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South Korea foots 70pc of North's Asian Games bill SEOUL: South Korea said Thursday it would pay more than 70 percent of the $700,000 costs incurred by rival North Korea when it took part in the recent Asian Games in Incheon.The issue of subsidising the North's presence at the September 19-October 4 Games became problematic ahead of the event, when Seoul proposed breaking with its custom of supporting visiting sports teams from the North.Pyongyang accused the South of arrogance and retracted its decision to send a cheerleading team to accompany its athletes in Incheon, west of Seoul.In the end, an understanding was reached that the South would foot part of the bill, though not all of it as in the past."Although we apply international norms to an event like the Asian Games, we took into account that the South and North have special relations," said Park Soo-Jin, spokeswoman for the South's Unification Ministry.Because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with ...

China's Xi echoes Mao on the arts BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping has told artists to serve the people and create works promoting "socialist values", with state media on Thursday comparing his remarks to a speech by Mao Zedong.Beijing imposes tight controls over art and culture, which critics say hampers China's efforts to upgrade its economy from lower-end manufacturing into more profitable creative sectors.In a high-minded broadside against market forces, Xi told a group of artists on Wednesday that they should not ...
Hong Kong tycoon calls for protests to end after tension over police beating HONG KONG: Hong Kong's most prominent tycoon, Li Ka-shing, on Wednesday urged protesters who have occupied parts of the city since late last month to go home, after police mounted their toughest action against the democracy activists in more than a week.Police arrested about 45 protesters in the early hours of Wednesday, using pepper spray against those who resisted, as they cleared a main road in the Chinese-controlled city that protesters had blocked with concrete ...
Nepal death toll jumps to 9 as 5 more foreign trekkers found dead KATHMANDU: Five more foreign trekkers have been killed in Nepal's Himalayas, taking the death toll from a snowstorm and avalanche to nine, including eight foreigners and one local, officials said Wednesday."A chopper search has located the bodies of five people, including four Canadians and an Indian, killed in an avalanche, bringing the total number of dead to nine," police official Ganesh Rai, who is charge of rescue efforts, told AFP.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Abe seeks talks with Putin; No TPP proposals with Obama TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he hopes to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming Asia-Europe summit."I would like to create the opportunity for talks with President Putin," Abe told reporters before leaving for the multilateral summit in Milan.A Kremlin official said last week that a bilateral meeting at ASEM was possible. Abe and Putin are already expected to have talks on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit next ...
Hong Kong tension rises as police officers suspended over beating of protester HONG KONG: Hong Kong authorities said police allegedly involved in the beating of a pro-democracy protester would be removed from their positions after footage of the overnight incident went viral, sparking outrage from some lawmakers and the public.Police said they arrested 45 protesters in the early hours of Wednesday, using pepper spray on those who resisted, as they cleared a major road in the Chinese-controlled city that had been barricaded by pro-democracy demonstrators with concrete ...
Hundreds of HK police use sledgehammers and chainsaws to dismantle protest barriers HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kong police used sledgehammers and chainsaws to dismantle pro-democracy barricades near government offices and the city's financial centre on Tuesday, a day after clashes broke out as anti-protest groups tried to reclaim roads.The police operation was the latest in two days to dismantle barricades after two weeks of protests, with the stalemate fuelling frustrations in the Asian financial hub and draining public support for the pro-democracy movement.Police, criticised for using ...

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
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Exports $1.911 bln
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WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
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