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North, South Korea agree to family reunion in October SEOUL: North and South Korea agreed Tuesday to hold a reunion in October for families separated by the Korean War, following all-night talks between their respective Red Cross branches.The reunion -- only the second to be held in five years -- will take place between October 20-26 in North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort, the South's Unification Ministry said.Seoul was understood to have been pushing for an earlier date -- before North Korea celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Worker's Party on October 10.There are concerns Pyongyang might use the occasion to engage in a provocative act that could scupper the reunion altogether.The Red Cross talks began Monday morning in the border truce village of Panmunjom and, according to the South's Unification Ministry, ran through the night with only occasional breaks.The chief South Korean delegate, Lee Duk-Haeng, confirmed that his side had requested a reunion at the ...

Blast reported at chemical plant in eastern China BEIJING: An explosion shook a chemical plant in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, state media said on Monday, though there were no immediate reports of casualties in a country on edge after blasts killed more than 160 people last month. The blast caused a fire and thick smoke to bellow from the plant in Lishui city shortly before midnight, state radio said on its official Weibo microblog. Firefighters were on the scene and there were ...
North, South Korea begin family reunion talks SEOUL: North and South Korean Red Cross officials kicked off talks Monday on organising a rare and emotional reunion for families separated by the Korean War.The discussions at the border truce village of Panmunjom were the product of an agreement the two Koreas reached two weeks ago to end a dangerous military standoff and reduce cross-border tensions.But given North Korea's past record of manipulating the reunion issue for leverage over the South, there is no ...
New Zealand opens door for 750 Syrian refugees WELLINGTON: New Zealand announced Monday it will take 750 Syrian refugees over the next three years after coming under intense pressure to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Europe.Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said 150 places would be offered to Syrians under the government's existing quota, and an extra 600 people from the war-torn country would be accepted through a special emergency intake.New Zealand currently has an annual refugee quota of 750, which has not risen ...
China to reduce military by 300,000: Xi BEIJING: China will reduce the size of its standing army -- the largest in the world -- by 300,000 troops, President Xi Jinping said ahead of a huge military parade.Beijing will "not seek hegemony" in the world, Xi said. Authorities have been making personnel cuts to the 2.3 million strong People's Liberation Army for decades in a bid to make it more efficient.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Australia-Indonesia ties back in 'very good shape': FM SYDNEY: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday said ties with Indonesia were in "very good shape" after plunging this year when Jakarta executed two Australians, hailing her relationship with "text buddy" counterpart Retno Marsudi.Canberra took the unprecedented step of recalling its ambassador after Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan faced the firing squad for drugs offences in April, with tensions already fraught over Australia's military-led efforts to turn back asylum-seeker boats.In the aftermath, Australia also froze ...
North korea warns Seoul over twisting peace deal SEOUL: North Korea on Wednesday accused the South of misrepresenting their agreement to defuse tensions and warned the hard-won deal was being undermined by claims Pyongyang had made an apology for border landmine blasts.The explosions maimed two South Korean soldiers on patrol last month and triggered a crisis that brought the rivals to the brink of armed conflict.A deal to de-escalate tensions was reached last week following marathon talks in the border truce village of ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.988 bln
Exports $1.835 bln
Imports $3.823 bln
WeeklyOctober 05, 2015
Reserves $18.349 bln