North Korea

Kim Jong Un issues rare apology to the South

In a highly unusual turn of events, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apologized to South Korea for the killing of a South Korean civilian that was made public on Thursday. Kim, in a message apparently sent directly to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said…

Kim Jong Un Says Killing of SK Official Should Not Have Happened

SEOUL—Kim Jong Un expressed regret on Friday over the death of a South Korean official, saying it shot him as part of measures to battle the coronavirus, the South’s national security adviser said. North Korea’s United Front Department, in charge of cross-border ties, sent a…

Seoul Accuses North Korea of Incinerating South Korean Official

North Korean soldiers shot a missing South Korean fisheries official to death and burned his body on board a North Korean vessel just north of the inter-Korean maritime border this week, the South’s defense ministry confirmed on Thursday. 0…

North Korea Shoots SKorean Official, Burns His Body: Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea—South Korea said Thursday North Korean troops shot a South Korean government official and set his body on fire after they found him on a floating object in waters near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary. According to Seoul’s announcement, the man disappeared from…

Report: Chinese Companies Helped North Korea Launder Money Through U.S. Banks

North Korea moved nearly $175 million through prominent U.S. banks in recent years in a money-laundering scheme that used shell companies and help from Chinese companies, according to confidential bank documents reviewed by NBC News in a report published Sunday. 0…

Flurry of Activity Fuels Speculation of North Korea Test

SEOUL—Analysts and security officials say they are watching for signs that North Korea may use an upcoming holiday to unveil new weapons or test fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), after a flurry of activity was detected at a key base. Formations of troops have…

Mattis slept in his clothes, awaiting nuclear armageddon

It was the sum of all fears — a jingoistic US president poking the leader of a rogue nuclear power, risking a nuclear war. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a fictional adventure novel. This was all too real. As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continued to…

End the Nobel Peace Prize

Trolls are a Scandinavian invention, straight from the frigid sagas of Norse mythology, but Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a Norwegian parliamentarian, swears that he is not one. Observers of his antics this week could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. On Wednesday, he announced that he had nominated…

North Korea will shoot-to-kill to stop virus: US

North Korean authorities have issued shoot-to-kill orders to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country from China, according to the commander of US forces in the South. The impoverished North – whose crumbling health system would struggle to cope with a major virus outbreak –…

North Korea’s social order hit by a perfect storm

While North Korea, like its neighbor China, may very well be handling the Covid-19 pandemic with authoritarian effectiveness, unlike China, North Korea has no real economic or trade engine to provide for its people. As a result, the country is facing an unusually dangerous internal…

NK elite party members sent to aid typhoon recovery

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered 12,000 elite members of his ruling party based in Pyongyang to help with recovery efforts in two rural provinces lashed by a powerful typhoon, state media reported Sunday. Typhoon Maysak brought days of heavy downpours to the…

N.Korea officials face ‘severe punishment’

North Korea has pledged severe punishment for local officials it says failed to protect residents from a typhoon which caused a “serious incident” with dozens of casualties, the ruling party’s newspaper reported. Typhoon Maysak brought heavy downpours across the country earlier this week, with footage…

Kim Jong Un on TV as speculation on health mounts

North Korean state media on Wednesday showed leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of a top committee issuing warnings about the coronavirus and a looming typhoon, following international speculation over his state of health. Kim’s comments come amid conjecture over his condition after South…

Kim Jong Un likely neither dead nor in a coma

The following story originally ran in specialist media NKNews under the headline “Rumors explained: Is Kim Jong Un really in a coma? Will Kim Yo Jong take over?” It is reprinted in Asia Times with permission Just when it seemed the rumor mill over North…

North Korean Anti-Smoking Website Stirs Coronavirus Speculation

A North Korean state propaganda website announced the creation of a domestically accessible website to help citizens quit smoking on Sunday, news that arrives as Pyongyang expedites the construction of a new hospital and insists it has yet to be affected by the Chinese coronavirus…

North Korea’s Kim admits regime’s ‘shortcomings’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called a rare congress of the ruling Workers’ Party for January to address policy “shortcomings” and lay out a new five-year plan for the isolated nation’s moribund economy. Kim made the announcement at a full meeting of the…

Clearing North Korea’s bad debt (Part 2)

The common wisdom among Pyongyang watchers is that responsibility for North Korea’s failure, up to now, to clear its foreign debt is entirely the country’s own. London businessman Colin McAskill has a different view. During 1987, while overseeing North Korea’s bullion trade, McAskill made two…

South Korea’s rabid reverend a Covid-19 victim

Could it be divine justice? A rabid right-wing Christian pastor who spoke before thousands of protesters in Seoul on Saturday, ushering in a massive new cluster of Covid-19 infections, has reportedly tested positive for the virus.   Jeon Gwang-hoon, 64, is known for his impassioned oratory…

Clearing North Korea’s bad debt

This is the first installment of a three-part series. Can North Korea’s regime de-prioritize the building of a nuclear arsenal and refocus on improving its dismal economy? The consensus view is: “Not as long as the Kims are in power. They care only about the…

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