In one of the world's most wired societies, South Koreans seldom "Google" a topic. Instead they "Naver" it, thanks to a real-time question-and-answer system involving tens of thousands of daily responses from the general public. Next Human Network, the company that runs Naver, attributes its success to a grassroots product tailored to Korean society.
South Koreans mourned the loss of a 600-year-old building designated as the nation's top cultural landmark, which collapsed in ruins early on Monday after catching fire. Police said they are investigating whether arson sparked the blaze at the Namdaemun gate in the heart of Seoul.
Six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear-weapons programme broke up on Thursday following four days of deadlock, throwing efforts to implement a disarmament accord into disarray. North Korea's chief envoy Kim Kye-Gwan abruptly abandoned the talks and flew home on Thursday afternoon.
The top United States envoy to South Korea warned on Wednesday that Washington and its allies would "respond appropriately" if North Korea test-fired a missile capable of reaching the US. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said Washington was monitoring preparations for a long-range missile test that have reportedly been underway for more than a month.
North Korea promised on Monday to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for pledges of aid and security, the first major breakthrough in more than two years of deadlock over the high-stakes crisis. The unexpected agreement also says the United States will respect the North's sovereignty and will not attack.
Delegates were engaged in last-ditch wrangling on Sunday over a proposed joint document aimed at breaking the deadlock in North Korean nuclear talks, but there was no sign of any compromise, and discussions will go into a seventh day. Failure to reach an agreement could force Washington to take the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
North Korean, Russian, United States and South Korean delegates discussing ways to scrap North Korea's nuclear-weapons programme returned to the main talks venue late on Wednesday, fuelling speculation they would meet overnight to try to agree on basic principles for ending the three-year stand-off.
Protesters burned Japanese flags in Seoul on Wednesday as South Korea's foreign affairs minister denounced Japan for stepping up its claim to disputed islets under Seoul's control. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ban Ki-Moon condemned the move as ''deplorable'', while his ministry said the Tokyo government must take full blame for all consequences.
Sudan's foreign minister said on Monday he was optimistic about striking a peace deal within three months to end atrocities in Darfur and again rejected United States charges of genocide in the region. Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said his government and rebel groups would ''very soon'' resume the African Union-brokered peace talks.