Latest News


Seoul mayor's funeral held despite objections

Jul 13, 2020 - 1:47 PM

Despite the controversy over Park Won-soon's death, the Seoul City government organizes a 5-day funeral for him and sets up a memorial altar outside City Hall

FUNERAL. A Buddhist monk pays his respects at a public memorial for late Seoul mayor Park Won-soon at Seoul City Hall in Seoul on July 13, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Kim Jong-un's sister says 'no need' for another U.S.-North Korea summit

Jul 10, 2020 - 4:51 PM

'There is no need for us to sit across with the US right now,' say the Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean leader. She says 'it is too obvious that it will only be used as boring boasting coming from someone's pride.'

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 2, 2019 shows Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, attending a wreath laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum during a visit to Hanoi. North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border on June 16, 2020, after Kim Yo Jong -- the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- said at the weekend the "useless north-south joint liaison office" would soon be seen "completely collapsed". JORGE SILVA / POOL / AFP

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

North Korea fires two 'ballistic missiles' into sea – Seoul

Mar 21, 2020 - 9:23 AM

The projectiles were fired from North Pyongan province into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff say

South Korea uses app to monitor quarantined citizens – report

Mar 11, 2020 - 3:24 PM

The app alerts officials if a citizen ventures out of their area of quarantine

DAEGU. A hospital worker wearing protective equipment amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, stands next to an ambulance on a street in Daegu – part of the largest coronavirus cluster in South Korea – on March 10, 2020. Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

North Korea fires 'short-range ballistic missiles'

Mar 02, 2020 - 4:43 PM

The launch is the nuclear-armed North's first for more than 3 months and comes as nuclear negotiations with the United States remain at a standstill

South Korean sect leader apologizes over coronavirus spread

Mar 02, 2020 - 3:58 PM

(UPDATED) Shincheonji head Lee Man-hee's plea for forgiveness comes after Seoul city authorities file a murder complaint against him for failing to cooperate in containing the epidemic

APOLOGIES. Lee Man-hee, leader of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, bows during a press conference at a facility of the church in Gapyeong on March 2, 2020. Photo by AFP

South Korea reports 594 more coronavirus cases, total now at 2,931

Feb 29, 2020 - 10:53 AM

More than 90% of the new cases are in Daegu, the center of the country's outbreak, and its neighboring North Gyeongsang province, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say

DISINFECTING. Workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as part of preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a subway station in Seoul on February 28, 2020. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Shincheonji: The secretive sect in South Korean virus outbreak

Feb 27, 2020 - 1:21 PM

At their services Shincheonji members sit close together on the floor without chairs and desks, praying extensively in what critics say creates an ideal environment to spread viral infections

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu on February 24, 2020. South Korea reported 161 more coronavirus cases on February 24, taking the nationwide total to 763 and making it the world's largest total outside China. The country has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases -- adding more than 700 cases in less than a week -- since a cluster of infections emerged from a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

American soldier in South Korea tests positive for coronavirus

Feb 26, 2020 - 1:05 PM

The soldier, a 23-year-old man, is the first infection among the 28,500 troops Washington stations in the South to defend it against the nuclear-armed North

INFECTED. File photo of a US Marine with South Korean soldiers at the Joint Security Area in Kaesong, South Korea in the DMZ of the Korean border. Photo by

South Korea on frontline as coronavirus spreads

Feb 24, 2020 - 12:50 PM

A rising number of new cases and deaths in other parts of the world deepen fears about a potential pandemic, with South Korea, Italy, and Iran emerging over the past week on the frontlines

MASKS ON. People wearing protective face masks walk on an overpass in Shanghai on February 24, 2020. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Breaking news and barriers: South Korea's first main female anchor

Feb 19, 2020 - 3:37 PM

Lee So-jeong, news anchor of South Korea's national public broadcaster 'News 9' bulletin, breaks a decades-old boys' club in a society that is technologically and economically advanced, but still culturally male-dominated

This picture taken on February 6, 2020 shows South Korean news anchor Lee So-jeong attending a rehearsal of a primetime newscast at KBS, South Korea's national public broadcaster, in Seoul. Five times a week, Lee So-jeong is beamed into living rooms across the country leading its "News 9" bulletin, after she shattered a decades-old glass ceiling in a society that is technologically and economically advanced, but still culturally male-dominated. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

Coronavirus cases top 500 on cruise ship off Japan

Feb 18, 2020 - 2:49 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Around 500 passengers will leave the vessel on Wednesday, February 19, after testing negative, a health ministry official says

TESTED. Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, is docked at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020. Photo Behrouz Mehri/AFP

In sickness and in health: Mass wedding in South Korea defies virus fears

Feb 07, 2020 - 2:43 PM

The Unification Church founded by Sun Myung-Moon distributed face coverings to the 30,000 crowd, but only some donned them

MASS WEDDING. Couples wearing protective face masks attend a mass wedding ceremony organized by the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea on February 7, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Traveler from Thailand confirmed as South Korea's new virus case

Feb 04, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The latest confirmed case brings South Korea's total number of patients to 16

PREPPED. Hospital officials wearing protective gear guide visitors to help prevent the spread of the SARS-like virus, at the entrance of a hospital in Seoul on February 4, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

South Korean transgender soldier pleads to stay in army

Jan 22, 2020 - 5:14 PM

South Korea remains deeply conservative about matters of sexual identity and is less tolerant of LGBT rights than some other parts of Asia

BYUN HEE-SOO. South Korean Army staff sergeant Byun Hee-soo, who voluntarily enlisted before having gender-reassignment surgery in November, reacts as she expresses her desire to remain in the army during a press conference at the Military Human Rights Center for Korea in Seoul on January 22, 2020. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Founder of South Korean retail giant Lotte dies at 97

Jan 19, 2020 - 5:56 PM

Shin Kyuk-ho is the founder of one of South Korea's biggest family-run conglomerates

LOTTE FOUNDER. This file photo on July 28, 2015, shows Lotte group founder Shin Kyuk-ho in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Time running out on U.S.-South Korea troop talks – envoy

Jan 16, 2020 - 6:46 PM

The US and South Korea are in a security alliance and Washington stations 28,500 troops in South Korea to defend it from the nuclear-armed North

HARRY HARRIS. US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris poses for a photo after a group interview at the ambassador's residence in Seoul on January 16, 2020. Photo by Sebastien Berger/AFP

New trial opens for disgraced South Korean ex-leader Park

Jan 15, 2020 - 5:17 PM

Park Geun-hye, the country's first female president, boycotts the session. The Seoul High Court thus adjourns and schedules another session for January 31, when it will move straight to closing arguments.

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

Guilty verdict overturned in South Korea #MeToo case

Jan 09, 2020 - 3:39 PM

The Supreme Court quashes the decision and orders a retrial, saying the initial trial ruling 'misunderstood legal principles on the crime of abuse of official authority'

AHN TAE-GEUN. Former senior South Korean prosecutor Ahn Tae-geun arrives at the Seoul Central District Court to attend his trial in Seoul on January 23, 2019. File photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

North Korea's Kim discusses bolstering military as deadline approaches

Dec 22, 2019 - 11:43 AM

North Korea warns US it would 'pay dearly' if it criticizes the country's human rights record

LEADER. 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

Seoul appoints 'Mr Smile' as prime minister

Dec 17, 2019 - 6:20 PM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in appoints former parliamentary speaker Chung Sye-kyun, known as 'Mr Smile,' as prime minister

CHUNG SYE-KYUN. Chung Sye-kyun announces the result of the impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a plenary session at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. File photo Photo by Kim Hong-Ji/AFP

U.S., North Korea on collision course as New Year deadline looms

Dec 10, 2019 - 8:16 AM

The United States calls a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea's series of rocket launches, the latest return to antagonism as diplomacy languishes

DEADLINE. File photo of people watching a television news showing a file footage of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un which washeld at the truce village of Panmunjom, at a railway station in Seoul on July 25, 2019. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Trump warns Kim he has 'everything' to lose through hostility

Dec 09, 2019 - 7:45 AM

'Kim Jong-un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way,' US President Donald Trump tweets in response to an unspecified test at the Sohae space launch center

DONALD TRUMP. In this file photo taken on October 11, 2019 US President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC. File photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP