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South Korea rejected North Korea's offer to take a series of steps to ease tension that included cancelling Seoul's regular military drills with Washington, saying Friday that Pyongyang must take nuclear disarmament steps first.

Lord Hanningfield at court facing charges of false accounting

Andy McSmith's Diary: Oh Lords! Disgraced peer trousers £5,500 in one month

It seems that nothing will ever shame the ermine troughers out of claiming from the public purse. Paul White, aka Lord Hanningfield, an ex-Tory peer, has not spoken in the House of Lords, nor tabled any written questions since he was sent to jail for fiddling his expenses, but figures reveal that in November he had his best month yet for pocketing the £300 daily allowance to which he is entitled just for turning up. He signed in on 17 separate days, which entitled him to £5,100. He also claimed £407 travel costs. That means that in the first eight months since his return after his prison spell, Lord Hanningfield trousered a total of £21,000 in daily attendance allowances, plus £1,736 costs.

'Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon': John Kerry issues stark warning after meeting Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel

John Kerry, who has returned to Jerusalem for talks on the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, warned today that “Iran cannot have and will not have a nuclear weapon” after a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu.

Guard duty: A North Korean soldier keeps watch on South Korea last week from the truce village of Panmunjom

South Korea backtracks on nuclear test claim as tensions continue to rise across region

A government official said that Mr Ryoo had intended to say that North Korea has long been ready to conduct a nuclear test

Reports of Pyongyang's next missile test stokes tensions in South Korea

Military in the South is in ‘readiness’ amid fears of new weapons launch by the North this week

UK diplomats remain in place despite North Korea warning as Pyongyang moves missiles onto coast prompting fears of imminent attack

Beijing is believed to have sent private messages to Kim Jong-un urging caution

Office workers and shoppers throng the night-time streets of Seoul

The South Korean reaction: 'Pyongyang has been crying wolf for some time'

South Koreans, who have seen it all before, are carrying on as normal

John, 9, Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, Jayden, 5, Jesse, 6, and Jack Philpott, 7, all died after a blaze was started deliberately at the family's semi-detached house in Allenton, Derby
North Korea’s military strength is paraded in Pyongyang

David Cameron: North Korea nuclear strike could hit UK

David Cameron provoked surprise today when he claimed that North Korea now possessed the capability to launch a nuclear strike against Britain.

HMS Vengeance departs for Devonport before its 2012 refit

Lib Dems hit back as David Cameron pours scorn on their opposition to £25bn plan to renew Trident nuclear weapons system

The Liberal Democrats hit back at David Cameron today after he poured scorn on their opposition to the £25bn plan to renew Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference in Andorra

You've gone too far, UN chief tells North Korea

Ban Ki-Moon urges restraint as Pyongyang announces plan to reopen nuclear reactor

South Korea warn of retaliation against North's aggression

Kim Jong-un announced a 'state of war' over the weekend

Kim Jong-un watches a live ammunition firing drill by the Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment

North Korea nuclear threat: Kim Jong-un personally supervises drone attack on simulated South Korea target

Drone strike successfully shot down a target mimicking a South Korean cruise missile, according to state media

Last month, North Korea launched its third nuclear test.

US to boost missile defences as North Korean nuclear threat grows

$1 billion move follows increasingly aggressive rhetoric from the secretive regime 

Pyongyang metro station

North Korea: ‘If the US has nuclear weapons, why can’t we?’

North Korea’s nuclear test drew international censure. But Pyongyang rejoiced, says Andrew MacLeod, in a rare dispatch from the pariah state

North Korean soldiers carry out combat training in a picture released yesterday by the North Korean Central News Agency

North Korea cancels non-aggression pact with South as UN votes for new sanctions over missile tests

Pyongyang defied existing sanctions to conduct a nuclear test last month to provoke the US

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee