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S. Korea fires missiles in drills amid standoff with North

Associated Press

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017. In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017. In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017. In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a South Korean navy ship fires a missile during a drill in South Korea's East Sea, Thursday, July 6, 2017.


Plunging into the New Year with sleet in the forecast

Boston Herald

Since it's safer to be outside, why not go for a plunge? A few brave souls did just that at the M Street beach in South Boston Friday in what has become a New Year's tradition. But they may be thankful for the weather they encountered on Friday as a cool day in the mid 30s on Saturday will give way to about an inch of snow or sleet overnight into Saturday. Expect total snow accumulations of up to 2 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch, but mostly in central, eastern, northeastern and western Massachusetts, the weather service reports. Greater Boston will see rain.


North Korea demands South Korea send back restaurant workers

The Japan Times

SEOUL – North Korea has reiterated its demands for South Korea to send back 12 North Korean restaurant workers who came to the South in 2016, saying such a move would demonstrate Seoul's willingness to improve relations. The statement Saturday by North Korea's Red Cross came a week after Seoul said it would look more closely into the circumstances surrounding the women's arrival following a media report that suggested some of them might have been brought to the South against their will. Earlier in the week, North Korea canceled a high-level meeting with the South over U.S.-South Korean military exercises and threatened to call off a planned summit between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump. The cancellation cooled what had been an unusual flurry of diplomatic moves from Pyongyang following a provocative year of nuclear and missile tests. Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a historic summit on April 27 where they issued a vague vow for the "complete denuclearization" of their peninsula and pledged permanent peace.


Japan and South Korea face lost decade, locked in mutual distrust

The Japan Times

Seoul – Later this year will mark a decade since former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak set foot on the Sea of Japan islets of Takeshima, controlled by South Korea and claimed by Japan, in August 2012, damaging the bilateral relationship. Although a new government is set to be launched in South Korea in May following a presidential election, Tokyo and Seoul have been so locked in mutual distrust that some experts say there is no way to put their relationship back together. After landing on the islands in Shimane Prefecture, which are called Dokdo in South Korea, Lee said that then-Emperor Akihito should apologize to those who died in the movement of independence from Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula if he wants to visit South Korea. The remark escalated the emotional standoff between the two countries. The bilateral relations appeared to turn for the better when the two Asian neighbors agreed to resolve the so-called comfort women issue "finally and irreversibly" in December 2015, when Park Geun-hye was South Korea's president. "Comfort women" is a euphemism for those who suffered under Japan's military brothel system before and during World War II.


North Korea calls US practice bombing run a provocation

Associated Press

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea Saturday, July 8, 2017. Two U.S. bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula to join fighter jets from South Korea and Japan for a practice bombing run as part of a training mission in response to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs, officials said Friday. In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea Saturday, July 8, 2017. Two U.S. bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula to join fighter jets from South Korea and Japan for a practice bombing run as part of a training mission in response to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs, officials said Friday.