South Korea

North and South Korea begin high-level talks on Olympic Games

The meeting, at the Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom, will focus on North Korea's possible participation in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, taking place in South Korea in February.

South Korea also said it would raise ways to improve inter-Korean relations.

Ties have become increasingly tense since the last talks in 2015.

Relations broke down after Seoul suspended a joint economic project at the Kaesong Industrial complex in North Korea following a rocket launch and nuclear test by the North.

North Korea reopens hotline to South to discuss Olympics

South Korea confirmed it had received a call from the North at 15:30 local time on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader had earlier said he was open to dialogue with Seoul and to sending a team to the Winter Olympics in the South next month.

The two nations have not held high-level talks since December 2015.

North Korea cut off the communications channel shortly afterwards, refusing to answer calls, according to officials in the South.

A North Korean official announced the hotline's reopening in a televised statement.

Police investigate four baby deaths at South Korea hospital

The babies all went into cardiac arrest while lying in incubators at Seoul's Ewha Womans University Medical Centre.

Staff performed CPR but efforts to revive the babies were unsuccessful, a hospital official said.

Family members told local media they were concerned about the health of the infants before they died on Saturday.

They said the babies all had bloated stomachs and difficulty breathing. Hospital staff say they do not know what caused the cardiac arrests but told police they did "not seem to have originated from a contagious cause."

Call for Russia to be banned from Winter Games

In a joint statement issued after a two-day meeting in Denver, the organisations also criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for "continuing failure in its obligations to clean sport."

"A country's sport leaders and organisations should not be given credentials to the Olympics when they intentionally violate the rules and rob clean athletes," said the statement.

"This is especially unfair when athletes are punished when they violate the rules."

South Korean tattooists break the taboo of body art

Technically, only medical doctors are allowed to do tattooing. Mirae and Yo-Yo, two 25-year-old tattoo artists living and working in the capital, Seoul, are certainly not that.

Mirae is a part-time model with a keen interest in fashion; Yo-Yo used to work in clothes shops, before taking a working holiday to Australia, where she began to consider training as a tattoo artist.

Russia set to escape Winter Olympics ban

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is understood to be close to issuing what has been described as an "F1-style" fine, sum similar to the $US100 million sanction slapped on McLaren in 2007 for spying on Ferrari.

That would be imposed as an alternative to excluding Russia from February's Games in PyeongChang.

Senior anti-doping officials have told PA Sport they believe the IOC and Russia have already agreed the terms of the sanction.

South Korea fires at North 'object'

About 90 machine gun rounds were fired at the object, which has not been identified. North Korea has flown drones over the border in the past.

In a statement, the South Korean military said it was "maintaining high vigilance".

The incident comes amid continuing high tension on the Korean peninsula.

On Sunday Pyongyang conducted what it said was a successful test of a medium-range ballistic missile.

That test came a week after North Korea tested what it said was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.

Moon Jae-in: South Korea's new leader to be sworn in

Mr Moon is taking on a country reeling from a corruption scandal which saw his predecessor removed from office.

The 64-year-old rights lawyer and economic liberal must also look to shore up a fragile economy and manage tense relations with North Korea.

He has spoken of increasing contact with the North, which would mark a major shift in South Korean policy.

Mr Moon, the Democratic Party candidate, took 41.1% of the vote, with conservative Hong Joon-pyo taking 25.5%.

South Korea votes to choose replacement for impeached Park

The hasty election comes after Park Geun-hye, the country's first female president, was impeached in a corruption scandal that allegedly connected her to business giants Samsung and the Lotte Group.

Many voters say they're angry at Park -- once known as the "people's princess" -- and are ready for transparency.

"The electorate wants to punish the whole party for the misrule of the Park era," said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University.

USS Michigan nuclear sub heads to South Korea

The official described the move as a show of force amid tensions between the US and North Korea.

The US Navy submarine is expected to dock in the port city of Busan, South Korea, on the same day that North Korea celebrates the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.

A port call involves stopping at a foreign port for supplies, repairs or transshipment of cargo.

The USS Michigan's stop in South Korea was first reported by South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo.