North Korean leader berates officials over hospital project

North Korean leader berates officials over hospital project

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Remember John Lewis

Richard W. Rahn

Supporters of Black Lives Matter in denial of real-world consequences

Michael McKenna

Biden presidency would push expensive climate plan

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea Saturday, July 18, 2020. Independent … more >

Print

By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Sunday, July 19, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un berated construction managers for unspecified problems in building a showpiece hospital in comments reported Monday that may indicate the country is struggling to secure the supplies amid U.S.-led sanctions and a coronavirus lockdown.

During a visit to the construction site in Pyongyang, Kim lamented that his ambitious project of building a new general hospital was being carried out in a “careless manner” and without a proper budget and ordered all officials responsible to be replaced, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

The report said Kim accused construction managers of making a “serious digression” from the ruling party’s policy over the supply of materials and equipment by “burdening the people by encouraging all kinds of ‘assistance,’’’ which apparently indicated rising complaints among people who were mobilized for its construction.

TOP STORIES

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Trump releases new ad attacking Biden over police funding

Church sues California Gov. Gavin Newsom over ban against at-home Bible studies

The KCNA report didn’t say when Kim visited the site and didn’t mention any comments by Kim over stalled nuclear diplomacy with the Trump administration or international sanctions over his nuclear weapons program.

In announcing the plans to build the hospital in March, Kim made a rare acknowledgement that his country lacks modern medical facilities and called for urgent improvements in the country’s health care system.

However, the country hasn’t directly linked the hospital project to the coronavirus pandemic and has steadfastly maintained that no one in its territory has been sickened by COVID-19, a claim many foreign experts doubt.

Experts say the pandemic has hurt the North’s economy, already battered by stringent U.S.-led sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Kim desperately sought sanctions relief during a flurry of diplomacy with the United States in 2018 and 2019. But talks have faltered since his second summit with President Donald Trump in February 2019.

Experts say the COVID-19 crisis likely thwarted some of Kim’s major economic goals by forcing the country into a lockdown that shut the border with China, its major ally and economic lifeline, and potentially hampered his ability to mobilize people for labor.

Japan says coronavirus adds to security threat by China

Japan says coronavirus adds to security threat by China

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Insignificant Never Trumpers have no reason to vote for Biden

Cal Thomas

Roger Stone finds Jesus

Robert Knight

Race hustlers take ‘diversity’ scam to new levels by enforcing leftist agenda

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this June 18, 2020, file photo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. The Abe government’s Defense White Paper 2020 highlights what are potential Chinese and … more >

Print

By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

TOKYO (AP) – China is pushing harder to make territorial claims in the regional seas and even using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence and take strategic superiority, posing a greater threat to Japan and the region, Japan’s government said.

The report highlighting the government’s defense priorities was adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on Tuesday, less than a day after the Trump administration rejected outright nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea in a statement likely to deepen the U.S.-China rift.

The Abe government’s Defense White Paper 2020 highlights what are potential Chinese and North Korean threats as Japan tries to further increase its defense capability. Under Abe, Japan has steadily increased its defense budget and capability and purchased costly American arsenals.

TOP STORIES

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Federal employees can support Black Lives Matter on the job, Office of Special Counsel rules

'We need to shut down': Texas Democrats call on Greg Abbott to issue stay-at-home order

Defense Minister Taro Kono recently scrapped the deployment of a pair of costly U.S. land-based missile intercepting systems due to technical issues, and Abe quickly announced his intention to revise Japan’s defense guidelines, possibly allowing Japan to go beyond its conventional defense-only role under the Japan-U.S. security alliance, including discussing a possibility of acquiring a preemptive strike capability.

The White Paper accused China of using propaganda, including spreading disinformation, about the spread of the coronavirus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may expose and intensify strategic competition among countries intending to create international and regional orders more preferable to themselves and to expand their influence,” the report said. “We need to closely watch their move with serious concern affecting the national security.”

As evidence, a Japanese Defense Ministry official noted that a Chinese Foreign Ministry official had posted on Twitter in March an accusation that the U.S. military had spread the coronavirus in Wuhan and that Chinese media have touted herbal medicine as effective COVID-19 treatments. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

The annual report said China has “relentlessly” pushed to “change the status quo” in the Asian seas, including sending 3,000-ton class government vessels into Japanese waters around Japan-controlled disputed East China Sea islands called Senkaku in Japanese. Beijing also claim the islands and call them Diaoyu.

China is also pursuing its unilateral attempt in the South China Sea even more aggressively and even expanding its area of activity into more distant seas, a concern shared by the international community, the report said. The South China Sea problem “directly affects peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“As China now boasts its capability and makes attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in many places, we must closely grasp what China’s intentions are,” Kono told a news conference Tuesday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Japan’s defense paper is full of prejudice and false information against China, and that it tried its best to hype the so-called “China threat.”

China has always firmly maintained its sovereignty, security and development interests. All attack or discredit on China are futile,” Zhao said. He urged Japan to stop deliberately intensifying tensions and get along with China.

The report also cited North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and other weapons programs.

The North is “relentlessly pursuing increasingly complex and diverse modes of attack and is steadily strengthening and improving its attack capabilities,” the report said. It said North Korea since May 2019 has launched three types of new short-range ballistic missiles that use solid fuel and fly at lower altitudes than their conventional missiles that can breach Japanese missile defense system.

As Japan’s relations with South Korea have plunged to their lowest levels recently over wartime history, export control and territorial issues, the report prompted Seoul to protest Japan’s claims over a set of small South Korea-controlled islets between the countries. The report mentions the islands as part of Japanese territories that remain unresolved.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kim In-chul issued a statement urging Tokyo to “immediately” remove such claims from the report, saying that the islets called Dokdo in the Koreas and Takeshima in Japan are South Korean territory by international law.

___

Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, and researcher Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

S Korea asks senior US envoy to try to revive N Korea talks

S Korea asks senior US envoy to try to revive N Korea talks

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being … Joe Biden

Scott Walker

How to fix the U.S. debt crisis

Cal Thomas

Democrats want to impose socialism, and worse, on America

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, left, walks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon after their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Biegun is in Seoul to hold talks with South Korean officials … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Thursday, July 9, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea on Thursday asked a visiting senior U.S. envoy to try to revive stalled nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, which has refused to resume talks because of what it calls hostile U.S. policies.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, the top U.S. official on North Korea, has been in Seoul for talks since Tuesday. He was to travel on to Japan later Thursday.

During a meeting with South Korea’s newly appointed presidential national security adviser, Suh Hoon, Biegun stressed the important of a resumption of talks between Washington and Pyongyang and agreed to maintain close coordination with Seoul, the presidential Blue House said in a statement.

TOP STORIES

Blackburn blasts Ilhan Omar, calls for resignation over her 'dismantling the whole system' remark

Ilhan Omar vows 'whole system' of U.S. economy must be gutted due to 'oppression'

Tucker Carlson dusts off 2013 clip of CNN's Don Lemon blasting 'thug' culture, 'absent fathers'

Suh appraised Biegun’s efforts to restart the U.S.-North Korean diplomacy and asked him to continue those efforts, the statement said.

After meeting with other Seoul officials on Wednesday, Biegun suggested that Washington remains open to talks with Pyongyang. But he also accused a senior North Korean nuclear negotiator who had blamed the deadlocked talks on American hostility of being “locked in an old way of thinking.” This indicated that Washington won’t likely make concessions to resume the talks despite the North’s pressure.

North Korea has previously demanded the U.S. lift international sanctions and provide security guarantee if it’s truly committed to talks.

The nuclear diplomacy has yielded little progress since the breakdown of a second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in early 2019. South Korea’s liberal government, which earlier facilitated the early parts of the nuclear diplomacy, has said it’ll push for the talks’ resumption to achieve a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

America groans under the weight of disunity

Everett Piper

Al Gore, U.N. secretary-general and other elitists call for a ‘great reset’ of the global economy

Robert Knight

Left-wing activist wants to replace ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Saturday reiterated it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” polices toward Pyongyang.

The statement by North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui came after President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York Thursday that Trump might seek another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an “October surprise” ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had lobbied hard to help set up the now-stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, also expressed hope that Trump and Kim would meet again before the election in a video conference with European leaders on Tuesday.

TOP STORIES

Antifa 'ringleader' arrested in attempted destruction of Andrew Jackson statue: 'They had acid'

Hydroxychloroquine is effective, 'helped save lives,' new peer-reviewed study finds

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Kim and Trump have met three times since embarking on their high-stakes nuclear diplomacy in 2018, but negotiations have faltered since their second summit in February last year in Vietnam, where the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capability.

Kim entered 2020 vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent in face of “gangster-like” U.S. sanctions and pressure. Choe’s statement followed a series of similar declarations by the North that it would no longer gift Trump with high-profile meetings he could boast of as his foreign policy achievements unless it gets something substantial in return.

“Is it possible to hold dialogue or have any dealings with the U.S. which persists in the hostile policy toward the DPRK in disregard of the agreements already made at the past summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We do not feel any need to sit face-to-face with the U.S., as it does not consider the DPRK-U.S. dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis,” she said.

Some analysts believe North Korea would avoid serious negotiations with the United States at least until the November presidential election as there’s a chance U.S. leadership could change.

Choe said the North has already established a “detailed strategic timetable” for managing what she described as U.S. threats.

“The U.S. is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us,” she said.

The North in recent months have also been ramping up pressure against South Korea, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatening to abandon a bilateral military agreement aimed at reducing tensions. It follows months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions and restart joint economic projects that would breathe life into the North’s broken economy.

The North’s state media on Friday said that Kim, while supervising a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Thursday, discussed “import issues related to the external affairs” but didn’t specify what they were.

South Korean police raid office of anti-North activist

South Korean police raid office of anti-North activist

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

Charles Hurt

The Democrats’ ‘Bonfire of Inanities’

Scott Walker

Ignorant rioters take violence to Madison and leftist Democrats do nothing

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

A banner with images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, the late leader Kim Il Sung, center, and Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of Kim Jong Un, released by Fighters For Free North Korea, is seen in … more >

Print

By HYUNG-JIN KIM

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea police on Friday raided the office of an activist whose anti-North Korea leafleting campaign has intensified tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Police said officers visited the Seoul office of Park Sang-hak to confiscate leaflets, account books and other related materials. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said that Park will be summoned soon for an investigation.

Park, a North Korean refugee who has launched balloons carrying propaganda leaflets toward North Korea for years, has been in the spotlight after North Korea abruptly used his campaign as a justification for a series of provocative steps against South Korea. Among them was blowing up an empty liaison office built by South Korea on the North’s territory.

TOP STORIES

'We are trained Marxists': Black Lives Matter co-founder featured in GOP ad

The Democrats' 'Bonfire of Inanities'

Washington governor announces misdemeanor charges for people who don't wear masks

South Korean officials later demanded police investigate Park for allegedly raising animosities with North Korea and potentially endangering residents living near the border.

Authorities in Gyeonggi province, which borders North Korea, requested a separate investigation of several activist groups, including Park’s, for alleged fraud, embezzlement and other charges over their donation activities.

Park said Monday that his leafleting was only aimed at informing North Korean residents of the truth about their government and that he would keep sending balloons to them.

The pressure on activists has led to criticism that the liberal government of President Moon Jae-in is sacrificing democratic principles to salvage its faltering efforts for reconciliation with North Korea. The governor of Gyeonggi province is affiliated with Moon’s ruling party.

A police agency official involved in the case said officers also raided the office of Park’s brother, Park Jung-oh, who has floated plastic bottles filled with rice toward North Korea across the sea boundary. The official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said police plan to summon Park Jung-oh too.

Voice of the Martyrs Korea, a Seoul-based Christian nonprofit group, said in a statement Friday that it flew four balloons carrying an unspecified number of Bibles toward North Korea on Thursday. Seoul’s Unification Ministry expressed regret over the activities and said authorities have already been investigating the organization over its past balloon launches.

Earlier this week, Park Sang-hak said his organization covertly launched huge balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets toward North Korea, despite the repeated warnings from both Koreas not to do so. The South Korean government expressed regret over Park’s activities, but it wasn’t independently confirmed whether all his balloons reached North Korean territory. One was later found in South Korea.

Tensions between the Koreas temporarily eased on Wednesday, when North Korea announced it would put off steps to avenge the South Korean leafleting, such as sending its own anti-Seoul flyers, resuming military exercises and reestablishing guard posts at the border in violation of 2018 agreements to reduce tensions.

Some experts say North Korea’s saber rattling is aimed at extracting outside concessions in the face of crippling U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea: John Bolton book could ‘severely damage’ negotiations with the North

South Korea: John Bolton book could ‘severely damage’ negotiations with the North

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

Toxic in Tulsa: Trump misses opportunity to heal and unify a divided nation

Richard W. Rahn

Google and NBC try to censor free speech with ad bans for The Federalist and Zero Hedge

Michael McKenna

U.S. treating China like Russia after the Cold War was a big mistake

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with top presidential advisers at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 15, 2020. (Lee Jin-wook/Yonhap via AP) ** FILE ** more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Monday, June 22, 2020

A top South Korean national security adviser on Monday said that John R. Bolton’s account of conversations between President Trump and the leaders of both North and South Korea in his upcoming book is “seriously distorted” and could damage progress made between the neighboring countries.

In his forthcoming book, “The Room Where it Happened,” Mr. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, alleges that South Korean President Moon Jae-in prioritized furthering his “unification” agenda and referred to his decisions with North Korea as “schizophrenic.” According to excerpts of the book, Mr. Bolton also claims that Mr. Moon insisted on accompanying Mr. Trump to his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un despite requests by the U.S. and the North for only its leaders to participate.

“Former adviser John Bolton describes negotiations between the leaders of Korea and the US, and North Korea and related situations from his point of view,” Chung Eui-yong, the head of South Korea’s National Security Office, said in a statement Monday.

SEE ALSO: North Korea reinstalling massive propaganda speakers along DMZ

“[The book] does not reflect accurate facts. Also, the truth is seriously distorted in large parts.”

While stopping short of naming specific inaccuracies in the book, Mr. Chung said he hopes the U.S. government will “take appropriate measures to prevent such a dangerous precedent.”

“Such inappropriate actions could seriously damage the efforts to strengthen the two countries’ security interests,” he continued. “Unilaterally publishing consultations made based on mutual trust violates the basic principles of diplomacy and could severely damage future negotiations.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have not met in person since a brief visit by the U.S. leader to the Korean demilitarized zone roughly a year ago, and few expect a major diplomatic breakthrough before the U.S. elections in November.

Denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang broke down early last year during a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim in Vietnam, after both sides seemingly had made progress on an agreement earlier.

Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim, meanwhile, participated in three rounds of summit talks in 2018. But the diplomacy has stalled since denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang also stalled.

The possibility of renewed dialogue has appeared particularly dim since March, when North Korea launched nine short-range ballistic missiles. On April 14, the North launched a number of cruise missiles, on the eve of parliamentary elections in South Korea.

Last week, the North blew up a joint liaison office with South Korea to dramatize crumbling bilateral relations.

However, South Korean officials have hinted in recent weeks that an inter-Korean summit is still possible this year despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Pyongyang has not reported a single confirmed case of COVID-19, despite sharing an 880-mile border with China, where the outbreak began.

Pompeo to meet top Chinese official in Hawaii amid tensions

Pompeo to meet top Chinese official in Hawaii amid tensions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Trump on renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate officers: No way!

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

FBI picked most outlandish anti-Trump dossier claims for official U.S.-Russia report

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Summer spike? Experts warn of ‘reverse’ seasonal effect on coronavirus

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Joseph Curl

Democrats can’t stand Americans protesting lockdown, but all in for rioting, looting

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

In a world of designer fake news, Donald Trump can do nothing right

Michael McKenna

Flight from Democratic stronghold cities accelerates

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump rally-goers in Tulsa wear face masks

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks as Attorney General William Barr listens, during a joint briefing, Thursday, June 11, 2020 at the State Department in Washington, on an executive order signed by President Donald Trump aimed at the International Criminal … more >

Print

By MATTHEW LEE

Associated Press

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is making a brief trip to Hawaii for closed-door talks with a senior Chinese official, as relations between the two nations have plummeted over numerous disputes.

The State Department said Pompeo and his deputy Stephen Biegun left Tuesday for Hawaii but offered no additional detail about his plans. People familiar with the trip said Pompeo and Biegun will meet on Wednesday with a Chinese delegation led by Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Communist Party’s top foreign affairs official.

The private discussions are set to take place at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu and will cover the wide range of issues that have set the world’s two largest economies on a collision path, according to the people familiar with the trip, who were not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

TOP STORIES

FBI picked most outlandish anti-Trump dossier claims for official U.S.-Russia report

Trump team should get 'a lot of credit' for fast coronavirus stimulus: CBO

Four St. Louis police officers charged with beating undercover colleague

Washington and Beijing are at odds over trade, China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, human rights, the status of Hong Kong and increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. China has become key element in the 2020 presidential campaign with President Donald Trump and his supporters seeking to make the administration’s tough stance with Beijing a main foreign policy selling point.

Last month, Trump and Pompeo announced that the U.S. would be rescinding special trade and economic privileges it had extended to Hong Kong after the former British territory reverted to Chinese control in 1997. The move was in response to Beijing’s decision to impose strict new national security laws limiting the right to free speech and assembly similar to those on the mainland.

And, since last year, both sides have ramped up hostile rhetoric against the other and taken reciprocal steps to expel journalists and restrict diplomats’ ability to travel.

The presence of Biegun, who is also the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, on the trip suggested that the stalemate in the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang would also be on the agenda.

Earlier Tuesday, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office building just north of the heavily armed border with South Korea, in a carefully choreographed, largely symbolic display of anger that puts pressure on Washington and Seoul as nuclear diplomacy remains deadlocked. The last face-to-face meeting between the two sides was in October outside Stockholm, Sweden.

In a brief statement acknowledging the destruction of the office, the State Department said “the United States fully supports the ROK’s efforts on inter-Korean relations and urges the DPRK to refrain from further counterproductive actions.” ROK refers to South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea, and DPRK is shorthand for the country’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The destruction came after the North marked the two-year anniversary of Trump’s first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week with defiant statements vowing never again to give the president anything he could present as a foreign policy success without significant concessions.

S Korea urges North to uphold deals amid rising animosities

S Korea urges North to uphold deals amid rising animosities

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

U.S. seeks role as China, India face off at border

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

Rod Rosenstein says he was led to believe the Carter Page FISA applications were accurate

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Antifa planned anti-government insurgency for months, law enforcement official says

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Evangelical pastors pander to radical Black Lives Matter

Cheryl K. Chumley

Seattle anarchists and their lunatic fringe list of demands

Charles Hurt

Trump and the riot of political plagues

View all

Question of the Day

Should Confederate names be taken off U.S. military bases?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this March 2, 2019, file photo, Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un … more >

Print

By HYUNG-JIN KIM

Associated Press

Saturday, June 13, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea on Sunday convened an emergency security meeting and urged North Korea to uphold reconciliation agreements, hours after the North threatened to demolish a liaison office and take military action against its rival.

There’s concern that North Korea could turn to provocation to bolster its internal unity and wrest outside concessions as nuclear talks with the United States remain deadlocked. Observers say North Korea desperately needs sanctions relief in the face of harsh U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea’s national security director, Chung Eui-yong, held an emergency video conference with ministers in charge of security and military generals on Sunday morning to discuss the latest situation on the Korean Peninsula and the government’s possible steps, the presidential Blue House said in a statement.

TOP STORIES

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Trump campaign says ticket requests for Oklahoma rally surpass 800,000

Ben Carson: Trump may address racial justice, civil unrest at Oklahoma rally

The Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, later said that both Koreas must strive to abide by all agreements they have reached. The Defense Ministry said separately it closely monitors North Korea’s military and maintains a firm military readiness.

Both ministries said the South Korean government “views the current situation as grave.”

On Saturday night, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warned that Seoul will soon witness “a tragic scene of the useless North-South liaison office (in North Korea) being completely collapsed.” She also said she would leave to North Korea’s military the right to take the next step of retaliation against South Korea.

North Korea earlier suspended communication lines with South Korea and threatened to nullify 2018 agreements that led the Koreas to halt firing exercises, remove some land mines and tear down guard posts in front-line areas.

The North has linked its recent series of threats to Seoul’s failure to prevent activists from launching propaganda leaflets across their border. But some experts say North Korea is deeply frustrated that South Korea hasn’t done enough to revive lucrative joint economic projects as well as over a lack of progress in its nuclear talks with Washington.

The negotiations have made little progress since a second summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in early 2019 fell apart because of disputes over how much sanctions should be lifted in return for Kim’s dismantling his main nuclear complex.

Kim later vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal, introduce a new strategic weapon and overcome the U.S.-led sanctions that he said “stifles” his country’s economy.

He also pushed South Korea to resume the operations of the two big inter-Korean projects – a factory park and a tourism site, both in North Korea – but South Korea was unable to do so due to the sanctions.

Kim’s struggle to address economic woes has likely faced setbacks as the coronavirus pandemic forced North Korea to close its border with China, its biggest trading partner. North Korea says it hasn’t reported a single outbreak but foreign experts question that claim and warn a pandemic in the North could be dire due to its fragile heath care system.

Some observers say the end of the 2018 deals could allow North Korea to send ships across the disputed sea boundary, float down mines on a border river or take other provocative steps at the border area. The South Korean Defense Ministry statement said the 2018 deals must be maintained to prevent accidental armed clashes and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

But it’s still unclear if the North would go ahead with its threat to destroy the liaison office, which was built at a North Korean border town following a 2018 summit between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Such a move could deepen anti-Pyongyang sentiments and make it difficult for the North to restore ties with South Korea when needed.

South Korea to charge defector groups over North leaflets

South Korea to charge defector groups over North leaflets

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

U.S. seeks role as China, India face off at border

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

Rod Rosenstein says he was led to believe the Carter Page FISA applications were accurate

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Antifa planned anti-government insurgency for months, law enforcement official says

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson

The bitter irony of COVID-19 and the George Floyd revolution

Cal Thomas

Eliminate police officers and who stops criminals?

Michael McKenna

Signs good in Montana for GOP keeping control of Senate

View all

Question of the Day

Was Gen. Mattis right to speak out about Trump's leadership?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

South Korea’s Unification Ministry’s spokesman Yoh Sang-key speaks during a briefing at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. South Korea’s government on Wednesday said it will sue two activist groups that have sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets … more >

Print

By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s government said Wednesday that it will press charges against two activist groups that have been floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets and bottles filled with rice to North Korea.

Any action against the groups is likely to trigger a debate over freedom of expression in South Korea, and whether President Moon Jae-in’s liberal government is sacrificing democratic principles to keep alive his ambitions for inter-Korean engagement.

The announcement by Seoul’s Unification Ministry came a day after North Korea said it was cutting off all communication channels with South Korea over its inability to prevent North Korean defectors and other activists from flying the leaflets across the border.

TOP STORIES

Seattle protesters demand city abolish police, hire black doctors to treat black patients

'Bigger than life': George Floyd known for big heart, good works, struggles with drugs, crime

Trump on renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate officers: No way!

One of the targeted defector-activists condemned what he described as a “treacherous” move by Seoul and vowed to launch even more leaflets across the border in coming weeks, using not only balloons but also drones.

Yoh Sang-key, the ministry’s spokesman, told reporters the two organizations facing charges had “created tensions between the South and North and brought danger to the lives and safety of (South Korean) residents in border areas.”

The ministry said last week that the government would push new laws to ban activists from flying the leaflets across the border, after the North threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if Seoul failed to prevent the protests.

Aside from severing government and military communication channels, the North also said it would permanently shut down a liaison office and a factory park in the border town of Kaesong, which have been major symbols of reconciliation.

For years, activists have floated huge balloons into North Korea carrying leaflets criticizing leader Kim Jong Un over his nuclear ambitions and dismal human rights record. The leafleting has sometimes triggered a furious response from North Korea, which bristles at any attempt to undermine its leadership.

In 2014, soldiers exchanged fire after South Korean activists released propaganda balloons across the Demilitarized Zone, but no casualties were reported.

While Seoul has sometimes sent police officers to block the activists during sensitive times, it had previously resisted North Korea’s calls to fully ban them, saying they were exercising their freedom.

Yoh said that the two groups, led by North Korean defector Park Sang-hak and his brother Park Jung-oh, violated a law governing inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation by sending unauthorized materials to the North. The ministry confirmed it was the first time the law, which is designed to prevent South Korean organizations from providing unauthorized goods to North Korea, was being used against defectors’ anti-Pyongyang activities.

Park Sang-hak’s Fighters for a Free North Korea has launched balloons with anti-Pyongyang leaflets for years. Park Jung-oh leads the group Keun Saem, which on Monday unsuccessfully tried to float rice-filled bottles into North Korea from a border town before being blocked by South Korean police.

“Since when has the Ministry of Unification become the ministry of treason?” Park Sang-hak told The Associated Press. “We will respond not with words but with action, by flying even more leaflets to North Korean people.”

Park said he will also try to use drones so that he “could drop the leaflets on Kim Jong Un’s head.” He didn’t say when the launches will happen, but that he was ready “whenever the winds are good.”

The ministry didn’t say whether it was planning to take similar legal action against another group led by Lee Min-bok, also a North Korean defector who has been flying leaflets into the North for years.

Experts say North Korea’s move to cut off communication channels was likely more than just about leafleting as it comes after months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions and resume inter-Korean economic projects that would breathe life into the North’s broken economy.

North Korea has suspended virtually all cooperation with South Korea in recent months amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations with Washington. The talks faltered last year with the Americans rejecting the North’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

South Korea’s government and military said officials tried to contact their North Korean counterparts via several channels after the North’s announcement on Tuesday but got no answer. Yoh said Wednesday his ministry will stop trying before the Koreas agree to resume the channels.

The liaison office in Kaesong has been closed since late January after the Koreas agreed to temporarily shut it until the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled.

North Korea lashes out, says it will cut ties with South Korea

North Korea lashes out, says it will cut ties with South Korea

Impatience over sanctions reflects stalled diplomacy

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

U.S. seeks role as China, India face off at border

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

Rod Rosenstein says he was led to believe the Carter Page FISA applications were accurate

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Antifa planned anti-government insurgency for months, law enforcement official says

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson

The bitter irony of COVID-19 and the George Floyd revolution

Cal Thomas

Eliminate police officers and who stops criminals?

Michael McKenna

Signs good in Montana for GOP keeping control of Senate

View all

Question of the Day

Was Gen. Mattis right to speak out about Trump's leadership?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this March 2, 2019, file photo, Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un attends a wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. North Korea has threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement … more >

Print

By Guy Taylor

The Washington Times

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

North Korea lashed out despite South Korea’s calls for new talks Tuesday, saying it was freezing all communication channels and vowing to treat Seoul as an “enemy” in what analysts say may be the opening of a belligerent wave of provocations from Pyongyang.

The assertiveness, a blow to the detente policy pursued by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, may be tied to the rise of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has been increasingly visible in Pyongyang since Mr. Kim’s roughly month-long disappearance from public view in April amid a suspected health scare.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Tuesday’s decision to sever all communications with Seoul was made by Kim Yo Jong in coordination with former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol, 72, a notoriously anti-Seoul hardliner in the Pyongyang hierarchy.

TOP STORIES

Trump on renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate officers: No way!

HBO Max pulls 'Gone With the Wind'

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Kim Yo Jong in recent days has threatened to permanently shut a liaison office established with Seoul and to shutter a joint factory park in the border town of Kaesong, symbols of reconciliation between the two countries. South Korean officials say the North refused to answer a daily call on the countries’ joint military hotline this week for the first time in two years.

Some experts say Kim Yo Jong, 32, is being given more power should her overweight, heart disease-prone older brother fall seriously ill or die suddenly.

“It seems like Kim Jong-un is placing some of the key levers of power in Kim Yo Jong’s hands,” David Maxwell, a retired U.S. Special Forces colonel and North Korea expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said in comments circulated to reporters this week. “Maybe she is being groomed for eventual leadership.”

The regime has clearly lost patience in recent weeks, claiming Seoul has failed — after nearly two years of U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks — to revive lucrative inter-Korean economic projects and to persuade the Trump administration to ease crippling sanctions on Pyongyang.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have not met in person since a brief visit by the U.S. leader to the Korean demilitarized zone nearly a year ago, and few expect a major diplomatic breakthrough before the U.S. elections in November.

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea warned Tuesday that “widespread food shortages and malnutrition” in North Korea has been exacerbated by economic sanctions.

However, Tuesday’s KCNA statement said the decision to freeze all cross-border communications was a response to what it said was the Moon government’s failure to halt South Korean activists from floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North.

“The South Korean authorities connived at the hostile acts against [North Korea] by the riff-raff, while trying to dodge heavy responsibility with nasty excuses,” said the statement, which specifically quoted Kim Yo Jong as referring to the leaflet activists as “human scum” and “mongrel dogs.”

The comments came despite recent overtures by South Korean officials, who have said recently that they hoped a peaceful inter-Korean diplomatic summit could be held with the North soon, even amid ongoing regional concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday’s KCNA statement ignored Seoul’s overtures, focusing instead on conservative South Korean activists — including many North Korean defectors in the South — who have for years floated balloons into the North with leaflets criticizing the Kim regime’s nuclear ambitions and human rights abuses.

The leaflet issue has been seized upon by the regime in the past as a pretext for expressing anger and discontentment over other matters.

“The North Koreans have been trying to find something they can use to express their dissatisfaction and distrust against South Korea,” Kim Dong-yub, an analyst from Seoul’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies, told The Associated Press. “They’ve now got the leaftleting issue, so I don’t think we can simply resolve [tensions] even if we address issues related to the leafleting.”

He added that Tuesday’s KCNA statement appeared also aimed at strengthening internal unity in Pyongyang and signaling the North’s resolve not to make concessions in any possible future nuclear talks.

Lauren Meier contributed to this story, which is based in part on wire service reports.

Hostel at North Korean embassy in Berlin closed for good

Hostel at North Korean embassy in Berlin closed for good

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Mueller prosecutor held secret meetings targeting Paul Manafort before Russia probe: IG

Quiz: Are you a war movie expert?

‘A fair chance’: Veterans blocked from civilian jobs by patchwork of red tape

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Rebel Democrats in battleground states could be good sign for Trump

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Liberal media takes ghoulish delight linking Trump to COVID-19 deaths

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden’s racism a Democratic Party tradition

Scott Walker

Vouchers, scholarships and tax credits will help low-income families implement school choice

View all

Question of the Day

Will you rush to eat at restaurants when they re-open?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, May 29, 2020

BERLIN (AP) – A hostel on the grounds of the North Korean embassy in Berlin accused of helping finance the East Asian country in violation of international sanctions has been closed, a city official said Friday.

Stephan von Dassel, the head of the central district that is home to the embassy and neighboring City Hostel Berlin, told the dpa news agency that an administrative court had rejected its final appeal against closure.

The hostel was said to have been a significant source of foreign income for North Korea – estimated at one point by city officials to have been 38,000 euros ($42,000) per month – in breach of U.N. Security Council sanctions and European Union regulations intended to stop the flow of hard currency to the country.

TOP STORIES

Asphyxiation not the cause of George Floyd's death: Autopsy

Amy Klobuchar missed chance to prosecute Minneapolis cop now at center of George Floyd death

Trump pulls U.S. out of World Health Organization, slaps penalties on China over Hong Kong action

The hostel’s operators claimed they stopped paying rent to the embassy in April 2017, but in January the administrative court rejected their bid to stop the closure, noting that an EU directive forbids any use of North Korean territory other than for diplomatic or consular purposes.

The appeal of that decision was rejected Thursday, von Dassel said.

“For us, the legal case is closed,” he said.

U.N. probe: Both Koreas violate armistice in gunfire exchange

U.N. probe: Both Koreas violate armistice in gunfire exchange

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Mueller prosecutor held secret meetings targeting Paul Manafort before Russia probe: IG

Quiz: Are you a war movie expert?

‘A fair chance’: Veterans blocked from civilian jobs by patchwork of red tape

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Rebel Democrats in battleground states could be good sign for Trump

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Joseph Curl

Joe Biden gets racist; Media immediately forgive, forget

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

The Wuhan virus mask war

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden — the perverted Magic Eight Ball that is always wrong

View all

Question of the Day

Would you undergo an elective surgery right now?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this May 3, 2020, file photo, military guard posts of North Korea, rear, and South Korea, bottom, are seen in Paju, at the border with North Korea, South Korea. A U.N. investigation into a recent exchange of gunfire between … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.N. investigation into a recent exchange of gunfire between the two Koreas has determined that both countries violated the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, the American-led U.N. Command said Tuesday.

The May 3 gunfire exchange was the first shooting inside the Korean Demilitarized Zone in about 2½ years. There were no known casualties on either side.

The DMZ, which was established as a buffer at the end of the Korean War, is a de facto border separating North and South Korea. It is officially jointly overseen by North Korea and the U.N. Command.

TOP STORIES

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

500 doctors tell Trump to end the coronavirus shutdown, say it will cause more deaths

Democratic clerk charged with altering nearly 200 midterm elections ballots

The U.N. Command said in a statement that a multinational special investigation team led the probe with the full cooperation of the South Korean military. It said it invited North Korea to provide information on the incident but the country hasn’t offered a formal response.

The investigation ruled that North Korea breached the armistice by firing four rounds and South Korea by returning fire, according to the statement. It said the investigation was unable to determine if the North Korean rounds were fired intentionally or by mistake.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry expressed regret that the U.N. Command reached the conclusion without investigating North Korea, which the South says fired first. In a statement, the ministry said South Korean troops were reacting in accordance with a response manual and that the South’s military is committed to government goals of promoting peace and easing tensions along the border.

South Korean officials earlier said they fired warning shots toward North Korea after four bullets fired by the North hit one of its front-line guard posts.

The U.N. Command said the terms of the armistice agreement are in place to minimize the risk of incidents such as gunfire exchanges.

Unlike its name, the DMZ is the world’s most heavily fortified border, guarded by mines, barbed wire fences and combat troops on both sides. Gunfire exchanges inside the DMZ are not unusual, but no deadly clashes have occurred in recent years. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.

The recent incident came amid a deadlock in negotiations between North Korean and U.S. officials on the North’s nuclear weapons program.

South Korea hints at possibility of Inter-Korean summit despite coronavirus fears

South Korea hints at possibility of Inter-Korean summit despite coronavirus fears

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

U.S. may benefit as grim spring undercuts Putin’s plans

Quiz: Can you pass a World War II history test?

First-term lawmakers face major challenges on Capitol Hill

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

New transcripts reveal Loretta Lynch uninformed as FBI targeted Trump’s campaign

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

Michael Flynn’s exoneration and fighting the ‘deep state’

Richard W. Rahn

Chinese Communist Party virus pushes American innovation and automation

Robert Knight

Racialist obsessions and Trump Derangement Syndrome void Pulitzers

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this April 27, 2018, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signs a guestbook next to his sister Kim Yo Jong, right, inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone. (Korea Summit Press … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Monday, May 11, 2020

A summit between North and South Korea this year is still possible despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, South Korea’s Blue House announced Monday.

Kang Min-seok, a spokesperson for President Moon Jae-in, told Yonhap News that it is too early to rule out that a fourth inter-Korean summit could take place sometime this year.

“Truly, it seems difficult at the moment, but we do not know what the variables will be in South-North relations,”he said in an interview. “So we need to watch [what will happen].”

TOP STORIES

Joe Scarborough apologizes to Ted Cruz after heated Twitter spat: 'I've got to do better'

Democratic strategist warns against 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' in 2020

Illinois governor: Coronavirus restrictions necessary 'until we're able to eradicate it'

North Korea has not reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19, despite sharing a border with China, where the outbreak began.

South Korea, with a population of 51.6 million, has reported 10,909 confirmed cases, 259 deaths and 9,632 recoveries.

Inter-Korean dialogue has been halted since March when North Korea launched nine short-range ballistic missiles. On April 14, the North launched a number of cruise missiles, on the eve of parliamentary elections in South Korea.

Since the failure of the Hanoi summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un in February 2019, there has been no meaningful dialogue with the North.

N. Korea accuses South of ‘reckless’ drills along sea border

N. Korea accuses South of ‘reckless’ drills along sea border

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Inflection point: China threatens to seize upper hand in global influence fight

Quiz: Can you guess the 1980s movie from its famous quote?

Pentagon official spoke regularly with Washington Post columnist, records show

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Southern Hemisphere offers ‘second wave’ preview

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

‘Demand Justice’ launches assault on Trump’s nominee for federal bench

Scott Walker

New hope: Latest generation more open to conservative ideas than older millennials

Daniel N. Hoffman

Lessons learned from the Steele dossier fiasco

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this May 3, 2020, file photo, a North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post in Paju, at the border with North Korea. North Korea on Friday, May 8, slammed South Korea for … more >

Print

By HYUNG-JIN KIM

Associated Press

Friday, May 8, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea threatened Friday to retaliate against South Korea for “reckless” military drills near their disputed sea boundary, but the South denied any training in the immediate area, the scene of several bloody naval skirmishes in recent years.

The wrangling came five days after South Korea accused the North of initiating an exchange of gunfire along their land border. No casualties were reported, but the incident was a reminder of persistent tensions on the peninsula.

North Korea’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces accused South Korea of mobilizing fighter jets and warships for drills on their western sea boundary on Wednesday.

TOP STORIES

Illinois governor a mind-boggling blot to religious freedom

GOP says House Democrats 'cowering' from coronavirus

Democratic lawyer took bogus Trump-Russian Alfa Bank conspiracy to CIA

“Such reckless move of the military warmongers of the south side is the height of the military confrontation,” it said in a statement carried by North Korean state media. “This is a grave provocation which can never be overlooked and this situation demands a necessary reaction from us.”

North Korea said the South Korean drills violated 2018 agreements that require both countries to halt firing exercises along their land and sea borders to lower front-line tensions.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the drills didn’t break the agreements because they took place in its western waters about 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the sea boundary. A ministry official, requesting anonymity because of department rules, said South Korea has been maintaining military readiness without violating the 2018 agreements.

On Sunday, South Korea said several bullets fired from North Korea struck one of its front-line guard posts and South Korean soldiers fired 20 warning shots in return. South Korea sent a message asking North Korea to explain the incident, but the North has yet to reply, the Defense Ministry said.

Relations between the two Koreas improved significantly in 2018 as their leaders held three rounds of talks. But much of the rapprochement stalled as broader diplomacy between North Korea and the United States came to a standstill because of disputes over the North’s nuclear disarmament.

The Koreas have been divided along the world’s most heavily fortified land border since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Their poorly marked western sea boundary witnessed naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009. Attacks blamed on North Korea in the area in 2010 killed 50 South Koreans – 46 on a warship and four on a border island.

The United States stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea.

South Korea protests border gunfire it says North started

South Korea protests border gunfire it says North started

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Inflection point: China threatens to seize upper hand in global influence fight

Quiz: Can you guess the 1980s movie from its famous quote?

Pentagon official spoke regularly with Washington Post columnist, records show

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Southern Hemisphere offers ‘second wave’ preview

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

Can Biden even win his party’s nomination?

Cheryl K. Chumley

COVID-19 threatens U.S. election integrity

Everett Piper

Freedom hangs in the balance during this election season

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Army soldiers walk up the stairs of their military guard post in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, Sunday, May 3, 2020. North and South Korean troops exchanged fire along their tense border on Sunday, the South’s … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Monday, May 4, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea said Monday it protested to North Korea over the exchange of gunfire inside their heavily fortified border that it says the North started.

South Korea said several bullets fired from North Korea hit one of its front-line guard posts on Sunday before South Korean troops fired 20 rounds of warning shots in response. It was the first shooting inside the Demilitarized Zone in about 2 ½ years, but there were no known casualties on either side, according to South Korean defense officials.

Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo told reporters Monday that South Korea sent a message of strong protest and urged North Korea to explain the shooting and avoid similar incidents. Choi said North Korea hasn’t responded to the message.

TOP STORIES

Churches, it's time to open, and open wide

Gretchen Whitmer: I 'really resent' questions about Biden sexual assault allegations

Trump suggests China let virus spread on purpose

The 248-kilometer (155-mile)-long Demilitarized Zone bisects the Korean Peninsula and is guarded by mines, barbed wire fences and combat troops on both sides. It was formed as a buffer after the end of the Korean War and officially is jointly overseen by North Korea and the American-led U.N. Command.

The U.N. Command said in a statement Monday that it was investigating if there was a violation of an armistice that ended the Korean War. South Korean military spokesman Kim Joon Rak declined to comment on the U.N. Command investigation.

The gunfire exchange happened two days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a public appearance that ended a three-week absence that prompted intense rumors about his health. It also came amid deadlocked U.S. diplomatic efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

South Korea’s military said Sunday that a preliminary analysis showed North Korea’s firing was probably not a calculated provocation. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said it was believed that North Korea’s firing was not intentional.

Some observers doubt it was accidental and said North Korea could plan more provocation to try to wrest diplomatic concessions.

North Korea, South Korea exchange gunfire after Kim Jong-un reemerges

Pompeo: ‘Accidental’ shots led to gunfire exchange between North, South Korea

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

Kim Jong-un theories mount as rumors swirl

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

MIT cancels China AI firm contract over human rights concerns

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

COVID-19 threatens U.S. election integrity

Everett Piper

Freedom hangs in the balance during this election season

Tony Perkins

DHS and DOJ uphold religious freedom during COVID-19 crisis

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this Friday, May 1, 2020, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, visits a fertilizer factory in South Pyongan, near Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim made his first public appearance in 20 days as … more >

Print

By Ben Wolfgang

The Washington Times

Updated: 5:08 p.m. on
Sunday, May 3, 2020

North and South Korean military forces traded gunfire Sunday in what U.S. officials believe started with an “accidental” shot from the northern side of the border, increasing tensions between the two nations just as reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emerged from a mysterious three-week absence from the world stage.

South Korean military leaders said the brief exchange began after North Korean forces fired several shots at a guard post across the Demilitarized Zone separating the two nations. South Korean troops then fired 20 rounds of warning shots before issuing a warning broadcast, officials in Seoul said.

While no one was injured, the incident cast a spotlight on the delicate situation along the border and served as a warning of how any miscalculation along the DMZ can quickly turn violent.

TOP STORIES

COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media

Navajo infections surge as Trump prepares to visit southwest

Deborah Birx: U.S. 'underestimated' asymptomatic spread of coronavirus early on

Trump administration officials say they believe the gunfire began with an accidental shot fired by North Korean forces. There were reports of heavy fog in the area at the time of the exchange, possibly contributing to the brief exchange.

“A handful of shots that came across from the north — we think those are accidental,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday ABC’s “This Week.” “South Koreans did return fire. So far as we can tell, there was no loss of life on either side.”

Sunday marked the first time the nations, which technically are still at war, fired on one another since November 2017, when North Korean forces shot at a defector fleeing across the border.

The latest incident came just a day after Mr. Kim reappeared in public after a nearly three-week absence that fueled speculation he was gravely ill or perhaps had died. His failure to appear at key public events, including an April 15 ceremony honoring the birthday of his late grandfather, Kim Il-sung, raised questions about whether the 36-year-old Mr. Kim had contracted COVID-19 or had undergone surgery for another health issue.

But North Korean media over the weekend showed images of Mr. Kim attending a ceremony to mark the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang, and U.S. officials later concluded that those images appeared to be genuine.

“It looks like Chairman Kim is alive and well,” Mr. Pompeo said.

President Trump, who has met with Mr. Kim several times amid his administration’s ongoing push for a denuclearization deal on the Korean Peninsula, shared the North Korean photos on his Twitter feed Saturday.

“I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Earlier last week, Mr. Trump suggested to reporters that he knew the reasons for Mr. Kim’s sudden disappearance, though he offered no details.

“I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now,” Mr. Trump said. “I hope he’s fine. I do know how he’s doing, relatively speaking. We will see. You’ll probably be hearing in the not-too-distant future.”

Denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang broke down early last year during a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim in Vietnam, after both sides seemingly had made progress on an agreement earlier.

Pyongyang insisted that the U.S. begin lifting sanctions before North Korea would begin to dismantle its nuclear program; the White House stood firm that economic relief would come only after verifiable steps toward denuclearization.

North Korea earlier this year conducted several provocative missile tests, though they garnered relatively little attention as the U.S. and other world governments focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

North and South Korean troops exchange fire along border

North and South Korean troops exchange fire along border

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

Kim Jong-un theories mount as rumors swirl

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

MIT cancels China AI firm contract over human rights concerns

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

COVID-19 threatens U.S. election integrity

Everett Piper

Freedom hangs in the balance during this election season

Tony Perkins

DHS and DOJ uphold religious freedom during COVID-19 crisis

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea. The Joint Chiefs of Staffs in Seoul said that North Korean troops … more >

Print

By HYUNG-JIN KIM

Associated Press

Saturday, May 2, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North and South Korean troops exchanged fire along their tense border on Sunday, the South’s military said, the first such incident since the rivals took unprecedented steps to lower front-line animosities in late 2018.

Violent confrontations have occasionally occurred along the border, the world’s most heavily fortified. While Sunday’s incident is a reminder of persistent tensions, it didn’t cause any known casualties on either side and is unlikely to escalate, observers said.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said in a statement that North Korean troops fired several bullets at a South Korean guard post inside the border zone. South Korea responded with a total of 20 rounds of warning shots on two occasions before issuing a warning broadcast, it said.

TOP STORIES

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Navajo infections surge as Trump prepares to visit southwest

COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media

South Korea suffered no casualties, the military said. Defense officials said it’s also unlikely that North Korea had any casualties, since the South Korean warning shots were fired at uninhibited North Korean territory. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, did not immediately report about the incident.

A preliminary South Korean analysis showed that North Korea’s firing was probably not a calculated provocation, though Seoul will continue examining whether there was any motivation for the action, a South Korean defense official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said it was believed that North Korea’s firing was not intentional.

“We think those are accidental,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “South Koreans did return fire. So far as we can tell, there was no loss of life on either side.”

Farming activities around the North Korean area where the firing occurred continued throughout Sunday and North Korea’s military didn’t display any other suspicious activities after the gunfire, the South Korean defense official said. He said there was thick fog in the area at the time of the incident.

Later Sunday, South Korea sent a message to North Korea to try to avoid an escalation, but the North did not immediately reply, according to South Korea’s military.

The exchange of fire came a day after North Korea broadcast video of its leader, Kim Jong Un, reappearing in public after a 20-day absence amid intense speculation about his health.

KCNA said Kim attended Friday’s ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang along with senior officials. State TV showed Kim smiling and walking around factory facilities.

Kim earlier vanished from the public eye after presiding over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on April 11 to discuss the coronavirus. Speculation about his health began swirling after he missed an April 15 event commemorating the birthday of his grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung, something he had never done since inheriting power upon his father Kim Jong Il’s death in late 2011.

The Korean Peninsula remains split along the 248-kilometer (155-mile) -long, 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide border called the Demilitarized Zone. It was originally created as a buffer after the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. But unlike its name, an estimated 2 million mines are peppered inside and near the DMZ, which is also guarded by barbed wire fences, tank traps and combat troops on both sides.

Under a set of agreements to reduce border tensions reached in September 2018, the two Koreas destroyed some of their front-line guard posts and began removing mines from the DMZ later that year. But the efforts stalled amid a deadlock in negotiations between Kim and President Donald Trump meant to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. The diplomacy hasn’t made any headway since the second Kim-Trump summit in Vietnam in early 2019 broke down due to disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea.

Earlier this year, North Korea carried out a slew of missile and other weapons tests, but they were short-range and none posed a direct threat to the U.S. mainland.

The last time there was gunfire along the Korea border was in November 2017, when North Korean soldiers sprayed bullets at a colleague fleeing to South Korea. The defector was hit five times, but survived and is now living in South Korea. South Korea didn’t return fire.

Previously, the two Koreas traded gunfire along the DMZ numerous times, but no deadly clashes have occurred in recent years. A 2015 land mine blast that maimed two South Korean soldiers pushed the Koreas to the brink of an armed conflict. South Korea blamed North Korea for the explosion.

Kim Jong-un makes first public appearance in three weeks; Trump has no comment

Kim Jong-un makes first public appearance in three weeks; Trump has no comment

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

Kim Jong-un theories mount as rumors swirl

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

MIT cancels China AI firm contract over human rights concerns

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

COVID-19 threatens U.S. election integrity

Everett Piper

Freedom hangs in the balance during this election season

Tony Perkins

DHS and DOJ uphold religious freedom during COVID-19 crisis

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this Friday, May 1, 2020, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, visits a fertilizer factory in South Pyongan, near Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim made his first public appearance in 20 days as … more >

Print

By Dave Boyer

The Washington Times

Friday, May 1, 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance in 20 days on Friday, and President Trump didn’t want to discuss it with reporters.

“I’d rather not comment on it yet,” Mr. Trump said as he departed the White House Friday afternoon for a working weekend at Camp David. “We’ll have something to say about it at the appropriate time.”

Mr. Kim, who was rumored to be near death or dead, made a public appearance at the opening of a fertilizer factor Friday, according to state media and Korean Central Radio.

TOP STORIES

Forced face masking is a civil rights offense

Democrats' moral compass broken beyond repair

Gretchen Whitmer: I 'really resent' questions about Biden sexual assault allegations

The 36-year-old didn’t attend public celebrations of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15, leading to speculation that he was gravely ill.

Outsiders consider possibility of chaos in North Korea

Outsiders consider possibility of chaos in North Korea

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

Kim Jong-un theories mount as rumors swirl

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

MIT cancels China AI firm contract over human rights concerns

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

States mismanaged by Dems shouldn’t get a bailout because of a global pandemic

Cheryl K. Chumley

YouTube yanks doctors’ warning of constitutional crisis of COVID-19

Victor Davis Hanson

Joe Biden’s choice of a non-leftist running mate critical to winning the presidency

View all

Question of the Day

Would you go to a sporting event this summer or fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly — for … more >

Print

By Foster Klug

Associated Press

Thursday, April 30, 2020

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly — for decades.

Some said it would happen after fighting ended in the Korean War in 1953. Others thought it would be during a 1990s famine or when national founder Kim Il Sung died in 1994. And when the death of his son, Kim Jong Il, thrust a little-known 20-something into power in 2011 some felt the end was near.

It’s no surprise then that recent rumors that leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill have led to similar hand-wringing.

TOP STORIES

Biden appears to fall asleep during town hall with Hillary Clinton

COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media

How disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok re-opened Michael Flynn probe

South Korea believes that Kim is alive and in control, and most analysts agree that even if he weren’t, Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, would likely take control, possibly with the help of select officials.

Many experts say North Korea would weather the transition just as it has every other upheaval.

But what if it didn’t? Here’s a look at how other nations might deal with a catastrophe in North Korea.

___

THE UNITED STATES

If the government in Pyongyang should collapse, a U.S.-South Korean contingency plan called OPLAN 5029 would reportedly come into play.

The plan is meant to secure the border and North Korea’s nuclear weapons if the government can’t function or if control of those weapons becomes uncertain.

“The million-dollar question is: When do you invoke the OPLAN and what indicators do you rely on to do so? Because one country’s ‘securing the country’ operation can look to the other nation like an ‘invasion plan.’ And then all hell can break loose,” said Vipin Narang, a North Korea nuclear specialist at MIT.

The biggest U.S. worry is North Korea’s nuclear stockpile being used, stolen or sold.

“If the U.S. does not have plans to go in and secure and retrieve North Korean nukes – to the extent we know where they are – then we are not doing our job,” said Ralph Cossa, president emeritus of the Pacific Forum think tank in Hawaii. “Beyond that, it makes little sense for the U.S and/or South Korea to get involved in internal North Korean power struggles.”

The danger of a U.S. misstep during a collapse would be huge. Among the potential problems would be coordinating with South Korea’s military at a time when Chinese troops would also likely be operating in the North and funding immense military and humanitarian efforts.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently, when asked about Kim’s health, that Washington will continue to pursue complete denuclearization, “regardless of what transpires inside of North Korea with respect to their leadership.”

___

CHINA

China is the North’s main source of aid and diplomatic backing and considers political stability in its impoverished neighbor crucial to its own security.

Although China has agreed to United Nations sanctions over the North’s weapons programs, it’s wary of anything that would collapse the economy or unseat the ruling party and potentially unleash conflict on its border and a flood of refugees crossing over.

China in recent years has reinforced its border defenses with the North. But many people living on the Chinese side of the border are ethnically Korean, increasing fears of instability or even territorial loss if the border was opened.

China’s biggest concern, however, is thought to be the prospect of American and South Korean troops operating along its border, a worry that prompted China to enter the Korean War 70 years ago.

A change in leadership in North Korea, however, would be unlikely to bring about major changes to the relationship, said Lu Chao, a professor at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in China.

___

SOUTH KOREA

Aside from joint plans with the U.S. military, internal South Korean preparations for a North Korean collapse reportedly deal with how to shelter an influx of refugees and how to set up an emergency administrative headquarters in the North.

According to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, then senior South Korean presidential adviser Kim Sung-hwan told a top U.S. diplomat in 2009 that South Korea’s constitution states that North Korea is part of South Korean territory and that “some scholars believe that if the North collapses, some type of ‘interim entity’ will have to be created to provide local governing and control travel of North Korean citizens.”

When asked recently about contingency plans, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it “prepares for all possibilities.”

One big problem is that unlike China, South Korea cannot mobilize the large number of soldiers needed to stabilize North Korea.

“If the North Korean regime is on the brink of collapse, China will most likely send troops to its ally and establish a pro-Beijing regime in the country,” South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said in a recent editorial. “Seoul must do its best to minimize China’s intervention in the North based on the solid alliance with” Washington.

___

AP correspondent Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.

Kim Jong-un could be isolated due to coronavirus fears, say South Korean officials

Kim Jong-un could be isolated due to coronavirus fears, say South Korean officials

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

Kim Jong-un theories mount as rumors swirl

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

MIT cancels China AI firm contract over human rights concerns

SPONSORED CONTENT

How to Retire Starting with $20

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

To win the election Trump will have to maul the Chinese, Democrats and Joe Biden

Jerry Falwell Jr.

Liberal media smears against Liberty University show dire need for impartial reporting

Charles Hurt

Dictator Trump, enemy of the press, hurt by openness to press

View all

Question of the Day

Should the U.S. open back up for business

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this undated file photo provided by the North Korean government on April 12, 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects an air defense unit in the western area of North Korea. Kim Jong-un’s two-week absence from public view has … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It is possible that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been out of public sight in an effort to protect himself against the coronavirus, South Korean officials said Tuesday.

Reports that Mr. Kim could be gravely ill after undergoing cardiovascular surgery have surged since April 15, following his surprising absence from festivities that day celebrating the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, founder of the family’s communist dynasty and dictatorship.

“It is true that he had never missed the anniversary for Kim Il-sung’s birthday since he took power, but many anniversary events including celebrations and a banquet had been canceled because of coronavirus concerns,” South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said during a parliament hearing.

TOP STORIES

Firm tests UV light treatment that Trump was mocked for mentioning

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Illinois governor exceeded authority with stay-at-home order, judge rules

Officials in South Korea have repeatedly cautioned against reports that Mr. Kim is ill and say they have not seen new or unusual movements within the isolated country.

U.S. and regional intelligence sources over the weekend rejected speculative international media reports regarding Mr. Kim’s health condition, including a rising number that claim he is dead.

The unification minister cautioned that it would not be “particularly unusual” for the 36-year-old to remain isolated amid the coronavirus pandemic, which experts have warned could hit North Korea particularly hard.

However, North Korea has not reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, despite its shared border with China.

China sends team of medical experts to advise on condition of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un: Report

China sends team of medical experts to advise on Kim Jong-un’s condition: Report

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Coronavirus likely to transform world far more than 1918 flu pandemic

Quiz: Do you remember “The Wizard of Oz” movie?

Trump’s reelection hopes likely hinge on coronavirus rebound

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Miss baseball? Revisit the top 10 Nationals moments of the past year

SPONSORED CONTENT

How to Retire Starting with $20

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

AOC and her communist buddies embrace a COVID-19 world

Cheryl K. Chumley

Founding Fathers rolling in graves at the COVID-19 constitutional crisis

Everett Piper

Despotic Oklahoma mayor bans fishing and visits to grandma during COVID-19 crisis

View all

Question of the Day

Should the U.S. open back up for business

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this April 27, 2018, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signs a guestbook next to his sister Kim Yo Jong, right, inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone. (Korea Summit Press … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Saturday, April 25, 2020

China on Friday sent a team of experts, including several medical professionals, to North Korea to provide guidance on the health condition of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Reports surfaced last week that the secretive Mr. Kim was gravely ill following emergency heart surgery.

The Chinese delegation, led by a senior member of China’s International Liaison Department, the agency that handles relations with their southeast neighbor, left for North Korea on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the trip.

TOP STORIES

Flynn attorney claims client was 'framed' by FBI, has evidence to prove it

Anthony Fauci has a mad scientist vision to track, surveil American citizens

Patricia Heaton asks why 'any civilized person' would support the Democratic Party

Speculation of Mr. Kim’s condition has mounted since his surgery.

A senior official told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency last week the report was simply “not true,” and Kang Min-seok, a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said there had been “no unusual signs have been identified inside North Korea.”

Trump administration officials have said only that Washington continues to monitor the reports, while analysts noted that speculation tends to swirl about North Korea because of its notoriously authoritarian controls on information — especially regarding the ruling Kim family.

Officials and experts alike have cautioned the health of the 36-year-old North Korean leader, who is known to have prior medical conditions, could be precarious.

The South Korean internet news outlet Daily NK, which focuses on news about North Korea, first reported that Mr. Kim had undergone surgery at Hyangsan Medical Center, said to be an exclusive hospital for the Kim family. The surgery was performed by a team of the country’s top doctors, who had traveled to Pyongyang for the procedure, the outlet said, citing only an unnamed source inside North Korea.

Despite pandemic, global geopolitical currents stay strong

Despite pandemic, global geopolitical currents stay strong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Coronavirus likely to transform world far more than 1918 flu pandemic

Quiz: Do you remember “The Wizard of Oz” movie?

Trump’s reelection hopes likely hinge on coronavirus rebound

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Miss baseball? Revisit the top 10 Nationals moments of the past year

SPONSORED CONTENT

How to Retire Starting with $20

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Despotic Oklahoma mayor bans fishing and visits to grandma during COVID-19 crisis

Charles Hurt

Bill Barr just the man to fight the Chinese Communist Party virus

Scott Walker

Surveying what’s right and wrong in America during COVID-19 pandemic

View all

Question of the Day

Should the U.S. open back up for business

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this photo released Wednesday, April 22, 2020, by Sepahnews, an Iranian rocket carrying a satellite is launched from an undisclosed site believed to be in Iran’s Semnan province. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday it put the Islamic Republic’s first … more >

Print

By TAMER FAKAHANY

Associated Press

Friday, April 24, 2020

Pandemic or not, are there some global currents whose flows are too strong to stop? This week would suggest yes.

Most countries in the world have been consumed with how to contain the coronavirus, including hard-hit Iran and its enemy, Israel. North Korea has closed the country to foreign travel while it claims no infections – something that defectors and experts have strong reason to doubt.

The three nations have been recurring geopolitical pressure points for decades, be it because of conflict erupting or unexpected diplomacy flowering. Recent days have been no exception.

TOP STORIES

Michigan Democrat faces censure vote over support for Trump, hydroxychloroquine

Flynn attorney claims his client was 'framed' by FBI, has evidence to prove it

Patricia Heaton asks why 'any civilized person' would support the Democratic Party

When Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump gripped and grinned for the first time in Singapore two years ago, the world stopped and watched the jaw-dropping moment. Three summits later, progress on nuclear issues and lifting sanctions has stagnated. Now, the most pressing questions this week have become: Where is Kim, and what’s the status of his health?

When the United States killed Iran’s most senior military man, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as the year dawned, some wondered if global conflict was just around the corner. It was averted, but not without a death toll also claiming civilians on an accidentally downed airliner.

But tensions between Tehran (suffering the outbreak acutely atop an economy already broken by sanctions) and Washington (itself dealing with the most virus infections and deaths in the world), have become febrile again this week. The rhetoric of threat and counter-threat is back.

And when Trump backed Benjamin Netanyahu over annexation of the West Bank earlier this year, delighting the Israeli leader’s pro-settler base, many considered it to be the final death knell for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Israel had been beset by political paralysis for 16 months until a unity government was agreed this week by once sparring rivals, bringing the push for annexation back to the fore as calls for political unity to fight the pandemic promptly faded.

That these long-running tensions still exist is not a surprise amid the pandemic, said Ariane Tabatabai, a Middle East fellow who studies Iran at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund.

“Once a crisis begins,” Tabatabai said, “it’s not going to stop unless the different parties have the political will to put an end to it. And something with deep national- and international-level implications will inevitably further exacerbate existing issues.”

Some of what’s percolating:

WHERE IS KIM JONG UN?

After a frenzy of unsubstantiated news reports earlier this week that painted a grave picture, South Korea said the North Korean leader appeared to be handling state affairs as usual after rumored surgery. Where? At an unspecified location outside of Pyongyang, with some close confidants, Seoul said. Washington said it was closely monitoring the situation but professed to have no hard intelligence. North Korea watchers saw red flags when Kim missed the celebration of his late grandfather Kim Il Sung on April 15, the country’s most important holiday. His last public appearance was April 11 at a political meeting where his sister Kim Yo Jong was named as an alternate member of the body. Bloodline is a central fact of ruling North Korea, and Kim’s seeming absence has fueled talk of succession. The Kim dynasty has ruled for seven decades.

VIRUS-HIT IRAN FLEXES ITS MILITARY MUSCLE

The Revolutionary Guard caught world powers by surprise this week when they launched a military satellite as part of a secret space program as Trump threatened to sink any Iranian vessel harassing U.S. forces. Iran has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the virus. Experts both inside and outside of Iran believe Tehran also is underreporting the scale of the crisis. “Iran, of course, has seized the opportunity presented by COVID-19, which is what’s preoccupying Americans at the moment,” Tabatabai said. “In part, it’s trying to distract from its own botched response to the pandemic and partly, it sees the United States at its weakest in a while and so it’s using this to raise the cost of the maximum pressure campaign to force the U.S. to end it.”

ISRAEL EYES ANNEXATION OF OCCUPIED WEST BANK

‘’Bribery suspect Netanyahu and vote thief Gantz form an alliance of scoundrels,” one headline in the Israeli daily Haaretz offered this week, referring to the prime minister and his onetime chief rival’s power-sharing agreement . A critical litmus test for the alliance will be the annexation of large parts of the West Bank. Such a move would destroy hopes of creating an independent Palestinian state and draw widespread international condemnation. Although their government is to focus on coronavirus issues for its first six months, Netanyahu persuaded Benny Gantz to allow him to raise annexation plans in the Cabinet from July 1.

___

Tamer Fakahany is AP’s deputy director for global news coordination and has helped direct international coverage for the AP for 17 years. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tamerfakahany. Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai contributed to this report.

North Korea fires barrage of missiles from ground and air

North Korea fires barrage of missiles from ground and air

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Greatest fear’: Chicago hides names of released prisoners from police

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

FBI used Russian disinformation to launch investigation into Trump, audit finds

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Milestones unmarked: Pandemic shutters WWII commemorations

SPONSORED CONTENT

How to Retire Starting with $20

SPONSORED CONTENT

Heart Surgeon: Throw Out Your Olive Oil Now (Here’s Why)

Commentary

Rick Warren

Keeping the faith during COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons from Easter 2020

Charles Hurt

Adam Schiff and his impeachment fairies go full Wuhan …

Richard W. Rahn

Stop the COVID-19 shutdown madness

View all

Question of the Day

Do you think President Trump should order a nationwide quarantine?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

This Aug. 29, 2017, file photo distributed on Aug. 30, 2017, by the North Korean government shows what was said to be the test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile in Pyongyang, North Korea. South Korea says North Korea has … more >

Print

By Hyung-jin Kim

Associated Press

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A barrage of North Korean missiles fired from both the ground and fighter jets splashed down on the waters off the country’s east coast on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, a major show of force on the eve of a key state anniversary in the North and parliamentary elections in the rival South.

The back-to-back launches were the most high-profile among a series of weapons tests that North Korea has conducted recently amid stalled nuclear talks and outside worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country.

North Korean troops based in the eastern coastal city of Munchon first launched several projectiles — presumed to be cruise missiles — on Tuesday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

TOP STORIES

Chris Cuomo rethinks CNN gig after coronavirus diagnosis: 'I don't like what I do professionally'

Trump considering second round of direct payments to Americans

Coronavirus case and death counts in U.S. ridiculously low

The weapons flew more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the North’s east coast, a South Korean defense official said. If confirmed, it would be the North’s first cruise missile launch since June 2017, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

Later Tuesday, North Korea launched several Sukhoi-class fighter jets that fired an unspecified number of air-to-surface missiles toward the North’s eastern waters, the defense official said.

The official said North Korea has recently appeared to be resuming its military drills that it had scaled back due to concerns about the cornovirus pandemic. He said other North Korean fighter jets also flew on patrol near the border with China on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, North Korea has test-launched a variety of missiles and other weapons amid deadlocked nuclear negotiations with the United States.

Tuesday’s launches came a day before North Korea marks the 108th birthday of North Korea’s late founder, Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un. They also came a day ahead of South Korean parliamentary elections.

It’s unusual for North Korea to launch cruise missiles. Most of the weapons it had tested recently were ballistic missiles or long-range artillery shells. Some experts say North Korean cruise missiles target U.S. naval assets that would be be reinforced in the event of an armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

All the recently tested missiles were short-range and didn’t pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland. A test of a missile capable of reaching the U.S. homeland would end North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on major weapons tests and likely completely derail nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

Some experts say North Korea likely used the latest weapons launches to bolster its striking capability against South Korea, which has been introducing U.S.-made stealth F-35 jets and other sophisticated conventional weapons systems in recent years. Others say the latest weapons tests were also aimed at shoring up internal unity in the face of U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

North Korea has repeatedly said there has been no coronavirus outbreak on its soil. But many foreign experts are skeptical of that claim and have warned that a coronavirus outbreak in the North could become a humanitarian disaster because of the country’s chronic lack of medical supplies and fragile health care infrastructure.