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Exit polls in South Korean local elections Wednesday signaled the tightest of contests in a ballot seen as a referendum on President Park Geun-hye's handling of the April ferry disaster that killed about 300 people.

South Korean prosecutors investigating April's ferry disaster said Tuesday the fugitive head of the family that owns the vessel had indirectly approached a foreign embassy in Seoul over asylum, but was rejected.

The frontrunner in Wednesday's election to be Seoul's education supremo has had his campaign rocked by his own daughter accusing him of being a negligent father unfit to hold the office.

Japan will send officials to North Korea while Pyongyang reinvestigates the fate of Japanese nationals it abducted in the Cold War years, a senior politician said Sunday.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye named the country's defense minister as its new national security adviser Sunday following the resignation of the aide in the aftermath of April's ferry disaster.

A suburb of the U.S. capital dedicated a monument Friday to World War II sex slaves in the latest local victory by Korean Americans in historical disputes with Japan.
Korean 'comfort women' honored near US capital


North Korea sentenced a South Korean missionary to hard labor for life after accusing him of espionage and setting up an underground church, state media said Saturday, the latest Christian preacher to run into trouble in the secretive state.

A civilian diver died Friday during the search for people still believed to be trapped inside a sunken South Korean ferry, the second diver's death in the six-week operation.

A fire believed to have been set by an 81-year-old dementia patient blazed through a hospital ward for the elderly on Wednesday and killed 21 people in southern South Korea, mostly from smoke inhalation, police and fire officials said.
Fire kills 21 at South Korean hospital


South Korea's prime minister nominee withdrew from consideration Wednesday following growing public criticism over his alleged ethical lapses.
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