KOREA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


KOREA

Feb 16 09:47

North Korea and South Korea plan joint march, unified teams for Tokyo 2020

North Korea and South Korea are interested in a joint march at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as fielding some unified teams in different sports, the president of the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

South and North Korean officials met with the IOC in Lausanne, buoyed by the role the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics played in easing tensions between the two countries.

The two nations had marched together at the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang for the first time since the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. They had also fielded a unified women's ice hockey team.

"Following the bilateral conversations we had yesterday, we are taking note that both are very much interested in having some joined actions in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a joined march and some unified teams in different sports," IOC President Thomas Bach said at the start of the meeting.

Feb 16 09:20

North Korea STRONGLY Defends Venezuela From Imperialist Forces

North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the face of attempts to overthrow Nicolás Maduro’s government, the country’s Foreign Ministry said after Kim Song’s meeting with Vice Minister of Venezuela Félix Plasencia.

“In this interventionist context aimed at overthrowing the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro, Ambassador Kim Song expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people and expressed the will of his government to continue to strengthen the ties of cooperation and fraternity between both nations,” said the statement, posted on the website of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, the Venezuelan diplomat informed the North Korean ambassador about the “latest political events in the Caribbean country, motivated by the campaign of international disrepute.”

Feb 16 07:47

Russians Told To "Prepare For Worst Outcome" As US Prepares New Sanctions

A bipartisan team of US senators is preparing to hit Russia with additional sanctions over its 2016 US election interference and military operations in Syria and Ukraine.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are spearheading the measure, called the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which includes a wide range of financial penalties targeting Russia's energy complex, financial industry and "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin," reported The Independent.

Threats of the sanctions rocked Russian stock and government bond markets at the end of the week, and the country's debt insurance costs jumped alongside FX volatility.

Moscow has responded to the prospect of new sanctions with anger.

A former minister told Russians to prepare for the worst outcome; the Kremlin accused the US of “racketeering.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Demonization of a country, compounded with severe financial sanctions against it, are nearly always the prelude to an American-created war, and that is precisely what I am seeing, getting played out, here, with Russia.

Feb 15 09:36

Pompeo: US aims to 'get as far down the road as we can' with N.Korea

The United States aims to "get as far down the road as we can" ahead of a summit with North Korea in Vietnam this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

Pompeo said he was sending his team back to Asia in the coming days for further discussions around all issues discussed at a groundbreaking Singapore summit last June between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Feb 15 08:35

Trump Says He’ll Meet With North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Feb. 27-28

President Trump confirmed Tuesday night that he plans to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28. “If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed,” Trump said during his State of the Union address. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. And Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.” The president first made the announcement to a group of television reporters shortly before his address, where sources said he was expected to publicly announce the date of the second U.S.-North Korea summit. “It’s happening. He said he was going to announce it tonight,” a source was quoted as telling Politico. Yonhap News Agency also reported on the planned dates for the upcoming summit.

Feb 15 08:35

North Korea exploring sanctions-proof energy technologies

Power-strapped North Korea is exploring two ambitious alternative energy sources — tidal power and coal-based synthetic fuels — that could greatly improve living standards and reduce its reliance on oil imports and vulnerability to sanctions.

Finding a lasting energy source that isn’t vulnerable to sanctions has long been a top priority for North Korean officials. Leader Kim Jong Un used his New Year’s address last month to call on the country to “radically increase the production of electricity” and singled out the coal-mining industry as a “primary front in developing the self-supporting economy.” For the longer-term, he stressed the importance of atomic, wind and tidal power.

Since further development of atomic energy is unlikely anytime soon, the power-scarce country is developing technology to “gasify” coal into substitute motor fuels. It also is looking into using huge sea barriers with electricity-generating turbines to harness the power of the ocean’s tides.

Feb 13 09:54

U.S. lawmakers tout U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance as Seoul, Tokyo feud

U.S. Republicans and Democrats joined together on Tuesday to tout the long alliance between Japan, South Korea and the United States, hoping to reinforce the trilateral relationship amid an intensifying feud between Tokyo and Seoul.

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate from both parties introduced resolutions in the two chambers affirming Congress’ strong support for ties between the three countries and the critical importance of cooperation.

Relations between Japan and South Korea have chilled recently due to disputes over their wartime history, including Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula, as well as allegations of provocations by each country’s military.

Feb 13 08:23

North Korea may choose to follow Vietnam's economic model as it looks to open up

As North Korea signals a willingness to open up its highly centralized, socialist economy, Vietnam's model of development is being widely suggested as a blueprint for Pyongyang to emulate.

Hanoi's ability to retain one-party rule, strict censorship, minimal dissent and a top-down system of control after integrating into the global economy is an attractive prospect for North Korea, according to analysts. If Pyongyang were to ever transition into a market economy, it will likely continue to prioritize regime stability — loosening restrictions on areas such as currency and migration could be politically destabilizing for Kim Jong Un's rule.

Feb 12 11:44

North Korea may have more nukes, but threat reduced: study

North Korea has continued to produce bomb fuel while in denuclearization talks with the United States and may have produced enough in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal, according to a study released just weeks before a planned second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.

However, the country's freeze in nuclear and missile testing since 2017 mean that North Korea's weapons program probably poses less of a threat than it did at the end of that year, the report by Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation found.

Feb 12 07:50

Tod Lindberg: “Trump Is Serious About Diplomacy with North Korea”

The new tack was made clear in a detailed speech given at Stanford last week by Stephen E. Biegun, the U.S. special envoy to North Korea. Mr. Biegun firmly reiterated the administration’s objective: “the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.

This approach compares favorably with the one the Obama administration took toward Iran, never demanding an end to nuclear programs and settling for a deal that came nowhere close. When Mr. Trump ditched the Iran deal before engaging North Korea, he signaled his commitment to stricter terms in his talks with Mr. Kim. Mr. Trump’s critics assume the administration will settle for cosmetic changes rather than denuclearization, but its actions and its unified message lay down a very different marker.

Feb 11 07:58

Thinking the unthinkable: A Japan-Korea clash

Any scenario pre-supposing a war between Japan and Korea appears unthinkable. But while a kinetic clash between the democratic neighbors is by no means inevitable or likely, it is not unthinkable.

Current relations are at a nadir. In late December, Tokyo claimed that a South Korean destroyer locked its tracking radar on a patrol aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Sea of Japan, which, incidentally, Koreans call the East Sea; in international forums, Seoul is pushing for the name to be changed.

Seoul strongly denied that its destroyer did that, and complained that the Japanese aircraft flew dangerously low while interfering with an ongoing search and rescue operation. Both sides sought to buttress their positions with multi-lingual videos posted on YouTube.

Feb 11 07:43

South Korean officials agree to increase payment for presence of US troops after Trump push

South Korean officials on Sunday signed off on an agreement that would increase the nation's contribution to cover the cost of keeping U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

The Associated Press reported that Seoul agreed to provide $924 million in 2019, an increase from $830 million in recent years. The agreement comes after President Trump criticized the cost of keeping troops on the Korean Peninsula, and called for South Korea to contribute more.

The new agreement still requires approval from South Korea's parliament, the AP noted. Unlike past cost-sharing deals, which lasted multiple years, the new agreement would only be for one year, forcing negotiators to hammer out a new pact in the coming months, it added.

Feb 11 07:26

U.S. and North Korea plan meeting ahead of second summit

The United States and North Korea will meet again this month in an unidentified Asian country ahead of their leaders' planned second summit in Vietnam in late February, South Korean officials said Sunday.

The U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visited Pyongyang last week to work out details of the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

After being briefed by Biegun about his discussions in North Korea, South Korea's presidential office said that the U.S. and North Korea used Biegun's trip as a chance to explain what concrete steps they want from each other.

South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who met Biegun, reported that U.S.-North Korea diplomacy "is working well," presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said. He said a follow-up U.S.-North Korea meeting ahead of the summit will take place in a third country in Asia in the week that begins Feb. 17.

Feb 10 09:04

Schiff questions if North Korea tried to 'flatter' Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) questioned on Saturday if North Korea had tried to influence President Trump by flattering him ahead of a second summit set for later this month.

"All countries do psychological profiles of other foreign leaders to determine how they can be manipulated. North Korea may have determined that if they flatter Trump, they can achieve normalization of relations and easing of sanctions without denuclearization," Schiff tweeted Saturday. "That’s dangerous."

Feb 09 14:10

KEEPING UP WITH THE KIMS

NORTH KOREA’S LEADER HAS CHARMED TRUMP, XI AND MOON. BUT ARE THEY ALL JUST KEEPING UP WITH THE KIMS?

When Kim Jong-un delivered his annual New Year’s address last month, the scene was unrecognisable from his first speech as leader of North Korea six years prior. Gone were the Maoist suit and lapel pin featuring the images of his father, previous ruler Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung, who founded the country.

In their place was a suit and tie that would be at home in any office in London or New York. Rather than sheltering behind a podium in an austere auditorium, his voice faltering intermittently as it had before, Kim sat composed in an armchair in a wood-panelled office.
***
Kim’s 30-minute address focused heavily on the economy, but he found time to say that North Korea was willing to continue denuclearisation talks with the United States – and to warn that the hermit kingdom would take a “new path” if Washington did not ease its pressure against it.

>>>

(*VIDEO at source)

Feb 09 11:09

Scott Adams: The News is Becoming Friendlier to President Trump Lately

Border budget negotiators report they might approve 2Billion
Tell us what the EXPERTS say we need, and what it costs
Is what you’re approving…what the experts say is needed?
Nobody cares about “percentages of crime”, when they’re a victim
I’ve been robbed but it’s okay. I’m in a low crime area
Annexing Mexico into America, should we?
The cartels are running the country to a large degree
“Turnaround Groups” for stabilization of failing countries?
UN controlled, a country applies to them for assistance
A neutral organization of turnaround specialists goes in
Limited time, they do a government reorganization
NO outside military presence imposing new government
Mike Cernovich and the New Green Deal
Mike says the New Green Deal is brilliant
They’re big ideas that we have no idea how to accomplish
The fact that it’s impossible is what focuses energy

Feb 09 09:45

North Korea nuclear talks: Hanoi to host Trump summit with Kim

US President Donald Trump says his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be held in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

The two men will meet on 27-28 February for talks expected to focus on persuading the communist state to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

Modern relations with Vietnam are seen as a model for US ties with the North.

A US envoy held "very productive" talks with the North to prepare for the new summit, Mr Trump said.

Feb 08 08:47

North Korea pushing flag at center of new loyalty campaign

North Korea is stepping up a new loyalty campaign as leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his second summit with President Donald Trump.

The campaign began last month with the introduction of a song in praise of the nation's flag.

A video now being aired on state-run television to promote the song — called "Our National Flag" — shows repeated images of the flag being raised at international sports competitions and being formed by a sea of people holding up colored lengths of cloth at a parade and rally on Kim Il Sung Square. Other images show recent improvements in the economy and standard of living, a reflection of a current government policy shift that focuses on development and prosperity.

The video is a departure from the tone of the propaganda that dominated just two years ago, when tensions with Washington were escalating and the focus was on North Korea's successful missile tests.

Feb 06 10:54

North Korea's nuclear missiles are 'intact' and being shielded at airports, UN panel of experts warns

Kim Jong-un's still has nuclear missiles and the weapons' programme is being hidden using airports as a cover, UN experts have warned.

North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes remain intact and Pyongyang is using airports and other facilities to shield its weapons from possible US military strikes, according to a UN panel of experts.

The panel said in a report today that sanctions against North Korea were 'ineffective,' with Pyongyang still able to acquire illegal shipments of oil products, sell banned coal and violate an arms embargo.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your daily dose of booga booga.

Feb 06 08:32

2nd North Korea Nuclear Summit Will Take Place In Vietnam This Month, Trump Says

A second nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for the end of the month in Vietnam. President Trump made the announcement during Tuesday's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

The summit, planned for Feb. 27-28, will attempt to further refine an agreement that came out of the first summit in June. In that agreement, the U.S. said it would normalize relations with North Korea in exchange for "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." But progress on the plan has been slow since then, as each country wants the other to be the first to make concessions.

"North Korea has said normalization must start before denuclearization, while the U.S. maintains that the North must hand over its nuclear weapons before any normalization can begin," NPR reported in November.

Feb 05 13:03

Trump: No Plans to Withdraw US Troops From South Korea

In June, President Trump announced the end of military exercises with South Korea, saying they were “provocative,” and said he hoped at some point to withdraw all 28,500 US troops from South Korea. This was just three months after threatening to withdraw troops from South Korea over a trade dispute.

Over the weekend, however, President Trump told interviewers that he has absolutely no plans to ever withdraw US troops from South Korea. He did say it was “very expensive” to keep troops there, which is in keeping with Trump’s demands for South Korea to pay even more for the troops.

All the other talk of withdrawing troops from South Korea? That never happened, according to Trump. He’s insisting that not only are there no plans, but that he’s “never even discussed removing them,” despite all the times he publicly discussed removing them.

Feb 05 10:31

North Korea protecting nuclear missiles, UN monitors say, ahead of summit talks

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, U.N. monitors said ahead of a meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearization summit.

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Feb 04 10:48

Bipartisan House group introduces bills to stall Syria, South Korea troop withdrawals

A bipartisan group of eight House lawmakers on Wednesday introduced two bills to make it more difficult for the Trump administration to withdraw troops from Syria and South Korea.

The bills, introduced by freshman Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), and Van Taylor (R-Texas), would limit the funds the administration may use to pull troops from the countries.

Democrat Reps. Andy Kim (N.J.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), and Max Rose (N.Y.), also back the bills, as do Republican Reps. Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Will Hurd (Texas). Kim, Gallagher and Stefanik all serve on the House Armed Services Committee.

The first bill, titled the “Responsible Withdrawal From Syria Act,” prohibits the use of Pentagon funds to draw down active duty troop presence in Syria below 1,500.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These are symbolic only. Without Trump's signature, they have no effect.

Feb 01 10:11

Top US envoy on North Korea: 'We are not going to invade North Korea'

The State Department's top envoy on North Korea said Thursday that the US is not looking to invade that nation and seemed to strongly signal that the US would be willing to formally end the Korean War.

"President Trump is ready to end this war," Steve Biegun said at Stanford. "It is over, it is done. We are not going to invade North Korea. We are not seeking to topple the North Korean regime."

"I am absolutely convinced, and more importantly the President of the United States is convinced, that it's time to move past 70 years of war and hostility in the Korean peninsula. There's no reason for this conflict to persist any longer," Biegun added.

Jan 31 11:09

Trump delivers astonishing insult to his 'naive' top intelligence chiefs as he tells them to 'go back to SCHOOL' after they contradicted him on Iran, North Korea and ISIS

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested his intelligence chiefs should 'go back to school' and lectured their 'naive' assessments on Iran after they sharply contradicted his foreign policy claims, particularly on North Korea and ISIS.

The president's response to his chiefs testimony before the Senate a day earlier was an unprecedented Twitter dressing down of America's top intelligence officials, where he called them 'extremely passive and naive,' said they were flat out 'wrong' on Iran, and suggested 'Intelligence should go back to school!.'

He railed against FBI directory Christopher Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who painted a different picture of America's relationship with its foreign partners when they testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Jan 31 09:33

Trump just admitted North Korea might keep its nuclear weapons

For months, President Donald Trump and top administration officials have maintained that they struck an agreement with North Korea last June to end its nuclear program.

But after US intelligence officials on Tuesday openly contradicted that, stating that North Korea likely won’t give up its arsenal, Trump seems to be walking that back just a bit.

“Decent chance of denuclearization,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “Time will tell what will happen with North Korea.”

A “decent chance.” That, folks, is what people in the political world call “moving the goalposts.”

That’s a far cry from the comments Trump made in June — just hours after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time — in which the president stated that there was “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Now he’s admitting not only that the threat remains, but also that it’s not guaranteed to go away anytime soon.

Jan 28 09:15

Sanctions, Peace Deal On Cards For New US-North Korea Summit

North Korea watchers believe that Kim's primary goal is relief from international sanctions and doubt he will suddenly give up his nuclear arsenal, which his dynastic regime has built for decades even through famine.

Jan 28 09:15

Why a military spat between Japan and South Korea could snowball into crisis

Japan and South Korea are engaged in a heated military dispute that analysts say could damage the already tenuous geopolitical situation in northeast Asia if the two sides do not reach a resolution.

The spat began December 20 after an encounter between a Japanese plane, which Tokyo said was collecting intelligence, and a South Korean destroyer, which Seoul said was on a humanitarian mission.

Both sides disagree on what happened next -- the Japanese said the South Koreans targeted their aircraft with missile-targeting radar, while the South Koreans said the Japanese plane was flying dangerously low and that the radar "was not intended to trace any Japanese-controlled aircraft."
The disagreement has quickly escalated, bringing to the fore historical disputes previously on the back-burner and -- in turn -- threatening the region's stability.

Jan 27 16:11

South Korea rules pre-installed phone bloatware must be deletable

New guidelines will require the industry to allow smartphone users the option to delete unnecessary pre-loaded applications, to rectify unreasonable practices and reduce inconvenience.

Jan 27 08:45

US, North Korea Positions Over Denuclearization Seem To Be Getting Closer - Morgulov

US and North Korean positions on denuclearization of the peninsula seem to be drawing closer, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told reporters.

"It seems to me their [US and North Korean] positions started getting closer," Morgulov said on Friday after talks with US diplomats in Washington.

Jan 26 10:35

North Korea's leader orders preparations for second Trump meeting

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered preparations for a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying he'll "wait with patience and in good faith" to work toward a common goal, the North's state media reported Thursday.

Despite Kim's determination for another meeting with Trump, the two remain at odds over fundamental issues. Experts say a major sticking point is what denuclearization steps Kim should take to move forward stalled nuclear negotiations and what rewards Trump should provide to push Kim to take those measures.

The Korean Central News Agency said Kim received a letter from Trump from a North Korean envoy who met the U.S. president in Washington last week. After meeting Kim Yong Chol, Trump said he and Kim Jong Un will probably meet around the end of February but did not say exactly when and where the summit would take place.

Jan 19 09:25

Trump plans North Korea nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un for February

President Donald Trump plans to meet face-to-face with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month for a second nuclear summit, the White House announced Friday.

"The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," according to the White House readout of Trump's meeting with top Kim deputy Kim Yong Chul.

Trump and Kim Yong Chul had planned to discuss "relations between the two countries and continued progress on North Korea’s final, fully verified denuclearization," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement before Friday's meeting.

Jan 19 08:44

Korea Might be Realigning Towards China

Deep history in action?

Vietnam: Rebelling against China since before Christ – turns commie (if with a marked nationalist brand, as Linh Dinh will tell you); hates China anyway, and building defense ties with the US.

Korea: Near always a loyal vassal to China – gets bifurcated thanks largely to China, becomes ferociously anti-commie (ask, for that matter, the Vietnamese – South Korean troops were more motivated, effective, and brutal than American ones during the Vietnam War), hosts 25,000 American troops on its territory, but has long maintained warm ties with China and is now apparently prepared to sidle up closer.

Food for thought*.

Anyhow, this would be a major coup for the Sinosphere.

Jan 18 10:33

Missile Defense Review: North Korea remains 'extraordinary threat' to US

A Pentagon report released Thursday described North Korea’s missile and nuclear program as an “extraordinary threat” to the United States, warning that the U.S. must “remain vigilant” despite ongoing diplomatic engagement with the North.

The Missile Defense Review report, introduced by President Donald Trump during a speech at the Pentagon, was released just hours ahead of a top North Korean envoy’s arrival in Washington to discuss a potential second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the United States must remain vigilant,” the report said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How is North Korea a threat to the US? The US has 6550 nuclear warheads, second only to Russia. If North Korea were to attack the US, the result would be obliteration for North Korea and the North Koreans know that!

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.

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