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Lasting impressions of 2013; national, world news of the year

Lasting impressions of 2013; national, world news of the year

Top 10 national and world news of the year selected by The Korea Herald editors

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Published : 2013-12-23 20:37
Updated : 2013-12-23 21:13

The Korea Herald presents the top 10 most memorable local and international news of the year 2013.

[National News]

End of North Korea’s No. 2-- North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un shocked the world by executing his powerful uncle and guardian, Jang Song-taek, on Dec. 12, ahead of the second anniversary of his inauguration and the death of late strongman Kim Jong-il.


Alleged electioneering-- Staff of the National Intelligence Service and the Cyber Warfare Command were found to have posted political comments online during last year’s presidential election campaign.

Summit script stirs politics--After allegations that then-President Roh Moo-hyun renounced the Northern Limit Line during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007, prosecutors found that the transcript of the meeting was missing.


Revolt plot revealed-- The Unified Progressive Party’s Rep. Lee Seok-ki came under the spotlight in late August for allegedly planning a revolt against the Korean government. Lee and six others are currently on trial.

N.K.’s third nuclear weapons test-- North Korea staged its third and most powerful nuke test on Feb. 12, prompting new U.N. sanctions. Pyongyang claims its intercontinental ballistic missiles are on standby, armed with nuclear warheads.


Economic democratization-- A series of economic democratization bills pushed by the government and political parties has rocked the business community as they aim to correct market dominance and unfair practices by conglomerates.

Big firms hit by debt, corruption-- For some chaebol, 2013 was harsh. Heads of SK, Hanwha, CJ, LIG, Taekwang and LIG groups were imprisoned or are being investigated for corruption, while STX and Tongyang groups almost collapsed under debt.

Backtracking on welfare pledge-- High hopes for President Park Geun-hye’s welfare expansion faltered after she announced a new, scaled-down pension scheme in September, citing fiscal woes. The curtailed plan ignited a public outcry.


Ex-leaders pay their dues-- In September, former President Chun Doo-hwan’s unpaid fines were secured in an asset seizure. During this process, former President Roh Tae-woo paid his outstanding fines in full.

Sungnyemun scandal-- Only five months after Sungnyemun Gate in Seoul was reopened to the public on May 4, following a 63-month restoration, paint on the walls was seen peeling off in October.

[World News] 


Air defense zone in Northeast Asia-- China’s announcement on Nov. 23 of an air defense identification zone that covers substantial portions of the East China Sea has unleashed a storm of concern among its neighbors in Northeast Asia as well as in the United States.

Snowden leaks secret documents-- Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed information on secret NSA programs involving the collection of telephone and email data to media outlets in June.


China’s Xi appointed president-- China’s parliament formally elected Xi Jinping president on March 14, completing the country’s second orderly political succession since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

Japan’s collective-defense move-- Japan has been pushing for collective self-defense by reinterpreting or revising its pacifist constitution. Japan has decided to establish a national security council, strengthening the prime minister’s grip on foreign policy


Radioactive water leak in Japan-- The Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, leaked highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean after a storage tank overflowed

Bergoglio elected pope-- Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, taking the name Francis I and becoming the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,300 years.



Boston Marathon bombing-- Two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 15, killing at least three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Rouhani elected Iranian president-- Moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani won Iran’s presidential election on June 15, calling it a victory of moderation over extremism and pledging a new tone of respect in international affairs.


Nelson Mandela dies at 95-- Former South African President Nelson Mandela died at age 95 at his Johannesburg home on Dec. 5, plunging his nation and the world into mourning for a man hailed as a moral giant.

Super typhoon hits the Philippines-- Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon this year and possibly the most powerful ever to hit land, smashed into the Philippines on Nov. 8, killing at least 6,100 people and forcing more than a million people to flee.

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