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US pledges commitment to South Korea’s defence


Washington: The Pentagon said on Saturday that its military leader pledged “unwavering commitment” of the US to South Korea’s defence. According to a Pentagon statement, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, called his South Korean counterpart Adm. Choi Yoon-Hee late on Friday night and reiterated the strength of the US-South Korea alliance, Xinhua reporetd.


The two military chiefs concurred they would watch North Korea’s actions closely in the coming days and would ensure that the US and South Korea continue to work closely with each other to deter the North’s “provocations and defuse tensions”.  North and South Korea started high-level urgent contacts earlier Saturday in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the prevailing tense situation on the peninsula.

The meeting is the highest level inter-Korean contact since President Park took office in February 2013. It came amid escalated tensions caused by cross-border exchange of fire on Thursday over South Korea’s propaganda broadcasts. North Korea warned that unless South Korea stops propaganda broadcasts in front line areas before 5 p.m., it will take military action. South Korea threatened stern retaliation against any further provocations.


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South Korea Confirms First Case of MERS Since 2015

Most of the 38 deaths that occurred due to the virus in South Korea were elderly people or patients affected by other illnesses.

South Korean police on Friday sought an arrest warrant against the younger daughter of the president of Korean Air for allegedly assaulting an advertising agency executive in April.
Flag of South Korea, Pixabay

South Korean authorities on Sunday confirmed the first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus since the outbreak that affected the country in 2015 leaving 187 infected and 38 dead.

The patient, a 61-year-old man, was diagnosed with the virus on Saturday after returning from a business trip in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with transit in Kuwait, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

The South Korean government has convened an emergency meeting to analyse the situation and take preventive measures.


South Korea, MERS
Statistics depicting MERS in South Korea.


The patient was admitted to a hospital in Kuwait when he began to show some symptoms of the disease and upon arrival to South Korea was transferred to the Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul.


The hospital alerted the authorities that it could be a possible case of MERS as symptoms included high fever and pneumonia and moved the patient to the Seoul National University Hospital where he tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.

Around 20 people who were in close contact with the patient, including passengers and crew members of his flight and immigration officers, have been quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus.

South Korea, MERS
This is the first case of MERS in South Korea since its outbreak recorded between May and December 2015,

This is the first case of MERS in South Korea since its outbreak recorded between May and December 2015, after this virus was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and subsequently expanded to other countries.

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The mortality rate of MERS in South Korea reached 20 per cent during the outbreak, below the figures between 30 and 40 per cent that were recorded in other areas.

Most of the 38 deaths that occurred due to the virus in South Korea were elderly people or patients affected by other illnesses. (IANS)

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