Korea - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Korea

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South Korea approves remdesivir for virus patients

Jun 03, 2020 - 11:47 PM

A South Korean government review of remdesivir research says it has proven 'clinically meaningful' in cutting patients' recovery times

REMDESIVIR. One vial of the drug Remdesivir lies during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, northern Germany, on April 8, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo by Ulrich Perrey/Pool/AFP

South Korea plans $29-billion virus stimulus

Jun 03, 2020 - 6:40 PM

The South Korean government is eyeing a 35.3-trillion-won ($29-billion) package, its 3rd in response to the coronavirus pandemic

RELAXED. Office workers walk along a street during the lunch period in central Seoul on May 22, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

BLACKPINK’s Lisa was swindled by manager, YG Entertainment apologizes

Jun 02, 2020 - 3:33 PM

The agency says that the person has left the company, and that they are taking ‘preventive measures’ to keep it from happening again

LISA. The BLACKPINK rapper and singer is swindled by her former manager. Screenshot from Facebook.com/BLACKPINKOFFICIAL

South Korea's GDP to shrink faster – central bank

Jun 02, 2020 - 12:00 PM

The Bank of Korea predicts the world's 12th biggest economy will shrink at least 2% in the April-June period

NO DISTANCE. In a photo taken on May 24, 2020, a couple wearing matching clothes sit before the city skyline and Han River in Seoul. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

South Korea re-imposes some social restrictions to combat new virus cases

May 29, 2020 - 2:46 PM

The new cases – mostly centered in the Seoul metropolitan area where half the South Korean population lives – prompts officials to strengthen social distancing rules that were eased on May 6

NEW INFECTIONS. File photo of people in traditional Korean hanbok dresses wear face masks as they visit Gyeongbokgung palace in Seoul on February 23, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

South Korea taps domestic tourism to revive industry

May 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM

'Can we find tourism with eased social distancing? The brief answer is ‘yes’ but it’s going to be in domestic tourism and in a very limited way, very careful way,' says Korean tourism expert Wangoo Lee

Photo by Nikko Dizon/Rappler

South Korea predicts economy will shrink, cuts interest rate

May 28, 2020 - 4:35 PM

The Bank of Korea sees a 0.2% economic contraction for 2020. It also says 'the employment situation has deteriorated.'

A couple wearing face masks walk past a night club, now closed following a visit by a confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus coronavirus patient, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 10, 2020. South Korea's capital has ordered the closure of all clubs and bars after a burst of new cases sparked fears of a second coronavirus wave as President Moon Jae-in urged the public to remain vigilant. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

South Korea sees largest spike in virus cases in nearly 2 months

May 28, 2020 - 11:44 AM

An outbreak at a warehouse of e-commerce firm Coupang in Bucheon, west of Seoul, has seen 69 cases, says the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RELAXED. Office workers walk along a street during the lunch period in central Seoul on May 22, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

South Korea sees biggest jump in virus cases in 7 weeks

May 27, 2020 - 4:01 PM

Officials announce 40 new cases – taking its total to 11,265 – with most new infections from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. This is the largest increase since 53 infections were announced on April 8.

In a photo taken on May 24, 2020, a couple wearing matching clothes sit before the city skyline and Han river in Seoul. Ed JONES / AFP

U.N. says both Koreas broke armistice in DMZ shooting

May 26, 2020 - 5:51 PM

But the United Nations Command's investigation is 'unable to definitively determine' whether the North's gunshots were fired 'intentionally or by mistake'

DMZ. South Korean soldiers patrol along a barbed wire fence Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, on the South Korean island of Ganghwa on April 23, 2020. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

North Korea discusses new policies for increasing 'nuclear war deterrence' – KCNA

May 24, 2020 - 9:15 AM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un discusses with the Central Military Commission 'crucial measures... for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability' of the military

IN HONOR. People wearing face masks leave after laying flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the occasion of the 108th birthday of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on April 15, 2020. Photo by KIM Won Jin/AFP  IN HONOR. People wearing face masks leave after laying flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on the occasion of the 108th birthday of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on April 15, 2020. Photo by KIM Won Jin/AFP

Korean football club hit with record fine over sex dolls in stands

May 21, 2020 - 11:19 AM

The K-League says the sex toy controversy 'damaged the integrity of the league'

In a photo taken on May 17, 2020, mannequins are displayed at a FC Seoul football match in Seoul. - South Korean football club FC Seoul apologised May 18, 2020 after reports that it had used sex dolls to fill up its empty stands during a game at the weekend. (Photo by Yonhap / YONHAP / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT NO ARCHIVES RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE

South Korea prosecutors demand 35-year jail term for ex-leader Park

May 20, 2020 - 8:12 PM

Park Geun-hye, the country's first female president, is being retried in the High Court on the bribery, abuse of power and spy agency charges

PARK GEUN-HYE. South Korea's ousted president Park Geun-Hye arrives at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul on August 7, 2017. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je

South Korean football league to investigate 'sex doll' row

May 20, 2020 - 6:36 PM

A top Korean football club comes under fire for using sex dolls to fill empty seats in the stadium

CONTROVERSIAL. FC Seoul mulls legal action against the mannequin provider. Photo from Devon Rowcliffe's Twitter account (@WhoAteTheSquid)

Schools reopen in South Korea as coronavirus fears ease

May 20, 2020 - 10:09 AM

While final-year students are required to come to school every day, younger pupils will shift between online and offline classes to ensure school buildings are not overcrowded

ELBOW BUMP. A staff member (R) greets students as they arrive at Kyungbock High School in Seoul on May 20, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Park grabs first pro win at 'virus-proofed' Korean golf event

May 17, 2020 - 6:16 PM

Park Hyun-kyung rules the first high-level women's golf event as action returns in South Korea for the first time in months

South Korean golfers Lee Jeong-eun (2nd R) and Cho A-yean (L) react with caddies in the 18th green after finishing the first round of the 42nd KLPGA Championship at Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, northeast of Seoul, on May 14, 2020. - Leading professional golfers returned to competitive action for the first time in months after the coronavirus shutdown when three of the world's top 10 women tee off in South Korea on May 14. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

K-pop stars' gang rape, spycam jail terms cut

May 12, 2020 - 5:25 PM

Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young's sentence has been cut to 5 years, while Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of boyband FT Island will serve 2.5 years

K-pop star Jung Joon-young (C) arrives for questioning at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul on March 14, 2019. - A burgeoning K-pop sex scandal claimed a second scalp as a singer who rose to fame after coming second in one of South Korea's top talent shows admitted secretly filming himself having sex and sharing the footage. Jung Joon-young, 30, announced his immediate retirement from showbusiness amid allegations he shot and shared sexual imagery without his partners' consent. (Photo by JUNG Yeon-Je / AFP)

South Korea deploys mobile data, police to tackle nightlife cluster

May 12, 2020 - 1:20 PM

The spike of new cases, driven by the cluster in venues in Seoul's Itaewon district forces authorities to delay this week's planned re-opening of schools

ITAEWQN TESTING. People wait in line to take tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a virus testing station in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 12, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Nightlife cluster gives South Korea largest case rise in a month

May 11, 2020 - 11:17 AM

85 cases are so far linked to a 29-year-old man who tested positive after spending time at 5 clubs and bars in the Itaewon area

CLUB. A woman wearing a face mask walks past a night club, now closed following a visit by a confirmed COVID-19 patient, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 10, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Seoul closes bars and clubs over fears of second virus wave

May 10, 2020 - 2:12 PM

(UPDATED) Gyeonggi province – which surrounds Seoul – also orders more than 5,700 entertainment facilities to suspend operations for two weeks

CLOSED. A couple wearing face masks walk past a night club, now closed following a visit by a confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus coronavirus patient, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 10, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea lashes South as Kim praises China's Xi

May 08, 2020 - 12:50 PM

Kim Jong-un sends Chinese leader Xi Jinping a diplomatic communication congratulating him for China's 'success' in controlling the novel coronavirus epidemic

KIM JONG-UN. A woman walks past a television news screen showing a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending a ceremony to mark the completion of Sunchon phosphatic fertiliser factory, at a railway station in Seoul on May 2, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

SM Entertainment opens global auditions for aspiring K-pop stars

May 07, 2020 - 11:25 AM

Do you think you have what it takes to be SM Entertainment's newest star?

Schools to reopen as virus fears ease in South Korea

May 05, 2020 - 12:06 AM

The decision about schools comes ahead of South Korea's expected loosening of social distancing rules on Wednesday, May 6

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM. In this file photo, a teacher gives an online class as his students attend a virtual classroom amid concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus at Seoul Girls' High School in Seoul on April 9, 2020. File photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Seoul says Kim Jong-un not believed to have received surgery – report

May 03, 2020 - 8:17 PM

An unnamed official says Seoul had enough grounds to draw the conclusion

This picture taken on May 1, 2020 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 2, 2020 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) visiting the completed Suchon phosphate fertilizer factory in South Pyongan Province, North Korea. (Photo by STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE --- /

North and South Korea exchange gunfire at border – Seoul

May 03, 2020 - 12:58 PM

The rare exchange of gunfire comes following the reappearance a day earlier of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

DMZ. This photo taken on February 11, 2018 shows North Korean flags flying above a pavillon at the dividing line between North and South Korea within the Demilitarized Zone from the Goseong Unification Observatory on South Korea's northeast coast. File by Ed Jones/AFP

Trump 'glad' Kim Jong-un 'is back, and well'

May 03, 2020 - 10:11 AM

US President Donald Trump had downplayed reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's poor health

US-NORTH KOREA RELATIONS. US President Donald Trump meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Why North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health matters

May 02, 2020 - 3:43 PM

Here is a look at why Kim's health has been the subject of so much conjecture

ON TV. People walk past a television news screen showing a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending a ceremony to mark the completion of Sunchon phosphatic fertilizer factory, at a railway station in Seoul on May 2, 2020.  Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea's Kim Jong-un makes first appearance in nearly 3 weeks – KCNA

May 02, 2020 - 9:06 AM

The North Korean leader makes a public appearance after weeks of rumors about his ill health or death

This picture taken on May 1, 2020 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 2, 2020 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) visiting the completed Suchon phosphate fertilizer factory in South Pyongan Province, North Korea. (Photo by STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE --- /

South Korea reports zero new domestic coronavirus cases

Apr 30, 2020 - 4:23 PM

(UPDATED) For a time South Korea had the world's second-largest outbreak before the spread was brought under control through widespread testing and a contact-tracing drive, along with widely observed social distancing

South Korean nurses wearing protective gear pose for a photograph as they start their shift to care for patients infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital in Daegu on April 29, 2020. South Korea once had the largest outbreak outside China, where the disease first emerged, but appears to have brought it under control with an extensive "trace, test and treat" programme. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

25 dead in South Korea warehouse fire

Apr 29, 2020 - 6:44 PM

The blaze at the unfinished four-storey building in Icheon also injures 7, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports

WAREHOUSE BLAZE. This handout photo taken and released on April 29, 2020 by Gyeonggi Province Fire Services shows firefighters working at the scene of a fire at a warehouse in Icheon. A fire at a warehouse in South Korea killed 25 people on April 29, it was reported, while "all necessary" resources were being mobilised to save those still trapped inside. Handout / Gyeonggi Province Fire Services / AFP

FALSE: North Korea ruling party 'confirms' Kim Jong Un's death on April 25

Apr 28, 2020 - 7:00 PM

As of writing, there are no reports from credible news organizations that support this claim

South Korea's ex-strongman on trial for defamation

Apr 27, 2020 - 4:13 PM

Chun Doo-hwan remains divisive in the South and is accused of defaming late priest Cho Chul-hyun, who repeatedly testified helicopters had opened fire on civilians in Gwangju

CHUN DOO-HWAN. Former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan (C) wearing a face mask arrives at a court for his trial in Gwangju on April 27, 2020. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

North Korea's Kim 'alive and well' – Seoul

Apr 27, 2020 - 10:36 AM

The adviser says that Kim has been staying in Wonsan – a resort town in the country's east – since April 13, adding: 'No suspicious movements have so far been detected'

File photo from AFP

Nicaragua, South Korea hold fights amid pandemic

Apr 26, 2020 - 10:04 PM

Two countries try to restore boxing normalcy by holding live fight cards under controlled setups

SAFETY. Nicaraguan boxers Robin Zamora and Ramiro Blanco wear face masks during the weigh-in. Photo from A la Vera del Ring Twitter (@alaveradelring)

Train likely belonging to North Korea's Kim seen at resort town – U.S. monitor

Apr 26, 2020 - 7:23 PM

United States think tank 38North cautions that the train's presence 'does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health'

ANOTHER TEST. This picture, taken on April 9, 2018, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. File photo from Korean Central News Agency/AFP

Trump says reports on Kim Jong-un's health 'incorrect'

Apr 24, 2020 - 3:05 PM

Trump criticizes a CNN report saying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was ailing

TRUMP. US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 23, 2020, in Washington, DC. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

South Korean economy shrinks 1.4% over coronavirus

Apr 23, 2020 - 10:00 AM

With the coronavirus pandemic, South Korea posts its biggest decline in gross domestic product since the 2008 global financial crisis

PATIENCE. A health worker wearing a protective suit waits at a drive-through testing center for the coronavirus in Seoul on March 7, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Monsta X’s Kihyun and Cosmic Girls’ Bona are not dating, according to their agency

Apr 21, 2020 - 4:29 PM

The agency's statement comes after the K-pop stars were rumored to have been dating for 5 years

NOT DATING. Starship Entertainment denies rumors that its talents Kihyun and Bona are dating. Screenshots from Instagram.com/official_monsta_x and Instagram.com/bn_95819

Seoul plays down report on North Korean leader's health

Apr 21, 2020 - 11:48 AM

(UPDATED) The North Korean leader has not made a public appearance since presiding over a meeting of the Workers' Party politburo on April 11

ALL SMILES. North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un reacts at a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump (not pictured) during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

South Korea ruling party wins parliamentary majority

Apr 16, 2020 - 12:54 PM

President Moon Jae-in's Democratic party secures an absolute majority in the National Assembly, its first for 12 years, on a turnout of 66.2% – the highest at a parliamentary election since 1992

A photo taken on April 15, 2020 shows a general view of South Korea's National Assembly building in the Yeouido district of Seoul. South Korean voters turned out in force to back President Moon Jae-in's handling of the coronavirus epidemic, putting on compulsory face masks and gloves to give his Democratic party a parliamentary majority according to exit polls.  Ed JONES / AFP

Low-key celebrations for North Korea's founder in face of virus

Apr 15, 2020 - 7:58 PM

Pyongyang has imposed tight restrictions against the pandemic that has swept the world since emerging in neighboring China

108TH BIRTHDAY. People wearing face masks leave after laying flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on the occasion of the 108th birthday of late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, known as the 'Day of the Sun', in Pyongyang on April 15, 2020. Photo by Kim Won-jin/AFP

South Koreans back Moon in pandemic poll

Apr 15, 2020 - 6:27 PM

Turnout is the highest for a generation, and an exit poll by national broadcaster KBS projects the ruling Democratic party and a sister organization would take between 155 and 178 places in the 300-seat National Assembly

ELECTIONS. A South Korean woman wears plastic gloves amid concerns over the COVID-19 before casting her ballot for the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Seoul on April 15, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

South Koreans head to polls despite global pandemic

Apr 15, 2020 - 11:36 AM

'Please go to the polling stations tomorrow and show that you are the owners of this country,' says election commission chairman Kwon Soon-il

VOTER. A South Korean woman casts her ballot for the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Seoul on April 15, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea fires multiple suspected cruise missiles

Apr 14, 2020 - 2:46 PM

(UPDATED) The 'multiple projectiles' fired from Munchon in the east of the country were believed to be 'short-range cruise missiles,' the Joint Chiefs of Staff say

MISSILES. This picture taken on March 21, 2020 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 22, 2020 shows a demonstration fire of tactical guided weapons at an undisclosed location in North Korea. File photo by KCNA VIA KNS/AFP

Defector hailed by Trump seeks South Korean parliament seat

Apr 13, 2020 - 2:04 PM

Ji Seong-ho, now 38, works as a rights activist running an organization that has helped around 500 North Koreans make their way clandestinely through China and into third countries from where they can travel to the South

JI SEONG-HO. This picture taken on March 24, 2020 shows North Korean defector and human rights activist Ji Seong-ho, who is running for a proportional representation seat for South Korea's main opposition United Future Party, posing at his office in Seoul. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea's Kim reshuffles top governing body

Apr 13, 2020 - 1:08 PM

Kim Jong-un establishes an iron grip on the levers of authority in his nuclear-armed country since inheriting power in his late 20s in 2011

KIM JONG-UN. This picture, taken on April 9, 2018, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. File photo from Korean Central News Agency/AFP

Wonho thanks fans for support, signs with new label

Apr 11, 2020 - 6:17 PM

'Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become a better person' writes the former Monsta X member in a letter posted on his fancafe

WONHO. The K-pop star performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September 2019. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia/AFP

Korean Air puts 70% of staff on leave

Apr 08, 2020 - 6:25 PM

Affected staff will go on leave for 6 months in response to 'deteriorating business circumstances,' says Korean Air

Two elderly South Koreans recover from COVID-19 after plasma therapy

Apr 08, 2020 - 2:16 PM

Plasma therapy can become 'an alternative treatment for patients in critical condition who do not respond to antiviral drugs,' says a doctor at Severance Hospital in Seoul, where both patients were treated

COVID-19 TEST. In this file photo taken on March 17, 2020, a man speaks to a nurse during a COVID-19 novel coronavirus test at a testing booth outside Yangji hospital in Seoul. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Martin Khor: The making of a global activist

Apr 08, 2020 - 2:15 PM

Martin the phenomenon was, in a very real sense, produced by globalization, and he emerged as the anti-thesis to it

MARTIN KHOR. 2013 file photo of Martin Khor. Photo by Fernanda LeMarie - Cancillería del Ecuador on Wikipedia