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    Seoul, South KoreaNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared victory in the battle against the novel coronavirus, ordering a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, state media said on Thursday.North Korea has not revealed how many confirmed infections of the virus it has found, but since July 29 it has reported no new suspected cases with what international aid organizations say are limited testing capabilities.While lifting the maximum anti-pandemic measures, Kim said that North Korea must maintain a "steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis," according to a report by state news agency KCNA.Analysts said that although the authoritarian North has used the pandemic to tighten social controls, its victory declaration could be a prelude to restoring trade hampered by border lockdowns and other restrictions. Kim Yo Jong blamed blamed leaflets from South Korea for causing North Korea's Covid outbreak.Observers have also said it may clear the way for the North to conduct a nuclear weapon test for the first time since 2017.Read MoreNorth Korea's official death rate of...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday reported no new fever cases for the first time since it abruptly admitted to its first domestic COVID-19 outbreak and placed its 26 million people under more draconian restrictions in May. There have been widespread outside doubts about the accuracy of North Korean statistics as its reported fatalities are too low and its daily fever cases have been plummeting too fast recently. Some experts say North Korea has likely manipulated the scale of illness and deaths to help leader Kim Jong Un maintain absolute control amid mounting economic difficulties. The North’s state emergency anti-epidemic center said via state media it had found zero fever patients in the latest 24-hour period. It said its total caseload was about 4.8 million and that about 99.99% of them have fully recovered. The country’s death count remains at 74, a mortality rate of 0.0016% that would be the world’s lowest if true. Despite the claimed zero cases, it is unclear whether and how soon North Korea would formally declare victory over COVID-19 and lift pandemic-related...
    Seoul, South Korea (CNN)China successfully conducted an anti-ballistic missile test on Sunday night, according to the country's Defense Ministry.It was a land-based mid-course missile tested within China's borders, the ministry said in a brief statement, adding the test was defensive in nature and not targeted against any country. Anti-ballistic missile systems are meant to shield a country from potential attacks by using projectiles to intercept incoming missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Some analysts liken it to shooting down a bullet with another bullet. This marks China's sixth known test of a land-based anti-ballistic missile, according to state-run tabloid Global Times. The country has been conducting such tests since 2010, typically holding them every few years. Before Sunday, China last launched an anti-ballistic missile test in February 2021, according to state media. Read MoreThe test comes amid rising tensions in the region, with a recent spate of missile tests from North Korea including short-range ballistic missiles and a presumed ICBM. South Korean and US officials have also warned that renewed activity at North Korea's nuclear test site suggests the country...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his top deputies have pushed for a crackdown on officials who abuse their power and commit other “unsound and non-revolutionary acts,” state media reported Monday, as Kim seeks greater internal unity to overcome a COVID-19 outbreak and economic difficulties. It wasn’t clear what specific acts were mentioned at the ruling Workers’ Party meeting on Sunday. But possible state crackdowns on such alleged acts could be an attempt to solidify Kim’s control of his people and get them to rally behind his leadership in the face of the domestic hardships, some observers say. Kim and other senior party secretaries discussed “waging more intensive struggle against unsound and non-revolutionary acts including abuse of power and bureaucratism revealed among some party officials,” the official Korean Central News Agency said. Kim ordered the authority of the party’s auditing commission and other local discipline supervision systems to be bolstered to promote the party’s “monolithic leadership” and “the broad political activities of the party through the strong discipline system,” KCNA said. Kim...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean activist said Thursday he launched a million propaganda leaflets by balloon into North Korea this week, in his first such campaign while standing trial for past leafleting under a contentious new law that criminalizes such actions. The law that took effect in March 2021 and punishes anti-Pyongyang leafleters with up to three years in prison has been hotly debated in South Korea, with critics saying Seoul’s liberal government was sacrificing freedom of speech to improve ties with rival North Korea. Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector-turned-activist, said he resumed his leafleting campaign this week after halting such activities for a year during a police investigation and court trial for sending balloons across the border in April last year. The trial is continuing and no verdict has been issued. On Monday and Tuesday, his group floated 20 huge balloons carrying leaflets critical of North Korea’s nuclear program and the Kim family’s hereditary rule across the tense Korean border, Park said. Park said the balloons also contained pictures of South Korea’s incoming conservative president,...
    North Korea said it test-fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile on Thursday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Friday. KCNA quoted Pyongyang’s military weapons developer, the Academy of Defense Science, as saying the test aimed to confirm “the practicality of operation of the launcher, radar and comprehensive battle command vehicle as well as the comprehensive combat performance of the missile.” The academy said it verified the missile’s “remarkable” combat performance, which allegedly features “rapid response and guided accuracy.” The test reportedly debuted new technology for the missile including “twin-rudder control” and a “double-impulse flight engine.” The test launch further demonstrated that North Korean weapons developers had substantially increased the missile’s effective range, according to KCNA. “The new weapon seems to be an upgraded surface-to-air missile that was first showcased at a military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the North’s ruling party foundation in October last year,” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency observed on October 1. Yonhap further noted that Pyongyang appears to be “modernizing its aging air defense system to better counter threats from advanced weapons,...
    North Korea has successfully fired a new anti-aircraft missile, state media said Friday, the latest in a flurry of weapons tests by the nuclear-armed nation. The anti-aircraft missile had a 'remarkable combat performance' and included twin rudder controls and other new technologies, the official Korean Central News Agency said. A picture in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed the missile ascending at an angle into the sky from a launch vehicle on Thursday. It is the fourth weapon that Kim Jong Un's regime has tested in a month, even as the despotic leader tees up the possibility of renewed peace talks with the South.  North Korea has test-fired a new kind of anti-aircraft missile (pictured) as the Hermit Kingdom continues updating its military arsenal Until recently, Kim had held off from testing weapons - apparently biding his time since the change in US administrations in January. In September, the North launched what it said was a long-range cruise missile, and earlier this week tested what it described as a hypersonic gliding vehicle, which South Korea's military said appeared to be...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Friday it had test-fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile in the fourth round of weapons firings in recent weeks, even as it pushes to reopen dormant communication channels with South Korea in a small reconciliation step. In September, North Korea resumed its first missile tests in six months but still offered conditional talks with Seoul in what some experts say is an apparent attempt to extract sanctions relief and other outside concessions. Earlier this week, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un expressed his willingness to restore communication hotlines with South Korea in coming days to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean Central News Agency said the anti-aircraft missile test is “of very practical significance in studying and developing various prospective anti-aircraft missile system.” It said the test was aimed at confirming the practicality of operation of the launcher, radar and battle command vehicle as well as the combat performance of the missile. South Korea, Japan and the United States typically publicly confirm North Korean missile launches soon after they occur,...
    Seoul, South KoreaNorth Korea fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile on Thursday, state media KCNA reported on Friday, the latest in its recent series of weapons tests amid deadlocked denuclearization talks with the United States.It was North Korea's second known weapons test this week after launching a previously unseen hypersonic missile on Tuesday. It has also fired ballistic missiles, and a cruise missile with potential nuclear capabilities in recent weeks.The tests highlight North Korea's development of increasingly sophisticated weapons, raising the stakes for efforts to press it to give up its nuclear and missile programs in return for US sanctions relief. North Korea's "newly developed" anti-aircraft missile was test fired on September 30, according to state media.The Academy of Defense Science, a North Korean military weapons developer, said the test was aimed at confirming the practical functionality of the missile's launcher, radar, comprehensive battle command vehicle and combat performance, according to the official KCNA news agency.It added the missile has new key technologies such as twin rudder control and a double impulse flight engine.Read MoreNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it has test-fired an anti-aircraft missile in the fourth round of weapons launch this month The Korean Central News Agency said Friday the test-launch performed on Thursday is “of very practical significance in studying and developing various prospective anti-aircraft missile system.” North Korea has recently mixed its weapons tests with conditional talks with Seoul in what some experts say is an attempt to extract outside concessions. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday expressed his willingness to restore communication channels with rival South Korea while slamming the United States for its hostility against the North. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it has test-fired an anti-aircraft missile in the fourth round of weapons launches this month. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has berated his country's top officials for creating a "great crisis" through failures in coronavirus prevention, according to state media. The secretive state's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim had used a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party to criticize senior officials for supposed incompetence, irresponsibility and passiveness in planning and executing anti-covid measures. According to the report, Kim said "senior officials in charge of important state affairs neglected the implementation of the important decisions of the party on taking organizational, institutional, material, scientific and technological measures as required by the prolonged state emergency epidemic prevention campaign." And this "caused a crucial case of creating a great crisis in ensuring the security of the state and safety of the people and entailed grave consequences", KNCA added. STATE TV: NORTH KOREANS HEARTBROKEN OVER KIM'S ‘EMACIATED LOOKS’ Kim is also said to have replaced several Politburo members and state officials at the meeting. North Korea has not officially recorded any COVID-19 cases, although its claim to be virus-free has been widely questioned. Last...
    More On: kim jong un A hair too strict! Kim Jong-un bans mullets, skinny jeans North Korea claims Biden’s ‘big blunder’ creates ‘grave situation’ Activist says he flew 500K leaflets across Koreas’ border North Korea reportedly testing ‘suicide’ drones to spy on, attack enemies Kim Jong Un has once again fired up his execution squads – this time taking aim at a man selling illegal bootlegs of South Korean movies and music. The man, whose last name was Lee, worked as a chief engineer at the Wonsan Farming Management Commission and was caught by an informant secretly selling storage devices loaded with South Korean films, music, and broadcasts, according to the DailyNK. Lee reportedly confessed to his crimes before the execution, saying that he sold the CDs and USB sticks for $5 to $12 each. Lee is said to have been executed by firing squad in late April 2021, in front of a crowd of 500 including his own family, after being found guilty of “anti-socialist element” in accordance with the “anti-reactionary thought law” implemented late last year. “This was...
    A MAN in North Korea has been shot by the firing squad in front of 500 people for illegally selling music and films. The engineer, whose surname was Lee, was executed as his family were forced to watch, standing in front of the 500 people, 40 days after he was arrested in Wonsan, Gangwon province. 3North Korea has come to be a highly secretive dictatorship that is isolated from most of the worldCredit: Reuters Lee was caught by the daughter of his “people’s unit” or neighbourhood watch group leader while secretly selling CDs and USBs with the South Korean content. After the authorities recited the guilty verdict, the sound of twelve shots rang out before Lee's "lifeless body was rolled into a straw sack and loaded into a box, and then taken somewhere,” a Daily NK source said “This was the first execution in Gangwon Province for anti-socialist acts under the anti-reactionary thought law,” the cruel North Korean authorities reportedly ruled on Lee. Authorities...
    Several hairstyles, including mullets, are reportedly banned in Kim Jong Un's North Korea. Getty Images North Korea has banned mullets, nose piercings, and skinny jeans, according to the Daily Express. Members of a state-run youth organization will act as "fashion police" to enforce the rules. It's part of a crackdown by Kim Jong Un's government on capitalistic fashions, the state newspaper said. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. North Korea has banned mullets, certain piercings, and skinny jeans in a bid to keep the country free from "decadent" Western fashion trends. It follows a state-run newspaper warning last week that more needs to be done to prevent capitalistic culture from taking over the country, a South Korean broadcaster, Yonhap News Agency, said. Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean government, published an article expressing concern about young North Koreans increasingly embracing Western fashion trends. "We must be wary of even the slightest sign of the capitalistic lifestyle and fight to get rid of them," the article said. The communist regime has reportedly outlawed all but...
    More On: north korea North Korean defector runs for election in Britain, seeks to make political history North Korea claims Biden’s ‘big blunder’ creates ‘grave situation’ Activist says he flew 500K leaflets across Koreas’ border North Korea reportedly testing ‘suicide’ drones to spy on, attack enemies President Biden on Friday will host South Korean President Moon Jae-in for meetings focused on North Korea’s nuclear-armed tyrant Kim Jong Un. Moon, who recently sparred with former President Donald Trump, will be Biden’s second foreign visitor following last month’s visit by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. A senior administration official told reporters on a White House-organized call that Biden and Moon will discuss “a broad-based agenda across many arenas — our values, regional security, technology, health, North Korea, and many other issues.” The visit is expected to conclude with a joint press conference. Biden’s staff are expected to pick the two US journalists allowed to ask questions. The senior official said that Biden will seek to build upon a 2018 deal between Trump and Kim at a summit meeting in Singapore. That...
    A South Korean activist said Friday he launched 500,000 propaganda leaflets by balloon into North Korea this week in defiance of a contentious new law that criminalizes such actions. If confirmed, Park Sang-hak’s action would be the first known violation of the law that punishes anti-Pyongyang leafleting with up to three years in prison or a fine of 30 million won ($27,040). The law that took effect in March has invited criticism South Korea is sacrificing freedom of expression to improve ties with rival North Korea, which has repeatedly protested the leafleting. Police stations in frontline Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces said they couldn’t immediately confirm if Park sent balloons from their areas, which Park has used in the past and said he used in two launches this week. Cha Duck Chul, a deputy spokesman at Seoul’s Unification Ministry, said the government would handle the case in line with the objective of the law, though police and military authorities were still working to confirm Park’s statements. Park said his organization floated 10 giant balloons carrying the leaflets, reading materials critical...
    The Wall Street Journal claimed Monday, citing one “person familiar with the matter,” that the communist regime governing North Korea formally submitted a request to participate in a global plan to distribute Chinese coronavirus vaccines, despite insisting it has not confirmed a single case of coronavirus disease within its borders. The report also claimed North Korean officials had begun inquiring to counterparts in Europe about the potential of purchasing approved vaccines. The report notably did not mention any indication that North Korea has requested doses of vaccine candidates being developed in China, Pyongyang’s closest ally and the origin nation of the Chinese coronavirus. North Korean state media, the only legal news source in the country, announced Monday that officials would soon “intensify the emergency anti-epidemic work against the situation in which the number of infected persons is growing worldwide in winter.” It again did not make any indication of official diagnoses of coronavirus cases within North Korea’s borders. North Korea borders China, where the virus originated, and two nations with severe coronavirus outbreaks: South Korea and Russia. Nearby island nations like...
    SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s parliament on Monday approved contentious legislation criminalizing the flying of propaganda leaflets by balloon toward North Korea, despite fierce criticism that the country is sacrificing freedom of expression to improve ties with the rival North. The legislation passed with the support of 187 lawmakers, mostly governing party members who support President Moon Jae-in’s policy of engagement with North Korea. Outnumbered opposition lawmakers didn’t attend the vote after their attempt at delaying the balloting with nonstop speeches was foiled by governing party lawmakers and their allies who used their three-fifths supermajority to halt the speeches in a separate vote. It was the first time that South Korea’s parliament has passed a bill formally banning civilians from floating anti-North Korea leaflets across the tense border. South Korea has previously banned such activities only during sensitive times, and has normally allowed activists to exercise their freedom of speech despite repeated protests from North Korea. A balloon carrying a banner with images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, the late leader Kim Il Sung, center,...
    By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's parliament passed a bill on Monday to ban the launching of propaganda leaflets into North Korea, a move that was condemned by rights activists as a violation of freedom of speech. Groups run by North Korean defectors and other campaigners have for decades sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets - alongside food, medicine, $1 bills, mini radios and USB sticks containing South Korean news and dramas - into the North, usually by balloon or in bottles on border rivers. North Korea has long denounced the practice. The amendment to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act bars any scattering of printed materials, goods, money and other items of value across the heavily fortified frontier. It also restricts loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts, which the South's military once championed as part of psychological warfare against the North until it withdrew the equipment following a 2018 inter-Korean summit. Any violation of the law, which will take effect in three months, is punishable by up to three years in prison or 30 million won ($27,500) in fines. The change was approved...
    North Korea has deployed anti-aircraft units to its border with China to prevent people from crossing, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Wednesday. Sources who spoke with RFA said that authorities are hoping the move will decrease the number of defections to China as desperate North Koreans risk their lives to escape the failed communist state. “In October, the General Command ordered corps commands stationed along the border to forward-deploy anti-aircraft guns,” said the anonymous military source from northeastern North Hamgyong province on the border with China. “In mid-November, anti-aircraft artillery battalions under the 9th Corps were forward deployed to the city of Hoeryong, and Musan and Onsong counties.” “The anti-aircraft artillery battalions were deployed to areas of the border that were deemed to be poorly guarded,” the source added. “They completed site preparation by November 30 and used rice straw and dried grass to camouflage themselves. The anti-aircraft gunners were told not to participate in 2020 winter military training, which starts today, but to focus all their efforts on border security.” Another source who spoke with RFA explained that the...
    SEOUL – North Korea is further toughening restrictions on entering seawaters as part of elevated steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic, state media said Sunday, two days after South Korea said the North had banned sea fishing. The Korean Central News Agency reported the country is mobilizing more anti-virus units and establishing strong steps to “completely remove uncivilized and unhygienic elements that could help make room for the spread of an epidemic” at winter. Some experts say the coronavirus can spread more broadly during cold weather when people typically spend more time indoors. KCNA said officials were building firm anti-epidemic measures along border areas to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country. In front-line coastal areas, authorities were working out more stringent rules for venturing out at sea and collecting filthy materials in the waters, according to KCNA. North Korea has maintained no single virus case has been found on its territory, a claim widely questioned by outside experts. Despite its claim, North Korea has swiftly sealed its borders, flew out diplomats and isolated residents with symptoms. A major...
    By Sangmi Cha SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a tightening of state emergency anti-coronavirus systems in the face of the worldwide pandemic, as he presided over a meeting of the politburo of the ruling Workers Party, state news agency KCNA said on Monday. The meeting came amid economic and political uncertainty surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic that is putting additional pressure on the North’s economy, already battered by international sanctions aimed at stopping its nuclear program. Making his first public appearance in 27 days, Kim stressed the need to keep a high alert and intensify the anti-epidemic work, KCNA reported. North Korea had tested over 12,000 people and reported no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as of early November, according to the World Health Organization. A total of 6,173 people, eight of whom were foreigners, were detected as suspected cases and 174 people were quarantined in the last week of October, the WHO said. More than 54 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,312,334​ have died, according...
    NORTH Korea's paranoid dictator Kim Jong-un has reportedly ordered his citizens submit to hand-writing tests to find "traitors" who daubed anti-regime graffiti. Brazen of defiance against the despot and his cronies are almost unheard of under the ruthless regime and is always punished harshly - including with executions. 4Kim Jong-un has ordered his citizens to hand over 'hand writing tests'Credit: Reuters Kim's security forces have been ordered to find the person responsible for writing slogans slamming the dictator's brutal leadership. North Korean heavies are forcing citizens – including children - to give samples using both their hands. Kim's regime is known for its brutal crushing of dissent and never hesitates to take action against critics who may undermine the dictator. In mid-September, a sign reading “Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people,” was scrawled on the fence surrounding the Unsan county marketplace in South Pyongan province, north of the capital Pyongyang. “The local security department is in an uproar,” a resident of South Pyongan, told news site Radio Free Asia. “Under the orders of the...
    An entire neighbourhood in North Korea has had its handwriting checked to find the culprit who scrawled anti-government graffiti on a fence. The message appeared earlier this month at a marketplace in Unsan in South Pyongan, north of the capital Pyongyang. It read: 'Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people.' Authorities believe that it was a direct criticism of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, also referred to as Highest Dignity, because the sign appeared close to the 75th anniversary of the October 1945 founding of the ruling Korean Workers' Party. Officers have since checked the handwriting of both adults and children - with their left and right hands - to find who might have daubed the slogan. The message appeared earlier this month at a marketplace in Unsan  in South Pyongan, north of the capital Pyongyang (farmers in Unsan pictured) One resident of South Pyongan, who wished to remain anonymous, told RFA's Korean Service: 'Security officials concluded that the graffiti is an attempt to overthrow party officials and is an anti-government act that directly criticizes the party's...
    The writing’s on the wall in the Hermit Kingdom. North Korean officials are going house to house to find a vandal who scrawled anti-government graffiti on a public wall — forcing residents to undergo a handwriting test to prove their innocence, according to a report. The aggressive hunt was sparked after the slogan “Down with party officials, who live well by exploiting the people” was scrawled on a fence around Unsan county marketplace, north of the capital Pyongyang. “The local security department is in an uproar,” a resident of South Pyongan told Radio Free Asia (RFA). Because the graffiti comes close to the 75th anniversary of the Oct. 10 founding of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party, officials believe it is an “attempt to overthrow party officials,” the local said. It is being treated as an “anti-government act that directly criticizes the party’s central leadership, including the Highest Dignity,” the source said, referring to the Hermit Kingdom’s leader, Kim Jong Un. “Under the orders of the security department, the leaders of the local neighborhood watch units visited each household, making both...
    By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has discovered unspecified "faults" in its anti-epidemic measures, state media said on Wednesday, amid controversy over the death of a South Korean man whom Pyongyang said was killed to prevent the coronavirus. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened a meeting of the ruling Worker's Party's powerful politburo on Tuesday to review its anti-COVID-19 measures and discuss ways to improve them, the official KCNA news agency said. The gathering came after a South Korean fisheries official was shot dead by North Korean soldiers at sea last week, a major incident that shocked many South Koreans. Seoul has accused the soldiers of setting the man's body on fire after killing him, while Pyongyang said they only burned a flotation device he was using, in order to stave off any risk of coronavirus infections. At the politburo meeting, participants said "some faults" have been found during the implementation of virus prevention measures, KCNA said, without elaborating. "The meeting stressed the need to strictly guard against self-complacency, carelessness, irresponsibility and slackness in the anti-epidemic field,"...
    By TED ANTHONY and KIM TONG-HYUNG, Associated Press North Korea on Tuesday called on the world's governments to “display effective leadership” in the fight against COVID-19 and said its own measures against the pandemic, which it called “preemptive, timely and strong,” ensured it had the threat “under safe and stable control." Kim Song, the country's U.N. ambassador, said a tightly administered anti-pandemic effort in his nation had been working. North Korea strictly regulates foreign visitors — even more so during the pandemic that's killed more than 1 million people worldwide — and filters all information through its state propaganda apparatus, with details about its approach to the coronavirus relatively scant. "(The) anti-epidemic situation in our country is now under safe and stable control,” the ambassador said in a rare live address at the U.N. General Assembly. “A series of state measures are now being taken to block the virus inflow into the country, and all people adhere strictly to anti-epidemic regulations while maintaining the highest alert,” he said. Further, Kim said the government “will not tolerate even a smallest bit...
    SEOUL – North Korea is preparing for a massive military parade in its capital to mark the 75th anniversary of its ruling party next month, satellite images indicated Friday, even as the country strengthens its anti-coronavirus measures. The images, provided by Maxar, a Colorado-based satellite imagery company, show thousands of people assembled in formation near Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square and rehearsing for a military parade. The anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party is on Oct. 10. North Korea often holds military parades featuring goose-stepping soldiers and new weapons systems on state anniversaries to bolster unity and intimidate enemies. North Korea insists it hasn't had any coronavirus cases, a claim widely disputed by many foreign experts. On Monday, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said the country is intensifying its emergency anti-coronavirus efforts. It said authorities are trying to boost the anti-pandemic atmosphere to ensure that the anti-virus campaign “is waged consistently without a moment’s indolence, slackness and carelessness." North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for strong unity among the country's...
    A North Korean state propaganda website announced the creation of a domestically accessible website to help citizens quit smoking on Sunday, news that arrives as Pyongyang expedites the construction of a new hospital and insists it has yet to be affected by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. At press time, North Korean authorities claim they have documented zero cases of Chinese coronavirus in the country despite its close geographical proximity to some of the nations most severely affected by the virus on the planet, including its origin country, China, and nations like Russia and South Korea. In July, Pyongyang claimed it had identified a potential coronavirus case in a refugee who, accused of rape in South Korea, had reportedly attempted to flee to his home country. Testing, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) concluded, proved “inconclusive,” allowing Pyongyang to continue claiming zero coronavirus diagnoses on its soil. The communist regime rolled out its anti-smoking website as it announced that dictator Kim Jong-un had “accelerated” the construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital, a project announced in March in a bizarre speech by the...
    The government of leftist South Korean President Moon Jae-in canceled the operating licenses of two non-governmental organizations on Friday for sending leaflets with banned news and information into North Korea. Without an operational license, the two NGOs, Fighters for a Free North Korea and Kuensaem, will no longer enjoy tax-exempt status and, according to Reuters, lose the legal right to organize fundraisers for their activities. Moon’s government appears to hope that these restrictions will limit their ability to send humanitarian aid and news of the outside world to North Koreans, living under one of the world’s most repressive regimes. The move follows a turbulent June in which North Korea’s state media apparatus launched an obsessive campaign against the leaflets, culminating in threats of war and the bombing of the North-South cooperative complex in Kaesong, South Korea. Pyongyang blew the facility up having paid none of the cost of building it. Prior to its destruction, the countries used the offices for a twice-daily phone call to maintain communication since 2018. In multiple statements laden with personal insults, Kim Yo-jong, sister to dictator...
    By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea cancelled on Friday the licences of two anti-North Korea groups that send propaganda leaflets into the North infuriating its government and undermining South Korean efforts to engage with its isolated neighbour. Groups run by North Korean defectors have for years sent anti-North Korea leaflets, along with food, medicine, $1 bills, mini radios and USB sticks with South Korean dramas and news, into North Korea usually by balloon or in bottles on border rivers. The government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in is keen to improve ties with the North and so asked the groups to stop sending the propaganda but they rejected the request. The Ministry of Unification, which handles relations with the North, said it had revoked the licenses of two groups - Fighters for a Free North Korea and Kuensaem Education Center. "The groups' distribution of leaflets and goods to the North gravely hindered the government's unification policy and efforts to promote it, caused danger to the border-area residents' lives and safety, and created tension," the ministry said in a...
    North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un urged his government to maintain “maximum alert” against the Chinese coronavirus on Thursday, warning of an “unimaginable and irretrievable crisis” should North Korea ease its stringent virus countermeasures too early, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Friday, citing North Korean state media. At a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party to discuss North Korea’s coronavirus crisis on Thursday, Kim said vigilance against the virus remained paramount, as outbreaks continue to devastate the country. “He stressed the need to maintain maximum alert without a slight self-complacence or relaxation on the anti-epidemic front, and rearrange and practice stricter anti-epidemic effort,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday. Kim made “sharp criticism of inattention, onlooking and chronic attitude getting prevalent among officials, and violation of the rules of the emergency anti-epidemic work as this work takes on a protracted character,” KCNA said. “He repeatedly warned that hasty relief of anti-epidemic measures will result in unimaginable and irretrievable crisis, stressing that all the sectors and units should further strengthen the emergency anti-epidemic work till the...
    By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday that they’ve summoned two activists accused of raising tensions with North Korea by sending propaganda balloons or plastic bottles filled with rice across the border. Park Sang-hak, a North Korean refugee who has floated anti-Pyongyang leaflets by balloon across the land border, and his brother Park Jung-oh, who has floated plastic bottles filled with rice across the sea boundary, were being questioned at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, an agency officer with direct knowledge of the cases said. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to the media. Police raided the offices of the Park brothers last week and confiscated leaflets, account books, mobile phone data, computer files and other materials related to their activities. The officer said further investigation was needed before determining whether the brothers should be charged with a crime. North Korea raised Park Sang-hak’s yearslong propaganda campaign and South Korea's failure to prevent it earlier this month before it blew up an...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday that they’ve summoned two activists accused of raising tensions with North Korea by sending propaganda balloons or plastic bottles filled with rice across the border. Park Sang-hak, a North Korean refugee who has floated anti-Pyongyang leaflets by balloon across the land border, and his brother Park Jung-oh, who has floated plastic bottles filled with rice across the sea boundary, were being questioned at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, an agency officer with direct knowledge of the cases said. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to the media. Police raided the offices of the Park brothers last week and confiscated leaflets, account books, mobile phone data, computer files and other materials related to their activities. The officer said further investigation was needed before determining whether the brothers should be charged with a crime. North Korea raised Park Sang-hak’s yearslong propaganda campaign and South Korea’s failure to prevent it earlier this month before it blew up an empty liaison office on the...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea police on Friday raided the office of an activist whose anti-North Korea leafleting campaign has intensified tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Police said officers visited the Seoul office of Park Sang-hak to confiscate leaflets, account books and other related materials. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said that Park will be summoned soon for an investigation. Park, a North Korean refugee who has launched balloons carrying propaganda leaflets toward North Korea for years, has been in the spotlight after North Korea abruptly used his campaign as a justification for a series of provocative steps against South Korea. Among them was blowing up an empty liaison office built by South Korea on the North’s territory. South Korean officials later demanded police investigate Park for allegedly raising animosities with North Korea and potentially endangering residents living near the border. Authorities in Gyeonggi province, which borders North Korea, requested a separate investigation of several activist groups, including Park’s, for alleged fraud, embezzlement and other charges over their donation activities. Park said Monday that his leafleting was only...
    South Korean activists say they launched balloons carrying hundreds of thousands of leaflets across the border with North Korea on Tuesday amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has expressed anger over its neighbor’s civilian leafleting campaign against Kim Jong Un's regime, repeatedly warning it will retaliate against such actions. Meanwhile, South Korea's government has made attempts to stop the practice. SOUTH KOREA'S UNIFICATION MINISTER RESIGNS AMID RISING TENSIONS WITH NORTH Despite this, activist Park Sang-Hak, who fled North Korea to the South, said he’ll keep sending anti-Kim leaflets, calling the dictator "evil” and saying he rules with “barbarism.” A balloon carrying a banner with images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, the late leader Kim Il Sung, center, and Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of Kim Jong Un, released by Fighters For Free North Korea, is seen in Hongcheon, South Korea, on Tuesday. (Yang Ji-woong/Yonhap via AP) Park said his organization floated 20 huge balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets, 2,000 $1 bills and small books on North Korea from the border town of Paju on Monday night....
    SEOUL, June 21 (Reuters) – North Korea pledged to push ahead with its campaign to send propaganda leaflets into South Korea, saying it is not bound to any inter-Korean agreements, state media said on Sunday. Tension has been rising after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office and threatened military action over defectors in the South sending anti-North leaflets across the border. As state media reported angry North Koreans gearing up for their own “large-scale” leaflet campaign, Seoul’s Unification Ministry handling cross-border affairs on Saturday urged the plan to be scrapped citing a violation of peace agreements. The United Front Department of the North’s ruling party, in charge of inter-Korean affairs, rejected the ministry’s calls as an “absurd nonsense.” “Given their own wrongdoings, how dare they utter such words as regret and violation?” the department’s spokesman said in a statement carried by state media KCNA. “When they are put in our shoes, the South Korean authorities will be able to understand even a bit how disgustedly we looked at them and how offending it was for us.” The two...
    North Korea has decided to take a leaflet out of South Korea’s playbook. Outraged officials in the Hermit Kingdom are sick of the anti-regime propaganda leaflets that have been launched in balloons and bottles by North Korean defectors from the south for years. To get back at Seoul, and by extension its ally the US, North Koreans have amassed a pile of leaflets “as big as a mountain” denouncing South Korea and North Korean defectors that they will launch southward soon, state news agency KCNA reported Friday. Tension flared on the Korean peninsula last week when Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, ordered a liaison office between the two countries blown up and threatened military action against the south. South Korea’s military stopped sending anti-North propaganda over the border in 2010. But several groups led by defectors, including some aided by allies in the US, have long sent flyers along with food, dollar bills, mini radios and USB sticks of South Korean news and dramas into the north via balloons over the border or bottles...
    North Korea has decided to take a leaflet out of South Korea’s playbook. Outraged officials in the Hermit Kingdom are sick of the anti-regime propaganda leaflets that have been launched in balloons and bottles by North Korean defectors from the south for years. To get back at Seoul, and by extension its ally the US, North Koreans have amassed a pile of leaflets “as big as a mountain” denouncing South Korea and North Korean defectors that they will launch southward soon, state news agency KCNA reported Friday. Tension flared on the Korean peninsula last week when Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, ordered a liaison office between the two countries blown up and threatened military action against the south. South Korea’s military stopped sending anti-North propaganda over the border in 2010. But several groups led by defectors, including some aided by allies in the US, have long sent flyers along with food, dollar bills, mini radios and USB sticks of South Korean news and dramas into the north via balloons over the border or bottles by...
    North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border – Yonhap North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South Korea, its state media said on Saturday, the latest retaliation for leaflets from the South as bilateral tensions rise. Enraged North Korean people across the country “are actively pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution of leaflets”, which are piled as high as a mountain, said state news agency KCNA. “Every action should be met with proper reaction and only when one experiences it oneself, one can feel how offending it is,” KCNA said. North Korea has blamed North Korean defectors for launching leaflets across the border and threatened military action. On Tuesday, Pyongyang blew up an inter-Korean liaison office to show its displeasure against the defectors and South Korea for not stopping them launching leaflets. A North Korean defector-led group said on Friday it had scrapped a plan to send hundreds of plastic bottles stuffed with rice, medicine and face masks...
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