Latest North Korea News

  • North Korea Ebola scare: International runners take part in Pyongyang marathon …
    North Korea Ebola scare: International runners take part in Pyongyang marathon … Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    North Korea's state media reported hundreds of foreign runners took part in an international marathon in Pyongyang on 12 April. North Korea reopened an international marathon to overseas athletes after ending a ban on most foreigners entering the country because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus. The country closed its borders to foreign tourists in October 2014 for fear the virus might spread, and imposed a strict 21-day quarantine on foreign aid workers and diplomats, who were told to stay in embassy compounds. Footage that was filmed by KCNA, showed runners starting the race at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung stadium, which was filled with thousands of cheering spectators. More »

  • North Korea Leader Kim Jong-Un Injures Wrist
    North Korea Leader Kim Jong-Un Injures Wrist Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un appears to have hurt his wrist. The 32-year-old appeared in a video on North Korean Central TV with what seemed to be a bandaged right wrist. The bandage can be spotted as Kim waves and smiles at supporters during an inspection of a weapons factory in Pyongyang. But the supreme leader did not attend Thursday's meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang. More »

  • North Korea seen intent on provocation but no sign of nuclear test Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    North Korea is intent on using missile launches to increase regional tension but it does not appear to be preparing for a fourth nuclear test or long-range missile launch, the U.S. and South Korean defence ministers said on Friday. North Korea fired two surface-to-air missiles off its west coast just before U.S. Secretary of Defence Ash Carter arrived in the region on Tuesday to visit staunch U.S. allies Japan and South Korea. "As it demonstrated once again with its recent missile launches, North Korea is intent on continued provocation," Carter told a news conference in the South Korean capital, Seoul. North Korea is under heavy sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. More »

  • Dollar may be next screw for US to tighten on North Korea
    Dollar may be next screw for US to tighten on North Korea Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    The last time the United States tried the military option on North Korea, more than a million died, a hostile and unexpectedly resilient adversary emerged and instead of regime change it got three generations ... More »

  • North Korea fires missiles into sea as U.S. defence chief visits region
    North Korea fires missiles into sea as U.S. defence chief visits region Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom OSAN, South Korea (Reuters) - North Korea has fired two surface-to-air missiles off its west coast, South Korea said on Thursday, with the latest in a string of short-range firings by the North coming shortly before the U.S. defence secretary arrived in the region. The two short-range missiles were fired on Tuesday, South Korea's defence ministry said, and followed the launch on Friday of four short-range missiles off the west coast of North Korea. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter arrived in Japan on Tuesday afternoon and travelled to South Korea on Thursday, where he was expected to discuss a response to North Korea's growing missile and nuclear threat. More »

  • UN says North Korea aid faces 'significant underfunding'
    UN says North Korea aid faces 'significant underfunding' Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new United Nations report says humanitarian aid for North Korea faces "significant underfunding" while about 70 percent of the population faces food insecurity, and it says recent U.S. sanctions forced U.N. agencies to suspend some programs and operations last year. More »

  • North Korea parliament meet watched for policy, personnel change
    North Korea parliament meet watched for policy, personnel change Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    North Korea's legislative assembly was to hold a rare session on Thursday, with observers looking out for any changes to economic policy or a reshuffle of high-ranking officials. More »

  • North Korea says Mexico holding ship; kept under sanctions
    North Korea says Mexico holding ship; kept under sanctions Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea said Wednesday that Mexico has "forcibly detained" one of its ships months after it ran aground off Mexico's Gulf coast last year, and Pyongyang blames the United States for preventing the ship's release. More »

  • North Korea warns will act to get back ship held by Mexico Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea accused Mexico on Wednesday of illegally detaining one of its ships with some 50 crew and warned it would take "necessary measures" to release the vessel, which United Nations sanctions monitors say belongs to a blacklisted shipping firm. The 6,700-tonne freighter Mu Du Bong, which had come from Cuba, ran aground in July on a reef 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Tuxpan in Mexico's Veracruz state. Mexico said the ship remains in the port of Tuxpan. North Korea's Deputy UN Ambassador An Myong Hun told a small news conference on Wednesday that the Mu Du Bong was not linked to the blacklisted firm, Ocean Maritime Management Company, and therefore not subject to U.N. sanctions. More »

  • How thousands of copies of 'The Interview' ended up in North Korea Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Activist Lee Min-bok told CNN he has made four launches of balloons containing thousands of copies of the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy over North Korea since January. All this despite Mr. Lee, a North Korean defector, not being a fan of the comedy – he found the movie "vulgar" and did not bother to even finish it, he told CNN. The North has asked the South Korean government to put a stop to the balloon launches, but activists like Mr. Kim usually fly balloons under the cover of darkness. After the North began firing on balloons flying over the border, South Korean authorities have began to monitor balloon launches closely, according to the BBC, though they say that their citizens are entitled to freely disseminate their opinions. More »

  • North Korea says expels U.S. aid worker for 'anti-state conspiracy' Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    North Korea said on Wednesday it was expelling an American aid worker for engaging in what it said was a conspiracy against the state, just weeks after the country ejected a German aid worker. The North's official KCNA news agency said the U.S. citizen it named as Sandra Suh had "produced pictures and videos with an aversion to the Republic under the disguise of 'humanitarianism' and used them" in a propaganda campaign against the country. "Sandra Suh admitted ... her criminal activities and apologised, seeking generous forgiveness. Out of generosity, the related agency took into consideration her age and decided to expel her from its territory," KCNA said. More »

  • North Korea deports 'plot-breeding' US aid worker
    North Korea deports 'plot-breeding' US aid worker Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    North Korea said Wednesday it had deported an American aid worker accused of using her humanitarian status as a cover to gather and produce anti-Pyongyang propaganda. More »

  • Assassination Plot DVD Ballooned To North Korea
    Assassination Plot DVD Ballooned To North Korea Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Thousands of DVDs of a Hollywood film about a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader have been sent into the country via helium balloon. North Korean defector-turned-activist Lee Min-Bok said he had undertaken four launches since January, the last being on Saturday. Each time, he tied bundles of The Interview DVD and anti-Pyongyang leaflets to the balloons, and then released them from the back of a lorry. "I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on Saturday, near the western part of the border," Mr Lee told AFP news agency. More »

  • 'The Interview' DVDs balloon-launched into North Korea
    'The Interview' DVDs balloon-launched into North Korea Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    A South Korean activist said Wednesday he had launched thousands of copies of Hollywood film "The Interview" into North Korea by balloon, ignoring dire threats of reprisals from Pyongyang. More »

  • Despite threats, activist sends 'The Interview' DVDs to North Korea
    Despite threats, activist sends 'The Interview' DVDs to North Korea Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    A North Korean defector living in South Korea said on Wednesday he has launched balloons carrying thousands of copies of the film "The Interview" to North Korea, despite protests from the isolated country and emailed death threats. North Korea has denounced the Hollywood comedy featuring a fictional plot to assassinate the country's leader Kim Jong Un as an act of war and threatened retaliation if the film was released. Lee Min-bok, a defector who left the North 20 years ago, said he had sent DVD copies of the film, dollar notes and anti-North leaflets in satchels tied to helium-filled balloons on four occasions, most recently on Saturday. More »

  • North Korea declares no-sail zone, missile launch seen as possible - report …
    North Korea declares no-sail zone, missile launch seen as possible - report … Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    North Korea has declared a no-sail zone for its ships off its east coast, South Korean media reported on Monday, suggesting more missile launches are possible before the U.S. defence chief visits Seoul this week. Pyongyang fired four short-range missiles off its west coast on Friday in what South Korea called a bid to stoke tension during its annual joint military drills with the United States. Na said a no-sail warning had not been sent to Seoul or the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). North Korea has reported to the IMO before previous long-range missile launches, which it has claimed were rockets to launch satellites. More »

  • North Korea fires short-range missiles ahead of U.S. defence chief visit to … Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    North Korea on Friday test-fired four missiles off its west coast, a week ahead of a visit to Seoul by the U.S. defence secretary, in what South Korea called a bid to stoke tension during its joint military drills with the United States. North Korea occasionally fires short-range missiles into the sea as part of its military drills and has conducted such launches during times of tension with neighbouring South Korea. The four short-range projectiles flew roughly 140 km (84 miles) and plunged into the sea late on Friday afternoon, South Korea's office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "The projectiles are believed to be for a provocative show of force to pressure the South," the office said in a statement, adding that the North had fired a similar object on Thursday. More »

  • North Korea fires short-range missiles ahead of U.S. defense chief visit to … Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    North Korea on Friday test-fired four missiles off its west coast, a week ahead of a visit to Seoul by the U.S. defense secretary, in what South Korea called a bid to stoke tension during its joint military drills with the United States. North Korea occasionally fires short-range missiles into the sea as part of its military drills and has conducted such launches during times of tension with neighboring South Korea. The four short-range projectiles flew roughly 140 km (84 miles) and plunged into the sea late on Friday afternoon, South Korea's office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "The projectiles are believed to be for a provocative show of force to pressure the South," the office said in a statement, adding that the North had fired a similar object on Thursday. More »

  • Women's group gets North Korea support to walk across DMZ
    Women's group gets North Korea support to walk across DMZ Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea has decided to support a proposed walk across the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas by prominent women including Gloria Steinem, and organizers say they hope South Korea will give its approval as well. More »

  • North Korea expels chief of German food aid organisation - NGO Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has expelled the country director of Welthungerhilfe, one of the few foreign aid groups to operate in the isolated country, the German organisation told Reuters on Thursday. A devastating famine in the 1990s left hundreds of thousands of North Koreans dead or dying from starvation. The food situation has improved since, but Pyongyang still relies on support from foreign aid organisations. Without warning or saying why, North Korea asked Welthungerhilfe country director Regina Feindt to leave the country in late February, the non-government body said in a statement. More »

  • North Korea threatens strike against UN rights office in Seoul
    North Korea threatens strike against UN rights office in Seoul Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    North Korea has threatened "merciless punishment" against South Korea if it goes ahead with plans to open a UN field office in Seoul for monitoring the North's human rights record. More »

  • Japan extends sanctions on North Korea by two years
    Japan extends sanctions on North Korea by two years Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has decided to extend sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's delay in reporting on its investigation into the abductions of Japanese citizens decades ago, the top government spokesman said on Tuesday. Japan will extend a trade embargo on North Korea and a ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports, except if there are humanitarian reasons, by two years. ... More »

  • Japan is set to extend sanctions on North Korea - Nikkei Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    Japan will likely extend its sanctions against North Korea because of Pyongyang's delay in reporting into its abductions of Japanese citizens decades ago, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday without citing sources. The government is poised to decide next Tuesday on an extension to a trade embargo on North Korea, a ban on North Korea charter flights and a prohibition on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports, the Nikkei said. Japanese government officials were unavailable for comment. In 2002, North Korea admitted kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to help train spies. More »

  • South Korea demands release of two men accused by North Korea of espionage
    South Korea demands release of two men accused by North Korea of espionage Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By James Pearson and Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea demanded the immediate release on Friday of two of its citizens being held in North Korea on accusations spying. Late on Thursday, the North's official KCNA news agency showed images of two middle-aged men it identified as Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil speaking at a news conference in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. It said the two men were South Korean nationals working as spies for Seoul's National Intelligence Service from the Chinese border city of Dandong. "They zealously took part in the anti-DPRK smear campaign of the U.S. imperialists and the puppet group of traitors to isolate and blockade the DPRK in (the) international arena," the agency said, using North Korea's official DPRK acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea. More »

  • Insight - The $50 device that symbolises a shift in North Korea
    Insight - The $50 device that symbolises a shift in North Korea Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - A $50 (34 pounds) portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government's efforts to keep its people isolated - a symbol of change in one of the world's most repressed societies. By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed "notel", a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand. People are exchanging South Korean soaps, pop music, Hollywood films and news programmes, all of which are expressly prohibited by the Pyongyang regime, according to North Korean defectors, activists and recent visitors to the isolated country. "The North Korean government takes their national ideology extremely seriously, so the spread of all this media that competes with their propaganda is a big and growing problem for them," said Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an organisation that works with defectors. More »

  • North Korea says it has arrested two South Korean spies
    North Korea says it has arrested two South Korean spies Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    North Korea said late on Thursday it had arrested two South Koreans based in the Chinese border city of Dandong, accusing them of spying for South Korea. The North's official KCNA news agency showed images of two middle-aged men it identified as Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil speaking at a news conference in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. The two men were South Korean nationals working as spies for Seoul's National Intelligence Service from the Chinese border city of Dandong, it said. "They zealously took part in the anti-DPRK smear campaign of the U.S. imperialists and the puppet group of traitors to isolate and blockade the DPRK in (the) international arena," the agency said, using North Korea's official DPRK acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea. More »

  • North Korea and nukes: It's not all bluff
    North Korea and nukes: It's not all bluff Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    The North Koreans are stretching the truth about their nuclear programme - for now. More »

  • Wild fire spreads from North Korea to South, border passages closed - offic … Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    Strong winds swept a wild fire in North Korea across the heavily armed border with South Korea on Monday, prompting a suspension of cross-border movements into a jointly-run factory park in the North. An official at the South's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said that due to the fire South Korean workers were restricted from going in and out of Kaesong factory park, which lies in the North just over the border. In the latest spat over the Kaesong complex, a group of South Korean businessmen last week visited the complex to protest North Korea's decision to increase wages paid to workers there. More »

  • North Korea warns against airdropping DVDs of 'The Interview'
    North Korea warns against airdropping DVDs of 'The Interview' Sun, Mar 22, 2015

    North Korea's military on Sunday threatened to blow up balloons that South Korean activists plan to send over the heavily-militarised border carrying 10,000 DVDs of the satirical Hollywood film "The Interview". More »

  • North Korea Nuke Threat Frightening - If True
    North Korea Nuke Threat Frightening - If True Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    North Korea's ambassador to the UK has told Sky News that his country now has the capability to fire a nuclear missile "anytime". Ambassador Hyun Hak-bong made the claim in an interview with Sky's Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall from the country's London embassy. "We are prepared," the ambassador said. "That is why I say if a sparkle of a fire is made on the Korean peninsula, it will lead to a nuclear war. More »

  • Diplomat: North Korea ready to use nuclear capability
    Diplomat: North Korea ready to use nuclear capability Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    Country's ambassador to UK tells Sky News missiles carrying nuclear weapons can be deployed "anytime" if US strikes. More »

  • North Korea says can fire nuclear missile at 'any time' Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    North Korea has the ability to fire a nuclear weapon and would use a nuclear missile in retaliation if it is attacked, the country's ambassador to Britain told Sky News on Friday. "It is not the United States that has a monopoly on nuclear weapons strikes," Ambassador Hyun Hak-bong told Sky at the isolated Asian country's London embassy. Asked if that meant North Korea, which quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993, had the capability to fire a nuclear missile now, he replied: "Any time, any time, yes." "If the United States strike us, we should strike back. We are ready for conventional war with conventional war, we are ready for nuclear war with nuclear war. More »

  • North Korea 'Prepared' To Fire Nuclear Missile
    North Korea 'Prepared' To Fire Nuclear Missile Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    North Korea is ready to launch a nuclear war if it feels threatened, the country's ambassador to the UK has told Sky News. In a rare interview, the senior official told us North Korea has nuclear weapons and is ready to use them. "That is why I say if a sparkle of a fire is made on the Korean peninsula, it will lead to a nuclear war. "So can I just be clear: you are telling me that the North Korea has the ability now to fire a nuclear missile?" I clarified. More »

  • China appoints new ambassador to North Korea Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    The Chinese government has appointed a new ambassador to North Korea, an important and sensitive diplomatic post at the centre of efforts to get the reclusive country to end its nuclear weapons ambitions. Li Jinjun is replacing Liu Hongcai in the position, China's Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement late on Wednesday. Li is a former deputy head of the Communist Party's International Department, which is deeply involved in contacts with North Korea's ruling party. Li is a German speaker who has previously been ambassador to Myanmar and the Philippines. More »

  • South Korea blames North Korea for December hack on nuclear operator
    South Korea blames North Korea for December hack on nuclear operator Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    By Ju-min Park and Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday blamed North Korea for cyber attacks against the country's nuclear reactor operator last December, based upon its investigation into Internet addresses used in the hacking. The conclusion comes less than a week after a hacker believed to be behind the cyber attacks on Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd released more files on Twitter that are believed to have been taken in December. More »