KOREA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


KOREA

Jan 16 10:02

Trump sends letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

A letter was delivered from US President Donald Trump to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the weekend, a source familiar with the ongoing denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang told CNN.

The letter comes as the two sides negotiate details of a second meeting between the two leaders. It was flown to Pyongyang and delivered by hand, the source said.

According to the source, North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong Chol -- one of Pyongyang's top negotiators -- could visit Washington as soon as this week to finalize details of the upcoming summit.

CNN previously reported that US scouting teams had visited Bangkok, Hanoi and Hawaii as they search for a location for the second summit.

Jan 15 09:11

Trump’s demand that South Korea pay more for U.S. troops leads to impasse

South Korea is resisting a Trump administration demand >>>

Jan 14 08:48

Kim Jong-un in Beijing: is North Korea a bargaining chip in US-China trade talks?

There is a debate about whether China used the “North Korea card” against Washington in its trade negotiations with the US, capitalising on Kim Jong-un’s visit to Beijing. The two international headline-making events happened simultaneously in Beijing. Interestingly, both Beijing and Washington flatly deny any link. Analysts are divided. It warrants discussion because it offers an important insight into how the two superpowers strategise the North Korea issue in their dealings.

Jan 13 12:48

S. Korea to Resume Oil Imports from Iran Soon

The announcement came by Kim Jun, chief executive officer and president of South Korea's SK Innovation, owner of South Korea's biggest oil refiner SK energy.

Kim said that his country will restart importing Iran's crude in late January or early February.

In November, South Korea won a six-month waiver from sanctions, imposed by the United States, allowing to purchase a limited amount of Iranian oil.

"As South Korea received a waiver and has been in talks with Iran about the first import volume, it seems (Iran oil) could be brought in late in January or early February at the earliest,” Kim told said on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

South Korean and Japanese buyers were expected to restart Iranian oil imports early this year, industry sources said in November. South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day of Iran's oil, mostly condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil under the waiver, the sources said.

Jan 11 08:23

North Korea's Kim appears to have a big goal: Winning Belt and Road investments from Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's three-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week likely focused on a range of issues including economic ties, nuclear talks and the possibility of a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But there's one topic that likely wasn't officially discussed despite its importance to North Korea's future: The prospect of Pyongyang joining China's continent-spanning Belt and Road Initiative, a project aiming to link more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East through overland and maritime routes.

The isolated state is hungry for foreign investments, particularly in infrastructure, as U.N. sanctions take a toll on its economy. Many believe that's been a major reason underlining Kim's engagement with the international community over the past year or so.

Jan 11 08:23

How reality-show diplomacy with North Korea could backfire

North Korean officials have been quietly meeting with U.S. diplomats in Vietnam in recent weeks. Not to discuss arms control or denuclearization — North Korea hasn’t ceded ground on either issue, or even entertained negotiations. No, these talks have focused on the venue for a second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Does this mean Trump-style diplomacy is working? Not so fast — it’s important to acknowledge that decisions made today can lock future U.S. leaders into unrealistic goals and narrow the options available to them. As I explain in my recent book about the nuclear confrontation, the eruption of the 2017 crisis had more to do with long-running historical processes — including decades of diplomacy — between the United States and North Korea than it did the leadership attributes of Trump and Kim.

Jan 10 08:54

Kim Jong Un: I'll try to make another Trump summit achieve a result 'welcomed' by other countries

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during a visit to China his country would try to make a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump achieve a result that the international community would welcome, China's Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

Kim also told Chinese President Xi Jinping he hoped relevant sides would take North Korea's "reasonable concerns" seriously and respond to them to promote a comprehensive resolution on the Korean peninsula, China's official news agency said.

Jan 10 08:53

U.S.-North Korea Summit Looks Imminent, South Korean Leader Says

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said Thursday that the visit to China this week by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, heralded an imminent second summit meeting between Mr. Kim and President Trump to negotiate the terms of denuclearizing the North.

Mr. Moon held his New Year’s news conference in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, hours after Mr. Kim wrapped up a four-day trip to China, which included his fourth summit meeting with President Xi Jinping. China is considered the best buffer North Korea has against American pressure and sanctions as Mr. Kim prepares for a second meeting with Mr. Trump. He also consulted with Mr. Xi before and after his first meeting with Mr. Trump, which took place in Singapore in June.

Jan 09 11:10

BEX? Report: North Korea Flooding YouTube with Communist Propaganda Videos

The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo identified in a report Tuesday a flood of North Korean propaganda videos appearing on YouTube, over a year since the site censored the country’s official channels.

The YouTube channel RedStar TV has reportedly uploaded over 1,600 videos to its 12,300 subscribers, including live broadcasts from the state propaganda channel Korean Central TV and ten-minute highlights of their coverage. The channel allegedly takes donations via a web service known as WebMoney, believed to have been developed in Russia, with payments available in Russian rubles, Euros, U.S. dollars, and Bitcoin.

Jan 09 09:05

Reports: Hawaii being eyed as location for 2nd Trump summit with NKorea’s leader

There’s at least one Hawaii lawmaker who supports the idea of a Trump-Kim meeting in the islands.

Last March, state Rep. Gene Ward suggested just that as a way to start a dialogue with North Korea.

“Many in Hawaii, including myself, consider our island home to have the potential to be the ‘Geneva of the Pacific,’ a place where disputes can be settled," wrote Ward, in a letter to the White House.

Jan 09 08:22

Kim Jong Un shows Trump there are plenty more — or at least one more — fish in the sea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has issued a veiled warning to President Trump with his surprise visit to China this week: He has other options for economic and diplomatic normalization if their rapprochement falters.

Kim and Trump are planning a follow-up meeting to their historic summit in Singapore in June. But there are misgivings on both sides about each other’s sincerity and commitment to improving their bilateral relations.

Against this backdrop, Kim, joined by his wife and an entourage of officials, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in less than a year. He will remain here through Thursday, making this the longest of his trips.

Jan 08 11:35

KIM JONG UN BEGINS SUMMIT IN BEIJING AS CHINA'S XI SENDS "MESSAGE" TO US

Just as the second day of mid-level trade talks between US and Chinese delegations in Beijing was beginning, a surprising report crossed the wire: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been invited to travel to China for the first time since June to meet with President Xi Jinping. News of the visit immediately provoked speculation that Beijing was trying to send a message: If the US wants peace on the Korean peninsula, China will need to be involved.

Underscoring that point, President Trump affirmed last week that Washington and Pyongyang are planning a second diplomatic summit (though Trump claimed that North Korea was showing some reluctance) to continue negotiations about denuclearizing the peninsula.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that the point is not lost on either the President or his Cabinet.

Jan 08 09:27

Kim Jong-un Makes Visit to China at Beijing's Invitation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in China on Monday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking his fourth summit with Xi. This visit is expected to last from January 7 to January 10, according to state media.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim was spotted travelling with his wife and various high-ranking officials including Kim Yong-chol, who is the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean ruling Workers' Party.

Although it's presently unclear what talking points the meeting will include, this latest get together comes amid reports that a second summit is in the works between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

Jan 08 08:15

North Korea's Kim Jong Un visits China, state media reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Kim's visit, his fourth summit with Xi, comes amid reports of advanced negotiations for a second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Jan 07 09:32

Why Trump's Advisors Keep Quashing His Realist Whims

The multitude of policy zigs and zags seems to constitute a case of a president suffering from foreign policy bipolar disorder. Yet a pattern may exist amidst all of the turmoil. Trump’s foreign policy instincts often appear to be a sound and refreshing contrast to the stale conventional wisdom that has led the United States to careen from one interventionist debacle to another over the past quarter-century. (His early hostile stance toward North Korea and his policy toward Iran at all times are the major exceptions to sound instincts.) But time and again Trump has allowed his advisers to talk him out of his initial (usually correct) positions. That’s not surprising. The president is not an avid reader about foreign policy (or apparently anything else), and his knowledge base is alarmingly shallow. That deficiency gives policy advisers an exceptional degree of influence.

Jan 04 08:40

Historic North Korea to South Korea Railroad Unifying Across Borders

There's an interesting video coming out of North Korea and South Korea where both Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in met for the unification of a railroad between the two nations for the first time in nearly three-quarters of a century.

Jan 03 08:39

North Korean diplomat vanishes, reportedly seeks asylum in West

North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy went into hiding with his wife in November, South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers in Seoul on Thursday.

A high-profile defection by one of North Korea's elite would be a huge embarrassment for leader Kim Jong Un as he pursues diplomacy with Seoul and Washington and seeks to portray himself as a player in international geopolitics.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At with point the defector will be offered huge amounts of money to make false claims about Kim Jong Un to get the war wagon back on its wheels.

Jan 02 08:55

US is stalling North Korea denuclearization by refusing to make concessions – analysts

Since the US under Trump has not shown itself to be the most reliable partner, Pyongyang made it clear it won't give up its nukes until it sees concrete steps from Washington, which it is reluctant to take, analysts told RT.

While the intra-Korean relationship is gaining momentum amid an ongoing thaw, the progress in denuclearization has somewhat stalled. In his New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned the US to stop dallying and make "trustworthy steps and corresponding behavior" in response to his goodwill.

Jan 01 10:29

North Korean leader says he’s ready to denuclearize but warns U.S. not to misjudge his patience

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is ready to meet President Trump at any time to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but warned he might have to seek “new ways” if the United States maintains sanctions and demands unilateral concessions.

In a closely watched, nationally televised annual New Year’s Day speech, Kim said for the first time that his country had already stopped producing nuclear weapons, adding that progress on denuclearization could accelerate if the United States also makes concessions.

But he balanced a willingness to talk with a reminder that North Korea has its own demands if denuclearization is going to happen. He also warned that the United States should not misjudge North Korea’s “patience.”

Jan 01 09:18

Kim Jong-un warns of change in direction on denuclearisation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said he is committed to denuclearisation, but warned he will change course if the US continues its sanctions.

...

In this year's speech, broadcast on state television early on Tuesday, Mr Kim said, "if the US does not keep its promise made in front of the whole world... and insists on sanctions and pressures on our republic, we may be left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests".

Jan 01 06:26

Kim Jong-un New Year speech: ‘no choice but to consider a new path if US doesn’t keep its promises’

The North Korean leader gave his annual address on Tuesday, setting the tone for domestic, inter-Korean and foreign policy amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has renewed a pledge to denuclearise the Korean peninsula despite stalled negotiations with the US, but warned he could just as quickly resume his nuclear weapons programme if sanctions are not lifted.

>>>

(*a return to "ROCKET MAN!" would be a boon for the lead up to The Trump 2020 "There Is No Choice!" campaign )

Dec 31 08:29

Amid stalled nuclear talks, North Korea's Kim reportedly sends message to Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a "conciliatory message" to U.S. President Donald Trump amid stalled nuclear negotiations, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday.

Kim's "letter-like" message to Trump was delivered on Friday through an unspecified channel, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source. The report did not include details about the substance of the message but said they related to U.S-North Korea talks.

On Sunday, the office of South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said Kim had sent a letter to his counterpart in Seoul saying he wants to hold more inter-Korean summits next year to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula.

Dec 28 08:06

Analysts Look Ahead at Uncertain North Korean Talks

North Korea announced last week it would not pursue denuclearization unless the United States removes what it calls its “nuclear threat.”

The Institute for North Korean Studies’ Yongwook Ryu was not surprised by North Korea’s declaration.

“Most people suspected that North Korea and the United States, also including South Korea, has a different understanding of denuclearization,” he said. “Analysts and pundits knew that by denuclearization, North Korea meant the removal of U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula, as well as U.S. nuclear threat.”

Dec 27 07:10

North and South Korea hold ceremony to link railways, but sanctions block way

North and South Korea held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for an ambitious project to link their railway and road networks, but until sanctions are lifted the plans appear unlikely to progress much further.

Dec 26 12:28

North, South Korea hold ceremony for future road and rail links

North and South Korea have held a ceremony for an ambitious project to modernise and reconnect rail and road links, although construction cannot begin without progress in nuclear negotiations.

A nine-car special train carrying some 100 South Korean officials, politicians and five people born in the North, left the Seoul railway station early on Wednesday morning for a two-hour journey to the North's border city of Kaesong.

There, they were joined by a 100-strong North Korean delegation, as well as officials from the United Nations, China, Russia and Mongolia, according to South Korea's unification ministry.

The United States gave their support for the ceremony, South Korean officials said, but work cannot begin while sanctions block the shipment of energy and metal products, as well as other supplies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For the moment, until those sanctions get lifted, we are talking a symbolic gesture only.

Dec 26 09:36

Seoul, not Tokyo, sued by Koreans over WWII forced labor

In the latest twist in a legal-diplomatic saga that has sparked a war of words between Seoul and Tokyo, more than 1,000 South Koreans filed a suit on Thursday demanding financial compensation for their forced labor in World War II.

However, the target of their lawsuits was not Tokyo – it was their own government in Seoul.

Dec 26 07:23

Pyongyang blasts UN resolution on N. Korea rights abuse

North Korea on Tuesday hit back at a latest UN resolution that condemned Pyongyang’s rights abuses, calling it a “serious provocation” that would undermine peace efforts on the Korean peninsula. The UN General Assembly adopted last week a resolution – which passed by consensus without a vote – condemning the “systematic, widespread and gross” human rights violations in North Korea, AFP reports.

Dec 25 10:36

Judge Orders North Korea To Pay $501 Million In Damages For Otto Warmbier's Death

In what will only be a symbolic victory over North Korea this Christmas Eve, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell awarded the parents of Otto Warmbier a $500 million default judgmentagainst North Korea - amounting to roughly 0.8% of the country's GDP - for the death of their son. The judge also penned a scathing opinion to back up the decision, calling North Korea the “most advanced, most perfected totalitarian state in world history.”

She went on to write: “Moreover, North Korea is ‘unprecedented’ in its state sponsorship of ‘elicit [sic] activities, like proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, [and] the production and sale of drugs like opium, heroin, and meth[amphetamines]. Indeed, North Korea is the world’s ‘leading’ and ‘best qualified candidate for indictment’ at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.”

Dec 23 09:50

Commentary: North Korea in 2018, a year of turning over a new leaf or worldwide gullibility?

The past month had seen speculation that there would be one more monumental event on the Korean peninsula this year, with Kim Jong Un becoming the first-ever North Korean leader to travel to the South.

But South Korea’s presidential office said in a briefing earlier this month that it would be “difficult” for Kim to make the trip to Seoul before year’s end, as the leaders of the two Koreas had agreed at a summit in September.

Kim had crossed the demilitarised zone into South Korea territory in April but such a trip would have been a fitting cap for a year filled with unprecedented progress between South and North Korea.

As it is, 2018 ends with a stalemate in progress toward denuclearisation and uncertainty over whether the stunning diplomacy between the United States, South and North Korea can continue to move forward.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/north-korea-kim-jong-u...

Dec 21 08:41

North Korea says it will not denuclearize until the US eliminates 'nuclear threat'

North Korea will not relinquish its nuclear weapons until the US eliminates its own "nuclear threat," according to a commentary published by state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The proper definition of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is completely eliminating the American nuclear threat to North Korea before eliminating our nuclear capability," the commentary says.

The US and North Korea are deadlocked in negotiations over how Pyongyang will denuclearize in return for the easing of sanctions.

Dec 20 10:36

NORTH KOREA SAYS US MUST 'COMPLETELY ELIMINATE' ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL FIRST AS PEACE TALKS REACH NEW LOW

North Korea has said it will not give up its nuclear weapons until the US first “completely eliminates” its own arsenal in the region, a bombshell demand that threatens to derail peace talks.

In a statement issued by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea set out clearly for the first time what it sees as the definition of “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, the vague goal agreed to by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un at a summit in Singapore in June.

The US withdrew its tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea in the 1990s, but maintains an umbrella of weapons capable of defending South Korea and Japan.

Washington has already ruled out reducing this military presence as part of any deal. It suggested after Singapore that Mr Trump and Mr Kim had agreed that North Korea could give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for “security assurances” from the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, folks, the bromance here is OVER.

The only question remaining is, how soon will the US government decide take up a hostile posture again, and lob missiles and military exercises aimed at North Korea?

And even if North and South Korea want to reunify, will the US government allow that to happen?!?

Dec 20 07:41

North Korea rejects denuclearization unless U.S. ‘nuclear threat’ is eliminated

North Korea will not give up its nuclear arms unless the “U.S. nuclear threat to Korea” is eliminated, North Korean state media said Thursday.

Dec 20 07:40

N. Korea won't give up nuclear weapons unless U.S. abandons nuclear umbrella

North Korea said Thursday it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States removes its nuclear threat first, a bombshell statement that could rattle the fragile diplomacy between Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang.

The statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency came amid a deadlock in nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea over the sequencing of the denuclearization process and removal of international sanctions.

Dec 20 07:05

Can America Fight Two Cold Wars at Once?

Kim Jong Un, angered by the newest U.S. sanctions, is warning that North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization could be imperiled and we could be headed for “exchanges of fire.”

Iran, warns Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is testing ballistic missiles that are forbidden to them by the U.N. Security Council.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that, within days, he will launch a military thrust against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria, regarding them as allies of the PKK terrorist organization inside Turkey.

Vladimir Putin just flew two Tu-160 nuclear capable bombers to Venezuela. Ukraine claims Russia is amassing tanks on its border.

How did the United States, triumphant in the Cold War, find itself beset on so many fronts?

Dec 19 10:39

Artists use more than 850,000 litres of paint to transform South Korean grain silo into the world’s largest outdoor mural

A dreary grain silo that was transformed into an enormous colourful artwork in South Korea has been named by Guinness World Records as the largest outdoor mural in the world.

The painting which depicts a young boy's journey into adulthood covers the outside of giant storage containers in the port city of Incheon, west of Seoul, taking up 254,975sq. ft. (23,688sq. meters).

The mural was commissioned by the city's government and port authority as part of efforts to improve the negative view of aged industrial facilities.

Dec 19 10:33

North Korea: We Won’t Denuclearize if ‘Vicious’ U.S. Actions Continue

North Korea declared on Monday it will not agree to any denuclearization agreement with the United States if Washington continues to pursue “vicious [and] hostile actions” against Kim Jong-un’s communist regime.
In a press statement from the Policy Research Director of Institute for American Studies from North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the regime expresses its “shock and indignation” at the “continued commitment by the United States of vicious anti-DPRK hostile actions.”

“During the past six months since the Singapore DPRK-U.S. summit, the U.S. high-ranking politicians including the secretary of state have almost every day slandered the DPRK out of sheer malice,” the statement reads.

Dec 19 07:27

North Korean Oil Smugglers Elude U.S. Military

Under the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions regarding oil sales to North Korea from December 2017, North Korea is allowed to import a maximum aggregate amount of 500,000 barrels of all refined oil products for 12 months beginning on January 1, 2018. The sanctions also introduced a limit of 4 million barrels—or 525,000 tons—per a twelve-month period as of 22 December 2017 for the supply, sale, or transfer of crude oil to North Korea.

However, according to the report, more oil is going into the country after ship-to-ship transfers at sea. After the deployment of the military vessels in the area, however, the North Koreans have changed tactics, conducting the transfers further out at sea, sometimes in foreign territorial waters. Warships and surveillance aircraft were deployed near the Korean Peninsula in September, but since the aircraft has a certain range it can’t exceed, moving the tankers further into the sea has worked to avoid detection.

Dec 19 07:27

U.S. seeks to expedite aid for North Korea amid stalled nuclear talks

U.S. officials will try to expedite humanitarian aid to North Korea, a U.S. envoy said on Wednesday, as Washington and Pyongyang struggle to find a breakthrough in stalled talks aimed at ending the North’s nuclear program.

Dec 18 09:30

North Korea warns US sanctions could 'block the path to denuclearization forever'

North Korea has warned that new U.S. sanctions on three of its top officials could “block the path to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula forever” and could result in a return to “exchanges of fire.”

The warning came days after the Treasury Department imposed the fresh sanctions on the three – who include Choe Ryong Hae, seen as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s right hand-man – citing continuing human rights abuses, censorship and the death last year of American prisoner Otto Warmbier.

Dec 18 09:20

U.S. Dropped Fleas With Bubonic Plague on North Korea

This happened some 63 years ago, but as the U.S. government has never stopped lying about it, and it’s generally known only outside the United States, I’m going to treat it as news.

Here in our little U.S. bubble we’ve heard of a couple versions of a film called The Manchurian Candidate. We’ve heard of the general concept of “brainwashing” and may even associate it with something evil that the Chinese supposedly did to U.S. prisoners during the Korean War. And I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who’ve heard of these things have at least a vague sense that they’re bullshit.

If you didn’t know, I’ll break it to you right now: people cannot actually be programed like the Manchurian candidate, which was a work of fiction. There was never the slightest evidence that China or North Korea had done any such thing. And the CIA spent decades trying to do such a thing, and finally gave up.

Dec 17 08:48

North Korea condemns US sanctions, warns denuclearization at risk

North Korea on Sunday condemned the U.S. administration for stepping up sanctions and pressure on the nuclear-armed country, warning of a return to "exchanges of fire" and that disarming Pyongyang could be blocked forever.

The North's stinging response came after the United States said on Monday it had introduced sanctions on three North Korean officials, including a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for alleged human rights abuses.

Denuclearising North Korea has made little progress since Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June in a historic summit. The two sides have yet to reschedule working-level talks between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, which were cancelled abruptly in November.

Dec 15 10:14

BEX ALERT - Iran’s NUCLEAR cooperation with North Korea EXPOSED - ‘Exact’ names and locations REVEALED

IRAN is cooperating with North Korea on nuclear weapons by conducting clandestine deals with the dictatorship to further its global military ambitions, an Iranian Resistance document has claimed.

Dec 15 10:14

Is Trump on Path to ‘Strategic Patience’ on North Korea?

President Donald Trump could find himself embracing “strategic patience” on North Korea, an Obama administration approach he once denounced, as nuclear talks with Pyongyang have stalled, analysts say.

Dec 15 10:13

Top secret report: North Korea keeps busting sanctions, evading U.S.-led sea patrols

A top secret U.S. military assessment found that North Korea is still evading U.N. sanctions by transferring oil at sea, and that a coalition of U.S.-led forces deployed to disrupt the movements has failed to dent the overall number of illegal transfers, three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence told NBC News.

Dec 15 10:12

North Korea's high-tech pursuits: Propaganda or progress?

North Korea often flaunts its military hardware but of late, it appears to be making progress in developing civilian technologies - or at least is claiming to be.

As with most things in the country, it is difficult to verify these claims, but it is significant to note the importance being given to technology.

In recent months, state media have publicly celebrated various achievements in advanced technologies, including an "intelligent home system".

Beyond the purpose of propaganda, emphasis on the sector reflects North Korea's desire to harness technology to improve its economy - a key goal for Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BBC is trying to take a story of North Korea's progress and spin it as a negative.

Dec 13 09:24

How Trump made the North Korea crisis worse

“Most people are not aware of how close we came to nuclear war and how plausible it actually was throughout 2017 and early 2018.”

That’s North Korea expert Van Jackson’s stunning conclusion. In his new book On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War, Jackson retraces the Washington-Pyongyang standoff during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office.

He identified at least “seven or eight moments” when he believed war between the US and North Korea was possible. And while much of the tensions had to do with North Korea’s aggression before Trump took office, the president found ways to make it much, much worse.

Dec 13 09:18

North Korean officials 'expressed regret' over Vietnam citizen's involvement in Kim Jong Nam murder, source says

North Korean officials informally expressed their regret to Vietnam that a Vietnamese national was charged with killing Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean government source has told CNN.

Kim Jong Nam was killed in February 2017 when he was exposed to VX nerve agent at an airport in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, a murder mystery that attracted worldwide attention and torpedoed a once warm diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and North Korea.

The apparent expression of regret, which has been widely reported in South Korean media, was not an apology and would not constitute North Korea admitting responsibility for the killing.

Dec 13 08:59

WATCH: Korean Troops Peacefully Cross DMZ For First Time Ever

The media ignored history being made Wednesday after dozens of soldiers from North and South Korea peacefully crossed the demilitarized zone for the first time ever.

Dec 12 08:43

US sanctions North Korea on human rights as Trump floats second summit

The Trump administration slapped sanctions on three North Koreans Monday in response to Pyongyang's ongoing human rights abuses and censorship.

The sanctions announcement comes as President Donald Trump floats the idea of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And it immediately follows a failed US attempt to hold a UN meeting on Pyongyang's human rights record, a setback that illustrates the Trump administration's struggle to maintain international support for its maximum pressure campaign to push North Korea toward denuclearization.

The Treasury Department marked Human Rights Day by sanctioning senior officials in previously targeted government entities of the North Korean regime and the Workers' Party of Korea, including the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Public Security.

Dec 12 08:43

US Deflects UN Request to Fund Humanitarian Aid for N. Korea

The United States is resisting calls from the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea, citing Pyongyang's continuing expansion of its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report released last week that $111 million is needed to fund humanitarian efforts in North Korea next year.

In "Global Humanitarian Overview 2019," the OCHA said the money could provide aid to 6 million of 10.3 million North Koreans who will need humanitarian support in 2019.

In response, a State Department spokesperson said while the U.S. is concerned, North Korea has the means to meet its own humanitarian needs.

Dec 11 08:54

Horrors and heroes of the Korean War come to life in colorized images from the brutal conflict

Black-and-white photographs showing the horror and heroes of the Korean War have come to life thanks to digital colourisation.
These incredible images show many different sides of the war between North and South Korea, which started in 1950 and ended with an armistice in 1953.

Dec 10 11:13

US sanctions three North Korea top officials

The US Treasury has imposed new sanctions on three top North Korean officials, including a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Choe Ryong Hae, the Director of the Workers' Party of Korea, Jong Kyong Thaek, the North Korean Minister of State Security and Pak Kwang Ho, the director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department for the Worker's Party have all been added to the sanctions list.

Dec 06 10:06

BEX? North Korea Seen Expanding Missile Base

North Korea appears to be expanding a missile base in a remote, mountainous part of the country, according to new commercial satellite imagery studied by independent researchers.

The base, located near the Chinese border, is believed to be capable of housing long-range missiles that could, in theory, hit the United States. Researchers say they see clear signs that the base is being upgraded.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The usual images where nothing can really be seen.

Dec 05 10:46

John Bolton says North Korea failure to meet commitments requires second Trump-Kim summit

National security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that President Donald Trump believes he should hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un because the North Korean leader hasn't lived up to commitments he made during their first meeting.

"They have not lived up to the commitments so far," Bolton said at The Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council conference in Washington. "That's why I think the President thinks that another summit is likely to be productive."

Bolton said the US would press ahead with a second meeting shortly after the start of the new year -- saying, "January, February" -- in the hope of making further progress. He said the Trump administration would not lift hefty economic sanctions against the regime until then.

Dec 04 08:45

South Korea's President Says Trump Wants to Grant Kim Jong Un's Wishes

South Korea’s president says U.S. President Donald Trump told him he has a “very friendly view” of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wants to grant his wishes if he denuclearizes.

North Korea has sought security guarantees from the U.S. and relief from international sanctions.

President Moon Jae-in’s office quoted Moon as saying that Trump asked him to convey those messages to the North Korean leader if he visits Seoul this year as he promised. Moon spoke to reporters on Saturday aboard his presidential plane en route to New Zealand from Argentina, where he met Trump on the sidelines of a Group of 20 Nations summit.

Dec 03 09:42

President Trump says next meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un likely in early 2019

President Donald Trump said a second summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will likely take place in January or February.

"We're getting along very well," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One during the return trip from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "We have a good relationship with Kim."

The first Trump-Kim summit took place in June in Singapore but Trump has said the next meeting will probably take place at a new location.

Nov 30 07:26

South Korea sends a train into North for the first time in a decade

A South Korean train rolled across the heavily militarized frontier into North Korea for the first time in a decade on Friday, as Seoul pushed ahead with a plan to reunite the two railway networks despite heavy U.N. sanctions.

The train pulled six cars carrying dozens of South Korean officials and experts, who will undertake an 18-day, 750-mile survey of railway tracks in the North. The journey required special permission from the United Nations to carry equipment and fuel into the North despite the sanctions regime.

Nov 28 11:57

North Korea Says the U.S. Is 'Stoking Confrontation' by Seeking a U.N. Meeting on Rights

North Korea is accusing the Trump administration and some supporters of trying to “stoke confrontation” instead of promoting peace efforts by calling for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss human rights in the country.

North Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Kim Song said in a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that the United States and other unnamed countries “are trying to employ all possible wicked and sinister methods” to hold a council meeting on Dec. 10 and have U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet address it.

Kim sent letters to all council members except the United States urging them to vote against holding a meeting on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, the country’s official name. He sent similar letters to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and General Assembly President Maria Espinosa Garces.

Nov 27 05:37

Who Says Economic Sanctions Work?

One need only to look at North Korea and Iraq to see that the new oil embargo on Iran will fail too.
***
Not surprising, sanctions have rarely—if ever—succeeded in obtaining their desired results. The poster child for successful sanctions as a vehicle for change—divestment in South Africa during the 1980s in opposition to the Apartheid regime—is in reality a red herring. The South Africa sanctions were in fact counterproductive, in so far as they prompted even harsher policies from the South African government. The demise of Apartheid came about largely because the Soviet Union collapsed, meaning the South African government was no longer needed in the fight against communism.

Another myth that has arisen around sanctions is their utility in addressing nonproliferation issues. Since 1994, the U.S. has promulgated non-proliferation sanctions under the guise of executive orders signed by the president or statutes passed by Congress. But there is no evidence that sanctions implemented under these authorities have meaningfully altered the behaviors that they target.>>>

Nov 25 18:07

South Korea president unveils 'peace gift' puppies

The North's leader, Kim Jong-un, sent the two dogs to his counterpart Moon Jae-in in a bid to promote peace amid thawing ties on the Korean peninsula.

Gomi, a Pungsan hunting dog, gave birth to three female and three male puppies.

President Moon shared photos of the dogs on the official Blue House twitter feed on Sunday.

"As the pregnancy period of dogs is about two months, Gomi must have come to us pregnant," he reportedly tweeted when the pups were born. "I hope inter-Korean affairs will be like this."

Nov 25 18:03

Russia may start free trade talks with South Korea

Negotiations on the implementation of a free trade zone agreement between Moscow and Seoul may start in 2019, according to South Korea’s ambassador in Moscow, Woo Yoon-keun.

Woo told TASS that “the documents have already been submitted to the parliament [of the Republic of Korea]... We hope that next year we will start intensive negotiations.”

An agreement on setting up a free trade zone between the countries was inked in June during the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Moscow.

Nov 21 12:14

North Korea blows up 10 guard posts to ease tensions with South

North Korea on Tuesday blew up some of its front-line guard posts as part of an agreement to ease tensions along its heavily fortified border with South Korea, Seoul’s Defense Ministry said.

In September, the Koreas’ militaries agreed at a leaders’ summit in Pyongyang to eventually dismantle all guard posts inside the 248-kilometer (155-mile) -long, 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide border. They later withdrew weapons and troops from 11 of their guard posts and decided to completely dismantle 10 of them by the end of November.

Seoul’s Defense Ministry said it confirmed the dismantling of 10 North Korean guard posts on Tuesday. A ministry statement said North Korea had informed the South of its plans in advance.

South Korea began dismantling 10 of its guard posts with dynamite and excavators last week. Ministry officials said Tuesday that they haven’t completed the demolitions yet.

Nov 19 12:39

Execution of Inter-Korean Summit Agreement in Military Sphere

On 23 October, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ratified the inter-Korean summit agreement in the military sphere aimed at implementing the Pyongyang and Panmunjom Declarations. The documents were ratified without an approval from the National Assembly, since it, in the view of the presidential administration, is required when agreements contain clauses related to large expenditures or the need for legislative measures, and the Pyongyang Declaration has no terms of this nature. South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party (DP) said they were forced to act, because the National Assembly is yet to ratify the Panmunjom Declaration, adopted at the first inter-Korean Summit of this year. However, the opposition expressed criticism of the President’s actions, as he had ratified documents without first seeking approval from the National Assembly.

Nov 19 11:47

WW3 Alert: North Korea Will Be Keeping Their Nukes, Despite Promises To Denuclearize

North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-Un, has decided to keep the nation’s nuclear weapons, despite promises to the Trump administration that he would begin denuclearization. It appears that a nuclear war threat is still lingering and could be the topic of discussion when president Donald Trump meets Kim early next year.

According to The Daily Sta UK, sources inside the Communist state have reportedly revealed its leader Kim Jong-un has no plans to surrender his nuclear weapons despite talks of denuclearization with Trump. Jiro Ishimaru of AsiaPress International, revealed insiders have said Kim has been assuring his citizens he won’t allow North Korea to be vulnerable. “Even after Kim met with [U.S. President Donald] Trump, progress on a peace treaty has been slow,” said Jiro. “So Kim must feel the need to assure people domestically that he has no intention to let go of nuclear weapons.”

Nov 19 09:09

Why there has been no progress in nuclear talks with North Korea

Mr Kim may be prepared to give up his nuclear weapons, and may simply want more tangible guarantees before he starts the process. But it is more likely that he wants to hang on to the nukes, which the regime has pursued for decades to ensure its survival, and is using the current round of negotiations to try to extract concessions from America. After all, the North has a history of making other countries pay for promises on which it then reneges. Mr Trump’s relentless overselling of the deal reached in Singapore, which contains no details of how the denuclearisation is meant to come about, has encouraged such behaviour. Mr Kim is exploiting the vagueness of his own promises to stall the process, all the while accusing America of bad faith.

Nov 15 09:05

When it comes to North Korea, who's really being deceptive?

In the vaguely worded agreement, Trump and Kim pledged to build a "lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula" and to "work toward complete denuclearization" of the peninsula.

Pyongyang is not violating that pledge by continuing to operate missile sites. In fact, most analysts agree Kim would be foolish to dismantle active facilities without a signed agreement.

In his New Year's address, the North Korean leader called on his nation to bolster its nuclear deterrent by mass producing missiles and nuclear warheads.

Kim is just doing exactly what he promised.

Nov 13 13:02

North Korea Warns US-South Korea Drills Violate Agreement

While there has been a lot of progress in recent months on improving ties on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s state media warned on Monday that the resumption of military drills between the US and South Korea violated a recent agreement.

On September 19, North and South Korea signed an agreement which was intended to bar either side from taking any action that might be perceived as hostile. This was intended to include military exercises with the US.

The US wasn’t a party to this deal, which was between the Koreas. They have, however, gone out of their way to reduce the number of wargames being conducted in South Korea. As tensions have risen recently, however, the US may be looking to conduct more such exercises.

South Korea downplayed the complaints, not directly denying that they weren’t violating the agreement, but rather insisting that the exercises was very small.and purely defensive.

Nov 13 13:01

PROBABLE BEX - New Study: North Korea Has At Least 13 Secret Ballistic Missile Sites

A new study is alleging that the North Korean regime is operating at least 13 secret ballistic missile sites. This could be a sign that Kim Jong-Un is not quite ready to de-nuclearize despite the decreased rhetoric in recent months.

Totalitarian North Korea is not winding down the country’s nuclear program despite public promises made to the Trump administration. According to a report by USA Today, new research, conducted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Security, has identified 13 of an estimated 20 North Korean missile operating bases that Kim’s regime has not declared.

Nov 13 08:42

Pence, Abe reaffirm need to keep N. Korea sanctions, discuss trade talks

US Vice-President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday reaffirmed the need to keep sanctions on North Korea to achieve its denuclearization. Washington will continue to put diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and urged all Indo-Pacific nations to maintain pressure and sanctions until the complete denuclearization of North Korea is achieved, Pence said in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Nov 12 12:25

By The Way, The Koreas Just Dismantled 22 Guard Posts On The DMZ

I realize everyone has a lot on their plate with domestic news in the wake of the midterms, particularly since the counting isn’t even over yet. But there have been some important developments abroad which are worth keeping an eye on. One of these popped up this weekend with an announcement from South Korea that they’ve reached one of the early milestones in their tentative rapprochement with the North. Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un have revealed that each side has “disarmed” and essentially abandoned eleven of the guard posts along the DMZ. This has some observers urging caution on the part of the South, but it still represents progresses toward peace.

Nov 11 09:19

Stalled talks with North Korea indicate larger unravelling of progress

The cancelation of a highly anticipated meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials has experts worried the quest for Pyongyang’s denuclearization is quietly unraveling.

Progress on North Korea's denuclearization has stalled in the five months since President Trump and Kim Jong Un’s meeting in June in Singapore as both sides are unwilling to make concessions.

The issue has largely been unnoticed leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“If no one is willing to make the first major concession and talks collapse, we could be on a path that takes us back to the days of fire and fury and name calling. And that is a path that could take us once again to the brink of nuclear war,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest.

“We must avoid that at all costs.”

Nov 09 10:58

Not Going to Let it Happen': Haley Vows to Stop Russia Lifting DPRK Sanctions

US Envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday that Moscow wants to lift banking sanctions on North Korea put in place to try to curb Pyongyang's nuclear program, but the United States would not let that happen, Reuters reported.

"What they're looking for is to lift banking restrictions… So now we know what their agenda is, we know exactly why they're trying to do it and we're not going to let it happen," Haley said after a closed-door security council meeting on North Korea sanctions, as quoted by Reuters. Russia's envoy was also in attendance at the meeting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now, I have to wonder; just what is Ambassador Haley prepared to do to prevent this (which, BTW, would be a very logical thing for the US to do, to express good faith to Kim Jung Un), invade Russia and North Korea all by herself?!?

Apply more sanctions to both countries?!?

The bag of tricks she has, has already been pretty much emptied, due to a certain, collective tone-deafness by those in the Bowels of Power in DC with regard to both North Korea and Russia.

And as a working choral conductor, I cannot begin to tell you how much I HATE tone-dearness!!

Nov 08 12:37

North Korea 'really angry' at US as tensions rise

North Korea is getting increasingly angry at the US, as talks are deadlocked and tensions between the two countries are on the rise, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

US and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that's starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is "very happy with how it's going with North Korea. We think it's going fine."

Trump had been asked about the administration's announcement, in the middle of the night as Tuesday's midterm elections results were coming in, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Thursday meeting with a key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been postponed.

Nov 08 10:20

WW3 WARNING: North Korea RAGING at US as tensions peak over cancelled meetings

TENSIONS between North Korea and the US are rising against a backdrop of deadlocked peace talks and growing anger in Pyongyang.

Strained relations soured further when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pulled out of talks with North Korean officials this week after Pyongyang complained Washington had not made any concessions in return for the moves it claims to have taken towards denuclearisation.

Nov 07 14:24

Pompeo’s meeting with North Korean counterpart called off at last minute

The State Department on Wednesday announced a planned meeting with a top North Korean envoy had been scrubbed, even as President Trump said he hoped to hold a second summit with Kim Jong Un “early next year.”

Trump’s remarks followed a surprise notice by the State Department that a scheduled meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterpart in New York had been called off at the last minute, suggesting a growing rift between Washington and Pyongyang over the denuclearization process and the right time to lift sanctions.

Nov 07 12:34

Dumping the dollar: Iran & South Korea agree cross-currency trade

South Korea and Iran have agreed to switch to national currencies in trade exchanges as the sides aim to strengthen relations despite the US sanctions on Tehran.

The agreement is of great importance to both countries, Yonhap News Agency reported, explaining that the deal indicated Korea’s concerns about relations with Iran.

Nov 07 10:32

Dumping the dollar: Iran & South Korea agree cross-currency trade

South Korea and Iran have agreed to switch to national currencies in trade exchanges as the sides aim to strengthen relations despite the US sanctions on Tehran.

The agreement is of great importance to both countries, Yonhap News Agency reported, explaining that the deal indicated Korea’s concerns about relations with Iran.

The countries also agreed to make payments and settle their financial and banking accounts using the South Korean national currency, the won. That will allow South Korean and Iranian companies to continue their extensive exchanges in various fields.

Nov 06 10:51

US Must Alter Military Posture if North Korea Talks Succeed - Dunford

The United States must change its military posture on the Korean peninsula as talks to denuclearize North Korea progress, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said during remarks at Duke University.

"The more successful we are in the diplomatic track, the more uncomfortable we will be in the military space," Dunford said on Monday. "Over time this negotiation will take a form where we're going to have to start making some changes to the military posture on the peninsula."

Dunford highlighted that although North Korea's testing and nuclear development has ceased, its missile and nuclear capabilities have not changed.

Nov 06 09:00

North Korea issues nuclear threat ahead of high-level talks with US

As the United States and North Korea prepare for another round of high-level talks this week, Pyongyang's increasingly heated rhetoric has analysts worried that the stalemate between the two sides could lead to a breakdown in negotiations.

An official with North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a veiled threat Friday, warning that Pyongyang could restart "building up nuclear forces" if the US does not ease the crippling sanctions levied on North Korea.

Nov 05 10:01

U.S., South Korea resume low-key military drills ahead of talks with North Korea

The United States and South Korea will begin small-scale military drills on Monday just days ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with a North Korea official to discuss denuclearization and plans for a second summit between the two countries.

Nov 05 08:57

NORTH KOREA WARNS THEY’LL RETURN TO NUKE DEVELOPMENT IF SANCTIONS AREN’T LIFTED

Over the weekend, North Korea issued a statement warning that they will “seriously consider” returning to the development on nuclear weapons if the US continues to refuse to ease economic sanctions against them.

Since North Korea halted nuclear testing and has made substantial diplomatic progress, many nations have advocated for some early sanctions relief, but so far every such effort has been blocked by the US. North Korea is growing increasingly impatient with that, and with the Trump Administration refusing to reach a peace treaty with them.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed the threats, and reiterated that the US has no intention of allowing any sanctions relief until America achieves its “ultimate objective.” Though this is meant to be understood as nuclear disarmament, some in North Korea have been increasingly vocal in fearing that the US will never deliver on anything once they’ve already gotten what they want.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF, in fact, President Trump is the negotiator he claims to be, then this arbitrary one-sidedness must be softened.

Otherwise, he risks losing every possible future accommodation North Korea may be willing to give.

IF he slips back into a war footing with North Korea, he will have wasted a very precious opportunity to get North Korea back into the community of nations which have shunned it, at all levels, for so many years, at the US's edict.

Nov 04 07:42

North Korea Warns Of Return To Nuclear Policy

Pyongyang expresses frustration over the slow progress of the lifting of sanctions while US insists on denuclearisation.

North Korea has warned the United States it will "seriously" consider returning to a state policy aimed at building nuclear weapons if Washington does not end tough economic sanctions against the impoverished regime.

In a statement issued late on Friday, the North's foreign ministry said Pyongyang could revert to its former policy if the US did not change its stance over sanctions.

"The word 'byungjin' may appear again and the change of the line could be seriously reconsidered," said the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

>>>

Nov 02 08:48

2 Koreas to seek talks with IOC on joint 2032 Olympics bid – Seoul

The two Koreas on Friday agreed to seek talks with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to discuss a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Games, according to officials in Seoul. As cross-border reconciliation gathers pace, the neighbors will send a letter to the IOC expressing an intention to jointly host the Games, said a joint statement released by Seoul. It followed talks held by sports officials from both sides of the border on Friday.

Oct 31 09:33

North Korea is reportedly preparing nuclear and missile sites for international inspectors

South Korea's spy agency has observed preparations by North Korea for international inspections at several of its nuclear and missile test sites, the Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday, citing a South Korean lawmaker.

Kim Min-ki of the ruling Democratic Party told reporters that intelligence officials had observed what they believed to be preparations for possible inspections at Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Sohae Satellite launching ground.

The South's National Intelligence Service observed North Koreans "conducting preparation and intelligence activities that seem to be in preparation for foreign inspectors' visit," the lawmaker added, but no major movements were seen at Yongbyon.

Oct 30 09:22

US envoy ‘confident’ North Korean denuclearisation is within reach despite growing concerns that progress has stalled

Meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul, Stephen Biegun said that Washington and Seoul have a shared goal of ending seven decades of hostility on the Korean peninsula.

“The primary requirement for us to get to that endpoint is to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea,” Biegun said.

Oct 30 09:22

Trump hurts North Korea 'maximum pressure' approach by ignoring human rights, critics say

South Korea’s government is putting Pyongyang’s egregious human rights record on the back burner to keep alive its diplomatic outreach to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and conservative human rights advocates say President Trump is undercutting his own “maximum pressure” campaign on the North’s nuclear programs by following Seoul’s lead.

Since Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim held their historic Singapore summit in June, the issue of North Korean human rights abuses — including what rights advocates say are the regime’s forced labor camps and its vast network of political prisons — has “slipped off the negotiating table,” said Olivia Enos, an Asia policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation.

Oct 29 11:10

US urges North Korea denuclearization before 'shared goal' of ending war

North Korea must take steps towards verified denuclearization before achieving the "shared goal" of an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War, a U.S. envoy said on Monday.

Stephen Biegun, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, was in Seoul to meet senior South Korean officials, including his counterpart Lee Do-hoon, amid rising signs of discord between the allies on North Korea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This attitude of "You give us everything we want first, and then we will do something nice for you" is why US foreign policy is a shambles!

Oct 29 09:53

South Korean Patriot Missile ‘Self Destructs’ During Test-Fire

A South Korea Patriot surface-to-air missile (PAC-2) exploded seconds after launch at a South Korean firing range last Thursday.

The South Korean Air Force said that The PAC-2 missile ascended for about four seconds after blastoff at the seaside Daecheon range in South Chungcheong Province during an annual air defense guided missile practice, Yonhap News reported quoting an Air Force statement.

Oct 27 10:16

Experts: Inducements Unlikely to Help North Korea Denuclearize

Despite the lack of progress on denuclearization, Washington should not grant unilateral concessions and sanctions relief to North Korea as a way to induce denuclearization until Pyongyang takes substantial steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, experts said.

Steve Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, was supposed to meet with his North Korean counterpart following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s fourth trip to North Korea on Oct. 7. But Biegun’s hoped-for discussion on denuclearization with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui did not take place.

Ever since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to completely denuclearize North Korea at the June 12 Singapore summit with the U.S. President Donald Trump, Pyongyang has been demanding sanctions relief and implementation of confidence-building measures (CBMs) that it says will guarantee North Korea’s security.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is propaganda to justify not granting North Korea any concessions.

Oct 25 05:36

Koreas Officially Start Demilitarizing Border Zone

South and North Koreas have officially launched the demilitarization process of a border village, Seoul said, as part of an agreement to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
***
Washington has expressed unease over the measure, saying there is a “reasonable degree of risk” in Seoul’s plans to dismantle guard posts near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Back in June, US President Donald Trump met the North’s leader in a summit in Singapore, during which the two sides agreed to work toward denuclearization.

But that agreement has produced no tangible outcome.

The North has already taken several steps toward that goal, but the US has not reciprocated any of those moves.

>>>

Oct 23 09:16

North Korea 'bought at least $640 million in luxury goods from China in 2017', in defiance of UN sanctions

North Korea imported at least $640 million (£493 million) worth of luxury goods from China last year, in defiance of UN sanctions outlawing such trade over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, a South Korean politician said on Monday.

The United States has urged strict implementation of sanctions as part of a "maximum pressure" campaign which Washington has credited with bringing impoverished North Korea to the negotiating table.

But there have been signs the campaign has been losing steam since North Korea suspended nuclear and missile tests and leader Kim Jong-un vowed steps towards denuclearisation at a US-North Korean summit in June - and as China and Russia called for relaxed sanctions.

Oct 22 18:17

North and South Korea AGREE to withdraw firearms in move that could see end to KOREAN WAR

Both North and South Korea will withdraw 11 guard posts within a 0.6-mile radius of the Military Demarcation Line on their border by the end of the year.

They will also pull out all firearms from a Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom and cut to 35 each the numbers of personnel stationed there and share information on surveillance equipment.

Today, the three sides agreed to remove firearms and guard posts from the JSA by Thursday, and carry out a joint inspection over the following two days, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

Oct 21 09:44

US and South Korea call off another major military exercise, hoping to give diplomacy with Pyongyang a chance

The Pentagon says the annual Vigilant Ace air exercises have been suspended ‘to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue’

A US official said Donald Trump’s next meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will not be until next year

Oct 19 09:23

S. Korea, US cancel another major military exercise this year

The Pentagon and South Korea are canceling another major military exercise this year, citing a push for diplomatic progress with North Korea, AP reports. The top Pentagon spokeswoman, Dana W. White, says Washington and Seoul are suspending an air exercise known as Vigilant Ace “to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue.” Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is in Singapore for a meeting of Asian defense ministers. Vigilant Ace is an annual exercise.

Oct 18 11:09

China may 'ease up' on sanctions against North Korea as the trade war drags on 

As President Donald Trump continues to ramp up trade pressure on China, Beijing may be "less motivated to cooperate" with the U.S. over sanctions against North Korea, an expert told CNBC Wednesday.

"China has been taking steps to relax its enforcement of sanctions even before the trade tensions with the United States flared up," according to Scott Seaman director of Asia at political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group.

But as the trade war between the world's two largest economies drags on, China could find more reasons to relax its enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, he said.

Oct 17 11:35

North Korea slams US for 'evil' sanctions push

North Korea's state media on Tuesday (Oct 16) slammed the United States for an "evil" attempt to maintain sanctions against Pyongyang, accusing President Donald Trump of blocking progress in inter-Korean relations.

The declaration threatens to upset the negotiations between Washington and the nuclear-armed North, in which Trump is expected to hold a second summit soon with Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong Un.

At their first meeting in Singapore in June they signed a vaguely-worded pledge on denuclearisation, but little progress has been made since then with the two sides sparring over the meaning of the text.

Pyongyang has not made any explicit public promise to give up its existing arsenal but has repeatedly called for UN Security Council sanctions imposed over its weapons programmes to be loosened, citing a freeze in its nuclear and missile tests.

For its part Washington has been adamant the measures should be maintained until Pyongyang's complete denuclearisation.

Oct 16 18:01

Threat of US Coup Hangs Over South Korean Efforts to Reconcile With North

Though South Korea is able to lift sanctions against North Korea and work with its neighbor to reconnect railways and roads, it must proceed with caution, since US authorities could stage a coup if things don't go their way, author Tim Beal told Sputnik.

Both North and South Korea on Monday agreed to begin reconnecting rail and road links, stating that joint on-site surveys of the South's Gyeongui and Donghae railway lines would begin in late October and early November, respectively. The move is one more step to improving bilateral relations between to two countries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Any attempt to scuttle this evolving rapprochement by the US government would be stupid, short-sighted, and should be the US's cue for beginning to withdraw its troops from South Korea; unfortunately, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government can do, is utterly no guarantee that it won't try to do it.

Oct 16 09:40

Koreas to reconnect roads, rail, U.S. concerned over easing sanctions

The two Koreas agreed on Monday to begin reconnecting rail and road links, another step in an improving relationship in spite of U.S. concerns that the rapid North-South thaw could undermine efforts to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Oct 16 09:40

North and South Korea agree to reconnect roads and railways

North and South Korean delegations met Monday and reached a number of agreements to further the thaw in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul. Chief among them is a plan to reconnect roads and railways severed when the Korean Peninsula was split in half by war more than half a century ago.

Oct 16 09:39

North Korea’s economic growth – from Pyongyang’s perspective

Has North Korea’s economy been growing under sanctions? That’s what an economist in Pyongyang claims. In a recent interview with Kyodo (published here by Japan Times), Ri Gi Song at Pyongyang’s Institute of Economics at the Academy of Social Sciences, claimed that North Korea’s GDP per capita grew by 3.7 percent in 2017, a year during which the country was virtually banned from selling its most crucial export goods, and faced very harsh conditions for importing crucial resources such as oil and fuel. When factoring in population growth, the GDP-growth-figure diminishes somewhat to 3.2% (see below), but it’s still firmly in the same range.

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