Park Chan Kyong

Laughter — a less lethal export from North Korea

Nuclear-armed North Korea is notorious for selling its missiles overseas, but the hard-line communist state also has a more improbable export -- cute cartoon figures. South Korean experts say the North's animated movie industry brings the isolated country both precious hard currency and access to global IT expertise.

N Korea offers US talks to defuse missile crisis

North Korea on Wednesday offered the United States talks on its missile launch plans, indicating it might put off a flight test that has raised tension and drawn sharp international warnings. The number two diplomat at North Korea's United Nations mission said the secretive state was open to talks with Washington, where there were reports that the US missile defence shield had been activated.

North Korea rattles sabre to mark Kim’s birthday

North Korea on Thursday marked the 64th birthday of leader Kim Jong-Il with a bout of sabre-rattling and a warning that a nuclear stand-off will never be settled unless Washington makes concessions. Pyongyang's state media said celebrations included exhibitions, performances, seminars, parades and a march to Mount Paikdu.

Cloning pioneer says he’s victim of conspiracy

South Korea's discredited cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk on Thursday admitted his research into stem cells was faked but claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy -- the latest twist in his stunning fall from grace. As the 52-year-old Hwang delivered a rambling apology to the media, criminal investigators raided his Seoul home and laboratory.

Stem cell-research to prevail despite fraud: experts

Stem cell-therapy remains the best long-term hope for suffers of many incurable diseases despite the medical hoax perpetrated by South Korea's researcher Hwang Woo-Suk, analysts said on Tuesday. A panel of experts found earlier on Tuesday that Hwang (52) had faked his entire body of research on stem cells which won him international acclaim and millions of dollars in funding.

North Korea to develop light-water nuclear reactors

North Korea announced on Tuesday it intended to build an unspecified number of light-water reactors, saying the United States had reduced a 1994 deal on mothballing nuclear power plants to a ''dead document.'' Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said that the Stalinist regime would also resume the construction of two graphite moderated reactors frozen under the 1994 accord.

Police battle protesters at Apec summit

Anti-American protesters and riot police fought pitched battles in the streets of the southern South Korean port city of Busan on Friday as thousands of people rallied against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the city. Violence erupted as police barricaded roads and trained water cannons on activists.

Samsung in hot water at home

The Samsung group was in hot water on Wednesday after its patriarch was told to appear before South Korea's Parliament. The parliamentary move coincided with an attack by President Roh Moo-Hyun, who charged the group is seeking to sidestep a government drive for corporate governance reform.

N Korea willing to reopen nuclear talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said on Friday that the communist country was willing to return to nuclear disarmament talks in July if the United States ''recognises and respects'' his country. He added, however, that his country needs ''further consultations with the United States.''

Why South Korea’s actresses are killing themselves

The suicide of a South Korean movie star who hanged herself after succumbing to depression illustrates a tragic trend in South Korea where more people than ever before are killing themselves. Lee Eun-Joo (24) was found dead inside the walk-in closet of her bedroom in the southern suburbs of Seoul on Tuesday.

South Korea cracks down on sex trade

South Korea launched a crackdown on Thursday on the sex industry as a new law targeting brothel owners, prostitutes and their clients went into force. About 3 000 policemen raided red-light districts in Seoul and other major cities, hauling in 138 violators, including sex workers, brothel owners and customers, the National Police Agency said.

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