North Korea

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N. Korea Hails 'Knife Shower of Justice' on Ambassador

State says attack on Mark Lippert was 'deserved punishment for warmonger US'

(Newser) - North Korea doesn't usually go out of its way to congratulate anyone from South Korea on anything, but today it praised the pro-North activist who allegedly attacked US Ambassador Mark Lippert with a knife yesterday, Yonhap reports. The dispatch from the state's Korean Central News Agency sent out... More »

US Spy Chief Describes Weird North Korea Visit

Banquet was followed by security warning

(Newser) - The North Koreans are generous but perplexing hosts, according to National Intelligence Director James Clapper. According to Reuters , the spy chief says that during his secret mission to Pyongyang last November to bring two Americans home , a general treated him to a "marvelous" 12-course banquet at a restaurant that... More »

Pyongyang Fires Missiles as War Games Begin

US-South exercises draw threats of 'merciless strikes'

(Newser) - The US and South Korea launched their annual joint military exercises early today—and North Korea delivered its annual response of missile launches and dire threats. According to Yonhap News , Pyongyang fired two short-range missiles into the East Sea from the western city of Nampo as the drills began. South... More »

Why a N. Korea Company Renamed 93% of Its Ships

It's a bid to evade UN sanctions

(Newser) - A North Korean shipping company has renamed 13 of its 14 ships, and there's a devious reason why, according to a new UN report. Ocean Maritime Management was last year blacklisted by the UN Security Council following a 2013 discovery of two fighter jets (among other things) hidden under... More »

Pyongyang Bans Foreigners From Marathon

Country worried runners might bring Ebola

(Newser) - Tightening the screws even further on travel to their already isolated country, North Korean authorities have barred foreigners from one of the year's most popular tourist events—the annual Pyongyang marathon —because of ongoing concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus, travel agencies say. While no cases... More »

Report: North Korea Sends 'Slaves' Abroad

State steals wages to combat sanctions, says NK Watch

(Newser) - Though most North Koreans will never leave their isolated country, an estimated 100,000 work long hours abroad to earn hard currency for the state. As sanctions against North Korea continue to take a toll, a program of sending contract workers to build monuments in Africa, fish off Fiji, dig... More »

North Korea Debuts 310 New Slogans

'Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!'

(Newser) - What 1945 brought to North Korea: Japan's rule over the country ended and the governing Worker's Party of Korea came into being. The 70th anniversaries are being honored as only North Korea could: With the release of 310 new exclamation-point-laden slogans touching on everything from fish farming to... More »

Amid Talk of Summit, N. Korea Tests Missiles

As joint US-South Korea military exercises loom

(Newser) - North Korea test-fired five short-range missiles into the sea today 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. The missiles, fired from a North Korean coastal town, flew about 125 miles... More »

Report: US Hacked North Korea Years Ago

Meanwhile, unknown hackers have trashed Kim Jong Un video game

(Newser) - The US was able to pin the Sony Pictures cyberattack on North Korea with confidence because the National Security Agency hacked its way into North Korean systems years earlier, according to the New York Times , which cites American and foreign officials as well as computer experts and a newly disclosed... More »

North Korea Defector Walks Back Parts of His Story

Shin Dong-Hyuk is key figure in accounts of country's abuses

(Newser) - Shin Dong-hyuk's life story has helped the outside world establish a picture of abuses in North Korea: He says he escaped from a prison known as Camp 14, and he has served as a witness to the UN and as the source for an international best-seller. Now, however, he... More »

S. Korean Prez: I'd Meet With Kim— Unconditionally

Countries' presidents have met just twice since WWII

(Newser) - The leaders of North and South Korea have met just twice since World War II ended, but Park Geun-hye, the South's current leader, is willing to change that, Reuters reports. "My position is that to ease the pain of division and to accomplish peaceful unification, I am willing... More »

Kim Jong Un Rejects Talks With South Korea

No reason given why Pyongyang rebuffed parliament's request

(Newser) - "Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks [with South Korea]" was one of the most unexpected statements that came out of Kim Jong Un's New Year's speech from Pyongyang in which he said he'd... More »

Kim Jong Un Is 32 Today ... Maybe

Or 31 or 33, or something like that

(Newser) - In case you've somehow managed to erase this detail from memory, USA Today reminds us that exactly one year ago, Dennis Rodman was singing "Happy Birthday" to "best friend" Kim Jong Un. Today is indeed believed to be the North Korean leader's birthday, but it's... More »

North Korea Is Evil, but We Choose to Laugh

Slate writer: We can't seem to comprehend what's really happening there

(Newser) - The US has imposed new sanctions on North Korea over the Sony hack, and Slate writer Anne Applebaum finds it strange that a screwball comedy forced the hand of the White House, while "multiple reports of massive human rights abuse over many decades never had the same effect."... More »

N. Korea Has Army of 6K Hackers: S. Korea

South Korean report says Pyongyang able to attack US mainland

(Newser) - South Korea says rival North Korea has a 6,000-member cyberarmy dedicated to disrupting the South's military and government. The figure is a dramatic increase from South Korea's earlier estimate that the North had a cyberwarfare staff of 3,000. Seoul's Defense Ministry also says in a... More »

North Korea: America Is 'Stirring Up Bad Blood'

Unnamed official slams latest sanctions in state-run news

(Newser) - North Korea has answered the latest round of US sanctions with a message that isn't exactly friendly—or entirely grammatical. America's ongoing sanctions policy is "groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it," says an unnamed official in state-run news, NPR reports. "The persistent and unilateral... More »

US Sanctions North Korea Over Sony Hack

White House lays down financial penalties

(Newser) - The US is imposing financial sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for the cyberattack against Sony Pictures . The White House says the sanctions affect three North Korean entities, including a government intelligence agency and a North Korean arms dealer. The US also is sanctioning 10 individuals who work for those... More »

Kim Jong Un's Eyebrows Are Shrinking

They've gotten shorter between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2014

(Newser) - Kim Jong Un's annual New Year message may have steered clear of digs at the US and Sony, but it did raise one pressing question: What's up with Kim's eyebrows? The South China Morning Post reports they now look like "little dashes," which it suggests... More »

Kim Open to Face-to-Face Summit With S. Korea Leader

His new year's speech has a surprising overture

(Newser) - Months ago, North Korea unleashed a sexist diatribe against South Korea's female president that included calling her a "prostitute." Today, however, Kim Jong Un suggested the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between him and Park Geun-hye, reports Yonhap News . “Depending on the mood and circumstances to... More »

N. Korea to Get 100K Copies of The Interview—by Balloon

Activist plans to drop DVDs, USBs with controversial movie

(Newser) - A South Korean activist said today that he will launch balloons carrying DVDs of The Interview toward North Korea to try to break down a personality cult built around dictator Kim Jong Un. Activist Park Sang-hak said he will start dropping 100,000 DVDs and USBs with the movie as... More »

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