Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on Japanese sovereign debt one notch last week, strengthening the naysayers. But with falling unemployment, large reserves, and rising corporate profits, 'Japan is punching well above its weight,' says one analyst.
South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak said Tuesday he has 'high hopes for a change in attitude' from North Korea and implied that South Korea might consider significant aid for the North’s dilapidated economy.
Japan's Shinmoedake volcano, known by James Bond aficionados as the lair of one of 007's enemies, scattered thick ash over a wide area, toppled trees, and shattered windows in buildings and cars five miles away.
Five Somali pirates flown Sunday to South Korea are blaming the hijacking of the Samho Jewelry tanker on eight other pirates who were killed when South Korean navy seals rescued the vessel and its 21 crew members on Jan. 21.
Following President Obama's State of the Union message, in which he insisted 'North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons,' South Korea and the US are showing a united front on North Korea.
The timing is widely interpreted in South Korea as a dividend of Chinese pressure to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula – and the meeting this week between President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.