≡ No Indication Of An Imminent Missile Test By N. Korea: Seoul JCS
Defense officials say there has been no indication of an imminent missile test by North Korea.
Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon made the remark in response to unconfirmed U.S. news reports that said the North appears to be preparing another intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
Roh pointed out, however, that it's possible for the North to launch a missile at anytime, adding that the South Korean and American militaries are keeping close tabs on the regime.■
≡ President To Hold New Year Press Conference Next Week: Cheong Wa Dae
President Moon Jae-in will hold a press conference next week to lay out his administration's policy objectives for the New Year.
Cheong Wa Dae said the briefing, the second of its kind since the president took office, will be held on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
President Moon is expected to first explain the direction and tone of his major policies.
He will then take questions from more than 200 local and foreign reporters on various issues, ranging from local politics and foreign relations to security, the economy and inter-Korean relations.■
≡ Govt Strengthens Bird Flu Quarantine Measure Ahead Of Olympics
The government is strengthening quarantine measures against bird flu as the latest outbreak in Gyeonggi Province has raised concerns with little over a month left before the start of the PyeongChang Winter Games.
Additional nationwide measures announced by the agriculture ministry this morning include restrictions on the shipment of hatching eggs to twice a week, while vehicles that transfer eggs will also be restricted from entering farms.
Meanwhile, an in-depth analysis is currently underway to figure out whether the latest case of AI involves a highly pathogenic strain.
Quarantine officials imposed a 48-hour standstill order on poultry, equipment and livestock breeders in Gangwon Province.■[2018.01.04]
≡ Park Faces New Charges For Taking Bribes From NIS
Former President Park Geun-hye has been indicted on new accusations, in addition to the 18 charges she is currently facing.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office added charges of bribery, embezzlement and loss of state funds to her indictment.
Prosecutors say she colluded with three former chiefs of the National Intelligence Service and received a total of 3.6 billion won from the spy agency between May 2013 and September 2016.
Park is suspected of spending the money for private use, such as bills for secret phones she used to contact her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, and maintenance costs for her private residence.
She is also accused of using the fund to give millions of won every month as bonuses to her close aides, Lee Jae-man, Ahn Bong-geun and Jeong Ho-seong.
Park wasn't available for comment on the latest indictment, but she had denied any wrongdoing with regard to other allegations against her.■
≡ Korean Stocks Finish Lower As Investors Opt To Cash In
Korean stocks finished lower today as investors opted to cash in recent gains.
The benchmark KOSPI fell 0.8 percent to close at 2,466.
Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo soared 3.3 percent on its first day of trading for 2018, Hong Kong added 0.8 percent while Shanghai rose 0.7 percent.
The local currency closed at 1,062 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.3 won from the previous session's close.■
≡ US East Coast Residents Hunker Down As Snowstorm Approaches
Residents across a huge swath of the U.S. are hunkering down as a massive winter storm packing snow, ice and high winds is moving up the eastern seaboard.
The storm expected on Thursday began two days ago in the Gulf of Mexico.
It has prompted thousands of canceled flights, shuttered schools and businesses and sparked fears of coastal flooding and power outages.
The National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, coastal New Jersey, eastern Long Island, and coastal eastern New England.■