Zebra captured after three hours on the run in Seoul

Animal, which is thought to have broken out of its zoo enclosure, was tranquillised after being on the loose in South Korean capital

A young zebra walked, trotted and galloped for hours through the busy streets of Seoul before emergency workers tranquillised the animal and brought it back to a zoo.

The zebra – a male named Sero who was born in the zoo in 2021 – was in a stable condition and being examined by veterinarians on Thursday evening, said Choi Ye-ra, an official at the Children’s Grand Park in South Korea’s capital.

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North Korea continues run of weapons tests with ballistic missile launch

Firing of short-range weapon comes as the US and South Korea stage major military drills

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile, Seoul’s military has said, in the fourth such weapons test in a week, which comes as South Korea and the United States stage major military drills.

“Our military detected one short-range ballistic missile fired from around the Tongchang-ri area in North Pyongan province at 11.05 am towards the East Sea,” South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said on Sunday, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

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Yoon arrives in Japan for historic talks with Kishida – and beloved omurice

Leaders expected to use first summit since 2011 to address Japan’s use of Korean forced labour, as well as threats posed by North Korea and China

Yoon Suk Yeol will be treated to his favourite dish – omelette rice – when he becomes the first South Korean president to visit Japan in more than a decade on Thursday, as hopes rise for an end to years of animosity between the north-east Asian neighbours.

Given that the menu for official dinners has been a diplomatic flashpoint between the two countries, efforts by Yoon’s hosts to accommodate his palate are evidence of the recent thaw in relations, as regional tensions rise over North Korean missiles and Chinese military activity.

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North Korea test launches ICBM as South Korea and Japan leaders set to meet

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol says North will pay a price for launch on eve of Tokyo summit

North Korea has test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a display of military might, just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were to meet at a Tokyo summit that was expected to be overshadowed by Kim Jong-un’s nuclear threats.

The launch on Thursday, the North’s first ICBM test in a month and third weapons test this week, also comes as South Korean and US troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal to invade.

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South Korea U-turns on 69-hour working week after youth backlash

Protesters claim proposed increase in hours would risk health and fail to boost low birth rate

South Korea’s government has been forced to rethink a planned rise in working hours after a backlash from younger people who said the move would destroy their work-life balance and put their health at risk.

The government had intended to raise the maximum weekly working time to 69 hours after business groups complained that the current cap of 52 hours was making it difficult to meet deadlines.

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North Korea escalates tensions with fresh ballistic missile tests

Launch comes days after Pyongyang fired two ‘strategic’ missiles in an apparent protest over Washington-Seoul military drills

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles Tuesday, Seoul said, Pyongyang’s second launch in three days and the first since South Korea and the United States began their largest joint military drills in five years.

Washington and Seoul have ramped up defence cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from the North, which has conducted a series of increasingly provocative banned weapons tests in recent months.

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North Korea fires cruise missiles as US-South Korean military drills begin

Test came as Washington and Seoul prepared to kick-off their largest joint military exercises in five years

Nuclear-armed North Korea test-fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine on Sunday, state news agency KCNA reported, just as US-South Korea military drills were due to begin.

“Strategic” is typically used to describe weapons that have a nuclear capability.

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Biden hails ‘groundbreaking’ South Korean plan to compensate victims of Japan’s forced labour

Victims groups criticise compensation deal which aims to resolve a disagreement that has long frustrated ties between Seoul and Tokyo

South Korea said that its companies would compensate people forced to work under Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of Korea, in a bid to improve poor relations that have impeded trade and cooperation between the two countries for generations.

The disagreements over labour and women forced into Japanese military brothels have bedevilled ties between the two pivotal US allies for years, but South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol has made a push to repair the relationship.

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South Korea’s birthrate sinks to fresh record low as population crisis deepens

Latest statistics show 249,000 babies were born in 2022, a fall of 4.4% from the previous year

South Korea’s demographic crisis has deepened after new data showed the number of babies born last year reached another record low.

According to figures released on Wednesday by Statistics Korea, 249,000 babies were born in 2022, a fall of 4.4% from the previous year and the third year in a row that deaths have exceeded births in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.

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‘Poisoned candy’: North Korean state media shuns food aid despite hunger crisis

South Korea warns that death from starvation appears to be rising in many of the North’s provinces

The major North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun has said that relying on external aid to cope with food shortages would be the same as taking “poisoned candy”, amid a national crisis and a reported increase in deaths from starvation.

North Korea has suffered food shortages in recent years, brought on by natural disasters, international sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear and missile programmes, and a sharp cut in trade with China due to border closures and Covid-19 lockdowns.

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South Korean court recognises legal status of same-sex couples for first time

Seoul high court rules gay couple allowed same health insurance rights as heterosexual couple in landmark case

A court in South Korea has ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same spousal coverage under the national health insurance service as heterosexual couples – the first time the country has recognised the legal status of a gay partner.

Tuesday’s landmark decision by the Seoul high court overturned a previous ruling by a lower court in January 2022 that rejected a gay couple’s petition after one partner was told he had to make separate health insurance payments.

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North Korea fires two more ballistic missiles off its east coast – video

Pyongyang announced the launch of two ballistic missiles, two days after firing an intercontinental ballistic missile into the sea off Japan's west coast. The move prompted joint military exercises by the US and South Korea, with Japan's government condemning the missiles as 'unacceptable'

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North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast

Pyongyang confirms rapid launch drill after warning of strong response to upcoming US-South Korea military exercises

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said, after Pyongyang warned of a strong response to upcoming US-South Korea military drills.

Japan’s coastguard also said North Korea fired what could be a ballistic missile on Saturday.

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Japan and North Korea sound warning as deadly cold snap sweeps across Asia

Extreme weather kills at least one person in Japan and more than 100 in Afghanistan while parts of China hit record low temperatures

Weather authorities in Japan and the Korean peninsula have issued warnings over freezing temperatures and gales that have killed at least one person, and stranded thousands.

Severe cold weather has already caused fatalities, havoc and record low temperatures across the region in the last fortnight, with at least 124 people dead in Afghanistan and record lows of -53C in northeastern China.

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China halts short-term visas for South Korea and Japan over Covid travel curbs

Beijing had said it would retaliate against countries that require negative tests from Chinese travellers

China has suspended issuing short-term visas in South Korea and Japan after announcing it would retaliate against countries that required negative Covid-19 tests from Chinese travellers.

China has ditched mandatory quarantines for arrivals and allowed travel to resume across its border with Hong Kong since Sunday, removing the last major restrictions under the “zero-Covid” regime that it abruptly began dismantling in early December after protests against the curbs.

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