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North Korean boomerang defector said life in South Korea was ‘hell’

A North Korean woman who fled to South Korea, gained celebrity status there and then returned to Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship last month claimed her “life in the South was a hell.” Lim Ji-hyun, 26, resurfaced earlier this week in a taped interview uploaded on Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda website run by the North Korean government. She tearfully described how she was “lured” to South Korea with the “fantasy” that she would “eat well and make a lot of money there.”  “It was not the place I had imagined,” she said…

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AP Explains: What’s behind N. Korean silence to talks offer

SEOUL, South Korea –  Is North Korea agonizing? Just not interested? Something else? At the start of the week, South Korea offered to hold rare face-to-face talks with North Korea at their shared border village in the Demilitarized Zone. One set of talks was proposed for Friday to discuss easing military confrontations and another on Aug. 1 to discuss restarting reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The day for the first talks came without a response from the North. A look at what North Korea’s silence may…

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Asia and Australia Edition: O. J. Simpson, John McCain, Ram Nath Kovind: Your Friday Briefing

The dearth of foreign leaders willing to publicly criticize Beijing added to a sense of despair among activists. Many say they feel abandoned by the U.S. in particular. Continue reading the main story Friends and family of Lee Ming-cheh, a rights advocate from Taiwan who disappeared into mainland custody in March, see unsettling parallels between him and Mr. Liu. _____ Photo Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times • The U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, pledged to stay in his job “as long as it is appropriate,” a day after President…

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Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030

A.I. is one of a growing number of disciplines in which experts say China is making quick progress. Yet it was a foreign feat of A.I. prowess that provided one of the greatest impetuses for the new plan. The two professors who consulted with the government on A.I. both said that the 2016 defeat of Lee Se-dol, a South Korean master of the board game Go, by Google’s AlphaGo had a profound impact on politicians in China. Then in May, Google brought AlphaGo to China, where it defeated the world’s…

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Supreme Court, Republican Party, Poland: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

A handful of left-leaning states have pursued bans on government travel in response to legislation in states that they contend open the door to discrimination. Continue reading the main story California banned taxpayer-funded travel to Texas, for example, after the state passed a law seen as hostile to gay and transgender people. Above, downtown Dallas. _____ Photo Credit Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 3. When Myanmar began to adopt democratic reforms in 2011, Washington quickly rewarded it by lifting sanctions and scheduling visits by President Barack Obama. But…

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Asia and Australia Edition: Australia, Apple, Minnesota: Your Thursday Briefing

In Sydney, dozens of Ms. Damond’s friends and relatives gathered at sunrise, above, on Wednesday to commemorate the life of a woman they described as a ray of light. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, appearing on television, asked: “How can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from police be shot like that?” Others are asking: why wasn’t the officer’s body camera turned on? _____ Photo Credit Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images • When Myanmar began to adopt democratic reforms in 2011, Washington quickly rewarded…

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Police probe defector’s sudden reappearance in North Korea

38 Photos A screengrab taken on July 19, 2017 from undated video posted online by the uriminzokkiri.com website shows a woman said to be a one-time North Korean defector to South Korea, who was known in the South as Lim Ji-hyeon. She reappeared in the North, featured in a North Korean propaganda video, under unclear circumstances.  GETTY SEOUL, South Korea — Police in South Korea’s capital on Wednesday began investigating how a North Korean woman who defected in 2014 and made South Korean TV appearances ended up back in the…

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