North Korea

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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 »

DMZ March Blocked, Steinem Goes by Bus Instead

Feminists 'were able to be citizen diplomats,' she says

(Newser) - Female activists including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates were denied an attempt to walk across the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea today, but were allowed to cross by bus and complete what one of them called a landmark event. The group of 30 women from 15... More »

N. Korea Claims It Can Make Mini Nukes

Not so fast, says US Joint Chiefs vice chair

(Newser) - China warned us . Less than a month after North Korea says it fired a missile off a submarine, the country's National Defense Commission is now claiming it can craft mini nuclear weapons that fit on the tips of such missiles, Yonhap reports. "We have had the capability... More »

Latest Target of Kim Jong Un's Wrath: Failed Lobster Breeders

Says terrapin farm may 'impair prestige' of Korean Workers' Party

(Newser) - Employees at a terrapin farm on the outskirts of Pyongyang might want to lay low for a while. According to North Korean state news agency KCNA, their Dear Leader isn't too pleased with the way things are managed at Taedonggang Terrapin Farm, which was visited by Kim Jong Un’... More »

Kerry Has Harsh Words for N. Korea: Horrific, Grisly ...

... and 'reckless, grotesque, horrendous'

(Newser) - US Secretary of State John Kerry today accused North Korea of a litany of crimes and atrocities while reassuring South Korea of America's "ironclad" security commitments. Kerry blamed North Korea for breaking promises, making threats, and showing "flagrant disregard for international law" by continuing to build its... More »

2 Things Give Pause About the North Korea Execution

Some air their doubts about Hyon Yong Chol's execution by anti-aircraft gun

(Newser) - Public execution by anti-aircraft gun was the price of perceived disloyalty for North Korea's defense chief—or was it? The report of Hyon Yong Chol's alleged April 30 execution in front of hundreds came from the mouth of South Korea's National Intelligence Service. Today, the New ... More »

Report: N. Korea Defense Chief Executed by Anti-Aircraft Gun

Spy agency says he fell asleep at military event, disagreed with Kim

(Newser) - Public execution by anti-aircraft gun was the price of perceived disloyalty for North Korea's defense chief, according to South Korea's spy agency. Lawmakers in Seoul say they were told yesterday that military chief Hyon Yong Chol was killed for falling asleep during a military event and for disagreeing... More »

North Korea: We Fired a Missile From Submarine

Test of ballistic missile reportedly successful

(Newser) - North Korea has apparently joined the SLBM club, which, much to the disappointment of the South and the US, stands for submarine-launched ballistic missile. A North Korean newspaper today announced that its test missile "soared into the sky from underwater," reports the Korea Times . It also had photos... More »

North Korea's Latest Feat: Shopping Site

Which is interesting because most people don't have Internet

(Newser) - Online shopping has arrived in North Korea, though it's as isolated from the rest of the world as the country itself, and the vast majority of North Koreans lack the technology to use it. The website Okryu, aimed at smartphone users, offers North Korean products including women's clothing,... More »

NYU Student in North Korea: 'I Wanted to Be Arrested'

Thought arrest could spur a 'great event'

(Newser) - The 21-year-old New York University student arrested in North Korea last month says he "wanted to be arrested." Won Moon Joo was allowed to give an interview to CNN last night, and he says he purposely entered North Korea near the Great Wall of China, crossing two barbed... More »

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