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South Korean MP to visit North Korea for Kim death anniversary SEOUL: A senior South Korean politician will visit North Korea for the third anniversary of late leader Kim Jong-Il's death, the government said Monday, stressing that the trip was to give condolences and was not political. Park Ji-Won, a member of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, will lead a seven-member delegation to the city of Kaesong Tuesday to deliver a floral wreath, the unification ministry said.Kim, father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, died on December 17, 2011 after suffering a heart attack. Park is expected to meet with Won Dong-Yon, deputy head of the North's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, one of the state bodies handling cross-border affairs, according to ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-Cheol.However, Lim warned that the trip should not be "overinterpreted", rejecting a suggestion it could help ease tensions between the two nations and stressing it was purely for the purposes of conveying condolences.Park, 72, was ...

Japan PM Abe: to ask companies to raise wages next year TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he will ask business leaders to raise wages next year at a meeting on Tuesday. Abe, in a televised news conference a day after his ruling coalition won a massive election victory, said he wants to compile economic stimulus measures by year's end and take steps to ease concerns about rising import prices. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito party, won 326 ...
Canada, China to sign deal on return of fugitives' seized assets BEIJING: Canada is set to sign a deal with China to return ill-gotten assets seized from those suspected of economic crimes, the official China Daily reported on Monday, as Beijing works to track down corrupt officials who have fled overseas. The world's second-largest economy has vowed to pursue a "fox hunt" for corrupt officials and business executives, and their assets, beyond its borders. But western countries have balked at signing extradition deals with China, partly ...
Hong Kong police swoop on last protest site HONG KONG: Police moved in Monday to clear Hong Kong's last remaining pro-democracy protest site with just a handful of demonstrators making a final stand, after the main camp was demolished last week.After more than two months of rallies, a committed core of a dozen protesters staged a sit-in at the centre of the last site in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay as police cut away barricades and took down banners. It is ...
Japan economy key after Abe landslide TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was getting down to a second consecutive term in office Monday after a thumping election win, with analysts warning he needed to make good on his promise to fix Japan's economy.His ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito swept the ballot on Sunday, with an unassailable two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, giving them the power to override the upper chamber.The coalition won a combined ...
Executed Chinese teenager found innocent 18 years on BEIJING: A Chinese teenager executed after being convicted of murder and rape 18 years ago was declared innocent by a court Monday, in a rare re-examination of a wrongful conviction.The 18-year-old, named Hugjiltu and also known as Qoysiletu, was found guilty and put to death in Inner Mongolia in 1996, but doubt was cast on the verdict when another man confessed to the crime in 2005."The Inner Mongolia Higher People's Court finds Hugjiltu's original guilty ...
Japan heads to polls with Abe on course to retain power TOKYO: Voters began casting ballots in Japan on Sunday for a general election likely to return Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to power, and billed as a referendum on his economic policy.Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (2200 GMT Saturday) across the nation in a lower house election, officials said. The vote count starts Sunday night, with broadcasters' exit polls expected soon afterwards.The premier is seeking a greater mandate for "Abenomics" -- his signature plan to ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln