welcome to nhk world "newsline." military commanders from south korea and the united states are trying to show they're ready for anything. they are holding a joint drill on the heels of north korea's underground nuclear test. both countries are warning authorities in pyongyang against further provocations. south korean defense officials say air force troops from the two countries are conducting a drill using f-16 fighter jets. the pilots are preparing for possible aerial combat and air raids on north korea. south korean navy commanders say they are holding ameritime
mobility exercise involving 20 naval ships. army officers say they are also planning to conduct a shelling drill this week. defense officials in seoul have somehowed off a key part of their military's fire power. they released video of the newly-deployed cruise missile. the 50-second clip shows the weapons hit targets after being fired from a destroyer and a submarine. >> translator: the military is releasing the footage to ease public anxiety by showing south korea is fully equipped to deal with the north korea's nuclear missile threats. >> reporter: the general said the missiles could hit targets in north korea, even small ones. the weapons could strike the country quickly if launched by submarines near the coast. while the military stays on alert, members of the national assembly are showing political resolve. they adopted a resolution strongly condemning north korea's nuclear test. they called the action a serious provocation that threatens the lives and safety of south
koreans. japanese prime shinzo abe and u.s. president barack obama are trying to figure out how to punish north korea. they spoke on the phone and agreed to push for additional sanctions through the united nations security council. abe told obama the nuclear tests severely damages peace and security not only in northeast asia but around the globe. he said he wants officials in both administrations to work together to bring in financial sanctions. abe cited a previous u.s. sanction as a good example. in 2005 officials at the treasury department envoked penalties on u.s. financial institutions that dealt with north korea. obama said u.s. officials too want to cooperate. he said world leaders need to agree on a firm response. north korean scientists conducted a nuclear test on tuesday in violation of previous u.n. resolutions. abe is set to visit washington later this month to meet with obama in person.
obama's new secretary of state gave world leaders a push of his own. john kerry said they need to show they are serious about containing nuclear arms. >> north korea's nuclear weapons and baa billist missile program are a threat now to the united states of america because of what they are pursuing specifically as well as to global security and peace. >> kerry says the international community must react to the test with what he called a swift, clear and strong response. he says he's also concerned about the nuclear program in iran. he says iranian and north korean officials have cooperated on nuclear development. north korea's state-run newspaper is defending the nuclear test saying it has reinforced the country's status as a military and nuclear power. the front page editorial quotes leader kim jong un calling the
test legitimate and refers to it as the people's great work. the newspaper claims the nation's nuclear deterrent is capable of destroying enemy strongholds. it says leaders in pyongyang won't bend to pressure from the u.s. government and adds north koreans are ready for new sanctions and even war. japan's self-defense force personnel were transported aboard osprey aircraft in a joint drill with u.s. marines. it's the first time the sdf used the tilt row or the aircraft. about 280 sdf members are engaged in a landing exercise in california along with 500 u.s. marines. 50 of them flew in aircraft from a u.s. navy vessel to show. they disembarked with the marines in advance of checking the route. japanese officials say they will examine the possibility of introducing the osprey for use by the sdf.
they deployed 12 osprey last year but communities protest about the aircraft's safety. asian delegates met in tokyo on thursday to discuss financial asis the answer for pakistan. nhk world's tokomoto kamata has more. >> reporter: japanese foreign officials want to show the international community that not only the west but also asia wants to contribute to the middle east peace process. representatives from asean countries including south korea, thailand, indonesia and malaysia participated in the conference on cooperation among east asian countries for palestinian development. palestinian prime minister salam fayyad co-chaired the meeting. >> we will continue to pursue this endeavor with the greatest political process, one that takes care of all the parliaments of the
administration to and for, and what that includes the negotiations between us and israel and for us to be able to bring this conflict to an end. >> reporter: in november of last year the u.n. general assembly approved a resolution recognizing palestine as a non-member observer state. this led israel to step up its embargoes in protest. the participants agreed that the severe financial and economic situation in palestine is one of the main obstacles to stability in the middle east. >> translator: the whole middle east region has been destabilizing. peace efforts in the area are now considered even more important. >> reporter: they also agreed that continuous aid to palestine is essential to its development. the members adopted a joint statement pledging to share their experience in economic development to back up an
independent palestine. meeting cohost japan and palestine held a joint news conference afterwards. they said they will step up bilateral ties through the promotion of private sector exchanges. >> translator: we also agreed to hold a seminar for business leaders in east asia, palestine and relevant countries in the middle east. >> we wanted to say that how much such aid is trying to help the palestinians in this important transitional period. >> reporter: the participants agreed to hold the next meeting in indonesia. tomoko kamata, nhk world, tokyo. european leaders are asking members not to miss the forest for the trees. they say the region's economy is far from being out of the woods. ron madison is here with more on the latest data that is out.
ron? >> lots for member nations in the eurozone to take into consideration when they consider the entire block. the eurozone still definitely struggling as the region continues to slow down. the economy for the common currency block is struck now for a third straight quarter. the european union's data office announced gross domestic product for 2012 contracted 0.6% from the previous quarter. that follows negative growth of 0.1% growth from the previous period. portugal saw 1.8% negative growth. spain coming in at 0.7%. italy at 0.9%. the leading economies also shrank, germany contracted 0.6%. france by 0.3%. in terms of greece, its economy shank 6% compared to a year earlier. for the whole 2012, the whole economy contracted by .5%.
in 2011 the single currency area grew by 1.4%. near japan gross domestic product shank slightly for 2012 for the october to december period. it does mark the third straight quarter of contraction. cabinet office officials say gdp for the quarter fell 0.4% from the previous three months. that's a decline of 0.4% in annual terms. the pace was more moderate than the previous period when that came in at minus 3.8%. weak global demand was dragging down the economy. exports shrank 3.7%. capital spending at companies saw a 2.6% decline. meanwhile, government spending grew 1.5%. this was due to strong reconstruction demand in areas hit by the 2011 disaster. housing investment also showed growth of 3.5%. consumer spending also with a gain of .4% due to strong sales of winter clothing. overall, gdp for 2012 rose 1.9%
from the previous year and that is the first growth that we have seen in two years. japan's central bank says they will man taint monetary easing effects amid sign that is the economy is recovers. the bank of japan board members were in unanimous agreement about policy after a to-day meeting that wrapped up thursday. they said the economy appears to have stopped weakening. officials said concerns are easing over the european debt crisis and u.s. fiscal problems. they did note that overseas economies have shown signs of picking up. officials said the pace of decline in japanese exports is slowing. they cited continued strength in personal consumption. these factors led them to keep the credit easing measures devised in the previous two meetings including a 2% i nation target. well, bank of japan's governor spoke to leaders after the policy meeting expressing concern that japan's central bank is guiding its currency
lower through excessive monetary easing. >> reporter: the boj does not intend to manipulate exchange rates or influence the market. our monetary policy focuses on stabilizing the nation's economy. the aim is to pull japan out of deflation and achieve sustainable growth. >> shitakawa said he'll make the policy clear this weekend at the meeting held in moscow. he also talked about what me believes as general qualifications for his successor. he'll be stepping down on march 19th. he said the governor should be modest enough to heed different opinions and have a global perspective. all right. let's get a check of the markets now. european shares trading lower today. investors a bit discouraged after reports show that the economies of germany, france and japan all contracted in the fourth quarter. there you see what's going on in europe. all of them in negative territory now in terms of the majors. london lower by .80%. the dax and frankfurt lower by
1.2%. paris cac40 down by .90%. asian stocks ended higher with hong kong gaining .90%. investors buying shares in line with the overall strong tone and overseas markets during the chinese holiday. japan's nikkei with a rebound of .50% after the boj maintained monetary policy. in south korea the kospi was up .20% on hopes that south korean exporters can keep their competitive edge as the want was weaker compared with the weaker advancing trend. the shanghai market was closed still close due to the lunar holiday. we'll check in on currencies, the dollar gaining ground against the yen, we are seeing the pair right now at 93.34-39. the boj will deliver easing measures after keeping their monetary policy unchanged.
the euro is lower against the yen as weak eurozone gdp data has been weighing on sentiment. that's at 124.46. well, in corporate news today several u.s. media saying that american airlines and us airways will merge. that will create the world's largest airline. the wall street journal and other major media firms reporting wednesday that the two carriers had reached an agreement. american airlines operates about 3500 flights a day in 50 countries and ranks third in the u.s. in terms of the number of flights. us airways has 3,000 services a day which ranks it at number five. american airlines has been in rehabilitation since going bankrupt in 2011. the two airlines hope to streamline operations and survive the more intense competitive environment. the name of the new carrier expected to be american airlines. all right. that's going to do it for biz this hour. we'll see what's going on with the markets.
"newsline." in south korea men over the age of 19 must serve two years in the military. famous actors and singers are no exception. recently several korean stars now doing their required military service performed in a musical that turned out to be a big hit. ♪ >> reporter: the promise had a ten-day run in seoul. it's about the korean war started when north korea attacked the south in 1950. many actors and singers in this military musical actually serve on active duty right now. yunok, for example, led the k-pop group before he was drafted. service members like him are called entertainment soldiers.
seven of them perform in "the promise." it's the first musical featuring so many entertainment soldiers. 60 years ago north and south korea agreed to a cease-fire, but tension along the demilitarized zone separating the two countries has always threatened the peace. however, many young south koreans don't appear to be affected. so the government wanted to make them more aware of the need to defend their country. they did this by producing a musical and sprinkling the cast with famous entertainment soldiers. >> translator: our aim is to show young people how the prosperity they enjoy today was made possible through the sacrifice of previous generations. >> reporter: yunok is thrilled to be in the show. he had worried he might lose his
fans while he was in the army. >> translator: i'm so excited to be performing in an important show like this while i'm actually serving in the military. as singers we are honored to do what we love and demonstrate our skills on stage. >> reporter: in this song yoonhak longs for peace. ♪ >> reporter: the curtain has closed for the last time, but the show leaves a message to the younger generation about the tragedy of war and the importance of protecting their country. >> translator: it made me more patriotic and more appreciative of the efforts of our parents and grandparents who built the
country. >> translator: i didn't expect to see the actors who were serving in the army, but it was great to see my favorite actor. >> reporter: after last month's show, korean fans have made a lot of requests for encore performances. japanese have no shortage of traditions. they pass them along from generation to generation. but some customs fade away. that happened to one in western japan that involved straw horses, sweets and ice cold water. but a group of residents managed to pull off a revival. >> reporter: they call the custom totohe. quietly youngsters arrive with good luck charms.
after leaving the two small horses, the children hide. the grown-ups take the small horse and leave sweets. too tempting to ignore. but the adults were ready for the kids. it's said the water makes children strong and healthy. in this region people took part in the tradition until the 1930s. then it began to fade. in inocho they did away with it eight years ago. tachika works at the community center convincing the locals to revive this. >> translator: if people don't take part, totohe will dry out.
if that should happen, the only place we'll find it is in books. >> translator: this straw horse is a god so it belongs on the family altar. >> reporter: they say straw horses protect a household all year. >> translator: if the straw horses stopped coming, it would be sad. if they do come, we are good for another year until the next ones come. >> reporter: the youngsters learn how to make the horses. >> translator: i hope people who receive the horses believe they'll have good health all year. >> reporter: it takes two hours of hard work to make a horse. tonight is the night. the children wear ski clothing so they won't get too wet. >> translator: i want to dodge the water.
>> translator: i'll be embarrassed if i get laughed at. >> reporter: and what are the adults up to? >> translator: i'm going to drench the kids today. >> reporter: the youngsters begin the totohe. the straw horses are left with care. and the adults leave sweets. they coordinate their timing for pouring water. the candies tempt the children. as the children size up their bounty -- the adults strike.
joyous whoops shatter the evening quiet. >> translator: it's fun because it's a little scary. >> translator: this was my first time and i would like to do it again. >> translator: i hope the children will remember tonight's fun after they have grown up. wouldn't it be wonderful if they could pass this tradition on to their children? $totohe has come back and once a year the village will echo the joyous sounds of children. talking about getting splashed, wet weather is in the store across japan for the end of the workweek. meteorologist robert speta is here with the forecast for here and elsewhere. >> yes, gene, especially on
friday. you will want an umbrella on friday in japan. if you are not getting rained on, it will be snow in the higher elevations. the western shore could see a flurry or two. then off to northern japan where, all the weather is coming from is out of china. we have one storm system out of another. the last one was on wednesday. now the next one is bringing rain showers and even snow farther off to the north. well, that's going to develop up into a full-blown low pressure system first impacting this area going through your thursday and your overnight hours into friday morning. then it's eventually going to work its way off to the east bringing all the wet weather here on your friday. the good news is that by saturday really expect this to clear up. high pressure ridging in behind it to bring fair weather. still the sea effect is going to be impacting the hoku regions. beijing, on the other hand, the high pressure comes at a cost because it's going to be sunny skies, even the light winds, but the problem is that puts capping i version on here again with the
risk of air stagnation. seoul at 3. tokyo up to 6. meanwhile to the tropics, the 30s across much of the region. actually, fair weather dominating here for the time being. we have the northeast monsoon that's just continuing to keep things at play. meanwhile off here to north america, the stationary boundary is continuing to bring rough weather. still that risk of some thunderstorms in and across florida as this persists. nothing too severe, but don't be surprised if you see a flash of lightning or two as that continues to develop. it drifts to the south with temperatures getting cooler behind it. that also has something to do with this system. the alberta clipper continuing to push across the great lakes bringing 10 to 15 centimeters of snowfall. also enhanced by the lake-effect snowfall pushing off to ontario, quebec and western new york. i'm talking about the cool down with temperatures. after that pushes off, we'll see all this cold air. look at winnipeg, minus 14 for
the high. chicago, you'll be getting below the freezing mark on your friday, even miami, clear down here in florida, the frontal area dips off here to be getting into the teens. warm now but really does look like a cool-off is expected into the weekend. now over to europe across the british isles, we are warming up for now. it is expected to cool down on friday, but the southerly warm air kept things getting much warmer. it is all due to the frontal area pushing across the southern u.k. into the low countries. that's going to be bringing some rain showers and snowfall into the alps here as it does continue to weaken out. that's really the big story, it is going to be weakening out. the high pressure working in behind it. meanwhile across italy to the balkans, we have a storm system stubborn all week. we have been talking about it since monday. now over in greece you're still seeing thunderstorms, but it is losing a lot of steam. the next system will be working its way in on sunday into monday of next week.
something to watch out for, but for now much quieter with temperatures into the teens. over to lisbon, 17 for your high. london at 10. that's going down to 3 here on your friday. but already on the cold side there in moscow, you're not even reaching the freezing mark here going through thursday. that's a look at your world weather. here's the extended forecast.