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North Korea warns South over planned high-level talks SEOUL: North Korea issued a fresh warning Thursday that planned high-level talks with the South might have to be scrapped because of what it called Seoul's arrogant and provocative behaviour."Inter-Korean ties are now standing at the crossroads," the North Korean delegation that would participate in the proposed dialogue said in a lengthy statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.The choice facing both sides was to "make the seeds of hard-won inter-Korean dialogue sprout or allow the confrontation to reach an extreme phase and spark off a war", the statement said.The two Koreas agreed to resume high-level talks during a surprise visit to the South by a top-ranking North Korean delegation earlier this month.Seoul has proposed an October 30 start date, but the only response from Pyongyang so far has been to warn the talks might not happen at all.Thursday's statement suggested the peace overtures had been instigated by ...

Australia ramps up parliament security after Ottawa attack CANBERRA: Australia stepped up security around Parliament House on Thursday and Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed solidarity with Ottawa after a gunman attempted to storm Canada's legislature.Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the government would boost security measures around Canberra's parliament buildings on top of a recent tightening of measures imposed after Australia last month raised its terror alert level from "medium" to "high"."There will be an enhanced Australian Federal Police presence around the building," Keenan ...
Nepal calls off search for survivors of deadly Himalayan snowstorm KATHMANDU: Nepal on Wednesday called off a search for any more survivors of a Himalayan snowstorm that claimed some 43 lives, after more than a week of scouring the popular trekking region.Emergency workers have airlifted 518 people to safety, including 310 foreign tourists, since the snowstorm struck the Annapurna Circuit during peak season, catching trekkers, their guides and porters unawares. "We have decided to call off the operation for now, staying (on) stand-by if there ...
Malaysia's defence minister hopeful MH370 will be found PERTH: Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Wednesday his country was determined to find missing Flight MH370, as he was briefed by Australian officials leading the complex search deep in the Indian Ocean.Hishammuddin, who is in the Western Australian port of Fremantle to inspect one of the search ships, the GO Phoenix, said the passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines jet "remain in our thoughts and also in our prayers"."We must continue to ...
South Korea urges North to release other detainees SEOUL: South Korea on Wednesday welcomed North Korea's release of a US citizen, but immediately urged it to free two other American detainees and a South Korean missionary who was arrested on espionage charges.Jeffrey Fowle, who was detained in April after apparently leaving a Bible in the bathroom of a nightclub in the North, flew out of Pyongyang on a Pentagon plane on Tuesday."Our government welcomes Fowle's release," a South Korean foreign ministry official said."We ...
China to send orbiter to moon and back: report BEIJING: China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days, state media said Wednesday, in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth.The spacecraft, which has not been named, will launch between Friday and Sunday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.It is China's first lunar module capable of returning to Earth, which will require withstanding the high temperatures that develop when a probe re-enters the terrestrial atmosphere.It ...
Indonesian president ponders some cabinet picks on anti-graft concern JAKARTA: New Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday he was re-evaluating some of his choices for cabinet jobs after an anti-graft agency raised concern about possible problems with some candidates. Widodo, who won a closely fought July election on promises of clean government, will want to avoid the same type of corruption scandals that tainted his predecessor's final term in office. Three of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's ministers were implicated in corruption cases. ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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MonthlyAugust
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WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
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