14 February in Korean history

Centered taegeuk on a white rectangle inclusive of four black trigrams

1910 — Korean independence fighter An Jung-geun is sentenced to death for the assassination of Japanese Governor-General Hirobumi Ito in October of the preceding year.

1970 — Thirty-nine passengers from a Korean Air aircraft hijacked by North Korea some two months earlier return to South Korea via the truce village of Panmunjom. North Korea still holds 12 crew members, including the pilot.

2003 — President Kim Dae-jung makes a public statement admitting his administration helped arrange illegal loans to Hyundai for remittance to North Korea, believing expediting cooperation with the North is in the country’s interest.

2014 — South and North Korea hold high-level talks and agree to go ahead with reunions of separated families as scheduled, stop slandering each other, promote mutual understanding and trust, and hold more senior-level talks at a later date.



Source : The Korea Herald

Korea DPR may not visit China if no progress in denuclearization

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may not be able to visit China on his first foreign trip if there is no progress in diplomatic efforts to persuade the North to give up its nuclear ambitions, South Korea’s ambassador to China said Wednesday.

Amb. Kwon Young-se was also cautious when talking about the possibility of a visit by Kim to Russia in May, saying it is too early to conclude that Kim’s trip to Russia would take place.

Kim took the helm of the authoritarian state in late 2011 after his father, Kim Jong-il, died. China is North Korea’s ideological ally and economic lifeline, but their political ties remain strained, particularly after the North’s third nuclear test in early 2013.

Russia has said that Kim would be among those attending the May 9th ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

“I believe that a visit by Kim Jong-un to China is connected to the issue of denuclearization,” Kwon told Yonhap News Agency in an interview.

“From the perspective of China, there is a clear aspect that it would be burdensome to conduct a highest-level exchange with North Korea at a time when North Korea shows no progress in the nuclear issue,” Kwon said.

Asked about the possibility of Kim’s visit to Russia in May, Kwon replied, “No one can speak conclusively.”

Analysts say North Korea won’t give up its nuclear weapons program because it would prolong the Kim regime and help obtain political and economic benefits from the international community.

With China cold-shouldering the nuclear policy of North Korea, Pyongyang is seeking to deepen both diplomatic and economic ties with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been under intense pressure over the conflict in Ukraine, is also eager to bolster ties with North Korea in an apparent effort against America’s pivot to Asia.

Kwon said China is “firmly committed” to achieving the goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

“As for North Korea’s nuclear issue, South Korea and China have been in close communication,” Kwon said.




Source: Yonhap

Top headlines in major South Korean newspapers

Centered taegeuk on a white rectangle inclusive of four black trigrams

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) — The following are the top headlines in major South Korean newspapers on Feb. 14.

Korean-language dailies

— Moon proposes poll to decide on approval of PM nominee Lee (Kyunghyang Shinmun)

— Moon’s poll proposal spurs criticism over void of politics (Kookmin Daily)

— Moon proposes survey on PM nominee (Donga llbo)

— Opposition’s shilly-shallying with PM nomination (Seoul Shinmun)

— Parties clash over Moon’s poll proposal (Segye Times)

— Opposition leader wants survey to decide new PM (Chosun Ilbo)

— Retailers gearing up to woo Chinese tourists ahead of Lunar New Year holiday (JoongAng Ilbo)

— Public sentiment no longer with Lee: Cons 41 pct, Pros 29 pct, poll shows (Hankyoreh)

— Big player NPS likely to reinforce voting rights this year (Hankook Ilbo)

— Office workers pay twice the tax as lawmakers (Maeil Business Newspaper)

— U.S. Sands Investment Group to invest 5 tln won in Busan (Korea Economic Daily)

English-language dailies

— Moon calls for joint public poll on PM nominee (JoongAng Daily)

— Parties bicker over NPAD proposal of poll on PM nominee (Korea Herald)

— Moon proposes poll on PM nominee (Korea Times)



Source : The Korea Herald

Korea Republic jumps 15 spots to No. 54 in latest FIFA rankings

Buoyed by its runner-up finish at the AFC Asian Cup in January, South Korea jumped 15 spots to No. 54 in the latest FIFA rankings announced on Thursday.

South Korea soared in the FIFA standings after staying at No. 69 — its all-time low — over the past three months.

At the Asian Cup in Australia, South Korea won its first five matches before losing to the host in the final.

There were other changes among AFC member states in the latest rankings. Iran, despite getting eliminated in the quarters at the Asian Cup, rose 10 spots to No. 41, the highest in the AFC. Japan slipped a notch to No. 55 after losing to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Asian Cup quarters.

Australia made the biggest jump in the AFC, going from 100th to 63rd thanks to its first-ever Asian Cup title. The UAE went up 14 notches to 66th. (Yonhap)


Source : The Korea Herald

Choe Thae-bok to visit Russia this year

The chairman of North Korea’s parliament plans to visit Russia this year, a Russian news report said Friday, following the recent news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s plan to visit the neighbor in May.

Choe Thae-bok, chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, will visit Moscow sometime this year, the Korean-language Voice of Russia said, quoting a high-ranking Russian parliamentary official who attended a banquet celebrating the birthday of former leader Kim Jong-il a day earlier in North Korea.

Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of Russia’s upper house, also plans to visit North Korea as part of the neighbors’ efforts to step up parliamentary exchanges, according to the report.

The detailed schedules of the visits are under discussion, it added.

The report came as the two countries are accelerating efforts to tighten bilateral ties.

Russia has previously announced Kim Jong-un’s plan to attend a Russian ceremony in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II.

If the trip takes place, will be Kim’s first visit to a foreign country since he took power in 2011. (Yonhap)

Source : The Korea Herald