Latest North Korea News

  • North Korea lifts Ebola travel restrictions 18 hours ago

    TOKYO (AP) — North Korea has lifted severe restrictions on foreign travel it imposed last year to keep the Ebola virus from crossing its borders. More »

  • US Spy Chief's 12-Course Meal In North Korea
    US Spy Chief's 12-Course Meal In North Korea 21 hours ago

    When the US spy chief made a secret visit to North Korea last year, he was first given a 12-course banquet and then told by his hosts that his security could not be guaranteed. The details on the trip came from James Clapper himself, who went to the reclusive nation last November to bring home two jailed Americans. He said that after his arrival in Pyongyang, a North Korean four-star general hosted what Mr Clapper called a "marvellous" 12-course meal at a restaurant above a bowling alley. Mr Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, gave the details during a forum on Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations. More »

  • Canadian pastor reported missing in North Korea
    Canadian pastor reported missing in North Korea Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    Hyeon Soo-lim had been invited to Pyongyang but has not been heard from for a month since arriving, fellow pastor says. More »

  • North Korea reopens borders after Ebola travel ban
    North Korea reopens borders after Ebola travel ban Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    North Korea has reopened its borders to tourists and lifted strict quarantine measures four months after it banned most foreign travel to the country due to fears over the deadly Ebola virus. More »

  • North Korea reopens borders after months-long Ebola shutdown Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea officially reopened its borders on Tuesday to foreign tourists and businessmen nearly five months after shutting them over fear of the deadly Ebola virus, tour agencies and a diplomatic source told Reuters. "We've had it confirmed officially that the border is now open," said Troy Collings, manager of the China-based Young Pioneer Tours, which takes Western tourists into North Korea. North Korea is one of the world's most isolated countries and is thousands of miles from the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More »

  • U.S. spy chief says he got a mixed reception in North Korea
    U.S. spy chief says he got a mixed reception in North Korea Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    U.S. spy chief James Clapper said that when he made a secret visit to North Korea in November to bring home two jailed Americans he was first given a 12-course banquet and then later told by his hosts that his security could not be guaranteed. Clapper gave details of his trip, made at the behest of President Barack Obama, for the first time during a forum on Monday at the Council on Foreign relations. He said that after his arrival in the isolated country's capital, a North Korean four-star general hosted what Clapper called a "marvellous" 12-course meal at a restaurant above a bowling alley. The next day, Clapper said, a representative of the state security ministry came to his guest house and told him the government no longer considered him a presidential envoy and could not guarantee his security and that of his party.   Clapper said they packed their bags and were taken to a room at a Pyongyang hotel where a delegation of Korean officials, led by state prosecutors, was waiting with the Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, who were still dressed in prison uniforms. More »

  • Seoul: North Korea test fires 2 short-range missiles
    Seoul: North Korea test fires 2 short-range missiles Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and warned of "merciless strikes" against its enemies as allies Seoul and Washington launched annual military drills Pyongyang claims are preparation for a northward invasion. More »

  • Canadian pastor missing after aid trip to North Korea Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO (Reuters) - A head pastor of large Canadian church has failed to return from a humanitarian mission to North Korea, and the Canadian government has reached out to try to locate him, his Toronto-based church said on Monday. Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim, 60, has made hundreds of trips to North Korea, where he helps oversee a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage in the Rajin region, said Lisa Pak, a spokeswoman for the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto. North Korea and China have clamped down on Christian groups in the last year, and several American Christians have been detained by North Korea. More »

  • North Korea angered by U.S.-South Korea military drills, fires missiles off …
    North Korea angered by U.S.-South Korea military drills, fires missiles off … Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea fired two short-range missiles off its eastern coast on Monday, South Korean officials said, a defiant response to annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, but one which drew a swift protest from Japan. The firing came hours before the U.S.-South Korean military exercises were scheduled to begin, drills which the secretive North denounces as a preparation for war. Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said North Korea fired the missiles without designating any no-sail zones, which was regarded as a provocation. "If North Korea takes provocative actions, our military will react firmly and strongly so North Korea will regret it in its bones," Kim told a news briefing. More »

  • Soft approach to revolution in North Korea
    Soft approach to revolution in North Korea Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    Defectors have turned to floating soap operas - even Hollywood movies - into the North to stir up 'regime change'. More »

  • North Korea ending Ebola travel restrictions - tour firms Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is ending a ban on foreign tourists imposed more than four months ago because of worries about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, two tour operators and a source in regular contact with North Korean officials said on Monday. North Korea is one of the world's most isolated countries and is thousands of miles from the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Koryo Tours, a Chinese-based travel agency that specialises in taking Western tourists to the isolated country, said it had been told to expect an announcement regarding the ban later on Monday. "Our contacts in the country have informed us to expect that we should hear news later today that North Korea will be reopening its borders after a more than four-month closure due to Ebola," Koryo Tours co-founder Nick Bonner told Reuters. More »

  • The mysterious Mr. Ri returns, urbane survivor of North Korea purge
    The mysterious Mr. Ri returns, urbane survivor of North Korea purge Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By James Pearson and Stephanie Nebehay SEOUL/GENEVA (Reuters) - The young Kim Jong Un may be the public face of isolated North Korea, but the man who represents Pyongyang on the international stage is an urbane 75-year-old who lived under an assumed name for decades and survived a vicious purge over a year ago. Now North Korea's foreign minister and one of the most powerful men in the regime, Ri Su Yong was rumoured to have been executed along with his mentor Jang Song Thaek, Kim's uncle, and several of his aides. Ri returns to Switzerland this week, where he spent two decades as North Korea's envoy to Berne and the United Nations in Geneva and became doyen of the diplomatic corps. On Tuesday, he will make North Korea's first address to the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose independent inquiry last year accused the regime of committing violations tantamount to crimes against humanity. More »

  • North Korea steps up threats over drills; U.S. Congress advances sanctions  …
    North Korea steps up threats over drills; U.S. Congress advances sanctions  … Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea ramped up threatening language against the United States on Friday, days before the start of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, while a bill to stiffen sanctions against Pyongyang advanced in the U.S. Congress. North Korea regularly protests the drills, which it calls a rehearsal for war and recently stepped up its own air, sea and ground military exercises, adding to tension between the rival Koreas. "The DPRK will wage a merciless sacred war against the U.S. now that the latter has chosen confrontation," the country's official KCNA news agency said, quoting from an article in the ruling Workers' Party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmum. "Nuclear weapons are not a monopoly of the U.S.," the article said. More »

  • Exclusive - North Korea shipping firm skirts sanctions by renaming ships: U.N. …
    Exclusive - North Korea shipping firm skirts sanctions by renaming ships: U.N. … Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    By Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N.-blacklisted North Korean shipping company has renamed most of its vessels in a bid to disguise their origin and continues its illicit shipments in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a U.N. experts report seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The U.N. Security Council's Panel of Experts on North Korea, which monitors implementation of sanctions on Pyongyang, also said in the 76-page report that North Korea "continued to defy Security Council resolutions by persisting with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs." North Korea is under United Nations sanctions because of its nuclear tests and missile launches. More »

  • Exclusive: Sanctioned North Korea shipping firm still active, renamed ships …
    Exclusive: Sanctioned North Korea shipping firm still active, renamed ships … Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    By Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N.-blacklisted North Korean shipping company has renamed most of its vessels in a bid to disguise their origin and continues its illicit shipments in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a U.N. experts report seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The U.N. Security Council's Panel of Experts on North Korea, which monitors implementation of sanctions on Pyongyang, also said in the 76-page report that North Korea "continued to defy Security Council resolutions by persisting with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs." North Korea is under United Nations sanctions because of its nuclear tests and missile launches. More »

  • Correction: United States-North Korea-Nuclear story Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story Feb. 24 about North Korea's nuclear program, The Associated Press reported erroneously that estimates of North Korea's future nuclear stockpile were made by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The estimates were presented as part of a project conducted by the U.S.-Korea Institute, but were made by the Institute of Science and International Security. More »

  • North Korea Bans Foreign Runners Over Ebola
    North Korea Bans Foreign Runners Over Ebola Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    North Korea has banned foreign marathon runners from the annual Pyongyang marathon amid fears of Ebola, despite the secretive country having no previous recorded cases of the virus. The race through the streets of the capital, known officially as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, was opened to outsiders for the first time last year with huge success. But tour operators have been told that the race is now only open to North Korean runners, due to fear of Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 9,000 people in west Africa - but not infected anyone in North Korea or the surrounding region. North Korea shut its doors to tourists in October because of Ebola and the country's media has previously suggested the disease was created by the US military as a biological weapon. More »

  • Kim Jong-Un: North Korea Must Be Combat Ready
    Kim Jong-Un: North Korea Must Be Combat Ready Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, has urged his army to be combat ready ahead of a joint United States-South Korea military exercise. In a speech to his party’s Central Military Commission, the enigmatic leader said forces should be "fully ready to react to any form of war to be ignited by the enemy," according to state media. It follows a North Korean military drill – which was personally overseen by Mr Kim – which simulated an attack on a South Korean island. The United States and South Korea are due to carry out their drills next month. More »

  • North Korea, running scared from Ebola, bans foreigners from marathon
    North Korea, running scared from Ebola, bans foreigners from marathon Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has banned foreign runners from participating in an international marathon scheduled to be held in the capital in April, citing fears about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, agencies specialising in North Korea tours said on Monday. North Korea is thousands of miles from the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and has reported no cases of the virus, which has killed more than 9,000 people. Nonetheless, its borders have remained closed to foreign tourists since last October, for fear the virus might spread, and it imposes a strict 21-day quarantine for foreign aid workers and diplomats, who have been told to stay in embassy compounds. "Our North Korean partners in Pyongyang contacted us this morning with news that the 2015 Pyongyang Marathon has - as of today - been closed to amateur and professional foreign runners," Nick Bonner, director of Beijing-based Koryo Tours, told Reuters in an emailed statement. More »

  • North Korea 'bans marathon runners over Ebola fears'
    North Korea 'bans marathon runners over Ebola fears' Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    Borders remain closed to foreign tourists for fear the virus might spread, despite no reported cases in country. More »

  • North Korea leader urges 'combat readiness'
    North Korea leader urges 'combat readiness' Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has urged the army to ensure its combat readiness ahead of US-South Korea military exercises that see an annual spike in tensions on the divided peninsula. More »

  • NSA chief says Sony attack traced to North Korea after software analysis
    NSA chief says Sony attack traced to North Korea after software analysis Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    By Mike De Souza OTTAWA (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) identified North Korea as the source of the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment after analysing the software used in the intrusion, NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers said on Thursday. Speaking to a Canadian security conference, Rogers explained that the discovery was part of the agency's efforts to develop software to counter cyber attacks. "We ultimately ended up generating the signatures to recognise the activity ... used against Sony," Rogers said. "From the time the malware left North Korea to the time it got to Sony's headquarters in California, it crossed four different commanders' lines or areas in the U.S. construct." Sony's network was attacked by hackers in November as the company prepared to release "The Interview," a comedy about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. More »

  • U.N. rights judge wants balloons, hackers to get message to North Korea Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry said on Tuesday more efforts were needed, including the use of balloons and computer hacking, to tell the North Korean people about its damning report on human rights conditions in their country. Retired Australian Judge Michael Kirby Kirby said it was "completely unacceptable" for North Koreans to be kept in the dark about the commission's report, which compared abuses in their country to Nazi-era atrocities. Speaking at a Washington conference, he highlighted recommendations from the Bush Institute think tank that hackers, balloons and even drones should be used to overcome secretive North Korea's information barriers. Kirby, who spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, questioned whether South Koreawas being cautious about using balloons to take messages north across the border to avoid damaging its long-term strategy of national reunification. More »

  • South Korea's leader replaces point man on North Korea Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president replaced her point man on North Korea on Tuesday in a reshuffle that involved three other top officials. More »

  • North Korea threatens strong response to DC rights meeting
    North Korea threatens strong response to DC rights meeting Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea says it will respond "very strongly" to a conference in Washington on Tuesday about its widespread human rights abuses and says the United States ignored Pyongyang's offer to attend and defend itself. Puzzled conference organizers said the event was open to the public. More »

  • North Korea says unworried by ICC threat because it's not guilty Tue, Feb 17, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday it is not worried about a threat to refer the country to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, because it is not guilty and wants to attend a U.S. meeting on its rights situation to defend itself. The United Nations General Assembly urged the U.N. Security Council in December to consider referring North Korea to the ICC after a U.N. inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the hermit Asian state comparable to Nazi-era atrocities. "We are not worried at all because at every move we can strongly respond to such a move and we are not guilty of any crime," North Korea's U.N. ambassador, Jang Il Hun, told a news conference at the country's mission to the United Nations. China, a strong ally of Pyongyang, is likely to veto any Security Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats say. More »

  • North Korea demands 'socialist fairyland' dream in bizarre new slog …
    North Korea demands 'socialist fairyland' dream in bizarre new slog … Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    North Korea has released an extensive list of new political slogans as it marks 70 years since it was founded as a state. Slogans have become part of daily political life in North Korea, where citizens are expected to memorise the phrases, which can be used by Pyongyang to dictate political policy to the hinterland. While the slogans are expected to be learned by North Korean citizens, they also offer an insight into the leadership's thinking. More »

  • North Korea fights for 'people's dreams' with barrage of slogan … Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    SEOUL (Reuters) - "Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!" "Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!" "Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!" North Korea released a list of more than 300 new political slogans on Thursday to mark 70 years since the foundation of the isolated state and its ruling Workers' Party. The slogans, which ran to more than 7,000 words in translation and spanned two pages of the party's broadsheet newspaper, called for a wide range of improvements including "more stylish school uniforms" and "organic farming on an extensive scale". North Korea is a highly centralized state where government policy is often dictated via vague party-level directives which are distributed as slogans to regional officials to be memorized and carried out. The new slogans included some of the belligerent rhetoric North Korea frequently directs at its foes the United States and South Korea: "Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!" Some of the slogans, which were jointly released by party political and military committees, gave industry-specific instructions such as "Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!" Most, however, reflected state-wide needs like providing more food to children, a steady supply of electricity, and less bureaucracy. More »

  • North Korea test-fires 5 short-range missiles into the sea
    North Korea test-fires 5 short-range missiles into the sea Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea test-fired five short-range missiles into the sea on Sunday in its second such weapons test this year, a South Korean defense official said, amid dimming prospects for the resumption of high-level talks between the rival countries. More »

  • North Korea fires short-range missiles into sea
    North Korea fires short-range missiles into sea Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    North Korea test-fired five short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast Sunday, raising cross-border tensions ahead of Seoul's planned joint army drills with the US. More »

  • North Korea test fires short-range missiles into sea
    North Korea test fires short-range missiles into sea Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    Seoul says neighbour fired five short-range missiles into sea off South Korea's east coast which flew for about 200km. More »

  • North Korea fires short-range missiles off coast
    North Korea fires short-range missiles off coast Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Sunday, in a demonstration of military muscle by the secretive state amid escalating rhetoric against the United States and South Korea. The missiles hit the sea after about 200 km (120 miles), a South Korean defence ministry official said. North Korea frequently fires short-range missiles off its coast as part of military drills. The United Nations imposed sanctions banning North Korea from launching longer-range ballistic missiles, but not short-range missiles. ... More »

  • North Korea test-fires new anti-ship cruise missile
    North Korea test-fires new anti-ship cruise missile Sat, Feb 7, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, images released by state media on Saturday showed, demonstrating the increased capability of the secretive state's outdated navy. The images were released in the lead-up to U.S.-South Korean military exercises this spring. North Korea routinely seeks to raise tensions ahead of the annual drills, although this year Pyongyang has also offered to suspend nuclear testing if Washington calls off the exercises. The images, which were shown on the front page of the ruling Workers' Party Rodong Sinmun newspaper, showed leader Kim Jong Un observing the missile being fired from a small naval vessel. More »

  • North Korea says it test-fires anti-ship cruise missile Sat, Feb 7, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Saturday that it has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, a move experts in Seoul viewed as an attempt to raise tensions ahead of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. More »

  • North Korea test fires 'ultra-precision' rocket
    North Korea test fires 'ultra-precision' rocket Sat, Feb 7, 2015

    Leader Kim Jong-un observes "successful" test on warship ahead of annual US-South Korea military exercises. More »