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Pope Francis on Thursday begins the first papal visit to South Korea in a quarter century, with plans to beatify 124 Korean martyrs and encourage a vibrant and growing local church seen as a model for the future of Catholicism.
Pope to make first South Korean visit in 25 years


South Korea's military outlined measures Wednesday to curb barrack-room bullying, following a series of incidents and suicides involving young soldiers serving in isolated frontline units.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he was prepared to improve relations with North Korea, but warned of further pressure and isolation if it chose the path of confrontation.

Korean prosecutors have opened an investigation into Sankei Shimbun over a report on President Park Geun-hye that raised questions about her whereabouts during the day of the ferry sinking.

South Korea said Monday it would provide US$13.3 million in funding for U.N. humanitarian projects in North Korea — its second indirect aid package for the North in a month.

North Korea said Monday it would publish its own “rosy” human rights report, six months after a U.N. inquiry published a list of violations so severe as to amount to crimes against humanity.

Pope Francis travels to South Korea this week with a message of peace for the divided peninsula on his first papal visit to Asia, where the Catholic Church is undergoing dramatic growth.

Protesting relatives of victims of South Korea's ferry disaster vowed Tuesday to “fight back” if any attempt is made to clear them from a ceremonial plaza in Seoul where Pope Francis will hold a Mass next week.
S. Korea ferry families refuse to budge for pope


South Korea's army and police chiefs both offered to resign Tuesday over separate cases that have triggered widespread public criticism and allegations of negligence and incompetence.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-Koo apologized Monday following the death of a bullied young army conscript, while the presidential Blue House urged a full inquiry.
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