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

FIA inspects Korean Grand Prix track

An official from motorsport world governing body FIA has begun an inspection of the event's proposed circuit less than two weeks ahead of the country's Formula One debut, a Korean Grand Prix organiser said today.

What is Disneyland? Out of North Korea, into the real world

David McNeill visits the school in Seoul where defectors are introduced to the world beyond the repressive state's borders

North Korea closes ranks to anoint Kim's son as future leader

Pyongyang's streets offer few hints of the momentous events opening today in the city's Mansudae Assembly Hall, where Workers' Party cadres from across the country are convening for a rare meeting to discuss who will succeed the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il.

IMF hopeful on reform but more cautious about deficits

The world economy is recovering moderately but still faces challenges such as the need for medium-term fiscal consolidation, the IMF's deputy managing director, John Lipsky, said yesterday.

US warned over military exercises by North Korea

North Korea warned the US yesterday that imposing fresh sanctions and holding military exercises with South Korea this weekend would endanger the region and destroy hopes for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang 'executes former minister'

North Korea has executed a former cabinet official who was in charge of talks with South Korea, a news report said yesterday. It is the latest reported death sentence for a North Korean official over policy failures.

Swimming, By Nicola Keegan

This energising debut novel about a six foot Catholic school-girl from Kansas who swims her way to the Seoul Olympics casts sporting endeavour in a whole new light.

Vickers to lead shake-up of British banking

Former Bank of England economist to lead investigation of the role and risks taken by banks

North Korea threatens 'stern punishment' for Seoul

North Korea threatened to retaliate against South Korea for taking it to the UN Security Council over the sinking of a warship, calling the action an "intolerable provocation".

Seoul's report to UN 'a provocation'

North Korea has threatened to retaliate against South Korea for taking it to the UN Security Council over the sinking of a warship, calling the action an "intolerable provocation".

Seoul flexes muscles in warning to North Korea

South Korean warships fired guns and dropped anti-submarine bombs in a large-scale military exercise yesterday, a week after Seoul accused North Korea of shooting a torpedo which sank a navy frigate in March.

Clinton seeks a global response to Korea crisis

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, upped the ante in the crisis on the Korean Peninsula yesterday, calling on the rest of the world to co-operate in a "strong but measured response" to Pyongyang for its alleged attack on a South Korean gunboat.

North Korea suspends all relations with the South

Pyongyang says it is cutting all relations with Seoul as tensions continue to rise over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

S. Korea pledges firm measures over 'torpedoed' ship

South Korea accused the reclusive North today of torpedoing one of its warships, heightening tension in the economically powerful region and testing the international position of China, Pyongyang's only major backer.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

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Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there