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Choe Sang-Hun
Emergency personnel and investigators examine the site of a deadly blaze that tore through a lithium battery factory owned by South Korean battery maker Aricell in Hwaseong on Tuesday, a day after the fire left 23 dead.
ASIA PACIFIC / Society
Jun 26, 2024
Deadly fire exposes harsh conditions migrant workers face in South Korea
Foreign nationals do dirty, hazardous work, and advocates say the blaze that killed 23 at a battery plant shows that they need better protection.
Migrant workers harvest and package vegetables in a greenhouse in Gasan-myeon, South Korea, in December.
ASIA PACIFIC / Society
Mar 3, 2024
South Korea needs foreign workers, but often fails to protect them
Though a shrinking population makes imported labor vital, migrant workers routinely face predatory employers, inhumane conditions and other abuse.
Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung falls after being stabbed in the neck with a knife during his visit to Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday.
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Jan 4, 2024
Knife attack on opposition leader raises alarms in polarized South Korea
Politics of hatred is said to have become a norm, and tensions are unlikely to ease anytime soon as rival parties gear up for parliamentary elections in April.
Yoon Suk-yeol, then the 2022 presidential election candidate of South Korea's main opposition People Power Party, attends a news conference in Seoul in November 2021.
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Nov 10, 2023
President’s war against ‘fake news’ raises alarms in South Korea
Critics say South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is silencing journalists in the name of fighting disinformation.
People demonstrate against the government on Nov. 5, 2022, after nearly 160 people died in a crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon district on Halloween that year.
ASIA PACIFIC / Society
Oct 21, 2023
Little punishment or change after South Korea’s Halloween calamity
Families of the 159 people crushed to death last year say the government has never acknowledged its mistakes or accepted responsibility.
Nurses and university students majoring in nursing hold up signs that read "Nurse act", during a protest against President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoing a nursing act that defines the roles and responsibilities of nurses, in Seoul on May 19.
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Oct 19, 2023
Why South Korea has so many protests, and what that means
Born during South Korea’s difficult march toward self-governance in the 1980s, protest rallies are a fixture of Asia’s most vibrant democracy.
Mia Lee Sorensen with her Danish mother, Lilian Hansen, 72, and father, Bent Hansen, 74, on the coast of Korsor, Denmark, on July 13. South Korean adoptees have been returning to the country to hold the government accountable for what they call a corrupt and predatory adoption system.
ASIA PACIFIC / Society
Sep 18, 2023
World’s largest ‘baby exporter’ confronts its painful past
South Korean adoptees have been returning to the country to hold the government accountable for what they call a corrupt adoption system.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Apr 30, 2023
‘Lord Commander’ of the DMZ has seen it all on the Korean frontier
He faced off with North Korean troops, helped prepare for a Trump-Kim summit and witnessed some of the most ​hair-raising moments ​on the world’s most heavily armed border.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Apr 30, 2023
After warmth from Biden, South Korea’s leader faces a different tune at home
President Yoon Suk-yeol’s foreign policy, aligning his country more closely with Washington and Tokyo, has polarized his nation. And critics say he has won little to show for it.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Apr 9, 2023
Leaked documents show Seoul torn between U.S. demands and its own policy
The secret documents were based on signals intelligence, which meant that the United States has been spying on one of its major allies in Asia.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Apr 4, 2023
North Koreans trapped in 'state-sponsored slavery' in Russia
China and Russia have become loopholes helping the North earn badly needed cash as it deals with the fallout of international sanctions and the pandemic.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Mar 20, 2023
To combat food shortages, North Korea deploys the military
Kim Jong Un, the country's leader, has called for soldiers to be “a driving force” in increasing food production, a reflection of the North's economic and geopolitical challenges.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Mar 6, 2023
South Korea is exporting billions in arms, just not to Ukraine
Traditional weapons suppliers like the US have faced production shortages in the war effort, and South Korea has stepped in to fill the gap in the global arms market.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Crime & Legal
Feb 8, 2023
In first, South Korea ordered to compensate Vietnam war victim
The ruling is the first of its kind and expected to set a precedent in the country, where the government has long refused to address alleged civilian massacres by South Korean troops.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Jan 13, 2023
In a first, South Korea declares nuclear weapons a policy option
Yoon Suk-yeol was quick to add that building nuclear weapons was not yet an official policy.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Dec 10, 2022
North Korea wants dollars. It’s a sign of trouble.
Its trade with the outside world devastated, North Korea is scrambling for American dollars and other hard currency, not just to feed its people but also to finance the military.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Nov 6, 2022
A vibrant refuge in Seoul goes quiet after deadly crowd crush
Makeshift altars pay homage to the victims while the government investigates one of the worst peacetime disasters in the country's history.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Sep 19, 2022
New South Korean president tries to make his mark on foreign policy
Yoon Suk-yeol has aligned his country more closely with the United States, but there are limits to how far he can go without angering China or provoking North Korea.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Society
Aug 15, 2022
Japanese photographer blows whistle on treatment of ‘comfort women’
The 51-year-old photographer from Japan finds himself at the center of a current scandal about the treatment of the women, more than three-quarters of a century after the end of WWII.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
May 19, 2022
North Korea wants to follow China’s COVID ‘success.’ Its plan may backfire.
If North Koreans were placed under the kind of extreme lockdowns seen in China, the government would be unable to provide basic needs, health experts say.

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals