North Korean police and other officials prey on women with near-total impunity, a human rights group said on Thursday, in a rare report into sexual abuse in the isolated nation.
The US-based organisation Human Rights Watch drew on interviews with more than 50 North Korean escapees to chronicle gruesome details of rape and other abuses perpetrated by security officers such as border guards, and in some cases civilian officials.
And rainbows appeared when Kim Jong-Il was born:
Scholars say the chances that Dangun actually existed are close to zero.
According to Korean legend, Dangun was the son of a god who wanted to be a man, and a bear who wanted to be a woman.
“Dangun is a myth,” said Yeungnam University archaeologist Lee Chung Kyu.
North Korea’s founders originally disdained the story of Dangun as superstition incompatible with their ostensibly socialist ideology.
However, officials have since gone to great lengths to capitalize on the mythology and cement the ruling Kim family’s claim to Dangun’s legacy.
Official North Korean narratives have claimed Mount Paektu as the “sacred mountain of revolution” and assert that Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, was born on its slopes. Many historians place his actual birthplace in the former Soviet Union.
In the mid-1990s, North Korean authorities announced they had discovered the tomb of Dangun and his wife just outside Pyongyang, going so far as to “reconstruct” a white stone pyramid flanked by rough-hewn obelisks and statues of ancient princes and snarling beasts.
At the time, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung said constructing the mausoleum was designed to demonstrate “that Korea has a history spanning 5,000 years, that the Koreans are a homogeneous nation of the same blood since their emergence,” according to a state media article from 2015.
For 100 euros each, or about $115, tourists can peek inside a glass box containing what the North Koreans say are the bones of Dangun and his wife.
The high price and a reputation as an underwhelming experience mean few visitors pay to see the bones, Western tour guides say.
It would be hilarious if Pope Francis surprises them with a Pope John Paul II surprise:
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Friday expressed hope that Pope Francis’ potential visit to North Korea will help speed up denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The pope effectively accepted an invitation to visit North Korea on Thursday when President Moon Jae-in relayed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s verbal invitation. Pope Francis said if the North sends an official invitation, he will “certainly” respond to it.
“The pope’s possible visit to North Korea indicates the international community’s support for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Hong Young-pyo, the DP’s floor leader, said at a meeting with senior party members.
“If realized, his trip will be momentum to induce the North toward the path to denuclearization,” he said. “We need a flexible approach to elicit (Pyongyang’s) denuclearization.”
The North’s leader expressed his willingness to invite the pope to his country during his third and latest summit with Moon in Pyongyang last month, according to Moon’s office.
No pope has ever visited North Korea.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested this week that if President Donald Trump were to win the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, the unhinged left would react in rather unhealthy ways, to put it lightly.
Ri Yong-ho told the UN General Assembly the sanctions were deepening North Korean mistrust of the US.
Pyongyang has repeatedly appealed for UN and US sanctions to be lifted and has support from Russia and China.
But the Trump Administration has said that sanctions should stay in place until North Korea denuclearises.
Kim Jong Un assembled a reported 100,000 people, many waving his North Korean flag or the blue-and-white unification standard, to greet Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, as he arrived in Pyongyang on September 18.
President Moon did not seem to mind that no one was holding the symbol of his country, the Republic of Korea. “What was glaringly missing was the South Korean flag,” Taro O of the Pacific Forum told Gatestone in e-mailed comments. “Maybe South Korean people take comfort in seeing that Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong wore the South Korean flag badge on the lapel of his jacket while in North Korea. No one in the Moon administration did.”
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
That’s Shakespeare again, supplying us in elegant, precise and frequently beautiful language, the exact “headline” for almost every human situation. It is one of the miracle features of his writing that phrases, lines, even whole speeches, work both in the plays and own a second, independent life — as poetry, as wisdom — outside them. Proven, once again, at least for me this week when viewing film or pictures of the extravagantly moving reunion of some 200 North and South Korean families. Mothers meeting daughters, sisters their brothers, grandfathers and grandmothers embracing (hitherto) unseen grandchildren: the images were a gallery of untellable pathos.
North Korea has taken the first steps towards honouring its commitment to nuclear disarmament by starting to dismantle its main missile-engine test site, according to an analysis of satellite images.
The findings have not yet received official backing from the US or South Korean governments, even though the dismantling would be a huge boost for Donald Trump’s claim that he was right to engage with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, at a historic summit in Singapore in June.
Mike Pompeo hit back at North Korean accusations of “gangster-like” behaviour on Sunday and said sanctions on Pyongyang would only be lifted with “final” denuclearisation.
Speaking in Tokyo after two days of intense discussions in Pyongyang, the US Secretary of State insisted the talks were making progress and were being conducted in “good faith.”
In stark contrast, Pyongyang’s take was overwhelmingly negative, with the North warning that the future of the peace process was being jeopardised by overbearing US demands for its unilateral nuclear disarmament.
North Korea has accused the US of using “gangster-like” tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks.
It branded the US attitude at the meeting as “extremely troubling”.
The statement, by an unnamed foreign ministry official, gave a starkly different account from one provided by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just hours before.
He had said progress was made during his two-day visit to Pyongyang.
It is the first time he has visited North Korea since a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
US intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months and may try to hide these while seeking concessions in nuclear talks with the United States, NBC news quoted US officials as saying.
Bear in mind it’s MSNBC quoting “sources”.
Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp says he is unsure that President Donald Trump has the discipline to maintain a peace deal with North Korea, but notes that his opponents would rather face nuclear war than give him credit.
‘We don’t know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home,’ Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.
As President Donald Trump begins an unprecedented relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, serious questions have been raised as to how the regime’s record of crimes against humanity could be overlooked.
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took steps toward decreasing tensions on the Korean peninsula, in a joint statement signed by the two leaders Tuesday.
The text of the agreement was seen by reporters before its official release by the White House after Trump held it up during a joint signing ceremony with Kim Jong Un. The text of the agreement notes first that “the United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.”