Latest North Korea News

  • North Korea abruptly cancels visit by UN chief
    North Korea abruptly cancels visit by UN chief Wed, May 20, 2015

    North Korea on Wednesday cancelled an invitation to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to visit an industrial zone inside the isolated state, in an abrupt move that Ban deplored as "deeply regrettable". More »

  • U.N. chief Ban says North Korea retracts approval for visit
    U.N. chief Ban says North Korea retracts approval for visit Wed, May 20, 2015

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday his plan to go to North Korea this week to visit an industrial complex had been scrapped after Pyongyang retracted its earlier approval, calling the decision "deeply regrettable". The move by Pyongyang to abort Ban's visit to the Kaesong factory park on Thursday dashes what would have been a rare diplomatic opening by reclusive North Korea amid a tense standoff with South Korea. "Early this morning, the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea informed us, through their diplomatic channels, that they were reversing their decision for me to visit the Kaesong industrial complex," Ban said in a speech, using North Korea's official name. More »

  • Steinem, Nobel laureates in North Korea for march across DMZ
    Steinem, Nobel laureates in North Korea for march across DMZ Tue, May 19, 2015

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A group of female peace activists including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel laureates arrived in North Korea's capital on Tuesday for a march across the Demilitarized Zone that they hope will bring world attention to calls for a resolution to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. More »

  • UN chief to visit inter-Korean factory park in North Korea
    UN chief to visit inter-Korean factory park in North Korea Tue, May 19, 2015

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that he will visit an inter-Korean factory park just north of the two Koreas' heavily fortified border, saying he hopes his trip to the last major cooperation ... More »

  • U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to visit North Korea industrial zone
    U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to visit North Korea industrial zone Tue, May 19, 2015

    By Tony Munroe SEOUL (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday he will visit the Kaesong industrial complex just north of the inter-Korean border, which will make him the first U.N. chief to enter the isolated country in more than two decades. The Kaesong industrial complex, a special economic zone a few kilometres north of the heavily fortified border, is jointly run by North and South Korea. North Korea is under U.N. sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes. More »

  • Women activists leave for North Korea and DMZ peace march
    Women activists leave for North Korea and DMZ peace march Tue, May 19, 2015

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - With tears, songs and laughter, 30 women activists set off from Beijing on Tuesday on a controversial trip to North Korea, where they will cross the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) to the South in a call for peace on the divided peninsula. The activists, including veteran American women's rights campaigner Gloria Steinem, plan two peace walks and a peace symposium in North Korea, said Christine Ahn, international coordinator for the group called WomenCrossDMZ. North and South Korea are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korea War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. More »

  • Kerry says U.S. and China discuss further sanctions on North Korea
    Kerry says U.S. and China discuss further sanctions on North Korea Mon, May 18, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom and Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States and China are discussing imposing further sanctions on North Korea, which is "not even close" to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons programme, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. Speaking in the South Korean capital, Kerry said Washington had offered the North the chance of an improved relationship in return for signs of genuine willingness to end its nuclear programme. "To date, to this moment, particularly with recent provocations, it is clear the DPRK is not even close to meeting that standard," Kerry told a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. "Instead it continues to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles." The secretive North, officially named the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is already under heavy U.N., EU and U.S. sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests. More »

  • Kerry slams North Korea, vows security for South
    Kerry slams North Korea, vows security for South Mon, May 18, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday accused North Korea of a litany of crimes and atrocities while reassuring South Korea of America's "ironclad" security commitments. More »

  • Kerry singles out North Korea for Internet abuse Mon, May 18, 2015

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is singling out North Korea for repressing its citizens' use of the Internet, calling open and secure cyber access a global right. Kerry told students Monday at prestigious ... More »

  • Kerry: Iran nuclear deal could be lesson for North Korea
    Kerry: Iran nuclear deal could be lesson for North Korea Sat, May 16, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he is hopeful that the successful conclusion of a nuclear deal with Iran will send a positive message to North Korea to restart negotiations on its own atomic program. More »

  • This just in: More crazy news from North Korea
    This just in: More crazy news from North Korea Thu, May 14, 2015

    So it was reported, but it probably didn't happen exactly that way. More »

  • Pyongyang pop and flowers: last days of North Korea's defence chief Thu, May 14, 2015

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean defence minister Hyon Yong Chol settled into a concert hall seat on an evening in late April to watch Pyongyang's best-known pop act, the Moranbong Band, perform hits including "Glorious Motherland" and "My Country is the Best". If confirmed, it would be the latest in a string of purges under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. According to reports in North Korean state media, his last days were packed with pomp, ceremony, and the exchange of bows and floral baskets in honour of the system that ultimately appears to have killed him. Born in rural North Hamgyong province in 1949, Hyon was educated at Pyongyang's prestigious military colleges and spent his entire career in the army. More »

  • North Korea executes defence chief with an anti-aircraft gun - South Korea  …
    North Korea executes defence chief with an anti-aircraft gun - South Korea  … Wed, May 13, 2015

    By Ju-min Park and James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea executed its defence chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul's National Intelligence Service told lawmakers, which would be the latest in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took charge. Hyon Yong Chol, who headed the isolated nuclear-capable country's military, was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim and falling asleep during an event at which North Korea's young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday. His execution was watched by hundreds of people, according to NIS intelligence shared with lawmakers. It was not clear how the NIS obtained the information and it is not possible to independently verify such reports from within secretive North Korea. More »

  • North Korea launches live-fire drills near disputed sea border with South Wed, May 13, 2015

    North Korea began live-fire drills on Wednesday near a disputed sea border, the scene of deadly clashes in recent years, the South's military said on Wednesday, vowing to respond to any "provocation". North Korea conducted similar drills last year, with more than 100 rounds landing south of border, prompting the South to fire hundreds of rounds back. The South's joint chiefs of staff said in a statement that North Korea told Seoul that it would carry out the drills for three days from Wednesday north of the Northern Limit Line, the west coast maritime border. "If North Korea makes any provocation in our waters, we will strongly respond to it," the statement said. More »

  • North Korea publicly executes defense minister, says S. Korean intelligence Wed, May 13, 2015

    North Korea’s defense minister was reportedly executed for disloyalty and showing disrespect to leader Kim Jong-un, according to South Korea’s intelligence agency. The People's Armed Forces Minister Hyon Yong-chol was killed in front of hundreds of spectators at a shooting range on the Kanggon Military Training Area in late April, according to reports from a South Korean National Intelligence Service briefing. Intelligence reports on North Korea’s activities always have to be treated with a degree of skepticism due to the nation’s secretive and closed-off nature. A recent report from the US-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, however, stated that satellite imagery of the area, just outside Pyongyang, appeared to corroborate the account. More »

  • Iran nuclear deal: the real lessons from North Korea Wed, May 13, 2015

    Just over 20 years ago, North Korean technicians extracted 8,000 spent fuel rods from the Yongbyon nuclear reactor – enough for five or six atomic bombs if reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium. Designed to be a provocation, North Korea’s move focused minds in Washington: The Pentagon devised a military strike plan that would destroy the reactor and entomb the plutonium, while – it was hoped – avoiding a Chernobyl-type radioactive cloud. North Korea was the Iran nuclear crisis of its day, with the risk of failure and chance of war just as high as it is today, as Iran and six world powers aim to meet a June 30 deadline for a deal ensuring Iran cannot produce a bomb. The North Korea deal failed to prevent Pyongyang from secretly going nuclear and detonating its first atomic bomb in 2006. More »

  • North Korea defence chief 'executed with anti-aircraft fire'
    North Korea defence chief 'executed with anti-aircraft fire' Wed, May 13, 2015

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had his defence minister executed with anti-aircraft fire for insubordination and dozing off during a formal military rally, South Korean intelligence said Wednesday, hinting at possible instability in the Pyongyang leadership. More »

  • North Korea 'executes defence chief' on treason charges
    North Korea 'executes defence chief' on treason charges Wed, May 13, 2015

    Minister Hyon Yong-chol killed by anti-aircraft gunfire at a shooting range in Pyongyang, South Korean spy agency says. More »

  • UN chief, head of North Korea's parliament met in Moscow Mon, May 11, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A spokesman says the U.N. secretary-general had a brief meeting with the head of North Korea's parliament when both were in Moscow over the weekend. More »

  • North Korea seen years from sub-launched missile to threaten U.S.
    North Korea seen years from sub-launched missile to threaten U.S. Mon, May 11, 2015

    By Ju-min Park and James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea made a key step in its nuclear weapons programme by test-launching a ballistic missile from a submarine, but remains years away from developing a missile system or submarine which could threaten its sworn enemy the United States, experts said. South Korea on Monday called the test "very serious and concerning" and urged Pyongyang to immediately stop developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which it said hindered regional security. Isolated North Korea, already slapped with UN sanctions for its missile and nuclear tests, is widely believed to be trying to develop a nuclear device small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile, but it is not clear whether it has done so - a crucial step to make its nuclear missile threat credible. More »

  • Warning Over North Korea Ballistic Missile Subs
    Warning Over North Korea Ballistic Missile Subs Mon, May 11, 2015

    North Korea could have a submarine fleet capable of launching ballistic missiles in two or three years, the South Korean government has warned. The caution came after North Korea published pictures of its leader Kim Jong-Un watching a missile test launch from a submarine. Mr Kim hailed the missile as a "world-level strategic weapon capable of striking and wiping out in any waters the hostile forces infringing upon (North Korea's) sovereignty and dignity", said the North's KCNA state news agency. There was no immediate independent confirmation of the test, which would mark a major breakthrough for the country's missile programme and violate UN resolutions prohibiting Pyongyang from developing or using ballistic missile technology. More »

  • North Korea's show of force greets US diplomatic overture
    North Korea's show of force greets US diplomatic overture Sat, May 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea greeted a U.S. diplomatic overture with a fresh show of force, seemingly testing the Obama administration's resolve for new nuclear talks. More »

  • North Korea boasts of firing ballistic missile from submarine
    North Korea boasts of firing ballistic missile from submarine Sat, May 9, 2015

    By Jack Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday it had successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine, a step that would mark significant progress in the secretive state's military capabilities. It could pose a new threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States, which have tried to contain North Korea's growing nuclear and missile strength, military experts said. The North's leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the test-launch from an offshore location as the submarine dived and "a ballistic missile surfaced from the sea and soared into the air, leaving a fiery trail of blaze," the official KCNA news agency said. More »

  • North Korea test fires submarine-launched missile
    North Korea test fires submarine-launched missile Sat, May 9, 2015

    Kim Jong-Un oversees test-firing of a ballistic missile from a submarine, as South Korea holds emergency meeting. More »

  • North Korea says it tests ballistic missile from submarine
    North Korea says it tests ballistic missile from submarine Sat, May 9, 2015

    North Korea said Saturday that it successfully test-fired a newly developed ballistic missile from a submarine in what would be the latest display of the country's advancing military capabilities. Hours ... More »

  • North Korea says it tests submarine ballistic missile
    North Korea says it tests submarine ballistic missile Sat, May 9, 2015

    North Korea said Saturday that it successfully test-fired a newly developed ballistic missile from a submarine in what would be the latest display of the country's advancing military capabilities. Hours ... More »

  • South Korea says North Korea test-fires 3 missiles into sea Sat, May 9, 2015

    South Korean military officials say North Korea has fired three anti-ship cruise missiles into its eastern sea. The firings Saturday come just hours after Pyongyang's state media touted the country's advancing ... More »

  • US says it's open to nuclear talks with North Korea
    US says it's open to nuclear talks with North Korea Sat, May 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After three years of diplomatic deadlock, the Obama administration says it's open to holding preliminary talks with North Korea to see if there's a chance of ridding the country of nuclear weapons. More »

  • North Korea warns of "targeted strikes" against South's navy
    North Korea warns of "targeted strikes" against South's navy Fri, May 8, 2015

    Pyongyang's warning came during the annual crab fishing season, which runs until June in the waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula. In March 2010, a South Korean navy ship was hit by a torpedo and sank off the west coast, killing 46 sailors. Seoul blames the attack on the North, although Pyongyang has denied any role. "From this time on, there will be unannounced targeted strikes against puppet navy vessels that violate our military's maritime border in the west coast hotspot waters," the North's KCNA news agency said, quoting a military command statement. More »

  • North Korea official says report Kim ordered executions 'malicious slander' …
    North Korea official says report Kim ordered executions 'malicious slander' … Thu, May 7, 2015

    A North Korean official denounced a report by South Korea's spy agency that leader Kim Jong Un had ordered the execution of 15 senior officials as "malicious slander" but acknowledged that executions took place. South Korea's National Intelligence Service told a parliamentary committee last week that Kim had ordered the 15 officials, including the vice forestry minister, to be executed for challenging his authority, and said Kim used fear and intimidation to rule the country. "Malicious slander," Pak Yong Chol, a deputy director for the North's Institute for Research into National Reunification, said when asked by CNN about the South Korean spy agency's report on the executions. More »

  • Japan turns to UN to pressure North Korea on abductees
    Japan turns to UN to pressure North Korea on abductees Tue, May 5, 2015

    Japan launched a major push at the United Nations on Tuesday to rally support for its drive to settle lingering questions over the decades-old abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea. More »

  • Review: 'North Korea Confidential' shows world slipping in Mon, May 4, 2015

    "North Korea Confidential" (Tuttle Publishing), by Daniel Tudor and James Pearson More »

  • North Korea officially squelches speculation of Kim trip
    North Korea officially squelches speculation of Kim trip Mon, May 4, 2015

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea announced Monday that the head of its parliament will attend this month's Victory Day celebration in Moscow, squelching speculation that supreme leader Kim Jong Un would use the event to make his international debut. More »

  • North Korea's titular head of state to visit Moscow instead of Kim Jong …
    North Korea's titular head of state to visit Moscow instead of Kim Jong … Mon, May 4, 2015

    North Korea's titular head of state will travel to Moscow this month instead of the country's young leader, Kim Jong Un, for ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, according to state media. On Thursday, the Kremlin had said Kim Jong Un would not be attending the events in Moscow, dashing expectations for what would have been his first overseas visit since taking power in 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. On Monday, Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, would visit Russia for the celebrations. China's Foreign Ministry said that President Xi Jinping would attend the Moscow events too, as part of a trip that will also include stops in Belarus and Kazakhstan. More »

  • Two men arrested by North Korea say they spied for South - CNN Sun, May 3, 2015

    Two men arrested by North Korea in March said in interviews with CNN that they spied for South Korea's intelligence agency, the cable television news network reported on Sunday. North Korea said Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil were South Korean nationals working as spies for Seoul's National Intelligence Service from the Chinese border city of Dandong. North Korean state media accused one of them of running an "underground church" and spreading foreign information on USB sticks and SD memory cards in the country. South Korea has called the accusations "groundless." On Sunday, CNN reported North Korea made the two men available for separate interviews, with official minders present. More »