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Korea Economy

Striking workers from unions representing 1.7 million members shut down much of South Korea's economy today in escalating protests against a new labor law and feared threats to civil liberties. The main target of worker fury was a law passed in a secretive predawn parliamentary session Thursday that makes it easier for employers to lay off workers and to hire replacements for strikers.
President Kim Young Sam was reportedly determined Monday to decide within 10 days whether to put his predecessor, Roh Tae Woo, on trial for accepting bribes, as a minister in Kim's Cabinet declared that the South Korean people will demand the arrest of the former president.
August 14, 2002 | From Associated Press
North Korea threatened Tuesday to withdraw from a 1994 accord with the United States under which it would freeze its suspected nuclear weapons program in exchange for two nuclear reactors. To preserve the agreement, Washington must compensate for the loss of electricity caused by the delay in building the reactors because a power shortage has "created grave difficulties" in North Korea's economy, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
January 24, 1997
South Korea's economy remains enviably healthy by the standards of most industrialized countries, but Korean officials and business leaders see a less happy picture. Korea's exporters have increasingly been losing markets to lower-cost Asian producers, and this has contributed to slower growth and a rising trade deficit. Partial blame falls on a paternalistic labor law that President Kim Young Sam and his supporters see as a drag on South Korea's economic competitiveness.
February 6, 1997
A North Korea that for decades posed before the world as the realization of paradise on earth has again been forced to admit it desperately needs food for its 23 million people and must appeal for international help. The United States is among those ready to lend a hand, with President Clinton approving the export of up to 500,000 metric tons of wheat and rice to its old enemy. But Pyongyang's negotiations on a barter deal with the big U.S. grain firm Cargill Inc. have not been easy.
April 9, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Shouldn't we just nuke North Korea now and get it over with? Or, to put it another way, was Douglas MacArthur right, after all? Well, no and no. (Although undoubtedly some will want to argue the MacArthur thing late into the night.) Yes, the Hermit Kingdom is being even crabbier than usual these days. On Tuesday, for example, Pyongyang warned foreigners in South Korea to prepare evacuation plans in case of war. North Korea is also believed preparing to conduct a missile test soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday.
December 18, 2011 | By Barbara Demick and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the mercurial strongman extolled at home as the "Dear Leader" and reviled abroad as a tyrant, has died at 69, North Korean media reported Monday. Kim's death was announced by state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. No cause of death was reported, but Kim was believed to have suffered in recent years from diabetes and heart disease. The diminutive leader was believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008 but nonetheless appeared in numerous photos released by state media as he toured state facilities and in recent months embarked on rare trips outside North Korea -?
December 26, 1995 | From Associated Press
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Monday denounced economic and democratic reformers as traitors, in an attack that could signal a policy shift or an impending purge in the hard-line Communist state. Kim's unusual public statement followed a report last week by a U.S. defense official that North Korea is forcing thousands of people to attend mass executions in an apparent attempt to quash dissent as the country heads into potential famine this winter.
February 10, 1998 | Tom Plate, Times columnist Tom Plate, who recently returned from a trip to Asia, teaches at UCLA. E-mail:
It's hard to believe that America is even questioning the need to help South Korea out of its tight spot. Yet there are members of Congress who actually oppose more help for our longtime ally, either because (on the left) they think the U.S.-backed International Monetary Fund's cure is worse than the disease, or (on the right) they think the disease will cure itself if only the market system is left alone.
After having laid off seven of his eight workers last year, tour operator Richard Park now displays a help-wanted sign in his Koreatown storefront window. "It's going to be good this summer," said the broadly smiling owner of Paradise Tour, where bookings from South Korean tour groups are pouring in. Just as the collapse of South Korea's economy last year hit parts of Southern California hard, so South Korea's fledgling recovery is already trickling across the Pacific.
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