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TOPIC: south korea

In The News

Wagner Pulls Out Of Bakhmut, Korean Military Drills, RIP Tina Turner

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the Russian Wagner paramilitary group says it has started withdrawing from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the U.S. and South Korea launch live fire military drills near the North Korean border and “the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Tina Turner dies at age 85. Meanwhile, Bartosz T. Wielinski in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza shows how Poland’s ruling PiS party is up to its old scapegoating antics again, this time with Ukraine as its target.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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Japan-South Korea: Why Rapprochement Is Not Always A Sign Of Peace

The weight of history, and of this geopolitical moment, is propelling the current visit of Japanese Prime Minister in South Korea. Washington is happy that its alliances are aligning, but that's a sign of how high tensions are running in Asia right now.


South Korea and Japan have taken a major step to end a paradox. Indeed, both countries face the same threat, that of a nuclear-armed North Korea. They have the same ally, the United States — and are also uncomfortable neighbors of the Chinese giant.

And yet, they've been separated by the weight of history.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's official visit to South Korea, which began Sunday, is the first by a Japanese leader in 11 years. The visit began at the cemetery of war victims, including those of the anti-Japanese struggle: Japan brutally colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and this page of history has never been completely turned.

Korean public opinion is divided on this reconciliation, believing that Tokyo has never truly apologized.

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Zelensky-Xi Call, Pope Gives More Power To Women, Ya Ya Goes Back Home

👋 Wĩmwega!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chinese President Xi Jinping speak on the phone for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion, Pope Francis announces that women will be allowed to vote for the first time at an important bishops meeting, and Ya Ya the giant panda is headed back home to China. Meanwhile, Dankwart Guratzsch in German daily Die Welt marvels at 19th-century poet and scientist Goethe’s uncanny predictions about today’s tech revolution.

[*Kikuyu, Kenya]

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Seoul Open To Arming Kyiv, Sudan Ceasefire Breached, White House Tiny Intruder

👋 ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ*

Welcome to Wednesday, where South Korea reverses its year-long refusal to send military aid to Ukraine, a ceasefire in Sudan has been ignored and a rogue toddler sets off security alerts at the White House. Meanwhile, Lucas Marín Llanes in Colombian daily El Espectador looks at the problems caused by crop substitution programs aimed at eradicating illegal coca cultivation.

[*Namaskar - Kannada, India]

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South Korea

This Happened - April 16: The MV Sewol Ferry Capsizes

On this day in 2014, the MV Sewol ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea, killing 295 people, most of whom were high school students.

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This Happened

This Happened - March 10: Impeachment Of Park Geun-Hye

Former South Korean President, Park Geun-Hye was removed from office on this day in 2017 following her impeachment by the South Korean National Assembly on charges of corruption and abuse of power. She was the first South Korean president to be impeached and removed from office.

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Pierre Haski

South Korea And Japan: Burying An Ugly Past To Counter China's Rise

South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, made a gesture of reconciliation towards Japan, the country's former colonizer. It gives Washington hope that its two key Asian allies can overcome differences as they face an emboldened China and North Korea.


South Korea's leader President Yoon took advantage of the commemoration of a key date in the Japanese occupation of South Korea, March 1, 1919, to make an unequivocal statement: "Today, more than a century after the March 1 movement, Japan has transformed from a militaristic aggressor of the past into a partner with whom we share the same universal values."

It was an outstretched hand with no conditions attached.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Ginevra Falciani Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Putin State Of Nation Speech, New Turkey Quake, iPhone Antique

👋 اسلام عليكم*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Russian President Vladimir Putin lambasts the West in his much-awaited state of nation speech, a new 6.4-magnitude earthquake kills at least six in Turkey, and you’ll wish you’d held onto that old iPhone. Meanwhile, for Portuguese-language digital magazine Questão de Ciência, Natalia Pasternak gauges whether The Last of Us and its fungus-linked zombie apocalypse is actually so far-fetched.

[*Ssalamū ‘lekum - Darija, Morocco]

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Deborah Laker*

What Does Santa Claus Look Like Around The World?

He's making a list, he's checking it twice... But he doesn't always wear a red suit. From Aruba to Finland and Liberia, here's what Christmas looks like around the world.

Across the globe, Santa Claus is recognized as the Christmas gift bearer. But he is not always known as a red-suited jolly man. The tradition of a man bringing gifts to children is traced to stories about the early Greek bishop St. Nicholas of Myra, a small city in modern-day Turkey.

Santa Claus today not only goes by different names, like Father Christmas and Old St. Nick, but is linked to different folktales and cultural practices. Here are lesser known variations of Santa, from the beaches of Aruba to the snow-capped mountains of Finland.

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Sophia Constantino, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Imran Khan Assassination Attempt, Ethiopia Truce, Hole-y Cheese

👋 Hai!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan is out of danger after an assassination attempt at a protest march, inflation is getting out of hand in Turkey and Switzerland takes the crown for best cheese. Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage looks at the relationship between Georgia and its problematic neighbor, Russia: Yes, it’s complicated.

[*Malay, Malaysia, Indonesia]

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Sophia Constantino, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

North Korea Fires 23 Missiles, Bibi’s Comeback, Lions On The Loose Down Under

👋 Ahoj!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where North Korea fires an unprecedented barrage of missiles, Benjamin Netanyahu looks set for a comeback in Israel, and Twitter’s coveted blue tick now comes at a price. Meanwhile, in Egyptian media Mada Masr, political scientist Fatemeh Sadeghi looks at the mass protests shaking Iran and their long-lasting effects on society.


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In The News
Cameron Manley, Anne-Sophie Goninet, and Emma Albright

U.S. Warns About Putin’s Dangerous Doublespeak On Nuclear Threat

Vladimir Putin told the world yesterday "don't worry" about a nuclear attack, even as he's setting up a scenario that makes it more likely.

Vladimir Putin used his wide-ranging foreign policy speech Thursday to strike an overall threatening tone toward Ukraine and its Western partners, including a warning that the coming decade would be the “most dangerous and unpredictable” since World War II.

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Putin did, however, try to allay one specific fear: that he might choose to use nuclear arms in the war in Ukraine. Putin said Russia “had never talked about using nuclear weapons" and that using them “made no political or military sense.”

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