News North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) inspects the command of Korean People's Army. The country's Defence Commission has sent an open letter to South Korea calling for an end to

The letter comes ahead of military exercises between the US and South Korea that the North sees as provocative

Ex-South Korean leader jumps to his death from clifftop

Roh Moo-hyun, 62, leaves 'extraordinary' suicide note after police question him over bribery scandal

S Korean ex-president Roh dies in apparent suicide

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, embroiled in a broadening corruption scandal, jumped to his death while hiking in the mountains behind his rural southern home, his lawyer said. He was 62.

Boris Johnson visits Seoul Olympics site

London Mayor Boris Johnson says a tour of the Seoul Olympic sites have given him good ideas on how to build venues that will have a lasting legacy long after the 2012 Games.

Prada's got Seoul: Miuccia's greatest designs are now the subject of an intriguing exhibition

In one corner of the exhibition, Waist Down: Skirts by Miuccia Prada – shown in Rem Koolhaas's radical new "Transformer" building in Seoul – there is a row of skirts swinging from side to side as if dancing. Across the cocoon-like space, others are variously whirling, fluttering or billowing like Marilyn Monroe's famous white dress. Of course they are moving mechanically, but the illusion that they have a life of their own seems appropriate for designs with such a strong identity. Since Miuccia Prada became the creative director of Prada, the skirt has been the canvas for some of her most imaginative designs and this exhibition shows a diverse collection from 1988 to the current season. It's also fitting that an exhibition which celebrates movement, change and experimentation should be shown in a structure which can be reconfigured into a new shape. Unveiled last month, the space-age, tetrahedron-shaped Transformer, made from an elastic membrane stretched over a steel frame and situated near the traditional Gyeonghui Palace in Seoul, will change shape to host film and art exhibitions after Waist Down.

Clean-cut Japanese boy band star shamed by arrest for indecency

Media helicopters hovered overhead and photographers camped out in front of Japan's top talent agency yesterday after one of television's cleanest-cut stars was arrested for public indecency.

Best for eastern chic: Seoul

From high-level trekking in Morocco's Atlas Mountains to rubbing shoulders with A-listers on Hollywood Boulevard, and from rural retreats off Tuscany's beaten track to jet-set hang outs for Moscow's super-rich, our writers have been to the ends of the earth to find a world of inspiration

Six dead as police clash with protesters in Seoul

Police commandos stormed a vacant office building occupied by displaced tenants in central Seoul this morning sparking a clash and a blaze that killed six people and injured 23, authorities said.

M&C's £232m deal to sell Seoul hotel falls through





The worsening economic crisis hit the hotel group Millennium & Copthorne yesterday when it announced that a deal to sell its hotel in the South Korean capital Seoul has collapsed.

Fighting for freedom: Korea's 'Million Dollar Baby' highlights defectors' plight

Boxing champion Choi Hyun-mi, 17, finds life a bruising struggle after fleeing the North. David McNeill reports

North Korean spy used 'sex as a tool'

A North Korean woman accused of using sex to elicit sensitive information from a South Korean military officer was sentenced Wednesday by a court in the South to five years in prison for spying.

With economy in the rough, South Korea is told it's time to give up golf

South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak has told officials to give up playing golf because it sends the wrong signal to voters as his country's economy falls on hard times.

Woman takes delivery of world's first commercially cloned dogs

The loss of Booger the pit bull terrier was almost more than Bernann McKinney could bear.

Gay diver breaks Australian sporting taboo

Australia's cities all boast thriving gay communities, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which recently celebrated its 30th birthday, has become a mainstream cultural event. Yet Australian sport remains a bastion of heterosexuality – on the surface, at least.

Sainsbury's shrugs off the gloom with rises in annual sales and dividend

J Sainsbury shrugged off some of the gloom surrounding consumer spending yesterday as annual sales rose and the group predicted a period of growth after completing its three-year turnaround programme.

Korea's 'comfort women': The slaves' revolt

Korea's dwindling band of 'comfort women' have spent years fighting for justice. But a growing revisionist movement in Japan refuses to recognise the abuse they suffered. David McNeill reports
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
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Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
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Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
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Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal