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.
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.

More AJW