South Korea politics - updates

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Dozens of South Korean MPs charged over parliamentary standoff

Jan 02, 2020 - 8:07 PM

Seoul prosecutors indict Liberty Korea party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn and 23 of his MPs on charges including causing a commotion at the national assembly and illegal detention

INDICTED. This picture taken on April 26, 2019 and received on January 2, 2020 by Yonhap News Agency shows South Korea's opposition party members lying on the floor linking arms to block access to a committee room in an attempt to stop legislation being passed, at the National Assembly in Seoul. File photo by STR/Yonhap/AFP

South Korean ex-president Park's sentence extended

Aug 24, 2018 - 1:12 PM

The decision by the Seoul High Court means the former head of state, who was ousted after a sprawling corruption scandal triggered mass protests, faces 25 years in jail

25 YEARS. In this file photo taken on March 4, 2013 South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye leaves after addressing the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul. File photo by Lee Jae-won/AFP

South Korea ex-president Park jailed for 24 years over corruption

Apr 06, 2018 - 2:28 PM

The sentence follows a trial lasting more than 10 months which ended with Park Geun-hye being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power

GUILTY. In this file photo taken on March 4, 2013 South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye leaves after addressing the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul. File photo by Lee Jae-won/AFP

North Korean Olympic ice hockey players arrive in South

Jan 25, 2018 - 10:14 AM

The North is contributing 12 players to the unified Korea ice hockey squad

ARRIVAL. North Korea's women's ice hockey players who will form a unified Korean team at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics arrive at the inter-Korea transit office near the Demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas in Paju on January 25, 2018. Korea pool/AFP

South Korea swoons as megastar from the North visits

Jan 22, 2018 - 7:29 AM

North Korean singer Hyon Song-Wol sweeps through Seoul at the head of a North Korean delegation sent to inspect performance venues for the Pyeongchang Olympic Games

WELCOME TO THE SOUTH. Hyon Song-Wol (C), the leader of North Korea's popular Moranbong band, leaves after visiting the Gangneung Arts Center where one of the planned musical concerts is due to be held, in the eastern city of Gangneung on January 21, 2018. Korea pool/AFP

Special sauce and tricky prawn on Trump's South Korea menu

Nov 07, 2017 - 11:47 AM

A special sauce more than a century older than the United States will be on the menu for Donald Trump at his state banquet in Seoul – along with a diplomatically tricky prawn

BYE, JAPAN. US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania wave from Air Force One prior to departing from US Yokota Air Base in Tokyo on November 6, 2017. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan

Aug 29, 2017 - 6:20 AM

UPDATED No North Korean missile had overflown Japan for years and the launch comes after a strained period on the peninsula following Pyongyang s testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs last month

This picture taken on August 14, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 15, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) at an undisclosed location. KCNA via KNS/AFP

Samsung heir guilty of bribery, sentenced to 5 years jail

Aug 25, 2017 - 11:21 AM

3rd UPDATE Lee Jae Yong s penalty could leave the giant firm rudderless for years and hamper its ability to make key investment decisions

CORRUPTION TRIAL. In this file photo, Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives for questioning at the office of a special prosecutor investigating a corruption scandal in Seoul on February 22, 2017. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea's Moon: There will be no war on Korean peninsula

Aug 17, 2017 - 11:19 AM

UPDATED I will prevent war at all cost says President Moon Jae In So I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war

South Korea's President Moon Jae-In delivers a speech during celebrations marking the 72th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, in Seoul on August 15, 2017. Jeon Heon-Kyun/Pool/AFP

Park refuses order to testify in Samsung heir's trial

Jul 19, 2017 - 3:28 PM

For the second time in a fortnight impeached president Park Geun Hye rejects a court order to give evidence in the case of Lee Jae Yong the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics

In this file photo, South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-Hye (C) arrives at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul on May 25, 2017 for her trial over the massive corruption scandal that led to her downfall. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/AFP

South Koreans vote in historic election

May 09, 2017 - 6:53 AM

UPDATED South Koreans head to the polls to choose a new president to replace impeached Park Geun Hye

MAKING HIS CHOICE. A South Korean man casts his vote in the presidential election at a polling station in Seoul on May 9, 2017. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea candidates in final push as North assails conservatives

May 08, 2017 - 4:06 PM

The campaign has focused largely on jobs and the economy with North Korea less prominent despite high diplomatic tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile ambitions

TOP BETS. A file photo taken on April 28, 2017 shows (L-R) South Korean presidential candidates Moon Jae-In (Democratic Party of Korea), Sim Sang-Jung (Justice Party), Yoo Seung-Min (Bareun Party), Ahn Cheol-Soo (People's Party), and Hong Joon-Pyo (Liberty Korea Party) pose for a photo before a televised debate in Seoul. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

U.S. tries to clear waters after North Korea 'armada' confusion

Apr 20, 2017 - 7:24 AM

Critics pounce on the discrepancy as a dangerous miscommunication saying it fed into North Korea s narrative that America is all bluster and doesn t follow through on threats

NOT NEAR KOREA. In this US Navy photo, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is shown transiting the Sunda Strait in Indonesia. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano

Trump's USS Carl Vinson 'armada' still far from North Korea – official

Apr 19, 2017 - 7:51 AM

The naval strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson is still off the northwest coast of Australia

NOT NEAR KOREA. In this US Navy photo, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is shown transiting the Sunda Strait in Indonesia. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano

Trump seeks options for eliminating North Korea nuke threat

Apr 09, 2017 - 10:55 PM

3rd UPDATE US President Donald Trump wants to know the range of options for dealing with Pyongyang says his national security adviser

SUPERCARRIER. In this file photo, the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the South China Sea, March 2, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers

U.S. Navy strike group heads toward Korean Peninsula

Apr 09, 2017 - 9:52 AM

The Carl Vinson Strike Group led by the aircraft supercarrier USS Carl Vinson is sent to the area as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific

SUPERCARRIER. In this file photo, the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the South China Sea, March 2, 2017. US Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class ZA Landers

Park supporters march in Seoul against impeachment

Mar 18, 2017 - 3:24 PM

About 2 000 supporters of ex President Park Geun Hye are seen walking slowly waving banners and national flags including a huge one carried by some 100 people in protest against her impeachment

REVOKE. Supporters of South Korea's impeached-President Park Geun-Hye cry during a rally opposing the impeachment in Seoul on March 11, 2017. Photo by JUNG Yeon-Je / AFP

South Korea's impeached ex-president leaves Blue House

Mar 12, 2017 - 7:05 PM

UPDATED I would like to express an apology for failing to fulfill my term says Park Geun Hye as she returns to her private residence

A car (R) carrying South Korea's impeached ex-president Park Geun-Hye departures to return to her private residence at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on March 12, 2017. South Korea's impeached ex-president Park Geun-Hye left the presidential Blue House on March 12, two days after the Constitutional Court's verdict removing her from office over a massive corruption scandal. / AFP PHOTO / YONHAP / str / - South Korea OUT / NO ARCHIVES - RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE

U.S. rebuffs China over North Korea talks

Mar 09, 2017 - 7:12 AM

After a closed door meeting of the UN Security Council US Ambassador Nikki Haley says North Korea s actions calls for a different response

Nikki R. Haley (center), United States Permanent Representative to the UN, speaks to journalists following closed-door Security Council consultations on the recent missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), March 8, 2017. Also addressing reporters with her were Koro Bessho (left), Permanent Representative of Japan; and Cho Tae-yul, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea. United Nations, New York Manuel Elias/UN Photo

Impeached South Korea president tells court of 'regret'

Feb 27, 2017 - 6:30 PM

Park Geun Hye reiterates that her only fault was trusting Choi Soon Sil and seeking advice from her longtime friend who took care of her daily affairs for years

Pro-government activists hold a portraits of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye outside the Constitutional Court in Seoul on February 27, 2017 as the court holds its final hearing in the impeachment trial of Park Geun-Hye. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea special prosecutors to decide on charges

Feb 27, 2017 - 12:25 PM

UPDATED Prosecutors only have until Tuesday February 28 to decide whether they will indict the heir to the Samsung empire after losing a bid to extend their inquiry

In this file photo, Samsung Group's heir-apparent Lee Jae-Yong (C) arrives at court for a hearing to review the issuing of his arrest warrant at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul on January 18, 2017. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Prosecutors in standoff at South Korea president's office

Feb 03, 2017 - 1:56 PM

A presidential spokesman says the Blue House is profoundly opposed to the search but is willing to present documents and other materials prosecutors wanted to look over

BLUE HOUSE. A general view shows the presidential Blue House in Seoul on November 1, 2016. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Pentagon chief Mattis arrives in South Korea amid Trump uncertainty

Feb 02, 2017 - 4:11 PM

It is the first overseas tour by a senior official in the Trump administration as concerns rise about the direction of American policy in the region under the protectionist and fiery US leader

South Korean christians supporting US President Donald Trump hold placards during a rally to welcome the visit of the US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Seoul on February 2, 2017. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea, U.S. defense chiefs back anti-missile system

Jan 31, 2017 - 1:03 PM

South Korea s defense chief and his new US counterpart vow to push ahead with a plan to deploy a US anti missile system this year despite angry protests by China

This March 18, 2009 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency shows the launch of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile during a test on March 17. US Missile Defense Agency/Handout/AFP

Ban Ki-moon returns to South Korea after hinting at presidency run

Jan 12, 2017 - 6:36 PM

Speaking before a crowd of hundreds at Incheon International Airport Ban says he was prepared to meet with the public this week before making a selfless decision

BAN KI-MOON. Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon (C) waves as he arrives at the Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on January 12, 2017. Photo by Jung Yeon-Je / AFP

Samsung heir now criminal suspect in South Korea scandal – prosecutors

Jan 11, 2017 - 3:04 PM

UPDATED Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the son of the Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun Hee would be quizzed as a suspect in connection to bribery

In this file photo, Samsung Group's heir-apparent Lee Jae-Yong (R) answers a question as SK Group chairman Chey Tae-Won (L) listens to during a parliamentary probe into a scandal engulfing President Park Geun-Hye at the National Assembly in Seoul on December 6, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/AFP

Monk sets himself on fire at South Korea anti-Park rally

Jan 08, 2017 - 1:14 PM

A monk sets himself alight in central Seoul leaving a note urging authorities to arrest the scandal hit president for committing treason

Protesters carry portraits of South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye during a protest demanding the impeached President resign immediately in Seoul on January 7, 2017. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea president's lawyer says no evidence to back impeachment

Jan 05, 2017 - 2:24 PM

Park Geun Hye s lawyers urge the court to overturn the vote saying the impeachment motion is based on high possibility at best and insist she be reinstated as president immediately

Judges of South Korea's Constitutional Court sit during a hearing on whether to confirm the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye at the Court in Seoul on January 5, 2017. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/AFP

Lawmakers quiz South Korea's elusive 'Rasputin'

Dec 26, 2016 - 11:05 AM

UPDATED Choi Soon Sil initially refused to leave her cell but eventually agreed to meet 8 selected members of the committee behind closed doors

The empty seat (C) of Choi Soon-Sil, a long-time friend of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, is seen during a parliamentary probe into a scandal as lawmakers set up a special hearing to question Choi at the detention centre where Choi is being held in Uiwang, south of Seoul, on December 26, 2016. South Korean lawmakers sought on December 26 to question the woman at the heart of a corruption scandal that triggered the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye, as special prosecutors raided the home of a former top presidential aide. / AFP PHOTO / YONHAP / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT NO ARCHIVES RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE

Ferry tragedy probed as South Korea impeachment hearing opens

Dec 22, 2016 - 8:33 PM

President Park Geun Hye s response to the tragedy was one of the issues cited when parliament voted for her impeachment and she faces growing pressure to explain what she was doing on the day

TRIAL BEGINS. (Top L-R) South Korea's Constitutional Court judges Lee Jin-Sung, Lee Jung-Mi and Kang Il-Won attend a hearing into whether to confirm the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye, at the Constitutional Court in Seoul on December 22, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/AFP

South Korean court to mull impeachment, ruling party split

Dec 21, 2016 - 11:40 AM

UPDATED The court has up to 180 days to decide whether to uphold or reject parliament s impeachment of President Park Geun Hye

In this file photo, supporters of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye gather outside the ruling Saenuri Party during a rally against the impeachment of the president in Seoul on December 9, 2016. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Trial opens of 'Rasputin' at heart of South Korea crisis

Dec 19, 2016 - 2:06 PM

UPDATED It is the first public appearance since October for Choi Soon Sil who has been dubbed Korea s female Rasputin for the influence she wielded over the now impeached president Park Geun Hye

Choi Soon-Sil (C), who has been dubbed Korea's 'female Rasputin' for the influence she wielded over the now-impeached president Park Geun-Hye, arrives for her trial at a court in Seoul on December 19, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Impeachment kicks off early race for South Korea presidency

Dec 19, 2016 - 10:59 AM

On paper the next presidential election is still slated for December 2017 but Park s impeachment could see it held much earlier

OUT SOON? In this file photo, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye bows during an address to the nation, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on November 29, 2016. Jeon Heon-Kyun/Pool/AFP

The empty days of South Korea's impeached president

Dec 18, 2016 - 10:28 AM

South Korea s presidential Blue House has now become a place of solitary confinement for the impeached isolated Park Geun Hye

A general view shows the presidential Blue House in Seoul on November 1, 2016. Ed Jones/AFP

UN's departing Ban leaves door open for South Korea president run

Dec 18, 2016 - 9:03 AM

I will really consider seriously how best and what I should and I could do for my country

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a press conference as his term of office draws to a close at the end of the year, at the UN headquarters in New York, December 16, 2016. Eskinder Debebe/UN PHoto

South Korea prosecutors plan raid of presidential palace

Dec 16, 2016 - 1:13 PM

The team – appointed by lawmakers – has recently taken over investigations by government prosecutors who had sought to raid Park s office in October but were turned away at the gate

EMBATTLED LEADER. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye speaks during an emergency cabinet meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on December 9, 2016. YONHAP/AFP

'Shadowy' doctors visited South Korean president – hearing

Dec 14, 2016 - 6:55 PM

It emerges that Park Geun Hye had sought treatment from doctors who were not part of her official medical staff but had ties with Choi Soon Sil

CONTROVERSIAL FACE. Opposition People's Party lawmaker Lee Yong-joo shows a combination of three images showing South Korea's impeached President Park Geun-hye during a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul on December 14, 2016. The text on the poster reads 'Is Park's bruise on her face (circled in the photographs) due to cosmetic filler?' Ahn Young-Joon/Pool/AFP

South Korea vows 'strong and stable' economy after Park ouster

Dec 11, 2016 - 3:51 PM

South Korea s finance minister vows to keep Asia s fourth largest economy strong and stable after a decision by lawmakers to impeach President Park Geun Hye threatened to hurt growth

A protester reacts after the South Korean parliament's successful impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye as crowds gather outside the National Assembly in Seoul on December 9, 2016. Ed Jones/AFP

South Korea opposition to file impeachment motion

Dec 02, 2016 - 12:32 PM

The joint opposition commands the most seats in the legislature but would need the support of nearly 30 members of the Saenuri Party to secure the two thirds majority needed to impeach Park

Protesters hold placards calling for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye during an anti-government rally following presidential scandal in central Seoul on November 12, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

South Korean ruling party urges Park to quit in April

Dec 01, 2016 - 1:35 PM

The ruling Saenuri Party s 128 lawmakers unanimously agreed to demand Park resign in late April and called for a presidential election to be held in June 6 months earlier than scheduled

SCANDAL. Protesters carry an effigy of South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye during an anti-government rally demanding the resignation of the president in central Seoul on November 30, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Leila de Lima, Marcos burial, Brazilian football team | Evening wRap

Nov 29, 2016 - 9:34 PM

Watch Rappler s evening newscast with Chay Hofileña

South Korea president says willing to leave office early

Nov 29, 2016 - 2:18 PM

3rd UPDATE The statement is seen as a desperate bid for Park to avoid the humiliation of being impeached by the opposition controlled assembly over a scandal involving her long time confidante Choi Soon Sil

WILLING TO RESIGN. People watch a television news live showing South Korean President Park Geun-Hye making a speech, at a railway station in Seoul on November 29, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea's Park refuses questioning by prosecutors – lawyer

Nov 28, 2016 - 4:04 PM

UPDATED President Park Geun Hye earlier vowed to cooperate sincerely with the legal probe but has rejected a series of requests in recent weeks by prosecutors to make herself available for questioning

In this file photo, South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye waits for the arrival of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at the presidential Blue House on February 26, 2015. Ed Jones/Pool/AFP

South Korea president impeachment vote in December – lawmakers

Nov 24, 2016 - 4:14 PM

If the vote is successful it would be the first time in 12 years that South Korea s parliament has impeached a president

Protesters hold candles and banners calling for the resignation of South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye during an anti-government rally in central Seoul on November 19, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Viagra in the palace: South Korea president's office explains bizarre purchase

Nov 23, 2016 - 2:36 PM

President Park Geun Hye s office is forced to explain a mass purchase of Viagra

A general view shows the presidential Blue House in Seoul on November 1, 2016. Ed Jones/AFP

South Korea's Park seeks more time from prosecutors

Nov 17, 2016 - 9:54 PM

South Korean President Park Geun Hye will not be ready to appear before prosecutors until next week despite their demand to question her sooner over a snowballing political scandal

In this file photo, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye delivers an annual budget address at the National Assembly in Seoul on October 24, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea prosecutors quiz former vice sports minister

Nov 16, 2016 - 1:36 PM

South Korean prosecutors questioned a former vice sports minister as their probe into the corruption scandal engulfing President Park Geun Hye spreads to preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics

The emblem of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics is seen on an advertisement board outside the city hall in Seoul on January 26, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Two former aides to South Korea's Park quizzed over scandal

Nov 14, 2016 - 3:52 PM

South Korean prosecutors question two former key presidential aides over allegations they helped a shadowy confidant of President Park Geun Hye meddle in state affairs

Protesters hold placards calling for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye during an anti-government rally following presidential scandal in central Seoul on November 12, 2016. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korea prosecutors bid to question Park over scandal

Nov 13, 2016 - 6:30 PM

If Park agrees she will be the first South Korean president to be questioned by prosecutors while in office

South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye speaks during an address to the nation at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on November 4, 2016. Park on November 4 agreed to submit to questioning by prosecutors investigating a corruption scandal engulfing her administration, accepting that the damaging fallout was "all my fault". / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ed Jones

Seoul braces for massive anti-Park protest

Nov 11, 2016 - 4:03 PM

UPDATED We are feeling the weight of the serious public mood says presidential spokesman Jung Youn Kuk

PROTESTS. A group of artists clash with police during an anti-government demonstration calling for the resignation of South Korea's president Park Geun-Hye, in central Seoul on November 4, 2016. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP