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.
Rescue workers stand around a collapsed ventilation grate at an outdoor theater in Seongnam, South Korea, on Oct. 17. (AP Photo)
Fans at S. Korea pop concert plunge into ventilation shaft, 14 dead
SEOUL--Fourteen people were killed at an open-air pop concert in South Korea on Oct. 17 when the cover of a ventilation shaft they were standing on gave way, officials and media said.
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)
Koreas' military talks end without agreement
SEOUL--The first military talks between North and South Korea in more than three years ended with no agreement on Oct. 15, with the rivals failing to narrow their differences on how to ease animosity following two shooting incidents last week, South Korean officials said.
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)
N. Korea leader Kim re-appears, with a walking stick
SEOUL--North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shown using a cane for support, re-appeared in state media on Oct. 14 after a lengthy public absence that had fueled speculation over his health and grip on power in the secretive, nuclear-capable country.
Tatsuya Kato, former chief of The Sankei Shimbun’s Seoul bureau (Akihiko Kaise)
Indicted Sankei journalist blasts South Korean leader for overreaction
SEOUL--A Japanese reporter who was indicted for defaming South Korean President Park Geun-hye accused her of displaying excessive intolerance and defended his column as serving the public good.
North Korean defectors in South Korea prepare to release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government's policies in Paju, near the border with North Korea, on Oct. 10. (AP photo)
Rival Koreas trade fire over propaganda balloons
SEOUL--North and South Korea traded machine-gun and rifle fire on Oct. 10 after South Korean activists released anti-Pyongyang propaganda balloons across the border, officials said, a sudden reminder of the bitter rivals' animosity despite some recent glimmers of trust-building.
Tatsuya Kato, former chief of The Sankei Shimbun’s Seoul bureau, enters a district prosecutors’ office in Seoul on Oct. 2 for a hearing. (Akihiko Kaise)
Tokyo formally protests indictment of journalist; Seoul defends action
Japan lodged a formal protest with South Korea over the indictment of a Japanese journalist on defamation charges, but Seoul maintained the move has nothing to do with diplomatic relations.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, in a photograph distributed by the Korean Central News Agency in March (Korea News Service)
Kim's absence at N. Korean anniversary raises health questions
SEOUL--For the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't appear at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Oct. 10, further increasing speculation that something is amiss with the authoritarian leader who hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in a photograph distributed by the Korean Central News Agency in July (Korea News Service)
U.N. draft urges ICC referral for N. Korea, but Pyongyang fights back
UNITED NATIONS--A draft resolution urges the U.N. General Assembly recommend the referral of North Korea to The Hague for crimes against humanity, prompting Pyongyang to take the unusual step of proposing its own text praising its human rights record.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan blasts indictment of Sankei Shimbun journalist in South Korea
Japanese government officials severely criticized South Korean prosecutors’ decision to indict a former correspondent with The Sankei Shimbun, saying the move violates freedom of the press and damages ties between Tokyo and Seoul.
The then Seoul bureau chief of the Sankei Shimbun, center, appears at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Aug. 18 for questioning regarding the daily’s online article that critics blasted as “defaming” President Park Geun-hye. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Former Sankei Shimbun bureau chief indicted on charge of defaming S. Korea president
SEOUL--Prosecutors here indicted the former Seoul bureau chief of the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun on Oct. 8 without arresting him on a charge of defaming South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
North Korean diplomats talk about human rights in their reclusive country at U.N. headquarters in New York on Oct. 7. (The Asahi Shimbun)
N. Korea presents own report on its human rights record at U.N.
UNITED NATIONS--North Korea on Oct. 7 offered U.N. delegations its own lengthy report on Pyongyang's human rights record and repeated its dismissal of a United Nations investigation report released earlier this year as "wild rumors" peddled by "hostile forces."
Pyongyang residents visit a bronze statue of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung in this 2002 photo. (Pool)
HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA: Bribes were a way of life in North Korea
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Asahi Shimbun Digital website.
Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol, arrives at Gwangju District Court in Gwangju, South Korea June 10. (AP Photo)
Captain apologizes for leaving doomed Korean ferry
SEOUL--The captain of a doomed South Korean ferry on Oct. 8 apologized for abandoning passengers but said he didn't know his actions would lead to the deaths of more than 300 people, news reports said.
Middle school students try out Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 4 at the company's showroom in Seoul Oct. 7.  (AP Photo)
Samsung expects lowest profit in over 3 years
SEOUL--The world's biggest smart phone maker is suffering a stunning financial decline in the face of intense competition from Apple Inc. and upstart Chinese brands.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a tile plant in this photo distributed by the Korean Central News Agency on Aug. 3. (Korea News Service)
N. Korea official: No problem with Kim Jong Un’s health
SEOUL--A senior official from Pyongyang denied rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in poor health, according to a South Korean minister.
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe and South Korean actress Moon So-ri co-host the 19th Busan International Film Festival on Oct. 2. (Ji Sung-jin)
Film fest sets diplomatic example with Japan-South Korea collaborations
Actors and directors from Japan and South Korea are hoping to take a leading role in easing strained relations between the two countries at Asia’s largest film fest.
Hwang Pyong So, front row center, vice chairman of North Korea's National Defense Commission, attends the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, on Oct. 4. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Inter-Korean dialogue to resume after top North envoys' surprise visit to South
INCHEON, South Korea--North and South Korea agreed on Oct. 4 to resume reconciliation talks after Pyongyang sent its most senior delegation ever to its estranged neighbor at just 24 hours' notice.

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