Golden Eaglets Beat Brazil 2-1 In Suwon

golden eagletsNigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, have beaten the Junior Selecao of Brazil 2-1 at the on-going Suwon Continental Cup international youth football tournament in Korea.

Kingsley Michael and Chukwudi Agor scored two first half goals, while David Enogela conceded a second half own goal.

The Brazilians swooped on the Eaglets in the second half and Evander saw his shot ricocheted off the bar in the 54th minute, as goalkeeper Udoh Akpan was at his best to punch away Vitinho’s volley in the 60th minute.

With the victory, the Eaglets shot their way to the top of the 4-nation tournament with four points, following their 1-1 draw on Wednesday against South Korea.

Golden Eaglets Hold Korea To 1-1 Draw In Suwon

golden_eagletsNational Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets forced host, South Korea to a 1-1 draw at the on-going 2015 Suwon Invitational Tournament.

Lee Sangheon scored the curtain raiser as early as the third minute for the home team, but Funsho Bamgboye, making his debut for Nigeria on the international stage, brought the game into parity in the 26th minute, with a lively volley.

Thereafter, it was a ding-dong affair, as both teams searched for the winner with beautiful style of play.

With the result, Nigeria and Korea are jointly in second position behind Brazil who beat Croatia 2-1 in the tournament’s opening match.

The Eaglets’ second game of the Suwon tournament would be against table leader Brazil, while Croatia will face Korea at the Suwon World Cup stadium.

South North Korea Deal Agree To Reduce Tensions

North and South Korea agree to reduce tentionSouth Korea has halted its propaganda broadcasts into North Korea, as part of the agreement between the two countries to defuse tension.

Landmine blasts, loudspeakers blaring propaganda, an exchange of artillery fire and threats of more hostilities had put both sides on edge along the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the world’s most heavily fortified border.

But after marathon talks between high-level officials, the two bitter foes said in the early hours of Tuesday that they had found enough common ground to dial back the situation.

Seoul had begun the loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts, which infuriates Pyongyang, after a landmine at the border injured two of its soldiers earlier this month.

The truce was reached after the North, which initially denied planting the mine, agreed to express “regret”.

The late-night agreement came after high-level talks at the “truce village” of Panmunjom inside the DMZ.

The North agreed to end its “semi-state of war”, and pull back troops deployed to the frontline.

Both countries have also agreed to work towards a resumption of reunions for families separated during the 1950-53 Korean war.

The agreement “reduces the risk of a miscalculation with so many forces on the ground there and room for an error,” the Executive Director of the Ploughshares Fund, Philip Yun, said.

“This is really good news over the short term”, he added.

The Ploughshares Fund is a group that advocates nuclear disarmament.

Japan, South Korea Mark 70 Years Since End Of WW2

Japan marks WW2Japan is on Saturday, marking 70 years since the end of World War 11 but not without criticism from South Korea and China.

Both countries accused Japan of failing to properly atone for its actions during the war.

At a memorial service in Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito observed a minute’s silence.

On Friday, Mr Abe had expressed “profound grief” over Japan’s role in the war.

But South Korean President, Park Geun-Hye, said the Japanese Premier’s remarks “leaves much to be desired”.

Speaking on Saturday at a ceremony in Seoul, Mrs Geun-Hye called on Mr Abe to reiterate Japan’s apologies for abuses during its wartime occupations of neighbouring countries.

“History can never be covered up. History remains alive through its witnesses’ vivid testimony,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Japan should have made a “sincere apology to the people of victim countries rather than being evasive on this major issue of principle”.

Speaking at the ceremony in Tokyo, Mr Abe said Japan’s war lords “sacrificed their life for the future and the prosperity of our homeland”.

“Their sacrifice was the foundation of today’s prosperity and we shall never forget their contribution. We always reflect the past and we hate the horror of the war,” he said.

Japan surrendered to the allies on August 15, 1945, freed the then-unified Korea from 35 years of occupation, leading Koreans to celebrate the date as Liberation Day.

South Korea Declares ‘De Facto End’ To MERS

MERSThe South Korean Government has declared a “de facto end” to the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Prime Minister, Hwang Kyo-Ahn, on Tuesday, said that “there has been no new infections for 23 days”. Therefore, the public “can now be free from worry”.

The Prime Minister also apologised for the government’s much-criticised response to the virus, which had killed 36 people in the country.

“I ask the public to shake off all concerns over MERS and to resume normal daily activities, including economic, cultural, leisure and school activities”.

But the World Health Organization (WHO), said it is not yet declaring MERS officially over.

A spokeswoman in Manila, said the WHO requires 28 days without a new infection to make the announcement; twice the incubation period of the virus.

The outbreak also had a disastrous effect on the economy, with a 40 per cent drop in the number of foreign visitors to South Korea. At least 130,000 foreign tourists cancelled their travel plan to South Korea in June over MERS fear, according to government officials.

MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The disease is part of the corona virus family, which includes the common cold and SARS. It could cause such symptoms as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

Pentagon Mistakenly Shipped Live Anthrax To Labs

PentagonThe Pentagon has admitted that it accidentally sent live anthrax samples to as many as nine laboratories across the country and to a U.S. Military Base in South Korea.

Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium, Bacillus Anthracis, in which most of its forms are lethal, affecting mostly animals.It is not contagious but can be transmitted through contact or consumption of infected meat.

The U.S. military said 22 military personnel at the Osan Air Base in South Korea are receiving preventive treatment after being possibly exposed to the sample.

Four civilians are also receiving treatment in the U.S. – although authorities say they face a “minimal risk”.

Pentagon Spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, said “the sample was destroyed in accordance with appropriate protocols”.

Experts in bio-safety said they are astonished by the lapse and called for greater precautions.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun an investigation into the incident.

Colonel Warren said, “Out of an abundance of caution, the Defence Department has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation”.

CDC spokesman, Kathy Harden, said that samples involved in the investigation will be securely transferred to CDC or affiliated laboratories “for further testing”, Ms Harden said that the CDC has also sent officials to the labs “to conduct on-site investigations”.

Militias Head For IS-Held Ramadi

isThe Iraqi government is reported to be sending Iran-backed Shia militias to Ramadi, to recapture the city from the Islamic State (IS) militants.

About 500 people died when the Iraqi Military abandoned their positions in the city, only 70 miles (112km) West of Baghdad, the BBC reports.

A Regional government official said the people fleeing Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, fled ”in great numbers.”

The US had said that it is confident the capture of Ramadi can be reversed.

Addressing reporters in South Korea, the Us Secretary of State, John Kerry, said: ”I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead, that is going to change”.

The Shia Militias, also known as the Popular Mobilisation (Hashid Shaabi), were key to the recapture from Islamic State (IS) of another city, Tikrit, North of Baghdad, two months ago, where there use has raised concer in the US and other Countries.

The Militias were said to have pulled out of Tikrit, following reports of widespread violence and looting.

A statement from IS said its fighters had ”purged the entire city”, taking the 8th Brigade Army Base, along with tanks and Missile launchers left behind by troops.

North Korea Might Possess Missiles Submarine Fleet – South Korea

KoreaThe South Korean Government has said that North Korea could possess a submarine fleet capable of launching missiles in less than five years.

This assessment follows North Korea’s test launch of a missile from a submarine last week.

South Korea has described the test as “very serious and concerning”, while North Korea has said it is developing nuclear war-heads.

Following the the launch, North Korean President, Mr Kim Jong-un said his country now possessed a “world-level strategic weapon capable of striking and wiping out in any waters the hostile forces infringing upon (North Korea’s) sovereignty and dignity”, state media reports.

On Monday, the South Korean Defence Ministry Spokesman, Kim Min-seok, urged North Korea to stop the development of the weapons.

“We judge North Korea’s underwater test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile to be very serious and a matter of concern. We urge North Korea to immediately stop developing SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles), which hinder the stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.”

A South Korean defense ministry official who declined to be identified also said that North Korea could be capable of building a fully-operational submarine equipped with ballistic missiles within two or three years – a shorter time frame than many analysts say is needed.

South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo Offers To Resign

South korea PM -Lee-offers to resignSouth Korea’s Prime Minister, Lee Wan-koo, has offered to resign on Monday amid a growing political scandal.

Mr Lee, who has only been in the job for two months, tendered his resignation after the main opposition party said it would seek his impeachment.

The Prime Minister has transferred his role of chairing Cabinet meetings to the deputy prime minister for the time being, according to his office.

The situation was triggered by the suicide earlier in April of the former head of a bankrupt construction company, Sung Wan-jong.

In his pocket, investigators found a note that listed the names of eight people, including Lee and presidential chief of staff Lee Byung-Kee, alongside numbers that were alleged to indicate bribery sums.

Mr Lee had adamantly denied accepting 30 million won (about $27,700) in illegal campaign funds from Sung.

The suicide came as Sung was about to be questioned by prosecutors over allegations that he created a slush fund with embezzled company money to bribe politicians and government officials.

Mr Lee and seven other politicians with links to the South Korean President are under investigation. A special prosecutor’s team has been established to investigate the case.

“If there are any evidence, I will give out my life. As a Prime Minister, I will accept Prosecutor Office’s investigation first,” he said.

The  South Korea President, Park Geun-Hye, has said that she is taking the accusations very seriously. Before departing on her trip to Central and South America, she condemned political corruption in her country.

“Corruption and deep-rooted evil are issues that can lead to taking away people’s lives. We take this very seriously.”

“We must make sure to set straight this issue as a matter of political reform. I will not forgive anyone who is responsible for corruption or wrongdoing.”

President Park is in Peru and is expected to arrive back to South Korea on April 27.

North Korea Internet Service Restored After Over Nine-Hour Outage

0,,18091772_303,00Some internet services have been restored in North Korea after a more than nine-hour outage, amid a cyber security row with the US.

The disruption came amid an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea over a massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

Though there has been no comment from the authorities in Pyongyang, US experts reported the restoration.

Some analysts say the country’s web access was cut entirely for a time.

Washington said that it would launch a proportional response to a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, which made a comedy about North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un but U.S. officials said Washington was not involved.

Officials would not comment on any US involvement in the current outages.

CEO of U.S.-based CloudFlare which protects websites from web-based attacks, Matthew Prince, said the fact that North Korea’s Internet was back up “is pretty good evidence that the outage wasn’t caused by a state-sponsored attack, otherwise it’d likely still be down for the count”.

Almost all of North Korea’s Internet links and traffic pass through China and it dismissed any suggestion that it was involved as “irresponsible”.

U.S. President, Barack Obama, told CNN on Sunday that the hack was “an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive” but that he didn’t consider it an act of war.

He had previously said that the United States would “respond proportionally” to the attack on Sony, without giving specifics.

The outage brought down sites run by the Korean Central News Agency and the Rodong Sinmun — major mouthpieces for the regime — according to the South Korean news agency, Yonhap.

Meanwhile, South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North, said it could not rule out the involvement of its isolated neighbour in a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator. It said that only non-critical data was stolen and operations were not at risk, but had asked for U.S. help in investigating.

China’s permanent representative to the United Nations has called for all sides to avoid an escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula after the UN security council put the North’s human rights record on its agenda.

The United States asked China to identify any North Korean hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North Korea. It wants China to send a strong message to Pyongyang that such acts would not be tolerated, the officials said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday it opposed all forms of cyberattacks but there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking.

North Korea has denied it was behind the cyberattack on Sony and has vowed to hit back against any U.S. retaliation, threatening the White House and the Pentagon.

The hackers said they were incensed by a Sony comedy about a fictional assassination of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, which the movie studio has now pulled from general release.

China is North Korea’s only major ally and would be central to any U.S. efforts to crack down on the isolated state. But the United States has also accused China of cyber spying in the past and a U.S. official has said that the attack on Sony could have used Chinese servers to mask its origin.

US Reminds North Korea Of Military Might

Barack_ObamaPresident Barack Obama says the US will use its military might if necessary to defend South Korea from any attack by North Korea.

While delivering a speech at the U.S. military base Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday, President Obama, however, stressed that the United States did not use its military might to “impose things” on others.

The North warned last month it would not rule out a “new form” of atomic test after the U.N. Security Council condemned Pyongyang’s launch of a mid-range ballistic missile into the sea east of the Korean peninsula.

Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye presented a united front against North Korea at a joint news conference following their summit on Friday, warning that they would respond firmly to any “provocations” by Pyongyang which routinely threatens the United States and South Korea with destruction.

“We don’t use our military might to impose these things on others, but we will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life,” Obama told cheering U.S. forces at the Yongsan garrison on a sunny spring morning.

“So like all nations on Earth, North Korea and its people have a choice. They can choose to continue down a lonely road of isolation, or they can choose to join the rest of the world and seek a future of greater opportunity, and greater security, and greater respect – a future that already exists for the citizens on the southern end of the Korean peninsula.”

North Korea is already subject to U.N. sanctions over its previous three atomic tests.

Recent satellite data shows continued work at the nuclear test site in North Korea, although experts analysing the data say that preparations do not appear to have progressed far enough for an imminent test.

Adding to tensions surrounding Obama’s visit to South Korea, the North announced on Friday it had detained a 24-year-old American this month who demanded asylum after arriving in the country on a tourist visa.

Obama is using his week-long Asia tour to try to ease doubts among U.S. allies about his promise to “rebalance” military, diplomatic and economic resources toward the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.

He has sought to strike a balance between showing the United States will be a counterweight to China without alienating Beijing, which worries that Washington wants to contain its growth and influence.

Obama and Park also urged China, North Korea’s main ally, to uses its influence to help rein in its unpredictable neighbour.

Group of Seven Agrees Swift Sanctions Against Kremlin Over Ukraine

Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose extra sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists detained a group of international observers and accused them of being NATO spies.A pro-Russian armed man stands guard at a barricade near the state security service building in Slaviansk

The United States said as part of the new punitive measures, which U.S. officials said would target “cronies” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, could be unveiled as early as Monday unless Russia moved fast to defuse the Ukraine crisis.

Meeting in South Korea, the G7 leaders said Russia had not taken any concrete steps to implement an accord, signed in Geneva, that was intended to rein in illegal armed groups.

“Instead, it has continued to escalate tensions by increasingly concentrating on rhetorics and threatening military manoeuvre on Ukraine’s border,” the G7 leaders in Seoul, who included U.S. President Barack Obama, said in a statement after their meeting.

“We have now agreed that we will move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia,” it said. “We have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia’s actions.”

But it added: “We underscore that the door remains open to a diplomatic resolution of this crisis.”

Russia denies it is to blame for the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian separatists have taken control of about a dozen official buildings and are defying the rule of the Western-backed government in the capital, Kiev.

The Kremlin argues that the crisis began when a new leadership took over in Kiev, in what Moscow calls a coup d’etat, and started persecuting the Russian-speaking community in the east for wanting closer ties with Russia.

The crisis has brought relations between Russia and the West to their lowest level since the Cold War, and is increasingly turning into a military stand-off.

Russia has massed troops and helicopters on the border with Ukraine where it says they are conducting exercises, while NATO has deployed extra forces in eastern Europe, saying they are needed to reassure its allies.

OBSERVERS HELD

The international observers were being held in the eastern city of Slaviansk, a flashpoint between the Moscow-backed separatists who control the city, and Kiev’s forces who are trying to squeeze them out.

They were part of a German-led monitoring mission visiting the area under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a Vienna-based body whose 57 member states include Russia.

The group was made up of eight observers, including nationals from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic, along with several Ukrainian army officers who were accompanying them, the OSCE said.

On Saturday, the separatists invited journalists from Russian media into the building where the observers are being held, and showed military identification cards and military insignia they said were taken from the detainees.

That, the separatists said, was proof that they were not observers but were spying for NATO, according to reports in Russian media. It is standard practice for serving military officers to be seconded to OSCE missions.

“It is critical that we use all diplomatic channels to free this team immediately and unhurt,” German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

Russia’s envoy to the OSCE said Moscow would take all steps to free the observers, Russian news agencies reported.