#AceNewsServices – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – October 20 – The foreign and defence minsters from South Korea and the United States are scheduled to have a meeting later this week to discuss an array of security issues, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

South Korea and the U.S. plan to hold a “two plus two” meeting of their foreign and defense ministers Thursday afternoon (Washington Time) in the U.S. capital, according to the foreign ministry.

The planned meeting will bring together South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Defense Minister Han Min-koo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“The two sides are fine-tuning the agenda for the meeting,” a foreign ministry official said without elaborating.

The planned meeting, the third of its kind, comes on the heels of the agreement made between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama at a summit in April.

Such talks were held in 2010 and 2012 when the two countries discussed how to strengthen their alliance and cope with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The two allies will hold their annual defense ministers‘ talks, known as the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), before the two plus two meeting opens.

Seoul and Washington are expected to unveil a deal on delaying the planned transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul while reaffirming joint efforts to strengthen combined defense capabilities.

It is widely expected that the two sides are taking a “conditions-based approach” to the issue of delaying the OPCON transfer.



#korean, #north-korea, #seoul, #south-korea, #wartime-operational-control-opcon, #washington

` South Korean Ferry Disaster Death Toll Mounts with 240 Unaccounted for and Crew Members Detained '

#AceNewsServices – SEOUL/SOUTH KOREA – April 21 – The death toll in the South Korean ferry disaster has risen to 64, after divers entered the vessel and discovered more than a dozen bodies. Almost 240 people, mostly high school students, remain unaccounted for.

Rescue divers were finally able to get inside the ferry after numerous failed attempts, media quoted officials as saying. Strong currents and poor visibility made it difficult for the search and rescue operation to take place.

The ferry capsized on Wednesday while on its way from Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. It was carrying over 400 people. Rescuers managed to save 179 passengers.

Four more crew-members from a sunken ferry have been detained on allegations of failing to protect passengers, South Korean Senior Prosecutor Ahn Sang-don told reporters Monday. Among arrested are two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer.

They have been accused of abandoning the ship. As under the law South Koreans can only be detained for 48 hours without a court-issued formal arrest warrant. The prosecution is now considering whether to ask a court for a formal arrest warrant that would extend their detention.

The recent arrests come after the ferry’s captain along with and two other crew-members were formally arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need.


#incheon, #korean, #seoul, #south-korea

` South Korea Ferry Disaster Carrying 476 People Capsized and Sank off ` South Korea ‘ 290 People Missing ‘

#AceWorldNews – SEOUL – April 16 – (BBC) has reported that several hundred people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 476 people capsized and sank off South Korea.

The ferry, carrying mainly school students, was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju.

A major rescue effort is under way, using dozens of ships and helicopters.

Several hours after the disaster, at least 290 people remained missing, local media said.

South Korean officials had earlier said that 368 people had been plucked to safety, but later said there had been a counting error.

They have now revised down the number rescued to about 180, Yonhap news agency reported.

Two people are known to have died and at least 13 others have been injured, reports say.

Images showed the ferry listing at a severe angle and then later almost completely submerged, with only a small part of its hull visible.


#korean, #seoul, #south-korea

` North Korea Launches 16 Small Range Missiles near ` Gangwon ‘ in direction of Sea of Japan ‘

#AceWorldNews – TOKYO – March 23 – North Korea launched 16 small range missiles on Sunday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff reported on Sunday.

They say the missiles were fired from mobile launchers located near Wonsan in Gangwon province.

All the missiles were fired in the direction of the Sea of Japan.

On Saturday, North Korea launched 30 small range missiles simultaneously.

They flew about 60 kilometres, according to the South Korean military sources.

The authorities in Seoul assume that North Korea has fired missiles in retaliation to the annual U.S. – South Korean exercises (Foal Eagle) that are currently under way in South Korea.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) regards them as allied training ahead on intrusion into Korean peninsula.

Russian News Sources


#democratic-peoples-republic, #korean, #north-korea, #sea-of-japan, #south-korea

” Australian Missionary Worker arrested in `North Korea’ for being open about his Religious Work”

#AceWorldNews says an Australian man has been arrested while doing missionary work in North Korea, his wife told Reuters on Wednesday.

John Short, 75, was arrested in Pyongyang on Sunday and had been open about his religious work on his second trip to the state.

Short was in possession of religious materials that had been translated into Korean. North Korea has held American missionary Kenneth Bae for more than a year and convicted him of trying to overthrow the state.

#australian, #john-short, #kenneth-bae, #korean, #north-korea, #pyongyang, #reuters