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North Korea repatriates rare South Korea defector SEOUL: North Korea on Thursday repatriated a South Korean man who had entered the country illegally in a rare case of an apparent defection into the impoverished, reclusive state.The man, identified as Kim Sang-Gun, 52, was handed over at the border truce village of Panmunjom.Unauthorised travel to the North violates South Korea's national security laws and Kim faces arrest and possible imprisonment. The South's Unification Ministry said he was being questioned by security authorities.The North's official KCNA news agency said last week that Kim had entered the North illegally through a third country "after finding it difficult to live in South Korea".It did not specify where or when he crossed the border, and offered no reason for sending him back to the South.More than 26,000 North Koreans have escaped to the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953, but defections the other way are very rare.In the ...

South Korea Finance Minister plans to raise 2015 budget spending by 5.7pc SEOUL: South Korea's government plans to increase budget spending by 5.7 percent next year, far more than a 2 percent rise in this year's budget, YTN television quoted Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan as saying on Thursday. He made the remark during his meeting with senior officials of the ruling party for policy consultation, YTN said. Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...
China shows off new missile test on primetime television BEIJING: China has unveiled its latest military hardware on primetime television, an advanced air defence system that reports said has a "high success rate" destroying incoming missiles and aircraft.The HongQi-10 (Reg Flag 10) surface-to-air missile was shown in the evening news bulletin Wednesday being fired from ships and land-based mobile launchers, and exploding in the sky on impact with its target.It will protect warships against rockets over a limited area, and will be used alongside ...
Japan mob boss arrested for alleged murder TOKYO: Japanese police on Thursday arrested the leader of a particularly brutal yakuza organised crime syndicate for allegedly gunning down a man in public, a police spokesman said.Satoru Nomura, 67, the top leader of Kudokai -- acknowledged as one of the most dangerous yakuza crime syndicates in Japan -- was taken into custody over the 1998 fatal shooting of a 70-year-old man, a police spokesman said."He is suspected of firing a gun at point-black range ...
Taiwan, China reopen free trade talks amid protest TAIPEI: Taiwan and China resumed talks Wednesday at an undisclosed location on a goods free trade agreement, sparking a protest against secrecy by demonstrators suspicious of closer ties with Beijing.Economic affairs minister Woody Duh told reporters before the talks opened in the afternoon that Taiwan would focus on flat panels, petrochemicals, machine tools and automobiles where its industries are competitive.But his ministry has declined to say where the three-day talks are being held, prompting suspicions ...
Criticism of Putin over Ukraine regrettable: Japan ex-PM TOKYO: A gaffe-prone former Japanese premier carrying a letter for Vladimir Putin from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said global criticism of the Russian strongman over Ukraine is "regrettable".The latest episode of foot-in-mouth to afflict Yoshiro Mori threatened to overshadow the contact, the first by a senior Japanese politician with the Russian president since Moscow annexed Crimea earlier this year."As a friend I regret very much that President Putin, whom I respect, is facing global ...
Japan nuclear watchdog backs restart of two reactors TOKYO: Japan's nuclear watchdog Wednesday gave the green light for two reactors to restart, one year after the energy-poor country shut down its last unit in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis.The go-ahead from the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) in July comes after it issued a more than 400-page safety report, saying two reactors at the Sendai plant in southern Japan were safe to switch back on, and follows a month-long public consultation period.But any ...

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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
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Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln