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South Korea ferry: Young survivors give evidence

Young survivors of the South Korean ferry disaster have begun giving testimony at the trial of the 15 crew members charged with abandoning the sinking ship.

The Sewol ferry sank in April, killing 304 people.
The Sewol ferry sank in April, killing 304 people, including around 250 students. Credit: Reuters

The children, whose identities have been protected, said they were repeatedly told to stay in their cabins when the ship began to take on water.

"We were waiting and, when the water started coming in, the class rep told everyone to put on the life vests ... the door was above our heads, so she said we'll float and go through the door and that's how we came out," one of the teenagers said.

Others told the hearings that coastguard officials waited outside the stricken ferry for passengers to swim out rather than go into the ship to try and rescue them.

"We said to ourselves, 'why aren't they coming in?'" one said.

The crew members on trial, including the captain, have said they thought it was the coast guard's job to evacuate passengers. Video footage of their escape triggered outrage across South Korea.

Read: Death of South Korea ferry boss confirmed

S Korea police: Fugitive ferry owner's body indentified

More than 300 people were killed after the ferry capsized in South Korea in April
More than 300 people were killed after the ferry capsized in South Korea in April Credit: Reuters

South Korean police has said that a body found last month in the south of the country belonged to a fugitive businessman who headed the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people.

Police said at a press conference that a badly decomposed body found on June 12 had been identified by DNA evidence as well as fingerprints as that of Yoo Byung-un, who had been the subject of the country's largest manhunt.

Read: South Korea's president vows to disband coastguard

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North Korea fires short-range missiles in 'test fire'

North Korea fired two short-range missiles into its eastern waters, a South Korean official said. The apparent test fire that comes just days after the country tested what it called new precision-guided missiles.

The Seoul defence ministry official said the missiles were fired from Wonsan in Gangwon Province and are presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles.The official said North Korea fired the missiles without designating no-sail zones, which the South Korean military views as a clear provocation.

South Korean media quoted officials as saying the projectiles appeared to be Scud missiles. North Korea regularly test-fires missiles and artillery, both to refine its weapons and to express its anger over various developments in Seoul and Washington.

South Korean ferry crew face start of trial

Crew members from the sunken South Korean ferry have arrived at a court in Gwangju, the closest city to the scene of the disaster, to face charges ranging from negligence to homicide.

The ship's captain is led upstairs ahead of today's hearing.
The ship's captain is led upstairs ahead of today's hearing. Credit: AP

Captain Lee Joon-seok was escorted in handcuffs to the court along with the 14 surviving crew members responsible for the ship's navigation.

Lawyers and prosecutors are today expected to begin their arguments and start questioning defendants.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 68, and three senior crew members have been charged with homicide, and could be sentenced to death.

Two were charged with fleeing and abandoning ship, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Nine were charged with negligence, which can carry jail terms.

South Korean gunman caught after shooting himself

A South Korean soldier who shot and killed five of his comrades in a grenade and gun attack near the armed border with North Korea has been captured after shooting himself, military officials have said.

The sergeant, who has been identified only by his surname Yim, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and is being transferred to hospital.

The official added: "At around 14:55 (0555 GMT), Sergeant Yim harmed himself in his side with a K-2 rifle and was sent to the hospital."

The gun used was a stand issue assault rifle used by the South Korean military.

South Korean troops had cornered the soldier to a densely wooded area on Monday, and were trying to negotiate a peaceful end to a manhunt that started two days earlier with the grenade attack.

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Gun battle as South Korea hunts rogue soldier

South Korean troops are engaged in a shootout with a conscript soldier who shot and killed five comrades late on Saturday, media reports said.

The soldier exchanged gunfire with troops who were seeking to capture him near an elementary school in the Goseong region near the border with North Korea, Yonhap news agency and YTN television news said.

Operation to find South Korean soldier continues

The South Korean military are continuing to search for a missing soldier who killed five of his comrades and wounded seven others before fleeing.

The shooting occured at an outpost in Gangwon province near the border with North Korea. Credit: Google Maps

The sergeant, identified by his surname Yim, opened fire at an outpost in Gangwon province near the border town of Goseong on Saturday night.

A huge operation to find the soldier was ordered straight after the incident.

Despite recent tension on the border, there is no suggestion that North Korea was involved in the shootings.

Read: South Korea soldier kills five comrades at border

South Korean soldier 'on the run' after shooting

A South Korean soldier has reportedly gone on the run after killing five comrades at the border with North Korea, the Associated Press has reported.

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BREAKING: South Korean soldier reportedly flees after killing 5 comrades at border with North Korea: http://t.co/loS0qmqcb5

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