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Korea North

North Korea says it sees little reason to maintain ties to Trump | TheHill – The Hill

North Korean leaders said they see little reason to maintain ties with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE two years after the leaders’ first summit in Singapore. 

Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said in a statement run by state media Friday that since the summit the hostile relationship between the two countries is “unchanged, but the situation of the Korean peninsula is getting worse.”

The 2018 summit was largely symbolic and lacked a tangible agreement. At a second summit in 2019, the U.S. failed to reach a deal with North Korea to completely give up its nuclear weapons, and North Korean demands for swift sanctions relief.

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Pyongyang has lashed out with a rash of weapons tests in recent months and criticism of Washington’s scrutiny of China, its chief ally and economic booster.

Ri said Trump, who has touted his relationship with North Korea, was trying to gain political clout instead of actually reaching a mutual agreement. 

“Never again will we provide the U.S. chief executive with another package to be used for achievements without receiving any returns,” he said. “Nothing is more hypocritical than an empty promise.”

On Thursday North Korea warned the U.S. to stay out of its affairs and threatened to disrupt the presidential election in November if the Trump administration kept up its criticism of Pyongyang for its decision to cut communication with South Korea. 

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Korea South

South Korea closes schools again amid coronavirus spike, days after reopening – The Washington Post

South Korea closed hundreds of schools that had reopened days earlier — and postponed the opening of many others — after a spike in cases of the

novel coronavirus.

The country had started to stage the opening of schools in the last week, instituting social distancing and prevention measures in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

But according to the Korea Times, hundreds of schools were closed again because of high infection rates in their communities. It cited the Ministry of Education as saying that 838 schools of the 20,902 nationwide that were supposed to reopen on Wednesday did not, including in Seoul, and hundreds closed on Thursday in Seoul, Bucheon and other cities.

School districts in the United States that have been closed for months are now trying to figure out when and how they can reopen safely. Some are watching how other countries are handling the reopening of schools, including South Korea, which has been successful in containing the spread of the virus.

South Korea had more diagnosed patients with coronavirus than any country other than China in late February, but it implemented a tough program of contact tracing, isolation and other measures, containing the virus. South Korea still reports that fewer than 300 people have died of covid-19.

After putting plastic barriers in many schools to separate students while they eat and learn, disinfecting, and other preventive steps, some schools began to open last week for the first time in several months, with more accepting students this week.

But new clusters of the coronavirus have been identified in recent days, leading the government to close not only schools but also parks and museums — and people are being urged again not to gather in big numbers.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that on Wednesday, the same day hundreds of schools reopened, more than 60 cases of coronavirus were confirmed at a distribution center in Bucheon, between the western port city of Inchon and the capital of Seoul. It said that on Thursday, the The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 79 new infection cases, including 69 linked to the center owned by Coupang, the country’s leading e-commerce giant.

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Korea South

South Korea’s Spike In Coronavirus Cases Highlights Threat Of A Second Wave – Forbes

TOPLINE

 South Korea reported 40 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, marking the biggest daily spike in 49 days as millions of children go back to school and authorities fight to contain an outbreak stemming from a stretched-thin e-commerce warehouse.

SKOREA-LIFESTYLE-HEALTH-VIRUS

In a photo taken on May 24, 2020, people wearing face masks amid concerns of Covid-19 walk along a … [+] bridge across the Han River in Seoul


AFP via Getty Images

KEY FACTS

Wednesday’s cases have more than doubled overnight.

South Korea has recorded 11,200 coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Dozens of cases have been linked to an e-commerce logistics center owned by online shopping giant Coupang in Seoul.

The first case at the warehouse is linked to an outbreak connected to nightclubs in Seoul at the start of the month.

Much like Amazon, Coupang has seen a spike in users during the pandemic as consumers look online to get their goods and groceries delivered. In March, daily deliveries rose to 3 million, from 2.2 million in February, Reuters reported.

But the center was forced to close on Monday, while the site is being disinfected and 3,600 workers tested. Officials say they are keeping a “close eye” on the facility amod concerns that infections linked to the center could increase.

The spike coincides with 2 million children returning to the classroom on Wednesday as South Korea moves into the second phase of its school reopening plan. But students have to adhere to new social distancing measures including using hand sanitizer, masks and temperature checks.

Key background

South Korea largely managed to stay in control of its coronavirus outbreak without having to implement strict lockdowns seen in hard-hit countries, through a comprehensive testing and tracing strategy. But the latest developments are another setback in the nation’s bid to contain a second wave. Just last month, South Korea reported no new local infections but around May 10, nightclubs across Seoul’s nightlife district closed after a string of cases were linked to one man who had coronavirus and visited the sites.

Further reading

6-Year-Old Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Complicating South Korea’s School Reopening Plans (Forbes)

Seoul’s Nightlife Shut In Fresh COVID-19 Outbreak After Lifting Rules On ‘Distancing’ (Forbes)

South Korea’s Widespread Testing And Contact Tracing Lead To First Day With No New Cases (Forbes)

South Korea Says Patients Who Retested Positive After Recovering Were No Longer Infectious (Forbes)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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Korea South

South Korea issues privacy warning after local reports link gay people to coronavirus outbreak – CNN

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)South Korea issued a warning Monday against leaking the personal information of coronavirus patients after local media speculation linked a recent outbreak to gay people in Seoul.

The country has won praise for its handling of the pandemic, but a fresh cluster of at least 86 cases has been linked to several nightclubs in the capital’s Itaewon district.
Several South Korean media outlets reported last week that the venues were “gay clubs,” though none of the venues describe themselves as such on their official websites or social media accounts.
Multiple reports also specified the age, district, type and location of work of the coronavirus patient believed to be at the center of the cluster. While the patient’s age and district were posted by the city, details about the individual’s work information were attributed in local media to unnamed officials.
At a news conference Monday, health ministry official Yoon Tae-ho warned that “leaking personal information of confirmed patients or spreading baseless rumors not only harms other but could be criminally punished,” and said there was a trend of “criticism and hate against a certain group to which the infection occurred.”
Homophobia is still rife in South Korea and the country is less accepting of same-sex couples when compared to nearby democracies like Japan and Taiwan.
LGBT advocates have strongly criticized the media’s reaction to the nightclub outbreak. Advocacy group Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea said in a statement Thursday that “revealing sexual orientation of the patients … adds stigma of disease upon the rampant homophobia in South Korean society.”
The group added that recent reporting would drive coronavirus cases underground, make “self-isolation difficult and is a detriment to testing.”
Eighty-six infections had been traced to the nightclubs in Itaewon district as of noon on Monday, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said, adding that 78 of those who tested positive were men and 76 were in their 20s and 30s.
Mayor Park Won-soon told media Monday that Seoul had collected 5,517 names of people who had visited the relevant nightclubs between April 24 and May 6. More than 3,000 people who had visited the clubs in question or came into contact with them have been tested, and a further 1,049 people were currently being tested.
“One must protect the personal information of infected and their family and also respect their privacy,” KCDC deputy director Kwon Joon-wook said last Thursday, referring to reporting guidelines drafted by South Korea’s journalist associations in April.
Thus far South Korea has managed to handle the pandemic without a strict lockdown. Instead the country has used a combination of widespread testing and contact tracing to contain the disease.

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Korea South

North Korea, South Korea troops exchange gunfire along border, South says – Fox News

SEOUL, South Korea — North and South Korean troops exchanged fire along their tense border on Sunday, the South’s military said, blaming North Korean soldiers for targeting a guard post.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said in a statement that North Korean troops fired several bullets at a South Korean guard post inside the heavily fortified border. South Korea fired two rounds in response after issuing a warning broadcast, it said.

South Korea suffered no casualties, the military said. It’s unknown whether North Korea had any casualties. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency hasn’t reported about the incident.

KIM JONG UN MAY HAVE HAD HEART SURGERY, BASED ON FRESH MARK ON WRIST, EXPERTS SAY

It comes a day after North Korea broadcast images of leader Kim Jong Un reappearing in public after a 20-day absence amid intense speculation about his health.

KCNA said Kim attended Friday’s ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang along with senior officials. State TV showed Kim smiling and walking around factory facilities.

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South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Dec. 16, 2019. (Associated Press)” src=”https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/05/640/320/AP20124108851719-1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1″></img></source></source></picture></div>
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South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Dec. 16, 2019. (Associated Press)
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<p>Kim earlier vanished from the public eye after presiding over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on April 11 to discuss the coronavirus. Speculation about his health began swirling after he missed an April 15 event commemorating the birthday of his grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung, something he had never done since inheriting power upon his father Kim Jong Il’s death in late 2011.</p>
<p>The Koreas are split along the 248-kilometer (155-mile) -long, 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide border called the Demilitarized Zone that was originally created as a buffer. But unlike its name, the DMZ is the world’s most heavily fortified border. An estimated 2 million mines are peppered inside and near the DMZ, which is also guarded by barbed wire fences, tank traps and combat troops on both sides.</p>
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In late 2018, the two Koreas began destroying some of their front-line guard posts and removing mines from the DMZ as part of steps to reduce tensions. But the efforts stalled amid a deadlock in nuclear negotiations betw


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