Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century.
Seven months after taking office, South Korean President Park Geun Hye’s election promises threaten to unravel as revenue shortfalls ignite a debate on tax increases to pay for her welfare and defense spending plans.
South Korean antitrust agency officials collected documents from a financial industry group that sets benchmark rates amid a 14-month probe into borrowing costs, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
South Korea’s main opposition party vowed to press on with a boycott that’s frozen parliament after President Park Geun Hye refused to apologize over claims that the national spy agency meddled in elections last year.
North Korea is building a tunnel at a site where it conducted two underground nuclear tests, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing a South Korean intelligence official it didn’t identify. North Korea may be able to conduct a nuclear test as early as March at the rate the tunnel is being built at Punggyeri in the country’s northeastern corner, the Korean-language newspaper said.
North Korea is running a uranium enrichment centrifuge plant in Huichon, 57 kilometers northwest of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified former North Korean senior official who defected from the country.
North Korea deployed more missiles on its west coast on Dec. 20, when South Korea conducted artillery drills on an island in waters along the two nation’s western sea border, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified government official.
North Korea may have three or four more plants for enriching uranium for nuclear use, including one in Pyongyang, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing a South Korean intelligence official it didn’t identify. The U.S. and South Korea suspect North Korea of enriching uranium at locations other than a Yongbyon plant the country revealed to U.S. scientists last month, the Korean-language newspaper said.