Welcome to Weekly News Highlights where we wrap up your week with a glimpse back into what went on in the past week.
I'm Kim Dami in Seoul.
Let's first look back using keywords.

The deterrent posture between South Korea and the United States was stronger than ever this week, with their joint military drills active here on the Korean Peninsula.
Exercises, like the amphibious landing drill, which took place on its largest scale in five years and provided North Korea the excuse to proceed with more military provocations.

When we thought things are headed in the right direction between Seoul and Tokyo, Japan took a step back by once again watering down history in its textbooks, including claims related to wartime forced labor and sovereignty over South Korea's Dokdo Islets.

A roadmap toward a return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic was rolled out on Wednesday.
One of the last remaining quarantine measures, the seven-day quarantine mandate, will be cut down to five days.

Tensions remained high here on the Korean Peninsula this week.
On Monday morning, North Korea fired two fresh rounds of short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
In yet another show of discontent over joint drills between Seoul and Washington.
Monday's launch was the eighth provocation of its kind this year, coming just eight days after their latest ballistic weapons test.

Also on Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the regime should be "perfectly prepared" to use its nuclear weapons "anytime and anywhere".
He said this as he reportedly is guiding the North's nuclear weaponization project.
According to the North's state media, Kim said it's crucial for Pyongyang's security as being a solid nuclear power will protect its people from {quote}"enemies".

That wasn't it. North Korea reportedly tested what it claims to be "tactical" ballistic missiles loaded with simulated "nuclear warheads".
In response, the U.S. made it clear Washington will continue to build its defense capabilities against the regime's evolving nuclear threats.
Lee Seung-jae has more.


While Seoul and Tokyo were believed to be in a forgiving, reconciliatory mood following the Yoon-Kishida summit, things seemed to have gone wrong with Japan giving a green light for its textbooks to contain false historical claims.
Let's first turn to our foreign affairs correspondent Choi Min-jung.

These are the textbooks that elementary school students in Japan will use starting next year.
On Japan's wartime forced labor, the Japanese government approved changing the expression that Korean men "participated in the Japanese army as soldiers" from the original expression of "conscripted".
Hinting that serving in the military was voluntary, not forceful.
The same applies to the changing of "forcibly brought into Japan" to "mobilized" instead.

Japan's false historical claims also include sovereignty over South Korea's easternmost islets of Doko.
The latest textbooks also describe Dokdo as not just Japanese territory but "indigenous" territory of Japan and that the islands have been "illegally occupied by South Korea for 70 years".

This isn't the first time.
Japan's watering-down of history in textbooks dates back to the 1980s.
In 1982, Japan's education ministry ordered calling its "invasion of China" the "entrance to China".
And then in 1997, a right-wing organization that publishes new history textbooks was established and they pumped out eight textbooks with incorrect history in the 2000s.

Tokyo's persistent false claims in textbooks accelerated under the former Abe administration.
Elementary textbooks that insist Dokdo belongs to Japan were approved in 2010.
The Japanese government did omit the expression of "wartime sexual slavery" over concerns that the term could be misleading.
So last year, high school textbooks didn't include the phrase.
Regarding forced labor, "forcibly brought in" became "mobilized".

When derailed bilateral ties between Seoul-Tokyo appeared to be finally back on track after the Yoon-Kishida summit, yet another round of whitewashing of history by Tokyo is evidence of further bumps in the road ahead.

A new roadmap was rolled out to modify the COVID-19 crisis level under a three-stage quarantine system.
The new adjustments include the mandatory quarantine being cut from a week to five days starting this May.
Let's turn to our Choi Soo-hyung for details.

It's also expected that the authorities will align its crisis level with the WHO, which is expected to lift its global emergency status, possibly in late April or early May...

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