Korea - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Korea

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Late K-pop star Goo Hara's ex-boyfriend jailed for sex video blackmail

Jul 02, 2020 - 6:24 PM

Choi Jong-bum has been sentenced to jail for a year

South Korea police apologizes over botched serial killer case

Jul 02, 2020 - 4:38 PM

At the time a record number of police officers for a single case were mobilized to try to find the killer, investigating some 21,000 individuals and comparing the fingerprints of around 20,000 more without success

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South Korea, U.S. mark 70th anniversary of Korean War

Jun 25, 2020 - 1:04 PM

The fighting ended with an armistice that was never replaced by a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided by the Demilitarized Zone and the two Koreas still technically at war

(FILES) This file handout photo from the National Archives taken on July 18, 1950 at an undisclosed location shows US Army soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment loaded on trucks for transport up to the firing line during the Korean War. - Millions of people were swept apart by the 1950-53 Korean War, which separated brothers and sisters, parents and children and husbands and wives. The Korean peninsula marks the 70th anniversary of the war on June 25, 2020. (Photo by Handout / National Archives / AFP) / -----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / NATIONAL ARCHIVES" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - NO ARCHIVES

Pirates kidnap 6 off Benin – authorities

Jun 25, 2020 - 11:33 AM

Seoul's foreign ministry says 5 of its nationals were seized along with a Ghanaian

South Korea trade minister runs for WTO top job

Jun 24, 2020 - 11:50 PM

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee is the 5th candidate officially in the race to replace World Trade Organization Director-General Robert Azevedo

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee delivers a speech attend ceremony marking the conclusion of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Israel and the Republic of Korea in Jerusalem on August 21, 2019. - South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and Israeli Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen declared the conclusion of their two countries’ joint negotiations on a free trade agreement. (Photo by Gil COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)

North Korea's Kim suspends military plans against South – KCNA

Jun 24, 2020 - 11:44 AM

The North also begin removing loudspeakers from border areas, which they had started setting up just two days ago to broadcast anti-South propaganda

South Korea reports 46 new virus cases as it tackles 'second wave'

Jun 23, 2020 - 12:46 PM

In the last month South Korea sees around 35 to 50 new coronavirus cases a day, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area where half of the population lives

A screen displays information amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in central Seoul on March 9, 2020. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Ex-Trump aide Bolton says North Korea's Kim laughing at U.S. president

Jun 22, 2020 - 11:41 AM

(UPDATED) Former US national security advisor John Bolton also says he does not consider Trump to be fit for office and hopes he is a one-term president

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un talk before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea.  Brendan Smialowski / AFP

North Korea says millions of leaflets readied against South

Jun 22, 2020 - 10:00 AM

More than '3,000 balloons of various types capable of scattering leaflets deep inside South Korea, have been prepared,' says the Korean Central News Agency

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)

North Korea preparing anti-South leaflet campaign – KCNA

Jun 20, 2020 - 3:42 PM

'Enraged' North Koreans are now 'pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution' of 'leaflets of punishment' into the South, according to a KCNA report

THE DMZ. A general view shows a South Korean guard post along the barbed-wire fence of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, on the South Korean island of Gyodong on June 18, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Seoul's unification minister resigns over North Korea tensions

Jun 19, 2020 - 2:52 PM

South Korean president President Moon Jae-in accepts 'Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul's offer to resign'

South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul reacts as he meets with reporters to announce his offering to resign over the worsening of inter-Korean relations at the government complex in Seoul on June 17, 2020. - North Korea threatened June 17 to bolster its military presence in and around the Demilitarized Zone, a day after blowing up its liaison office with the South, prompting sharp criticism from Seoul. (Photo by - / YONHAP / AFP) / - South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT NO ARCHIVES RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE

North Korea vows to step up border military activities

Jun 17, 2020 - 3:09 PM

The demolition of the liaison office in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, just across the border in Northern territory, comes after Pyongyang vehemently condemns Seoul over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent by defectors into the North

BORDER. A South Korean soldier stands at a checkpoint on the Tongil bridge, the road leading to North Korea's Kaesong joint industrial complex, near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas, in Paju on June 17, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Kim Yo Jong: North Korean leader's increasingly powerful sister

Jun 17, 2020 - 11:16 AM

The North has never had a woman leader but speculation swirls over Yo Jong as a potential successor in the event of the death of her brother

POWER. Kim Yo Jong (right), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sibling, talks with South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (not pictured) upon her arrival at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on February 9, 2018, to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Photo by Dong-A Ilbo / AFP

North Korea blows up inter-Korean liaison office near border with South

Jun 16, 2020 - 3:09 PM

(4th UPDATE) After an emergency meeting, Seoul's National Security Council says it would 'react strongly' if Pyongyang 'continues to take steps that aggravate the situation'

BLOWN UP. South and North Korean officials attend an opening ceremony of a joint liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea, on September 14, 2018. File photo by AFP

U.S. embassy in Seoul removes Black Lives Matter banner

Jun 16, 2020 - 1:42 PM

The Black Lives Matter banner is taken down on June 15, with CNN quoting an anonymous source saying the request to do so came from the office of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

BLACK LIVES MATTER. A 'Black Lives Matter' banner is displayed on the US embassy in Seoul on June 14, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

North Korea warns South to drop 'nonsensical' denuclearization talk

Jun 13, 2020 - 4:16 PM

South Korea is the target of a wave of angry statements recently from the North, which accused Seoul of allowing defectors to launch leaflets critical of leader Kim Jong-un into its territory

 NORTH KOREAN BORDER. A view of the North Korean side of the border to South Korea. Image from Shutterstock.

North Korea denounces U.S. two years after Singapore summit

Jun 12, 2020 - 4:37 PM

The latest broadside contains some of the harshest criticism Pyongyang has sent Washington's way in recent months, and casts doubt over the future of the two sides' long-stalled nuclear talks process

NEXT SUMMIT. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore in June 2018. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

North Korea warns U.S. to stay out of inter-Korean affairs

Jun 11, 2020 - 1:56 PM

A North Korean official says Washington should 'hold its tongue and mind its internal affairs first' if it wanted to avoid experiencing a 'hair-raiser' and ensure the 'easy holding' of November's presidential vote

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Some 'starving' in North Korea as virus measures deepen food crisis – U.N. expert

Jun 09, 2020 - 11:30 PM

Before the coronavirus crisis, more than 40% of people in North Korea are already considered food insecure, with many suffering malnutrition

FOOD INSECURITY. North Korea's border county of Kaepoong is seen from a South Korean observation post in Paju near the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas on May 17, 2019. File photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea to cut communication lines to South

Jun 09, 2020 - 11:12 AM

Calls by the South to the North on their hotlines now go unanswered

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

Head of Korea 'comfort women' shelter found dead amid probe

Jun 07, 2020 - 12:41 PM

The 60-year-old woman is believed to have taken her own life, police say

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