North and South Korea have held talks over Pyongyang's plan to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics. A bus carrying officials from the south crossed Unification Bridge earlier on Monday for a meeting in the shared border village of Panmunjom. Last week the North said it would send athletes and artistic performers to February's games. Responding to reports Pyongyang has demanded the return of dozens of defectors in exchange for the resumption of family reunions, South Korea's Unification Ministry Spokesperson Baek Tae-hyun said: "The two sides agreed to discuss the issue of separated families' reunions at later date, once inter-Korean relations improve further. The two Koreas have agreed to hold talks around various fields, including this issue, which we will discuss further as part of discussions on South-North relations. Seoul has been pushing for Pyongyang's involvement in the Olympics and last week's talks, the first in more than two years, appears to have eased … [Read more...] about North and South Korea hold fresh talks over Winter Olympics
North korea south korea relations
North Korea has formal diplomatic relations with 164 countries, according to the US-based National Committee on North Korea. Forty-seven countries host a North Korean embassy, while 24 have an embassy in Pyongyang. Most of the countries that do not have an embassy in North Korea handle their diplomatic affairs with the country from their embassies in neighboring China or South Korea. Read more: US calls on Germany to cut diplomatic ties with North Korea Major countries with formal diplomatic relations - Germany: North Korea's ties with Germany are largely a remnant of communist East Germany's relations with Pyongyang that began in 1949 at the beginning of the Cold War. Following the reunification of Germany, Berlin closed down East Germany's embassy in the Munsu-dong compound for ten years before reopening it in late 2000. (It now shares the compound with the British and Swedish embassies.) The 17 years of formal ties have failed to ignite a closer … [Read more...] about Which countries have diplomatic relations with North Korea?
North Korea has the potential to hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear missile strike, the United States has warned. Kim Jong-un fired yet another ballistic missile towards Japan on Tuesday - its first launch since firing at the neighbouring country in mid-September . Tests suggest Pyongyang now has the capability to hit the east coast of the US mainland, it emerged in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The country fired the rocket eastwards towards the Sea of Japan from an area north of Pyongyang at 1.30pm local time (6.30pm GMT) - and flew 620 miles before ditching in the sea, in Japanese waters. Countries in the region immediately voiced their contempt - as Donald Trump was immediately briefed while the missile was in mid-air. He later declared: "It is a situation that we will handle.” However, Trump's Defense Secretary warned that the latest launch shows Pyongyang has the potential to target anywhere in the world. General James Mattis told reporters at the White … [Read more...] about North Korea ‘has potential to hit ANYWHERE in the world’ warns US after latest missile launch
North Korea is pushing ahead with the construction of its first domestically developed ballistic missile submarine, even though the vessel is expected to be vastly technologically inferior to its rivals in the region and should be relatively easy to track and – should a imminent threat be perceived – neutralize, analysts believe. Despite that huge drawback, the millions that are being invested in the project make perfect geo-political sense to the regime of Kim Jong Un, they add. Progress on the North Korean project has been detected by images from commercial satellites that have been analyzed by experts at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and published on the 38 North website. In the most recently available images of the Sinpo South Shipyard, taken earlier this month, the analysts point to sections of what appear to be the pressure hull of a submarine alongside construction halls at the yard, which has undergone extensive modernization work in the last 18 … [Read more...] about North Korea’s ‘ballistic submarine’: Will Kim’s gamble pay off?
North Korea has unilaterally resumed manufacturing operations at the Kaesong industrial zone, nearly two years after the South Korean government withdrew its citizens and mothballed facilities in response to Pyongyang's fourth underground nuclear test and the launch of a long-range rocket. North Korean state media hinted on October 6 that the regime had restarted operations at factories in the zone, which is 10 kilometers north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the peninsula. There are strong suspicions, however, that the regime in Pyongyang has been using machinery and materiel left by the owners of around 120 South Korean firms when they were ordered to leave in February 2016 for as long as six months. The North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri said in a dispatch that the facilities lie within its sovereign territory and that they are therefore subject to North Korean law. It added that other countries - which likely include South Korea - have no right … [Read more...] about North Korea snubs South, restarts Kaesong industrial park
South Korean troops began their "routine" exercises near islands off the west coast at about 10 am local time Monday and finished about two hours later. Pyongyang had threatened to respond to South Korea's planned exercises with a "merciless" attack but did not immediately make good on its threat. Considering North Korea is focusing on internal stability two months after the death of Kim Jong Il, analysts doubted there would be any other reaction than words. Moreover, the South Korean unification ministry, which handles cross-border ties, insisted the routine drills had nothing to do with inter-Korean relations but was about safeguarding national security. However, at the same time the US and South Korean navies launched a separate five-day joint anti-submarine drill further to the south in the Yellow Sea to guard against any potential attacks by the North. Nearly 30,000 US troops remained stationed in South Korea after the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a … [Read more...] about South Korea holds drills despite threats
South Korea accused North Korea of targeting its nuclear power plant operator in a sophisticated cyber attack that it said threatened its citizen's lives and safety. "It's a clear provocation against our security," South Korea's unification ministry said Tuesday after investigators announced that the North was behind the attacks. Hackers in North Korea allegedly sent nearly 6,000 phishing emails containing malicious codes to more than 3,500 current and former nuclear power plant workers over a span for four days in mid-December. "We've reached the conclusion that the crime was committed by a group of North Korean hackers seeking to stir up social unrest and agitation in our country," the investigators said in a statement. The investigation team reported that the hack had intended to cause a malfunction at nuclear reactors but failed to break into vital control systems Rising tensions between the two Koreas These fresh allegations come less than a week after a hacker - believed to … [Read more...] about South Korea accuses North of targeting nuclear reactors with cyberattacks
The statement, read out by a female news anchor with a stern voice on North Korean state TV, was addressed to "foolish politicians all around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea," who "should not expect any change from us." South Korea's leadership was referred to as "the traitor group of Lee Myung-bak." The North "will never deal" with them, but force them to pay for the "hideous crimes committed at the time of the great national misfortune" which, in the North's eyes, amounted to "rubbing salt" into the wounds of its grieving people. The National Defense Commission's statement said that the "evil misdeeds" of the Lee administration reached their peak when South Koreans, except for two delegations, were prevented from visiting North Korea to pay their respects to Kim Jong Il. The statement also bolstered new leader, Kim Jong Un’s authority further by referring to him as "Great Leader," the third in a succession of such titles in the past few days including … [Read more...] about North Korea sends a clear message
North and South Korea failed on Wednesday to resolve their differences on how to ease tensions, following recent altercations along their border. "The mood of the meeting was sincere as both sides were serious about improving ties, but this was the first meeting [in quite some time] and there was a difference in view that we were not able to narrow," said South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok. The ministry said the two sides came together for their first military talks since February 2011, following a proposal by the North. The two countries traded fire twice last week ; the first incident occurred when a North Korean navy vessel sailed into southern territory in the Yellow Sea near the island of Yeonpyeong. The second exchange of fire was reported on Friday, with no casualties. Activists from the South had launched balloons carrying tens of thousands of leaflets denouncing the dictatorship in Pyongyang. Northern forces shot at the balloons, with some of the bullets … [Read more...] about No agreement after Koreas hold military talks
North Korea's failed attempt to launch a rocket into space on Friday is a grim reminder to those who've fled the repressive nation that nothing has changed under the leadership of Kim Jong Un. Some defectors had hoped that when Kim, who is only in his late 20s, assumed power last December that the lives of ordinary North Koreans might improve. That's because as a boy, Kim studied in Switzerland and might have learned a thing or two about human rights. "Kim Jong Un has no interest in the lives of the people. He is only interested in the survival of the regime," he said during a press conference on Friday.Military first politics Human rights groups have long accused the Pyongyang regime of favoring its weapons program over feeding its people. In the 1990s, a famine is believed to have killed over one million North Koreans, the result of a broken-down public distribution system and the end of support from the Soviet Union. Since then, the nation has experienced chronic food … [Read more...] about Defectors link North Korea’s weapons program to food shortage