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

Border islands to become 'fortresses'

South Korea's President promised yesterday to transform five islands that lie along the tense maritime border with North Korea into "military fortresses" impervious to the kind of deadly attack the rival neighbour launched last month.

South Korean trade minister defends deal with US

South Korea's top trade official defended a hard-fought compromise with the United States to salvage a stalled free trade agreement, rejecting accusations that his government gave up too much to seal the deal.

Seoul talks tough in new North policy

South Korea's next defence chief has outlined a tough new strategy towards its neighbour, saying jets would bomb the North if it stages another attack.

As Seoul dithers and US ships circle, an island tries to live with its grief

Donald Kirk reports from a shell-shocked Yeonpyeong Island

Roxana Briban

The Romanian opera singer Roxana Briban, who sang in Buch-arest, Berlin and Bangkok during a 10-year career, died on 20 November, apparently by her own hand, at the age of 39. Her husband Alexandru said she had fallen into depression after the Bucharest National Opera severed her contract in 2009.

The view from Seoul: outrage and self-criticism

South Korea's "big three" conservative newspapers led a chorus of media condemnation yesterday of North Korea's attack on an off-shore island in a battle against a return to complacency among many ordinary Koreans.

Civilian deaths prompt calls for South Korea to retaliate

North Korea claims its bombardment was targeted only at army base after provocation from neighbour's military drills

Bodies of civilians found after Korean shelling

The burnt bodies of two male civilians have been found on an island attacked by North Korea, South Korean officials said.

South Korea warns of 'enormous retaliation'

Two Koreas on brink of war as pressure mounts for response

Hamish McRae: Emerging nations must help to rebalance world economy, but can they be persuaded?

Economic Life: A decade ago, the West could assume it would be listened to. Its own reputation for reasonable competence was intact. That has gone

Korean families are reunited after 60 years

Relatives who were divided when their country was divided meet again – many for the last time

For a few precious days, divided Korean families see their loved ones again

Over sixty years ago, Kim Dong-yul said goodbye to his two-year-old daughter and walked out of the door, intending to return a week later.

South Korean warning on eating octopus heads

Authorities in the South Korean capital are trying to untangle themselves from a slimy row: how many octopus heads is it safe to eat?

Shortage of cabbage leaves Koreans in a fine pickle

Vegetables pickled in garlic, red chilli and fish paste may not be everyone's plat du jour, but kimchi is Korea's revered national dish, as ubiquitous as fish and chips in Britain.

Leading article: In a pickle

South Korea is in the grip of a Kimchi crisis. A bad cabbage harvest has driven up the price of the ubiquitous, spicy, pickled vegetable dish. And some restaurants are now considering the drastic step of charging customers for their previously gratis Kimchi side salads.

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