South Korea

North Korea began uranium n-weapons programme in '90s: South Korea

North Korea began uranium n-weapons programme in '90s: South Korea Seoul, Jan 6 : North Korea used international negotiations to buy time for its nuclear weapons programme, having started a uranium-based programme shortly after a 1994 deal to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korea's foreign minister said Wednesday.

South Korea's defence exports rise over $1 bn in 2009

South Korea's defence exports rise over $1 bn in 2009 Seoul, Jan 5 : South Korea exported defence products worth $1.17 billion in 2009, officials here said Tuesday.

The better-than-expected performance by mid- and small-tier companies and the diversification of products largely contributed to the increase in the exports of defence products, WAM news agency reported quoting the Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA).

South Korea sees 'turning point' in relations with North in 2010

South Korea sees 'turning point' in relations with North in 2010Seoul, Jan 4 : South Korea plans to push for dialogue with North Korea in 2010, President Lee Myung Bak said Monday after a year of rising tensions amid a North Korean nuclear test, missile launches and threats against its neighbour.

Both countries should work to usher in a "turning point" in their relationship, the South Korean leader said in a television address for the New Year.

South Korean trade pact with India going into effect

South Korean trade pact with India going into effectSeoul, Dec 31 : An India-South Korea trade agreement going into effect Friday would immediately eliminate tariffs on 7,044 goods traded between Asia's third and fourth-largest economies.

South Korea and India signed their comprehensive economic partnership agreement in August after three years of negotiations as Seoul seeks to ink trade deals with the world's largest economies.

Former Samsung chairman pardoned to boost Olympic bid

Former Samsung chairman pardoned to boost Olympic bidSeoul, Dec 29 - Lee Kun Hee, the former chairman of Samsung Group, was granted a pardon from a tax evasion conviction by the South Korean government Tuesday to help boost the country's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"The nation's business and sports circles have demanded a special pardon for former chairman Lee, citing the need to boost Pyeongchang's ongoing bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics," Justice Minister Lee Kwi Nam was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

South Korea expects record current-account surplus for 2009

South Korea expects record current-account surplus for 2009Seoul, Dec 29 - South Korea posted a current-account surplus of $41.2 billion in the first 11 months of this year and was expected to book a record figure for the year, the central bank said Tuesday.

The full-year figure should see a surplus of $43 billion, breaking the record of $40.3 billion in 1998, Bank of Korea official Lee Young Bog told reporters in Seoul.

Seasonality caused the current-account surplus to narrow from a revised $4.76 billion in October to 4.28 billion in November.

S Korea eyes nuclear deal with Turkey after UAE contract

nuclear deal South Korea is seeking a nuclear power plant contract in Turkey following its landmark 20.4 billion dollar deal with the United Arab Emirates, an official said on Monday.

"Nothing has been decided, but we plan to bid for a nuclear power plant project in Turkey," a spokesman for state utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) told AFP.

Turkey is pushing to build four nuclear plants, each costing about five billion dollars, along the Black Sea coast and bids are expected to be called in the first half of next year, Yonhap news agency said.

Seoul summons Japanese ambassador in territorial row

Yu-Myung-HwanSeoul, Dec 25 : South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan summoned the Japanese ambassador Friday over educational guidelines released by Tokyo on rocky islands claimed by the two countries.

The meeting was a repeat of a May 2008 discussion between Yu and Ambassador Toshinori Shigeieto over reports Japan planned to claim the islets as its territory in a revised manual for teachers.

In the new handbook for high school teachers released Friday, the education ministry refrained from naming the disputed islets, called Dokdo by Koreans and Takeshima by Japanese.

Former South Korean premier arrested on bribery charge

Former South Korean premier arrested on bribery chargeSeoul, Dec 18 - Former South Korean prime minister Han Myeong Sook was arrested Friday on suspicion of having taken a $50,000 bribe from a businessman during her tenure, prosecutors said.

The arrest came after Han allegedly refused to answer two previous summons to appear before the Seoul Central District Court.

Han was suspected of taking bribes for appointing businessman Kwak Young Wook as chief executive of a subsidiary of the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. Kwak has already been detained.

Taliban warns Seoul against sending more troops

Taliban warns Seoul against sending more troopsKabul, Dec 9 : The Taliban Wednesday warned the  government against sending 500 soldiers to Afghanistan to take part in the fight against insurgents, saying Seoul must be prepared for "bad consequences" if the troops are deployed.

South Korea had around 200 troops in Afghanistan until late 2007 as part of the international coalition forces that toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001. It withdrew its forces after Taliban kidnapped 21 Korean Christian missionaries.

South Korea confident after World Cup draw

South Korea confident after World Cup draw Seoul, Dec 5 : The coach and players of the South Korean national football team say they have hard nuts to crack in their 2010 World Cup group but the challenge is surmountable.

South Korea, which holds FIFA's best World Cup record in Asia and was a semifinalist of the 2002 tournament at home, is pitted against Argentina, Nigeria and Greece in Group B.

"I think this won't be easy, but we'll have a chance to advance to the next round," coach Huh Jung Moo was quoted as saying by South Korean broadcaster MBC Saturday.

South Korea to vaccinate people against swine flu

H1N1Seoul, Dec 2: South Korean health authorities plan to vaccinate nearly 40 percent of the country's population against the influenza A (H1N1) virus, WAM news agency reported Wednesday.

The vaccination will be carried out on a total of 19.5 million people by the end of February, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said. The figure is around 2 million more than the initial inoculation target.

Kim Jong-il bans World Cup coverage unless North Korea win

Kim Jong-il bans World Cup coverage unless North Korea winSeoul, Nov. 25 : North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has banned the World Cup from being shown in his country unless the national team wins.

According to The Telegraph, Kim has ordered state-run television not to broadcast live games, and to only screen highlights of North Korea''s victories.

The ruling means that 99 per cent of the country''s 29 million population will not be able to find out who wins the competition unless the 350-1, outsiders win it.

International talks underway on Iran sanctions: Obama

International talks underway on Iran sanctions: ObamaSeoul (S. Korea), Nov. 19 : US President Barack Obama said Thursday the United States has begun talking with allies about fresh punishment against Iran for defying efforts to halt its nuclear weapons pursuits.

Obama''s tough talk came as Iran indicated it would not ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia for processing, the centerpiece of deal aimed at a peaceful resolution of Iran''s contested nuclear program.

Obama advanced the prospect of sanctions but held out the option of diplomacy.

Obama: World running out of patience with Iran, North Korea

Obama: World running out of patience with Iran, North KoreaSeoul  - US President Barack Obama said Thursday that the international community's patience in the nuclear disputes with Iran and North Korea was running out.

Neither Iran nor North Korea could continue to bank on the world community continuing to accept endless talks and negotiations which lead to no results, without taking any action, Obama said after a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung Bak.

Nuke talks: Obama says will send envoy to N.Korea

Nuke talks: Obama says will send envoy to N.KoreaSeoul, Nov. 19 : Having arrived from Chinese capital Beijing, US President Barack Obama said here on Thursday that he will send a special envoy to North Korea next month to continue talks on ending Pyongyang''s nuclear ambitions in exchange for massive aid.

Speaking at a joint news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Obama also said discussions are under way with U. S. allies about the consequences of Iran''s lack of response to the nuclear deal offered to them.

Obama meets South Korean president

Obama meets South Korean president Seoul  - US President Barack Obama met his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung Bak in Seoul on Thursday on the final leg of his Asian tour.

At the top of the agenda for their talks were their joint efforts to convince North Korea to return to multilateral talks about its nuclear weapons programme.

Other subjects for discussion were the US-South Korean security alliance and the planned ratification of a free-trade deal.

Obama arrives in South Korea

Obama arrives in South KoreaSeoul - US President Barack Obama arrived on Wednesday in South Korea, the last leg of his Asia trip, with attempts to persuade North Korea to return to international nuclear disarmament talks expected to dominate discussions with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung Bak.

Further topics in the meetings scheduled for Thursday are the security alliance between Washington and Seoul and the planned ratification of a free-trade pact. Obama is due to leave for Washington the same day.

US president arrives in South Korea

Barack ObamaSeoul, Nov 18 : US President Barack Obama arrived in South Korea Wednesday as part of his four-nation Asia tour.

Obama has visited Japan, Singapore and China. Seoul is the last stop for him.

During his stay in Seoul, Obama will meet his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak for a summit early Thursday in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss the speedy ratification of a free trade deal between the two countries.

South Korea sets carbon emissions reduction target

South Korea sets carbon emissions reduction targetSeoul - South Korea has for the first time set a target for the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions in the run up to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, the government said on Tuesday.

The fourth-largest economy in Asia plans to reduce its emissions by 30 per cent from the predicted level of 2020.

That figure represents a reduction of 4 per cent from its 2005 figure, the President's Office in Seoul said after a cabinet meeting under the leadership of President Lee Myung Bak.



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