citing China's domestic political schedule. "North Korea has also achieved some political effects by codifying its nuclear law in August, so it might not have immediate needs for a nuclear test," Kwon said in an interview with Yonhap news agency released on Thursday.
SEOUL, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Up to 7 million North Koreans use cell phones daily, and WiFi networks have sharply expanded in recent years as the mobile devices increasingly became a key tool for market activity in the isolated country, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. Since 3G network services began in 2008, the number of users has risen to 6.5 million to 7 million, more than a quarter of North Korea's 25 million population, the researchers said. The country's antiquated 3G network and limits on foreign investment in upgrades because of sanctions over its weapons programmes has prompted the emergence of faster WiFi networks around the country, Williams said. The WiFi networks do not offer any Internet access but provide connections to domestic services, especially scientific databases for the research community, he added. The private sector has overtaken state-led agents to become North Korea's biggest economic actor in recent years, with its rationing system crumbling and leader Kim Jong Un allowing markets abhorred by his father.
SEOUL, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A South Korean police official being investigated over the deadly Halloween crush was found dead at his home in Seoul on Friday, the Yonhap news agency reported. Telephone calls by Reuters to the Yongsan station were unanswered. Jeong, 55, faced accusations that he had deleted intelligence reports warning of a serious accident, after an investigation began into police responses to the crush. Lawmakers slammed the suspected removal of the documents at a parliamentary session on Monday, and urged the arrest and punishment of those in charge. National Police Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun told lawmakers that the intelligence chief at the Yongsan station had ordered the records to be deleted and would be investigated.
SEOUL, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Debris from a North Korean missile salvaged from South Korean waters were identified as parts of a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile, South Korea's defence ministry said on Tuesday. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Monday an underwater probe by a South Korean navy ship had recovered part of a North Korean short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) fired last week. The debris came after North Korea test-fired multiple missiles last week, including a possible failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), protesting against joint air drills by South Korea and the United States. It was the first time a North Korean ballistic missile had landed near South Korean waters. North Korea took delivery of SA-5 systems in the mid-1980s, according to "The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun", a 2020 survey by Dutch researchers.
[1/3] South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol holds a flower to be placed as a tribute to victims as he visits the scene of a crowd crush that happened during Halloween festivities, in Seoul, South Korea, November 1, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiSEOUL, Nov 7 (Reuters) - South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol apologised on Monday for the deadly Halloween crush in Seoul, pledging to hold to account any officials found to be responsible for sloppy responses and to reform police and safety management systems. Yoon offered the apology during a meeting to review safety rules, as the country continues to mourn the crush victims. Yoon initially ascribed the authorities' poor handling to flaws in the country's crowd management and safety regulations. At Monday's safety meeting, he vowed to overhaul the national safety management system, carry out a thorough investigation and bring those responsible for failings to account.
[1/2] South Korean President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook hold puppies born from a hunting dog gifted from North Korea, in Seoul, South Korea November 25, 2018 in this image obtained November 27, 2018 from South Korean Presidential Office/Handout/via REUTERSSEOUL, Nov 7 (Reuters) - South Korea's former President Moon Jae-in said on Monday he plans to give up a pair of dogs sent by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a gift following their 2018 summit, citing a lack of support from his successor. The dogs are legally categorised as state property belonging to the presidential archives, but Moon's office said he was entrusted as their caretaker under consultations with the archives and the interior ministry, an unprecedented decision. But that effort fell apart due to "unexplained opposition" from the administration of incumbent President Yoon Suk-yeol, Moon's office said. "The presidential office seems to be negative toward entrusting the management of the Pungsan dogs to former President Moon," Moon's office said on Facebook. The interior ministry, which oversees the presidential archives, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
[1/5] Recent North Korean missile tests are pictured in this undated combination photo taken at undisclosed locations and released on November 7, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Last week, North Korea test-fired multiple missiles including a possible failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and hundreds of artillery shells into the sea, as South Korea and the United States carried out six-day air drills until Saturday. The North's military said the "Vigilant Storm" exercises were an "open provocation aimed at intentionally escalating the tension" and "a dangerous war drill of very high aggressive nature." The General Staff of the North's Korean People's Army (KPA) accused Seoul and Washington of eliciting a "more unstable confrontation," and vowed to counter their drills with "sustained, resolute and overwhelming practical military measures." Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Josh Smith; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Diane CraftOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SEOUL, Nov 4 (Reuters) - North Korea has dramatically ramped up missile tests this year and tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) on Thursday, as part of efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike the U.S. mainland. North Korea conducted the first successful test of its Hwasong-14 ICBM in July 2017. HOW MANY ICBMS DOES NORTH KOREA HAVE? Shortly after two successful tests of the Hwasong-14, North Korea launched a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, in November 2017. In March 2022, North Korea launched its massive Hwasong-17 ICBM for the first time after unveiling it at a pre-dawn military parade in October 2020.
Analysis: Why is North Korea testing so many missiles?
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( Josh Smith | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +5 min
Analysts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems to genuinely dislike the allied drills, and particularly the involvement of U.S. stealth fighters. After North Korea conducted an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test on Thursday, the allies announced they would be extending Vigilant Storm past Friday. "North Korea is aiming to increase its deterrence capabilities," he said. If North Korea prefers to conduct a nuclear test in a crisis, it is well on its way to manufacturing one." North Korea has completed all the technical preparations for a nuclear test - its first since 2017 - according to South Korean and U.S. officials.
The launches came a day after North Korea fired at least 23 missiles, the most in a single day, including one that landed off South Korea's coast for the first time. About an hour after the first launch, South Korea's military and the Japanese coast guard reported a second launch from North Korea. South Korea issued rare air raid warnings and launched its own missiles in response after Wednesday's barrage. On Oct. 4, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, prompted a warning for residents there to take cover. It was the farthest North Korea had ever fired a missile.
[1/2] A woman pays tribute near the scene of a crowd crush that happened during Halloween festivities, in Seoul, South Korea, November 1, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiSEOUL, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The initial shock from a deadly crush among Halloween party-goers in South Korea is turning into public outrage over the government's planning missteps, as business owners say police were more focused on crime and COVID than crowd safety. The crush on Saturday night killed 156 and injured 152 as revellers flooded narrow alleyways. Many South Koreans said they were in shock over how a casual night out had turned deadly. I am so sad that I can't even express my sorrow," Kim Keun-nyeo, 54, said an altar near Seoul city hall.
District authorities for Yongsan, where Itaewon is located, discussed measures to prevent illegal drug use and the spread of COVID-19 during the Halloween weekend, according to a district press release. But there were only 137 police officers in Itaewon at the time, the city of Seoul said. Moon Hyeon-cheol, a professor at the Graduate School of Disaster Safety Management at Soongsil University, said this type of crush had the potential to happen in any populous city. "We need to take this tragedy and learn to prepare for the risk of disaster," he said. Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by Edwina GibbsOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SEOUL, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Young people flocking to Seoul's popular Itaewon district on Saturday for the first virtually unrestricted Halloween festivities in three years instead found themselves caught up in a deadly crush that killed at least 151 people. On Friday night, a Reuters witness saw crowds in the area packed toe-to-toe at a Halloween street fair with booths for face-painting and selling candy and costumes. But social media posts showed nightclubs and bars advertising Halloween events and promotions, including collaborations at some of the hottest clubs for special performances. Just before 10:20 p.m. (1320 GMT), chaos erupted, with police at times struggling to control the crowds, witnesses said. Social media footage showed some people trying to scale the sides of the buildings to escape the increasing pressure, as others shouted, cried, or cursed.
SEOUL, Oct 30 (Reuters) - With "Hooker Hill" and snaking alleyways of bars with signs like "BADASS" around the local landmark Hamilton Hotel, Seoul's Itaewon district was a symbol of freewheeling nightlife in the South Korean capital for decades, before tragedy struck. "This happened right at the moment when we were about to rebound after being hammered by the pandemic," said Lee, who has operated Itaewon businesses for three decades. A mysterious killing called the "Itaewon Murder" and other crimes in the late 1990s painted a dark image of the area. The district has been a recurrent theme in popular culture, with a recent hit drama "Itaewon Class" and K-pop song "Itaewon Freedom". They won't," said Park, who has run businesses in the district for nearly 30 years.
The North said South Korea had resumed using propaganda loudspeakers at the border in violation of the agreement. For now, South Korea says it is not calling the CMA off, but is urging North Korea to abide by its measures. North Korea has also not officially abrogated the deal, and the South's ministry of defence told Reuters that inter-Korean military hotlines are operating. This year South Korea and its U.S. allies have responded to a record number of North Korean missile tests with stepped up military drills. Those have been met with more tests and drills from North Korea, including rare warplane sorties near the border.
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