Kim Young-ho, a former South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy, in 2010 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Intellectuals urge Abe to retain spirit of previous war anniversary statements
SEOUL--A group of intellectuals from Japan, South Korea and Western countries have urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stick to the spirit of the statements of previous Japanese leaders when he makes his own presentation to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in August.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaks during a government meeting about the deadly MERS virus in Seoul on July 28. (AP Photo)
INSIGHT: Seoul announces 'de facto end' to MERS to contain fallout on economy
SEOUL--Citing no new cases in 23 days, South Korea moved quickly July 28 to contain the fallout on its economy from the MERS outbreak that has claimed 36 lives by declaring an effective end to the crisis.
Under the portraits of the late North Korean leaders, Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, North Korean Ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong speaks at a press conference held at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing on July 28. (AP Photo)
Pyongyang reiterates no interest in similar deal struck by Iran
BEIJING--The North Korean ambassador to China said on July 28 that his country has no interest in an Iran-style nuclear disarmament deal because North Korea is a "nuclear weapons state."
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaks during a meeting about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) at the government complex in Seoul on July 28. (AP Photo)
South Korean prime minister says MERS threat is over
SEOUL--South Korea said July 28 it is now virtually free of the deadly MERS virus that killed 36 people and sickened nearly 200 since an outbreak was declared in May.
People wearing masks as a precaution against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at a shopping district in Seoul on June 10 (Toru Higashioka, The Asahi Shimbun)
Drought, MERS scare slows S. Korean growth to lowest in more than 2 years
SEOUL--South Korea's quarterly growth slowed to the lowest in more than two years as a severe drought hit agriculture and an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome sapped consumption.
In this July 16 photo taken in Ljubljana, Slovenia, leader of Slovenian conceptual band Laibach Ivan Novak talks to The Associated Press during an interview, in front of the band's posters at an exhibition. (AP Photo)
Slovenian band to be 1st western pop group to play Pyongyang
LJUBLJANA--A Slovenian avant-garde rock band that plans to be the first western pop act to perform in North Korea said its intention is to provoke debate beyond the isolated country's borders.
Japanese, South Korean and U.S. representatives for the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program meet in Seoul in May. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
N. Korea says not interested in Iran-like nuclear talks with U.S.
SEOUL--North Korea is not interested in an Iran-like dialogue with the United States to give up its nuclear capabilities, the isolated country's foreign ministry said in a statement on July 21.
North Korea's Arirang Festival features the famous 'mass games' shown in this photo distributed by the Korean Central News Agency. (Korea News Service)
HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA: S. Korean women have it easy even compared with elite N. Koreans
Editor’s note: This is the 11th installment of an occasional series of interviews with North Korean defectors. It is designed to complement an earlier series on AJW that ran under the general title of “Horrors of North Korea.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
Bilateral summit likely this year, says S. Korean envoy
KUMAMOTO--South Korea’s ambassador to Japan said that a recent warming of ties between the two Asian neighbors will likely lead to a bilateral summit meeting within the year.
The bronze standing statue of Tathagata Buddha, left, and the seated statue of the Kanzeon Bodhisattva, both stolen from Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, in 2012 (Photos provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration of South Korea and the Nagasaki prefectural board of education)
S. Korea to return stolen Buddha statue to Japan
SEOUL--South Korea, in an apparent move to improve bilateral relations, has agreed to return a priceless Buddha statue that was smuggled out of Japan.
Hwang Bun-hui, a plaintiff in nationwide lawsuits against the government-owned operator of nuclear power plants in South Korea, stands in front of the Wolseong nuclear power plant in Gyeongju. (Akira Nakano)
More residents joining lawsuits seeking damages from South Korean nuclear plants
GYEONGJU, South Korea--For three decades after a nuclear power plant near her home became operational, Hwang Bun-hui believed that nuclear power was no different from other energy sources in terms of safety and health effects.
In this May 2015 photo, provided by the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Center, birds stand in the mud flats in Nampo, North Korea. A trip by a New Zealand research team near Nampo, southwest of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, underscores some tentative but significant progress by outside scientists to conduct small-scale research projects in North Korea. (AP Photo)
As habitats vanish, migratory birds flock to N. Korean shores
To the untrained eye, it's just a lot of birds on an otherwise deserted stretch of muddy, flat coastline. But for ornithologists, North Korea's west coast is a little piece of paradise each spring--and both the birds and a dedicated group of birdwatchers travel a long way to get there.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Korea News Service)
Seoul claims N. Korea’s Kim Jong Un has executed 70 officials in ‘reign of terror’
SEOUL--Young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed 70 officials since taking power in late 2011 in a "reign of terror" that far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father's early rule, South Korean officials said on July 9.
Nagasaki residents celebrate late on July 5 in front of the Glover House and Office after it was chosen along with 22 other sites for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. (Ryo Ikeda)
After compromise with S. Korea, Japanese sites win UNESCO designation
Japan’s “Sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution” was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site on July 5 after Tokyo and Seoul reached a compromise on describing Korean workers at the facilities during World War II.
Lee Hee-ho in 2011 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Widow of ex-South Korean leader to visit North Korea
SEOUL--The 92-year-old widow of late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who was a strong proponent of Korean reconciliation, will visit North Korea early next month, ex-aides to Kim said on July 6.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee discusses candidate sites in Bonn on July 4. (Shiho Watanabe)
UNESCO delays talks on Meiji sites after Japan, South Korea argue over 'forced labor'
BONN--Renewed bickering over history between Tokyo and Seoul forced a UNESCO committee to postpone discussions on whether to list Japan’s “Sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution” as a World Cultural Heritage site.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, (Asahi Shimbun file photo) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Korea News Service)
Pyongyang drags heels on release of report on Japanese abductees
The Foreign Ministry criticized North Korea on July 3 for delaying the release of the report of its reinvestigation into the status of Japanese nationals abducted decades ago, leading to calls for stronger economic sanctions against the isolated state.
Video footage of Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, the parents of North Korean abductee Megumi Yokota, was filmed by Nobumichi Tanabe. (Provided by Nobumichi Tanabe)
Tokyo man captures parents' decade-long crusade to rescue daughter from N. Korea
For the past 10 years, Nobumichi Tanabe has trained his video camera on Shigeru and Sakie Yokota to chronicle their quest to bring their daughter Megumi back to Japan.
Tour buses are idle at a parking lot after schools cancel excursions due to concerns over the spreading of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Seoul on June 25. (AP Photo)
South Korea cuts growth forecast as MERS saps spending
SEOUL--South Korea's finance ministry said on June 25 that economic growth will slow this year as the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) saps spending and tourism.
Plaintiffs and their supporters react to the Gwangju High Court's ruling on June 24 that orders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay compensation. (Akihiko Kaise)
S. Korean court upholds order for Mitsubishi Heavy to pay wartime laborers
GWANGJU, South Korea--The Gwangju High Court upheld a lower court ruling and ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay compensation to Koreans forced to work at its munitions plant in Nagoya during World War II.

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