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There's a Move to Get Lonely Beluga Out of 'Unethical' Home

Animal rights activists are fighting for release of Bella, housed in a shopping mall aquarium in Seoul

(Newser) - Efforts have kicked up again to "free Bella," a beluga whale housed in an aquarium in a South Korean shopping mall. Bella was caught in 2013 at the tender age of 2 in the Arctic Ocean, off the coast of Russia, and along with two other male belugas...

Filmmaker Demands Probe Into Parasite Actor's Death

Bong Joon-ho wants answers on what happened to Lee Sun-kyun, who died of an apparent suicide

(Newser) - South Korea is still reeling from the death last month of popular Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun, whose body was found in a car in a Seoul park. Lee's family says he'd left behind what appeared to be a suicide note, and now the director of his hit 2019...

Parasite Star, 48, Found Dead in Car

Lee Sun-kyun reportedly wrote an apparent suicide note before disappearing

(Newser) - South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, who starred in 2019's Oscar-winning Parasite, was found dead in a car in a central Seoul park Wednesday morning. Police had been alerted earlier after Lee, 48, wrote a note that appeared to be a suicide note and then left home, Yonhap News reports....

Climber Got to 72nd Floor Before He Was Arrested

South Korean authorities arrested British man halfway up world's 5th-tallest building

(Newser) - A British man was detained after climbing more than halfway up the world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper with only his bare hands on Monday, authorities in Seoul say. More than 90 police and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the 123-story, 1,820-foot-tall Lotte World Tower after the man was spotted...

Three US Soldiers Saved 30 Lives in Crowd Crush

The Americans, stationed at Camp Casey near Seoul, were in Itaewon on their night off

(Newser) - The death toll from the weekend crowd crush in Seoul stood at a staggering 156 on Thursday, reports the AP , but it might have been even worse if not for three off-duty US soldiers. Yonhap News Agency credits the trio of Jarmil Taylor, 40, Jerome Augusta, 34, and Dane Beathard,...

In Hours Before Seoul Surge, Worried 911 Calls

National police chief concedes law enforcement response was 'inadequate'

(Newser) - The deadly crowd surge in Seoul over the weekend, which left more than 150 dead and dozens injured during festivities celebrating Halloween, took place about four hours after an initial 911 call had been placed, warning that the number of people crammed into a narrow alley in the Itaewon district...

K-Pop Star Was Killed in Seoul Crowd Crush

As was the niece of an Ohio congressman

(Newser) - One of the two Americans killed in the deadly Seoul crowd crush tragedy was the niece of a US congressman from Ohio, Rep. Brad Wenstrup. "Monica and I, and our entire family, are grieving the loss of our niece Anne Marie Gieske. She was a gift from God to...

'Unbearable': 2 US Families 'Devastated' After Seoul Crowd Crush

Families mourn the loss of Steven Blesi, Anne Gieske

(Newser) - Steve and Maria Blesi had just gotten back from a trip to the grocery store Saturday when their older son, Joey, got in touch to ask if they'd heard what had happened in Seoul, and if they knew whether his younger brother, Steven Blesi, was alright. The 20-year-old, a...

What We Know About Deadly Crowd Crush in Seoul

More than 150 Halloween revelers died in Itaewon district, and most were young women

(Newser) - The scale of the tragedy from a deadly crowd crush in Seoul continues to rise, with at least 153 dead and dozens more injured, some critically. As authorities attempt to identify the victims and investigate what led to the crush, harrowing accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses have emerged. Coverage:
  • The

Stampede at Halloween Event Kills at Least 146 in Seoul

150 are reported injured after crowd surge during festivities on narrow street

(Newser) - Update: This story has been updated throughout with the latest death toll and new details. At least 146 people were killed and 150 more injured when they were crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities Saturday night in Seoul, South Korean officials said....

S. Korea Talks 'Preemptive Strike' as North Threatens 'Disaster'
Kim Jong Un's
Sister Threatens
to Go Nuclear

Kim Jong Un's Sister Threatens to Go Nuclear

Kim Yo Jong threatens South Korea for the 2nd time this week

(Newser) - Updated: For the second time this week, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un berated South Korea for touting its supposed preemptive strike capabilities against the North, saying her country’s nuclear forces would annihilate the South’s conventional forces if provoked, the AP reports. In a...

Man Who Crossed DMZ Into North Korea Believed to Be Gymnast

He is believed to have first defected from North to South last year

(Newser) - Update: The person who crossed the DMZ to enter North Korea over the weekend is a male gymnast, Seoul says. He is believed to have defected from North to South Korea last year, and on Saturday made his way back, the BBC reports. Why he did so is not clear,...

In This City, Unlikely Suspects Have Started Dozens of Fires

Cats are being blamed for 100-plus blazes in Seoul homes over the past 3 years

(Newser) - It's not unusual to hear about a young child starting a house fire after playing with matches or a lighter. In South Korea, however, one city is plagued by a different type of accidental arsonist. Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters reports that for the past three years—from...

'Long Time No Talk': South Korean Official to North Korean Official

Hotlines between two countries restored

(Newser) - Update: North Korea on Monday restored its hotlines with South Korea, and communication resumed on them for the first time in almost two months. "Long time no talk. We’re very pleased because the communication channels have been restored like this. We hope that South-North relations will develop into...

Seoul's New COVID Rules Target Gym Music

Songs in group exercise classes can't exceed 120bpm, to prevent the 'spatter' of saliva, sweat

(Newser) - Seoul has seen a recent spike in COVID cases, but the government's latest health measure in the South Korean capital to try to contain them has prompted a fair amount of head-scratching. Gymgoers in Seoul won't be able to rely on hard-driving music to get their hearts pumping...

Seoul's Wastewater Holds Unexpected Amount of Viagra

Scientists detected particularly high levels of Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors

(Newser) - Seoul may be a Viagra capital of the world, according to a new study, which found high traces of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction in the South Korean capital's sewers. "An astonishingly large amount of Viagra was detected in wastewater," Kim Hyunook, co-author of the study...

Seoul's Advice for Moms-to-Be: Lay Out Skivvies for Your Husband

City government slammed for sexist guidelines on expectant moms' looks, weight, spousal care

(Newser) - Everyone knows pregnant women don't especially love being told to keep their weight in check and always look their best, especially right after giving birth. Except, apparently, the city government in Seoul, which is seeing backlash for posting advice for expectant mothers that's being called antiquated and sexist....

Amid 'Uncertainty' Over New HK Law, a Big Move for NYT

Newspaper to relocate portion of its international staff in Hong Kong to Seoul

(Newser) - With low taxes and a location close to China's mainland, Hong Kong has long been seen as an ideal site in which media outlets can set up shop for their international teams. The New York Times, however, has announced that, due to Hong Kong's new security law against...

Seoul's Mayor Found Dead After Message to Daughter

Park Won-soon had been accused of harassment by an employee

(Newser) - The mayor of the South Korean capital of Seoul has been found dead following a massive police search, reports CNN . Park Won-soon, who had been seen as a possible presidential candidate, was reported missing Thursday after being named in a sexual harassment complaint. The 64-year-old's phone had been turned...

Two K-Pop Stars Guilty of Rape; One Shared Video

Female victims were too drunk to resist assaults

(Newser) - Two K-pop stars will spend the next several years behind bars—punishment for raping women who were too drunk to resist. Jung Joon-young, a singer-songwriter who rose to fame on a TV talent show, and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of the boy band FT Island, burst into tears Friday...

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