Koreas agree military talks to defuse border tension
admin • January 10, 2018 • 2942
After a day of negotiations, the two Koreas issued a joint statement which confirmed they had agreed to hold military talks on defusing military tension, aside from the initial purpose that North Korea would send a large delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.
“South and North Korea agreed to resolve problems through dialogue and consultation. For this, both decided to hold talks in various sectors along with a high-level meeting,” said South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon.
However, North Korea made a “strong complaint” after Seoul proposed talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
North Korea said it would not discuss its nuclear weapons in coming talks with Seoul because they aimed only at the US and not their brothers in South Korea.
“Regarding the nuclear issues, our strategic weapons including atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, and intercontinental ballistic missiles are only aimed at the united states, not our brethren,” said Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
Earlier on Tuesday, Seoul said it was prepared to lift some sanctions temporarily so North Korean officials could visit the South for the games.
Despite North’s refusal to discuss denuclearization, South Korean President Moon Jae-In maintains on Wednesday that denuclearising the Korean peninsula is an aim that cannot be abandoned.
“The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula the two Koreas agreed upon jointly is our basic stance that will never be given up,” said the South Korean president. — Reuters
South Korea’s largest airline Korean Air has enacted social distancing measures to protect travelers to allow for a return to the skies during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Starting from Monday (May 18), the airline has made it necessary for all passengers and staff on board to wear face masks, but other social distancing measures such as leaving empty seats between passengers began on March 9.
On Tuesday (May 19) hundreds of domestic travelers were seen in Seoul’s Gimpo Airport wearing face masks and scanning their own boarding passes during boarding.
South Korea’s aviation regulator is also requiring travelers’ temperatures be checked in airports. Airport authorities are also asking travelers to stand at least 1 meter (3 ft) apart and regularly apply hand sanitizer. (Reuters)
(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park, Heejung Jung)
South Korean officials scrambled on Monday (May 11) to contain a new coronavirus outbreak that is threatening to spread throughout the densely populated capital city of Seoul, leading the country to reconsider plans to reopen schools.
Officials reported 35 new infections across the country as of midnight on Sunday (May 10), the second consecutive day of new cases of that magnitude and the highest numbers in more than a month, reinforcing fears the country could be entering a second wave outbreak.
Most of the new cases were linked to an outbreak at several Seoul nightclubs and bars. Authorities had tested 4,000 people who had patronised the night spots, but were still trying to track down around 3,000 more.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon pleaded with clubgoers to be tested, warning that people caught evading testing could be fined.
“If Seoul was infiltrated, the Republic of Korea will be infiltrated,” he said, noting the city currently has fewer than 700 of the nation’s 10,909 cases, which include 256 deaths.
The spike in cases comes just as the South Korean government was easing some social distancing restrictions and moving to fully reopen schools and businesses, in a transition from intensive social distancing to “distancing in daily life.” (Reuters)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday (May 10) warned of a second wave of the epidemic later this year, saying the recent cluster underscored the risks that the virus which causes COVID-19 can spread widely again at any time.
“It’s not over until it’s over. While keeping enhanced alertness till the end, we must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention,” he said in a televised speech marking the third anniversary of his inauguration.
South Korea reported 34 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest daily number in a month, after a small outbreak emerged around a slew of nightclubs that a confirmed patient had visited.
Of the new cases, 26 were domestically transmitted infections and eight were imported cases, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
As part of a long-term battle on COVID-19, the KCDC will be given greater power and will be renamed the Disease Control and Prevention Administration, Moon said. Local governments will set up their own epidemic response systems with more experts.
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