U.S. President Barack Obama at the Japanese guard of honor in the Imperial Palace on April 24 (Pool)
Obama: Not hopeful North Korea will change soon
U.S. President Barack Obama says he's not optimistic North Korea will stop behaving irresponsibly in the near future.
South Korean citizens in central Seoul protest North Korea's third underground nuclear test in February 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.S. urges North Korea to refrain from new nuclear test
WASHINGTON--The United States said on April 22 that it was watching the Korean peninsula closely after reports that North Korea may be planning another nuclear test and it urged Pyongyang not to take any step that would threaten regional peace.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Political Bureau at the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee on April 8. (Provided by Korea News Service)
Activity escalates around North Korea nuclear testing site
SEOUL--A nuclear test site in northeastern North Korea has become abuzz with activity ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Seoul this week, South Korean government sources said.
South Koreans examine sheets of posted information on unidentified bodies recovered from the ferry accident in Jindo, South Korea, on April 22. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Death count in S. Korean ferry sinking tops 100, with nearly 200 still missing
JINDO, South Korea—One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.
A relative of a passenger aboard the sunken ferry Sewol prays as she waits for her missing loved one at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo)
South Korean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'
JINDO, South Korea--South Korean President Park Geun-hye said April 21 that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous behavior," while criticism of her own government's handling of the disaster grew.
A weeping relative of a missing passenger aboard the sunken ferry Sewol shouts as she tries to march toward the presidential house to protest the government's rescue operation in Jindo, South Korea, on April 20. (AP Photo)
Divers pull bodies from sunken ferry; toll tops 50
MOKPO, South Korea--The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on April 20 as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is just the beginning of a massive and grim recovery effort.
South Korean navy personnel try to install buoys to mark the sunken passenger ship Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea, on April 18. (AP Photo)
Captain of sunken South Korean ferry, 2 crew arrested
MOKPO, South Korea--The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested on April on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need--three of whom were seen lifeless in the drowned vessel by a diver who was unable to get them out.
South Koreans pray for the safe return of children missing in the ferry accident at a port in Jindo, South Korea, on April 18. (The Asahi Shimbun)
S. Korea investigates capsized ferry crew, stowage as rescue hampered
MOKPO/JINDO, South Korea--A junior officer was steering a South Korean ferry when it capsized two days ago, investigators said on April 18, as rescuers battled strong tides and murky waters to search for hundreds of missing, many of them school children, feared trapped in the vessel.
Michael Kirby (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.N. inquiry chief wants N. Korea hauled before international court
UNITED NATIONS--The chief U.N. investigator into human rights abuses in North Korea appealed to the U.N. Security Council on April 17 to refer the situation in the reclusive Asian state to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
Junichi Ihara, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, is swarmed by reporters in Seoul on April 16 after his meeting with Lee Sang-deok, the director-general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau, to discuss the "comfort women" issue. (Akihiko Kaise)
'Comfort women' issue again open for discussion between Japan, South Korea
SEOUL--Japan and South Korea moved to ease the deep chill in their relations by holding talks here April 16 on the "comfort women" issue and agreeing to another meeting on the subject in Tokyo in May.
The North Korean national soccer team is greeted by supporters at Narita Airport in February 2005. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
N. Korean pingpong squad gets nod to compete in championships in Japan
Putting politics aside, the government will grant entry permits to members of the North Korean national table tennis team so it can compete in the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Korea News Service)
N. Korean embassy complains to Britain after salon mocks leader's hair
LONDON--North Korea failed to see the joke when a London hair salon used a picture of its leader Kim Jong Un to try to attract more customers and has written to Britain's Foreign Office asking it to stop what it calls a "provocation."
South Korean Coast Guard officers try to rescue missing passengers from a sunken ferry in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, on April 17. (AP Photo)
Fears rise for 287 still missing more than a day after ferry sinks off South Korea
MOKPO, South Korea--Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search on April 17 for 287 passengers, many thought to be high school students, still missing more than a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and sank in cold waters off the southern coast of South Korea.
South Korean rescue helicopters fly over a South Korean passenger ship, trying to rescue passengers from the ship in water off the southern coast in South Korea on  April 16. (AP Photo)
South Korea says 293 missing in ferry disaster
SEOUL--Nearly 300 people were still missing on April 16 several hours after a ferry carrying 459, most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off South Korea's southern coast, killing at least two and injuring seven, officials said.
North Korean laborers wait in line at the Chinese border in Dandong, Liaoning province, to return to their country on April 14. (Koichiro Ishida)
Chinese visa restrictions further hurt North Korean economy
SHENYANG, China--North Korea’s only ally has dealt a further blow to the economy of the impoverished and desperate country, where even joking around can now lead to detention, according to sources.
Song Il Ho, second from right, North Korea's ambassador for talks on normalizing ties with Japan, during a meeting with Japanese representatives at the North Korean embassy in Beijing on March 30 (Koichiro Ishida)
Pyongyang poised to reopen abductions issue if Tokyo eases sanctions
North Korea agreed to reopen its investigation into the abductions of Japanese nationals if Japan relaxes some unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang, during the first formal negotiations held in more than a year in Beijing in late March, it was learned recently.
Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Hundreds of foreigners race through Pyongyang as N. Korean capital hosts annual marathon
PYONGYANG--The streets of North Korea's showcase capital were filled with runners from all over the world on April 13 for the annual Pyongyang marathon, which was open to foreign amateurs this year for the first time.
Kim Jong Un delivers a New Year message on Jan. 1 in this photograph distributed by the Korean Central News Agency. (Korea News Service)
N. Korea names former Swiss ambassador as new foreign minister
SEOUL--North Korea’s national assembly selected Ri Su Yong, Pyongyang’s former ambassador to Switzerland, as the country's foreign minister at its April 9 session.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a Workers' Party of Korea central politburo meeting April 8. This photo was distributed by the Korean Central News Agency on April 9. (Korea News Service)
N. Korea maintains status quo by reappointing key leaders
SEOUL--North Korea reappointed several key officials and took measures to consolidate Kim Jong Un’s grip on power, including the promotion of an aide whose star has risen under the young leader.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
ANALYSIS: Seoul confounded by 3rd undetected drone, likely from N. Korea
SEOUL--A recent string of crashes confirmed in South Korea of drones that likely originated from North Korea is raising concerns among officials here, as Seoul apparently has no way of detecting the infiltration of small, unmanned aircraft into its airspace.

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