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SEOUL—North Korea continued its torrid pace of weapons testing on Wednesday, launching a short-range ballistic missile off the country’s east coast after vowing to take overwhelming measures in response to recent U.S.-South Korea military exercises. The Kim Jong Un regime has embarked on a record spree of missile-testing activity in 2022, outnumbering the launches from any prior year by a wide margin. In recent weeks, North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, triggered emergency alerts in Japan and South Korea and conducted tests at irregular hours in the middle of the night.
South Korean Crowd Crush Probe Widens
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( Jiyoung Sohn | Timothy W. Martin | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
SEOUL—South Korea deepened its scrutiny of the police response to a lethal crowd crush during Halloween festivities in Seoul, with newly released transcripts showing delays in treating the injured as emergency responders and bystanders on the scene repeatedly called the police asking for more back up. The transcripts, released by two South Korean lawmakers, show dozens of panicked emergency calls made as people got crushed in a pile on Oct. 29, as well as hundreds of radio-communication exchanges between first responders and dispatchers throughout the night.
North Korea Denies Sending Weapons to Russia
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( Timothy W. Martin | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
SEOUL—North Korea denied providing Russia with artillery shells, days after the Biden administration alleged Pyongyang sought covert ways to supply weapons for Moscow’s war with Ukraine. The U.S. suspects North Korea of sending a significant number of artillery shells to Russia through countries in the Middle East and North Africa, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last week. He said American officials were still monitoring whether the shipments had been received. The potential artillery shipments aren’t expected to alter the course of the Ukraine war, Mr. Kirby said.
SEOUL—In the wake of a tragedy that killed more than 150 Halloween revelers last weekend, South Koreans are reaching a consensus that the accident could have ben avoided. Officials didn’t have an adequate crowd-control plan for the partying-packed evening, and emergency calls warning of the dangerous overcrowding went unheeded. But the overcrowding was far from an aberration. As Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted throughout much of the world, partygoers and spectators have returned to large events en masse, fueled by the euphoria that has come at the end of a pandemic that kept people cooped up and apart from one another.
SEOUL—South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party called for the country’s national police chief and interior minister to be fired as pressure mounts over who shoulders responsibility for the deaths and injuries involving hundreds of people in a crowded Seoul alleyway. The blame game hit a new octave after police released transcripts from a series of emergency calls placed on Saturday, which warned of dangerous overcrowding on a sloping side street in Itaewon, a popular nightclub district. Some of the callers said they were afraid they could be crushed. The crowd eventually collapsed on top of itself, leading to the deaths of at least 156 people and injuries to 172 others.
SEOUL—At 4 a.m. on Sunday, Jung Hyeon-ji woke up to grab some water and scrolled through news about the deadly night in Seoul’s club district of Itaewon. What she saw still terrorizes her. The 21-year-old university student had taken to Twitter, where she encountered a barrage of raw footage from the cramped alleyway where hundreds of Halloween revelers were fatally crushed and severely injured. She saw police yanking people from a mound of tangled bodies. Ms. Jung said she could even make out faces—with some having turned pale or blue.
SEOUL—South Korean police are investigating the circumstances that led to a crowd crush in Seoul on Saturday night, including the possibility that some individuals intentionally pushed the crowd forward, as the public seeks answers in the wake of a tragedy that left more than 150 dead. Some 44 witnesses and injured survivors are being questioned about the accident in the Itaewon district, an official for South Korea’s National Police Agency said on Monday. Police are also combing through footage from dozens of security cameras and on social media to help determine how the incident may have occurred, the official said Monday.
SEOUL—In a narrow alleyway in Seoul’s lively club district, Halloween revelers were packed together so tightly that no one could move. People shouted to go forward. Others screamed to push back. Within moments late Saturday night, they began to fall like dominoes, as the crowd began collapsing on itself down the sloped side street. Hundreds of people got crushed, creating a human pile that stacked higher and higher.
SEOUL—More than 150 people have died from a stampede in one of Seoul’s popular nightlife districts, following a massive turnout there for the Halloween weekend. At least 151 people were killed, while 82 others suffered injuries in the city’s Itaewon neighborhood, according to the fire department for Yongsan, the district in which Itaewon is located. More than 140 emergency vehicles had been dispatched to Itaewon, home to many nightclubs and bars that were throwing late-night Halloween parties.
SEOUL—Nearly 150 people have died from a stampede in one of Seoul’s popular nightlife districts, following a massive turnout there for the Halloween weekend. At least 149 people were killed, while 76 others suffered injuries in the city’s Itaewon neighborhood, according to the fire department for Yongsan, the district in which Itaewon is located. More than 140 emergency vehicles had been dispatched to Itaewon, home to many nightclubs and bars that were throwing late-night Halloween parties.
SEOUL— Kakao South Korea’s so-called everything app, dropped out of service over the weekend, spurring widespread disruption in life and business that exposed the vulnerabilities created should an ubiquitous tech giant be forced offline. Kakao’s main services—messaging to ride hailing to mobile payments—suffered outages on Saturday, following a fire at a facility housing a large proportion of the company’s data servers. Not all of the company’s offerings had been restored as of Monday.
SEOUL—Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated to their highest level in years, with the two countries engaging in tit-for-tat military exercises, trading barbs and hardening a diplomatic stalemate. Since conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk -yeol took office in May, North Korea’s weapons launches have been met with an equal show of force, including missile drills and jet fighters. The two Koreas have blamed each other for worsening ties. Both sides are threatening to beef up their military powers.
SEOUL—North Korea conducted another middle-of-the-night weapons launch early Friday, Seoul and Tokyo officials said, as Pyongyang added to what is already an unprecedented year of missile tests. A short-range ballistic missile was fired from the Sunan area on the outskirts of Pyongyang at 1:49 a.m. local time, Seoul’s military said. The missile traveled roughly 400 miles after hitting a maximum altitude of 31 miles, before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, Tokyo’s Defense Ministry said.
SEOUL—The latest North Korean weapons claim seemed like something out of a James Bond movie: nuclear missile silos hidden underwater. Weapons experts doubt the Kim Jong Un regime has serious plans for such a stealthy missile-launch system. But they see a strategic purpose for Pyongyang in trying to suggest that any of the country’s reservoirs, lakes and surrounding seas could be a potential threat.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un overseeing a missile launch at an undisclosed location in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). SEOUL— Kim Jong Un oversaw two weeks of North Korean military drills that simulated tactical nuclear strikes against the U.S. and South Korea, vowing to take all military countermeasures if necessary and expressing no interest in dialogue, North Korean state media said. Pyongyang conducted seven weapons tests since Sept. 25, including an early Sunday morning launch of two ballistic missiles.
North Korea Lobs More Missiles Into the Sea
  + stars: | 2022-09-28 | by ( Timothy W. Martin | Dasl Yoon | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
SEOUL—North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, Seoul officials said, its second weapons test in recent days. The missiles were fired between 6:10 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. local time from the Sunan area on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to Seoul’s military. They hit estimated altitudes of roughly 30 miles, with one traveling about 186 miles and the other about 217 miles before splashing into the waters between Korea and Japan, Tokyo’s defense ministry said.
SEOUL—During a visit to Seoul in May, President Biden stood at a courtyard podium flanked by the head of Hyundai Motor Group. The South Korean auto maker had just pledged more than $10 billion in U.S. investments, creating thousands of new American jobs. Mr. Biden thanked Hyundai’s Euisun Chung for helping the two countries work toward an electric-vehicle future. “We will not let you down,” Mr. Biden said.
Defense & Aerospace
  + stars: | 2022-09-28 | by ( Micah Maidenberg | Timothy W. Martin | Michael R. Gordon | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
ScienceThe benefits and difficulties of liquid hydrogen as a propellant for rocket launches are well known to engineers at the space agency. Some space companies aren’t using the fuel for engines on rockets they are developing.
SEOUL—North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast on Sunday, Seoul and Tokyo officials said, Pyongyang’s first such weapons test in nearly four months as provocations slowed during the country’s Covid-19 outbreak. The missile was launched at 6:53 a.m. from the inland North Pyongan province, located in the country’s northwest, South Korea’s military said. Japan said at least one ballistic missile had been fired, hitting an estimated altitude of 31 miles and flying around 250 miles before splashing into the waters between Korea and Japan.
The leaders of Japan and South Korea held their first bilateral meeting in nearly three years, another step toward recovery for frayed ties between two of the U.S.’s key Asian allies. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for roughly 30 minutes Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Both leaders attended and gave U.N. floor speeches.
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