The United States and South Korea struck a one-year deal on the shared costs of their military alliance on Sunday, removing a potential vulnerability in an upcoming US-North Korean presidential summit later this month. Under the new agreement, South Korea will contribute about $890m a year for the US military presence, which represents an 8.2% increase from the previous five-year deal which expired at the end of 2018.
North Korean senior official Kim Yong Chol arrives in Washington on Thursday or Friday to hold high-level talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. During his visit, Kim is also expected to meet President Donald Trump. As South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reports, the meetings are aimed at paving the way for a second summit between the leaders of both countries, following a prolonged stalemate in nuclear talks.
South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group shook up its executive ranks and appointed its first foreign head of research and development, raising expectations of a smooth transition of power at the family-run business empire. The executive position is given to Group President Albert Biermann, a German former BMW executive, who will replace longtime executives Yang Woong-chul and Kwon Moon-sik.
Starting July 2019, global technology giants, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, will be required to pay value-added tax (VAT) on a wider range of services they provide in South Korea, as a new law stipulating the change was approved last week.
South Korea has officially declared that it is a criminal offence to offer boosting services in video games. According to the new law that will go into effect in around six months from now, boosting is described as an “act that interferes with a game’s normal operations by providing the service to acquire points or achievements in a way that is not approved by the game business operator”. In layman’s terms, the practice involves playing on a low-skilled player's account to artificially boost their ranking - often for a fee.
The United States and South Korea have scaled down their next major joint military exercise, scheduled for the spring of 2019, so the war games are not a hindrance to diplomacy over ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis announced on Wednesday.
North and South Korea agreed on Monday to withdraw firearms and guard posts in the demilitarised zone village of Panmunjom - the "truce town" that straddles their border. The move comes shortly after troops from both sides started removing about 800,000 landmines buried along the border with the aim of reducing tension between the two countries. The announcement also comes amid expressed US concerns that the inter-Korean military initiative could undermine defense readiness.
Estimates on the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to as many as 60. Furthermore Pyongyang is believed to have produced another 50kg of weaponised plutonium, enough for 8 bombs, the South's unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament on Monday, marking the first time Seoul has made public remarks about the size of the Pyongyang’s secretive haul of atomic weapons, citing intelligence authorities.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared they had made a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula during their third summit, signing a comprehensive set of agreements. The two leaders stood side by side after their second day of talks in Pyongyang as they announced the concrete moves they have made to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula once and for all - something they first committed to at their April summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted South Korean President Moon Jae-in on his arrival in Pyongyang Tuesday for their third summit this year, as the two countries look to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders smiled and hugged at the foot of Moon's plane at Sunan International Airport, amid crowds of cheering North Koreans waving flowers and national flags, including those symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula. The highly choreographed arrival was the first time Kim had greeted visitors at the airport since the young North Korean leader took power in 2011.