South Korea

Regional News • Asia
North Korea cuts communication channels with South Korea
North Korean soldier
North Korean soldier Credit: Roman Harak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

North Korea announced Tuesday it would cut off all communication channels with South Korea, including a hotline between the two countries' leaders. Pyongyang decided to escalate its pressure on the South for not stopping activists from floating anti-regime leaflets across their tense border.

South Korea's government repeated that it would work toward restoring peace on the Korean Peninsula. North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump postpones G7 summit and plans to invite other countries

President Donald Trump said Saturday he would postpone the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June. Trump also said he would like to invite Australia, India, Russia and South Korea.

"I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not attend a June G7 summit in person.

Regional News • Asia
South Korea closes schools days after reopening

More than 500 schools in South Korea closed just days after they reopened, due to a new spike in virus cases. Thousands of students had returned to school earlier on Wednesday, as the country began easing virus restrictions.

The chairman of the National Association of Parents for True Education Na Myung-joo said:  "Except for the lower grades of elementary schools and kindergarteners who are in urgent need of emergency care services, and high school seniors ahead of the national college entrance exam, it will be safe for the rest of the students to conduct remote classes for the time being.".

Education • School Education
Seoul's Education Superintendent warns of reopening schools prematurely
Empty seats in classroom
Empty seats in classroom Credit: unsplash.com/@flpschi

Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of Seoul's education office, calls for postponement of reopening schools. All schools, as well as kindergartens, were supposed to reopen this week, as per governmental decision. In a post to Facebook on May 11, he stated that "if the current trend of concerns over a second wave of COVID-19 continues, (I) believe there is a need to review the school reopening schedule." Hee-yeon suggests postponing the reopening by a week.

Regional News • Asia
South Korea struggles to contain second Covid-19 outbreak

South Korea, who was quick to take action to contain the spread of Covid-19 earlier this year, is struggling to contain new infections. Over the weekend, the country counted 69 new cases, equal to the number reported in the entire previous week and the highest daily number in over a month. Most new cases are linked to Seoul bars and nightclubs and authorities are in the midst of tracking down and testing over 7,000 patrons.

Regional News • Asia
Gunshots fired at Korean DMZ
Gunshots fired at Korean DMZ
Credit: wikimedia/Johannes Barre (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On Sunday, North Korean soldiers fired gunshots at the wall of South Korean guard post at the countries' DMZ, Demilitarized Zone. According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, no one was injured. South Korea broadcasted a verbal warning and returned fire twice. As of now, the reason behind the fire exchange is unclear.

Health
Coronavirus relapse cases continue to rise in S. Korea

The number of people who tested positive again for COVID-19 after making full recoveries has reached 163 since the first such case was identified on April 8.

The latest figure accounts for 2.1 percent of those cured of COVID-19 and released from quarantine.

No secondary infections have been reported from relapse cases.

Health
North Korean Dictator sends support letter to South Korea over COVID-19

A personal letter from Kim Jong-un, North Korea's Dictator, has been delivered to South Korea's president Moon Jae-in. In the letter, Kim Jong-un expresses his support to fight the coronavirus. He also wished for good health. Following this Moon returned a letter to North Korea to express his gratitude for the quiet support.