Junichi Ihara, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, speaks to reporters in Pyongyang on Oct. 29 after a meeting on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea. (Pool)
Japan, North Korea end talks on reinvestigation of abduction issue
PYONGYANG--A Japanese delegation wrapped up two-day talks with North Korea on its reinvestigation into Japanese abducted to the country in the 1970s and 1980s but declined to provide details of the meetings.
South Korean defense minister Han Min-koo (AP Photo)
S. Korean court-martial jails soldiers in hazing death case
YONGIN, South Korea--A South Korean court-martial convicted four soldiers on Oct. 29 of homicide for the beating death of a fellow conscript and sentenced them to long prison terms in a case that sparked an outcry about how enlisted are treated.
Junichi Ihara, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, right, heads to a meeting room on Oct. 28 along with So Tae Ha, chairman of North Korea’s special reinvestigation committee looking into the abduction issue. (Pool)
In abduction issue talks, N. Korea vows to report on Japanese wartime remains
PYONGYANG--A Japanese delegation demanding answers concerning Japanese citizens abducted to North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s received Pyongyang’s promise for information--about the remains of Japanese soldiers killed during World War II.
In this Aug. 26, 2014 file photo, a North Korean flag is hoisted during Media Day of the 17th Asian Games Athletes' Village in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo)
U.N. investigator cautious on North Korea overture
NEW YORK--A U.N. human rights investigator said Oct. 28 that he was surprised and gratified that North Korean officials raised the possibility of allowing him to visit their country, but the prospect of such a trip remains deeply uncertain because of demands the North Koreans made in exchange.
A photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on July 10 shows an earlier test launch of a North Korean tactical rocket. (Korea News Service)
N. Korea thought to be developing sea-based missiles
WASHINGTON--North Korea has built a new testing facility that is probably intended to research how to launch ballistic missiles from submarines or ships, according to a U.S. research institute.
A man watches a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un using a cane during his first public appearance, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 14. (AP Photo)
Kim Jong Un out of public spotlight due to surgery, Seoul says
SEOUL--South Korea's spy agency said Oct. 28 it has solved the mystery of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's six-week public absence, which set off a frenzy of wild speculation around the world.
Marzuki Darusman, the U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
N. Korea, U.N. human rights investigator meet on possible visit
UNITED NATIONS--North Korean officials said Oct. 27 that they met for the first time with a United Nations special investigator on human rights and "envisage" him visiting their country. A U.N. official confirmed the meeting.
Rapper Kang Chun-hyuk, a North Korean defector, in Seoul (Atsushi Hiroshima)
Defector turns to rap music to tell reality of his former life in N. Korea
SEOUL--When Kang Chun-hyuk first arrived in South Korea, the 15-year-old left behind a life under the terror of a totalitarian regime, where friends and neighbors would seemingly vanish in the night.
Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the sunken ferry Sewol, left, arrives at Gwangju District Court in Gwangju, South Korea, on Oct. 27. (AP Photo)
S. Korea prosecutors seek death penalty for captain of doomed ferry
GWANGJU, South Korea--South Korean prosecutors on Oct. 27 sought the death penalty for the captain of a ferry that capsized in April, leaving 304 people, most of them schoolchildren, dead or missing in a trial of 15 crew who escaped the vessel before it sank.
Female members of the Japan-South Korea and South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Unions pose for photographs after the general meeting of the unions in Seoul on Oct. 25. (Toru Higashioka)
Lawmakers from Japan, S. Korea call for efforts to resolve ‘comfort women’ issue
SEOUL--Nonpartisan lawmakers from Japan and South Korea agreed Oct. 25 to work together to lay the groundwork for the first bilateral summit between their leaders to celebrate the 50th anniversary of normalization of the two countries’ diplomatic ties next year.
Lee Yea-da (Izumi Sakurai)
S. Korean conscientious objector finds new life in France
Lee Yea-da couldn't stomach the thought of mandatory military service. So he fled South Korea and sought asylum in France, an action that is almost unheard of in his country.
Former Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, left, looks on as South Korean President Park Geun-hye greets members of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union in the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 24. (Provided by The Dong-a Ilbo)
S. Korea's Park still wary about summit talks with Abe
SEOUL--South Korean President Park Geun-hye is sticking to her guns that Japan must resolve the "comfort women" issue before she can meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for summit talks.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
No U.S. troop cuts without credible N.Korea nuclear deal, says Kerry
WASHINGTON--It is too premature to talk about reducing American forces in the Korean Peninsula without "authentic and credible" negotiations with Pyongyang about ending its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Oct. 24.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets Korean National Defense Minister Han Min Koo as he arrives for an honor cordon on Oct. 23 at the Pentagon. (AP Photo)
US, South Korea agree to delay wartime control transfer
WASHINGTON--The United States on Oct. 23 agreed to maintain wartime control of South Korean troops in the event of an attack by North Korea for the foreseeable future, delaying the transfer of authority to Seoul that had been scheduled for 2015.
Jeffrey Fowle, center, smiles as he stands with his family and with attorney, Timothy Tepe, far right, at his home in West Carrollton, Ohio, on Oct. 22. (AP Photo)
ANALYSIS: North Korea's release of 1 American may not help 2 detainees with more serious cases
PYONGYANG--Why did North Korea free Jeffrey Fowle, and only him, when two other Americans remain in prison there? Probably because Pyongyang considered him the most minor of the three offenders, and may believe that releasing him could improve abysmal U.S. relations and even temper growing international criticism of its human-rights record.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Oct. 22 explains plans to send a government delegation to North Korea from Oct. 27 to 30. (Shogo Koshida)
Japan team heading to N. Korea to pressure it on abductees, Abe says
Japan is sending officials to reclusive North Korea to keep up pressure for an investigation into the fate of its citizens kidnapped decades ago to train spies, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Oct. 22.
In this Sept. 1, 2014, file photo, Jeffrey Fowle, an American detained in North Korea speaks to the Associated Press in Pyongyang. (AP Photo)
North Korea frees US man; 2 more still detained
WASHINGTON--North Korea's reclusive government abruptly freed an American man Oct. 21, nearly six months after he was arrested on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub, but Pyongyang refused to hand over two other U.S. citizens who are still being held.
In this photo released by South Korean Defense Ministry, North Korean delegation chief Kim Yong Chol, left, shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart, Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Ryu Je-seung before their meeting at the border villages of Panmunjom, South Korea, on Oct. 15. (AP Photo)
North and South Korea exchange gunfire at border in latest clash
SEOUL--North and South Korea exchanged gunfire on Oct. 19 when the North's soldiers approached the military border and did not retreat after the South fired warning shots, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.
South Korean vice defense minister Baek Seung-joo is interviewed by The Asahi Shimbun at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul on Oct. 16. (Toru Higashioka)
S. Korea hopes Pyongyang will participate in Seoul security talks
SEOUL--A top South Korean defense official said his nation is hoping to have North Korea participate in regional security talks that Seoul hosts annually.
Members of South Korea Crime Scene Investigation team investigate a collapsed ventilation structure in Seongnam, South Korea Oct. 18. (AP Photo)
S. Korea concert planner found dead after 16 die
SEOUL--A South Korean man involved in planning an outdoor pop concert where 16 people were killed after falling through a ventilation grate was found dead Oct. 18 in an apparent suicide, officials said, as doctors treated eight others facing life-threatening injuries from the disaster.

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