North Korea

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Pyongyang Airport's Internet Lounge Is Missing Something

Two somethings, if you count keyboards

(Newser) - Pyongyang's shiny new airport building has all the features international travelers have come to expect, though some lose their luster upon closer examination. Case in point: Its Internet room appears to be missing the Internet. On two recent trips through the airport by the AP, the room's three... More »

Korea Deal: N. Says Sorry, South Cuts Propaganda

Deal struck after marathon 30 hours of talks to deescalate tensions

(Newser) - South Korea says it has agreed to halt propaganda broadcasts in a matter of hours after North Korea expressed regret over a recent land mine blast that maimed two South Korean troops, and CNN reports that it will lift its "semi-state of war." South Korean national security adviser... More »

50 N. Korean Subs Go Missing

S. Korea military official says subs have disappeared off radar, raising concern

(Newser) - Top government officials from the Koreas met over the weekend in the border town of Panmunjom to discuss keeping the peace , Reuters reports. But North Korea seems to be hedging its bets after a South Korean military official said that 50 of its northern foe's submarines have disappeared, the... More »

North, South Korea Back Off War Footing at Deadline

They hold rare peace talks after days of threats

(Newser) - The West is not waking up to a shooting war between North and South Korea, despite an ultimatum by the North to that effect. Instead: peace talks. Pyongyang had demanded that the South dismantle its propaganda-blaring loudspeaker systems along the border by about 4am Eastern or risk "all-out war,... More »

N. Korea Says It Is in 'Quasi-State of War'

Pyongyang orders troops to be ready for battle by tonight

(Newser) - More tough talk from North Korea: The country says its troops are now in a "quasi-state of war" and they've been ordered to be battle-ready by this evening, reports the AP , which notes that a "quasi-state of war" has existed along the Korean border for decades. The... More »

North, South Korea Fire at Each Other

South fires back after Pyongyang rocket hits

(Newser) - Things are heating up between the Koreas once again: North Korea and South Korea fired at each other today in the first such clash on land since a deadly attack on a South Korean island in 2010, the New York Times reports. After the North fired what is believed to... More »

Report: Kim Jong Un Purged Vice Premier With Gun

Leader's 'reign of terror' shows no sign of letting up

(Newser) - You'd think Kim Jong Un would've tired of executions by now, but sources tell Yonhap News that North Korea's Vice Premier Choe Yong-gon was executed by shooting in May, apparently after he "expressed discomfort" over Kim's forestation policy; his work performance was also found lacking,... More »

South Korea: North Crept Across Border, Planted Mines

South swears 'severe retaliation' after 2 soldiers lose legs

(Newser) - Two South Korean soldiers maimed near the border with North Korea last Tuesday were victims of a North Korean attack, officials say. The South Korean Defense Ministry claims North Korean soldiers crept across the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone to plant mines outside the South's guard post near Paju, reports... More »

North Korea Quits Time Zone of 'Wicked Imperialists'

Country will switch to Pyongyang Time next week

(Newser) - What time it is in Korea will soon depend on which side of the DMZ you are on. North Korea says is abandoning the time zone imposed on it by "wicked Japanese imperialists" in 1910 and creating its own time zone, 8.5 hours ahead of GMT and 30... More »

North Korea Launch Pad Seems to Have Gotten Bigger

Which could mean it can now launch longer-range missiles: report

(Newser) - Rumors of a new North Korea rocket launch are circulating again as government sources inform Yonhap news agency that the country has almost finished modifiying the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. A taller, 220-foot launch tower—a full 55 feet longer than the previous tower—has been spotted via satellite imagery.... More »

What About a N. Korea Nuke Deal? Pyongyang Reacts

'We do not have any interest at all,' says rep

(Newser) - US officials wondering whether the landmark nuclear deal with Iran would make North Korea reconsider its own nuclear program have their answer: Absolutely not. Though North Korea, like its ally Iran, is sanctioned by the US, EU, and UN, a foreign ministry rep for Pyongyang says its development of nuclear... More »

Inside North Korea's Bizarre, Compulsory Elections

Voters were "singing and dancing" as they cast their ballots

(Newser) - To say North Koreans turned out in droves to vote in state elections yesterday would be an understatement, because state media are reporting 99.7% voter turnout, Sky News reports. That's only the first eyebrow-raiser about the country's electoral process, held every four years so voters can "... More »

This Band Will Make History in North Korea

Slovenia's Laibach will be first foreign group to perform in Pyongyang

(Newser) - North Korea is opening its borders to the first foreign band to put on a show, and Slovenian pop group Laibach isn't exactly a predictable choice. The band, known for wearing military uniforms on stage, has a "bad boy reputation," director Morten Traavik, who's arranged several... More »

South Korea: North Says It 'Purged' Defense Chief

Hyon Yong Chol is out; Gen. Pak Yong Sik is in

(Newser) - North Korea has officially confirmed the purging of its defense chief two months after Seoul's spy service said he had been executed for disloyalty to leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean official said today. South Korea's National Intelligence Service told lawmakers in May that People's Armed... More »

In N. Korea, Addicts Climb Mountains to Get High

360 miles on foot is typical trek for some addicts: source

(Newser) - North Korea apparently has a "miracle" drug that cures cancer , but very little methamphetamine. In an attempt to curb defections , illegal phone calls, human trafficking, and drug smuggling, "border control has become a lot tighter, making methamphetamine harder to get," a source tells the Daily NK . "... More »

Kim Jong Un's Bloody Tenure: 70 Executions

South Korean minister discusses dictator's 'reign of terror'

(Newser) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has executed 70 officials since taking power in late 2011 in a "reign of terror" that far exceeds the bloodshed of his dictator father's early rule, South Korean officials said today. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, at a forum in Seoul,... More »

Defector May Reveal Human Experiments in North Korea

Scientist reportedly fled to Finland

(Newser) - A North Korean scientist has defected to Finland, and he may have evidence that his native country has been conducting ghastly experiments on humans involving chemical weapons, reports the South's Yonhap News Agency . The scientist is identified only as a 47-year-old named Lee who worked at a facility in... More »

Kim Jong Un Claims to Have Cured Cancer

Thanks to a top-secret wonder drug, but, sadly, there's no proof

(Newser) - Normally if a country announces a wonder drug that can cure some of mankind's worst maladies, it would be cause for celebration. Unless that country happens to be North Korea. Its official news agency claims that scientists have developed a top-secret drug called Kumdang-2 that can cure AIDS, Ebola,... More »

North Korea Claims 'Worst Drought in 100 Years'

State news agency says 30% of rice paddy fields are drying up

(Newser) - Failed lobster breeders should be the least of Kim Jong Un's worries. North Korea says it's battling "the worst drought in 100 years" after recording its lowest rainfall in 30 years last year as well as low levels in May, per the AP . State news agency... More »

In Rarest of Moves, Defector Walks Across the DMZ

Teen risked land mines, gunfire to reach South Korean post

(Newser) - For the first time in three years, a North Korean soldier has defected to the South after walking through the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. South Korea's defense ministry says a teenager reached a South Korean guard post today in Hwacheon and was taken into... More »

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