Comfort women scandal shakes South Korean politics and society

SEOUL — South Korea’s ruling party is under fire over a scandal involving an incoming lawmaker who advocated for years on behalf of the so-called comfort women who worked in front-line brothels during World War II.

In a pair of emotional news conferences, Lee Yong-soo, a 92-year-old former comfort woman, accused the lawmaker-elect, Yoon Mee-hyang, of exploiting her and other victims. Lee said on Monday that Yoon treated the women like “bears doing tricks” to drum up sympathy from donors, and shed “fake tears” at the funeral of a former comfort woman.

Lee’s blunt criticisms of Yoon and other activists

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Masks and sanitizer in hand, South Korean students resume classes

SEOUL — Armed with face masks and hand sanitizer, high school seniors across South Korea are heading back to school Wednesday, the first public school students in the country to resume face-to-face classes, and some of the first in Asia.

The threat of the coronavirus pandemic had prompted the Ministry of Education to postpone the start of the academic year five times.

The latest delay came on May 11 as the country grappled with a an outbreak linked to clubgoers in Seoul’s central district of Itaewon. That cluster infection, which has led to 187 COVID-19 cases nationwide as of Tuesday

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China locks down city near North Korean border due to infections

BEIJING (Reuters) — Chinese authorities reported on Sunday what could be the beginning of a new wave of coronavirus cases in northeast China, with one city in Jilin province being reclassified as high-risk, the top of a three-tier zoning system.

Jilin officials raised the risk level of the city of Shulan to high from medium, having hoisted it to medium from low just the day before after one woman tested positive on May 7.

Eleven new cases in Shulan were confirmed on May 9, all of them members of her family or people who came into contact with her or

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Virus-hit Korean Air and Asiana offered $2bn bailout

SEOUL — State-backed lenders in South Korea will extend 2.9 trillion won ($2.35 billion) in aid for Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines to keep the major carriers aloft and safeguard jobs as the pandemic decimates travel demand.

The assistance from the Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea is also aimed at keeping the nation’s transportation infrastructure intact.

Korean Air stands to receive 1.2 trillion won under measures announced Friday. Such steps as new lending and the proceeds from selling convertible bonds will secure liquidity ahead of the May 15 repayment date for existing borrowings. If the

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