South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that her country, which has technically been at war with North Korea since the 1950s, would be willing to hold a summit meeting with North's leader Kim Jong Un without any precondition, though she also maintained her country needed an anti-North security law.
"My position is that to ease the pain of division and to accomplish peaceful unification, I am willing to meet with anyone," Park said during her New Year news conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul Monday, according to Reuters.
"If it is helpful, I am up for a summit meeting with the North. There is no precondition," she added, indicating that a summit could be held without the North having to first end its nuclear program. more >>
More than five million barefooted people joined a parade of a centuries-old icon of Jesus through Manila, the capital of the Catholic-majority nation of Philippines, on Friday ahead of Pope Francis's visit. At least two died and 1,000 were hurt during the event.
There were about five million Catholic devotees trying to get a chance to touch the Black Nazarene statue of Jesus, which they believe can deliver miracles, including healing, according to Agence France Presse.
During the parade, at least two men died and about 1,000 others got injured, according to The Associated Press. About 5,000 police were deployed, with 1,000 military personnel on standby, for security. more >>
Two Christian women were aggressively beaten by a Pakistani Muslim man in the country's capital of Lahore after the women prevented the attacker from abducting the daughter of one of the women.
According to Pakistan Christian Post, Nusrat Bibi and her sister Rani Bibi, along with their two daughters, were walking home from the local factory on an early December evening when a Muslim man approached the women and began molesting Nusrat's daughter.
The report states that the daughter, whose age was not identified, was initially able to defend herself and make the attacker stop. However, the attacker, who has been identified as a Muslim named Khawar Khokhar, became enraged and began beating the girl with his cricket bat. He then grabbed her by the hand and warned the mother and aunt not to intervene as he attempted forcibly taking the daughter away, presumably to sexually abuse her. more >>
South Korean ministry of defense officials warned on Tuesday that North Korea could be close to obtaining the technology required to miniaturize nuclear warheads and mount them on ballistic missiles, which could potentially threaten the United States.
The ministry said in a report that North Korea is "presumed to have (missile) capabilities that could threaten the U.S. mainland, having fired off long-range missiles five times."
The report added that North Korean researchers have achieved "a significant level" of the technology required for such a move, and have obtained more than 88 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium. more >>
A candle light vigil commemorating the fourth anniversary of the death of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province who was assassinated because of his desire to reform the country's abusive blasphemy laws, was attacked by a group of angry men Sunday night in Lahore.
Soon after members of a local civil society staged a vigil at Lahore's Liberty Chowk honoring the slain governor, who was shot 27 times by his own bodyguard in January 2011, a group of nine to 10 unidentified men, presumably Muslim, showed up and began tearing apart the vigil.
According to Dunyanews.tv's video coverage of the attack, the group of men, some of whom were carrying long wooden sticks, violently disrupted the vigil. The men snatched posters, signs, pictures out of mourner's hands and quickly ripped them apart. One scene in the video shows two degenerates trying to angrily rip apart a large picture of the fallen governor. more >>
Over 2,500 people gathered at Surabaya's Mawar Sharon Christian megachurch on Sunday to pray for the missing 41 church members who were on board the AirAsia QZ8501 flight, hoping for their return despite any signs that there could have been survivors in the fatal crash last week.
"Obviously in this situation, for people who believe in God, it is very easy to blame [and ask] why is all this so unfair," said Pastor Caleb Natanielliem. "As a pastor, I know that we are a family and we need to stand together."
The church members were traveling along with 121 other people on board the AirAsia flight on Dec. 28 from Indonesia to Singapore, when air traffic control lost contact with the flight. Two days later, debris from the plane and bodies were discovered in the Java Sea, leading search authorities to confirm that the flight had crashed. more >>