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South Korea warns North against 'reckless provocation' SEOUL: South Korea warned North Korea on Monday against further "reckless" provocations following a series of minor border skirmishes that have heightened military tensions ahead of planned high-level talks.Troops from both sides exchanged small arms fire on Sunday after South Korean troops fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol moving towards the military demarcation line that divides the peninsula."We sternly warn North Korea against reckless military provocations ... that would raise military tensions," Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.On October 7, North and South Korean naval vessels traded warning fire near the disputed Yellow Sea border.Three days later border guards exchanged heavy machine-gun fire after the North tried to shoot down balloons launched over the frontier with bundles of anti-Pyongyang leaflets.The North has repeatedly urged the South to ban the leaflet launches organised by activist groups, but Seoul insists it has no legal grounds for doing so.Last week the ...

Amnesty slams 'abuse' of migrant workers in South Korea SEOUL: Migrant farm workers in South Korea have become victims of rampant abuse under a "shameful" work permit system that encourages exploitation, Amnesty International said in a report published Monday.The report came on the heels of a mission to South Korea by the UN's special rapporteur on racism, who also cited "serious problems" faced by the growing number of foreign workers hired as low-paid, unskilled manual labourers.The Amnesty report, titled "Bitter Harvest" and based on ...

South Korea concert victims' families call for leniency SEOUL: The families of 16 people who died after falling through a ventilation shaft at a South Korean open-air concert asked for leniency on Monday for event organisers despite fresh concerns about safety six months after a ferry disaster. Opposition lawmakers chided the government for a lack of substantive improvements in safety despite repeated pledges to tighten standards, with one member of parliament saying: "The Republic of Korea has become the republic of disasters". "The ...

British economic growth to slow, says leading forecaster LONDON: The British economy will slow down sharply next year due to political uncertainty and a potential referendum on membership of the EU, a leading forecaster said on Monday.In an autumn forecast released after a turbulent week on world markets, EY ITEM Club said gross domestic product growth would slow to 2.4 percent in 2015, after 3.1 percent growth this year.The forecasts are below the Bank of England's outlook of 3.5 percent growth in 2014 ...

Japan industry minister resigns over make-up scandal TOKYO: Japan's high-profile and telegenic industry minister on Monday resigned over claims she misused political funds, including to buy both votes and make-up, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's gender reform drive.Yuko Obuchi told a press conference carried live on multiple television channels that parliamentary business had been stalled because of questions over her spending."It is not permissible for me as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to have economy and energy policies ...

Poland trims 2015 fiscal deficit as economy improves WARSAW: Poland plans to cut its fiscal deficit to 2.5 percent of economic output in 2015, from a previously forecast 2.6-2.7 percent, due to an improvement in the economy and spending discipline, a government document obtained by Reuters showed. Poland, the largest economy in central and eastern Europe, is currently under the European Union's excessive deficit procedure - a tool to enforce fiscal discipline - and has been given until 2015 to cut its fiscal ...

Australia hopeful of revised Antarctic sanctuary success SYDNEY: Australia said Monday it was hopeful of winning support for its plan for a vast marine sanctuary off east Antarctica, after revising its proposal to make it smaller.Australia, France and the European Union first put forward a bid for a 1.9 million square kilometre (760,000 square mile) Marine Protected Area encompassing seven stretches of the pristine wilderness in 2011, but it was knocked back last year.Its latest proposal is for a 1.0 million square ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
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