For countries in Northeast Asia, this summer is becoming too hot to bear.
A Japanese city has experienced the highest temperature ever recorded in the country.Â The South Korean government is clamping down on the use of air-conditioning in an attempt to stave off power shortages.
And Shanghai has been sweltering under a record-setting run of baking hot days.
North Korea on Friday shunned a South Korean proposal for talks over the two countries' joint manufacturing zone, where Pyongyang halted activity this month amid tensions.
In a statement on state media, a spokesman for the North's National Defense Commission described Seoul's offer of talks about the Kaesong Industrial Complex as "deceptive."
The complex, which is on the North's side of the border but houses the operations of more than 120 South Korean companies, is seen as the last major symbol of cooperation between the two countries.FULL STORY
North Korea on Thursday set out demanding conditions for any talks with Washington and Seoul, calling for the withdrawal of U.N. sanctions against it and a permanent end to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
The United States and South Korea "should immediately stop all their provocative acts against the DPRK and apologize for all of them," the North's National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by state-run media, using the shortened version of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.FULL STORY
The Obama administration calculates it's likely North Korea may test fire mobile ballistic missiles at any time, based on the most recent intelligence showing Pyongyang probably has completed launch preparations, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The administration believes a test launch could happen without North Korea issuing a standard notice to commercial aviation and maritime shipping warning them to stay away from the missile's path, according to the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the information.
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, on Tuesday called repeated North Korean violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions forbidding the "building and testing" of long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons "a clear and direct threat to U.S. national security and regional peace and stability."FULL STORY
North Korea issued its latest dispatch of ominous rhetoric Tuesday, telling foreigners in South Korea they should take steps to secure shelter or evacuation to protect themselves in the event of a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
The unnerving message came as Japan set up missile defenses in Tokyo, and North Korean workers failed to turn up for work in the industrial complex jointly operated by North and South Korea.
In the statement published by state-run media Tuesday, the North's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee reiterated accusations that Washington and Seoul were seeking to provoke a war with Pyongyang.
North Korea is showing signs it could be preparing to carry out a new nuclear test, South Korea's Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said Monday, according to the semi-official South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Ryoo made the comment in response to a South Korean lawmaker who cited unspecified reports suggesting there had been an increase in activity near the site of the North's three previous underground nuclear tests, Yonhap reported.FULL STORY
South Korea's government said Sunday it believes North Korea may test a missile around April 10, citing as an indicator Pyongyang's push for workers to leave the Kaesong Industrial Complex by then.
Seoul "is on military readiness posture," said South Korea's Blue House spokeswoman Kim Haeng in a briefing. She said national security chief Kim Jang-soo also based the assessment on North Korea's hint to foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to send personnel out of the country.FULL STORY
North Korea kept tensions around its borders simmering Thursday, reviving the alarming but improbable threat of a nuclear attack against the United States and continuing to put pressure on a joint industrial complex where hundreds of South Koreans work.
Pyongyang's latest salvo of ominous rhetoric, warning that "the moment of explosion is approaching fast," came soon after the United States had announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Western Pacific territory that's home to U.S. naval and air bases. North Korea has cited those bases among possible targets for missile attacks.FULL STORY
North Korea on Wednesday stirred up fresh unease in Northeast Asia, blocking hundreds of South Korean workers from entering a joint industrial complex that serves as an important symbol of cooperation between the two countries.
The move comes a day after Pyongyang announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor it shut down five years ago and follows weeks of bombastic threats against the United States and South Korea from the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un, and his government.FULL STORY
The South Korean president on Monday warned North Korea that any provocative moves will be met with "a strong response" as the United States deployed stealth fighter jets in the tense region as part of joint military exercises.
"If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations," President Park Geun-hye said at a meeting with senior defense and security officials, according to her office.FULL STORY
North Korea has entered a "state of war" with neighboring South Korea, according to a report from the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
North and South Korea technically remain at war since their conflict between 1950 and 1953 ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty. On March 11, the North Korean army declared the armistice agreement invalid.FULL STORY
North Korea said Wednesday it was cutting off an important military hotline with South Korea amid high tensions between the two sides.
"Under the situation where a war may break out any moment, there is no need to keep north-south military communications," the head of a North Korean delegation told the South by telephone on Wednesday, according to the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Earlier this month, Pyongyang disconnected a humanitarian hotline that ran through the border village of Panmunjom, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry.FULL STORY
The suspected cyberattack that struck South Korean banks and media companies this week didn't originate from a Chinese IP address, South Korean officials said Friday, contradicting their previous claim.
The Korea Communications Commission, a South Korean regulator, said that after "detailed analysis," the IP address that was thought to be from China was determined to be an internal IP address from one of the banks that was infected by the malicious code.FULL STORY
The North Korean military on Thursday issued a fresh burst of ominous rhetoric, warning that U.S. bases in Guam and Japan are within its "striking range."
The statement from the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army, carried by the North's state-run news agency, follows the announcement by the United States this week that its B-52 bombers were making flights over South Korea as part of military exercises.FULL STORY
The suspected cyber attack that appeared to target South Korean banks and broadcasters Wednesday originated from an IP address in China, South Korea's Communications Committee said in a statement Thursday.
The attack damaged 32,000 computers and servers of media and financial companies, the committee said.
South Korean officials are analyzing the cause and are working to prevent any further damage, the committee said.
The attack infected banks' and broadcasters' computer networks with a malicious program that slowed or shut systems down, officials and the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] South Korean investigators now believe computer outages at South Korean banks and broadcasters Wednesday were caused by cyberattackers, though they're still not sure who those attackers were, South Korean officials and the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency reported.
[Posted at 2:42 a.m. ET] South Korean police said Wednesday they are investigating a computer outage that is affecting servers at three leading television broadcasters and a large bank.
Customers of Shinhan Bank are unable to log into the lender's website at the moment, the company said in an online statement.
And the broadcaster YTN reported that 500 of its computers had been disabled by the outage. Police didn't immediately provide a reason for the server failure.FULL STORY
The United States' plans to beef up its missile defenses against North Korea are likely to inflame tensions that are running high over Pyongyang's nuclear program, China said Monday.
"Bolstering missile defenses will only intensify antagonism, and it doesn't help to solve the issue," Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.FULL STORY
South Korea is keeping a close watch on North Korean moves "as there are possibilities that these activities could lead to provocations," South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-suk said Tuesday.
The South is also making sure its combined forces with the United States are prepared in case of such provocation, in which "we will respond in a more resolute and destructively manner," the spokesman said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 7:39 a.m.] North Korea has taken a step it's warned about for a few days: It declared invalid the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953.
That news, from the official newspaper of the country's ruling Workers' Party, comes four days after the U.N. Security Council passed tougher sanctions against North Korea in response to its February 12 nuclear test.
It remains to be seen whether the invalidation means that either North Korea or South Korea can resume hostilities. However, the North has nullified the agreement on several occasions in the past.
[Posted at 3:57 a.m.] Joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States began Monday, the South Korean defense ministry said.
The latest military drills involving the two allies are called Key Resolve and follow the Foal Eagle joint exercises that began March 1, which are scheduled to last two months.
North Korea has called the annual training exercises "an open declaration of a war," but South Korea says it notified Pyongyang that the drills "are defensive in nature."FULL STORY