Category Archives: North Korea

North Korea’s prison camps: What put Otto Warmbier into a coma?

The brutality of the North Korean regime was once again cast into the international spotlight following the death of 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier last week.

While the brutal conditions inside North Korea’s prison camps and detention centres are well documented, less is known about how the American came to be in a coma in the first place.

However a 2012 video could provide some clue as to how North Korea treats its detainees and prisoners.

Related: Professor who criticized Otto Warmbier gets canned

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Father of comatose student freed by North Korea slams Obama

The father of the American student left comatose after 18 months in a North Korean prison has criticized former President Barack Obama for not doing enough to free his son.

“The question is, ‘Do I think the past administration could have done more?’ ” Fred Warmbier, Otto Warmbier’s dad, said at a press conference in Ohio Thursday. “I think the results speak for themselves.”

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North Korea releases jailed US student Otto Warmbier said to be in a coma

Mr Warmbier was sentenced last year to 15 years in jail for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.

Mr Tillerson said in a statement said: “At the direction of Donald Trump, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea”.

Mr Warmbier, a student from the University of Virgina, went with his tour group to North Korea in January 2016.

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On the Korean Peninsula

A scheme defrauds North Korean defectors of their savings:

A few months after fleeing her destitute homeland for a more decent life south of the border, Park, received a tempting offer from a fellow defector: She could transfer money to her family in the North for a commission fee.

Haunted by memories of her three starved children and old mother living in Hyesan in the country’s far north, the 44-year-old Park eagerly handed over 20 million won ($17,800) to a broker — only to find out a month later that not a single penny had reached her family.

“It was all of my savings,” said Park, who arrived here several years ago and agreed to speak to The Korea Herald on condition her full name not be published.

“I had spent months to find this guy, but to no avail. It is just outrageous to think that other defectors like me would easily fall prey to this kind of fraud, getting their savings wiped out.”

In line with the constant influx of North Koreans here, the tally of their remittances is expected to be rising. As of March 2017, a total of 30,490 have resettled in the South, according to the Unification Ministry.

No official data on their remittances is available, however, given a government ban on South Koreans from wiring money to the North. The brokers sneak the funds through acquaintances, which is also illegal in China.

According to a 2016 survey from the Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, around 58.5 percent of 400 surveyed defectors in the South have sent money back home. Twenty-six percent, or 104, said they did so last year, with the average amount nearing 2.35 million won.

Scum.

 

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South Korean President Moon Jae-In pulls a Trudeau:

South Korea’s defense ministry began preparations for a full-blown environmental impact assessment on the ongoing deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system Tuesday, a ministry official said, a move that will inevitably delay its operation.

The move came one day after President Moon Jae-in personally ordered a thorough study on the environmental impact of the advanced missile shield, which, when fully deployed, will consist of at least six rocket launchers with 48 rockets designed to intercept aerial threats flying over the peninsula.

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UN Expands North Korea Blacklist

China sits permanently on the UN Security Council:

The U.N. Security Council on Friday expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea after its repeated missile tests, adopting the first such resolution agreed by the United States and Pyongyang’s only major ally China since President Donald Trump took office.

The Trump administration has been pressing China aggressively to rein in its reclusive neighbor, warning that all options are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear and missile development programs.

The United States has struggled to slow those programs, which have become a security priority given Pyongyang’s vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

“The United States will continue to seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to this situation,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council after the vote.

But she added: “Beyond diplomatic and financial consequences, the United States remains prepared to counteract North Korean aggression through other means, if necessary.”

Adding names to the U.N. blacklist – a global travel ban and asset freeze – was the minimum sanctions measures the Security Council could have taken and comes after five weeks of negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

“The Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today – stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences,” Haley said.

 

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Putin Claims That Missile Systems in the US and South Korea Threaten Russia

It should be noted that the former Soviet Union aided Kim Il-Sung during the Korean War, that the Soviet Army raped Korean women and that Russia has used its permanent seat on the UN Security Council to let North Korea get away with belligerence:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that elements of a U.S. anti-missile system in Alaska and South Korea were a challenge to Russia and that Moscow had no choice but to build up its own forces in response.

Putin, speaking at an economic forum in St Petersburg, said Russia could not stand idly by and watch while others increased their military capabilities along its borders in the Far East in the same way as he said had been done in Europe.

He said Moscow was particularly alarmed by the deployment of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea to counter a North Korean missile threat and to reported U.S. plans to beef up Fort Greely in Alaska, a launch site for anti-ballistic missiles.

“This destroys the strategic balance in the world,” Putin told a meeting with international media, the start of which was broadcast on state TV.

“What is happening is a very serious and alarming process. In Alaska, and now in South Korea, elements of the anti-missile defence system are emerging. Should we just stand idly by and watch this? Of course not. We are thinking about how to respond to these challenges. This is a challenge for us.”

Washington was using North Korea as a pretext to expand its military infrastructure in Asia in the same way it had used Iran as a pretext to develop a missile shield in Europe, charged Putin.

 

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U.N.’s North Korea sanctions monitors hit by ‘sustained’ cyber attack

United Nations experts investigating violations of sanctions on North Korea have suffered a “sustained” cyber attack by unknown hackers with “very detailed insight” into their work, according to an email warning seen by Reuters on Monday.

And in related news…

Symantec says ‘highly likely’ North Korean hacking group behind ransomware attacks

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Why America Shouldn’t Buy North Korea’s Empty Threats

North Korea claimed to test an intercontinental ballistic missile this week, and Western alarmism over the rogue state kicked into overdrive once again. It is true that North Korea is marching toward an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North Koreans have hinted for years that they seek the capability to strike the U.S. homeland, and in his January new year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un openly said his country would pursue such a weapon. This is indeed frightening, but the hysteria of the last few months should be tempered by several basic insights.

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North Korean hacking group is thought to be behind cyber attack which wreaked havoc across the globe

A hacking group linked to North Korea is thought to be behind the cyber attack that wreaked havoc across the globe, according to security experts.

Analysts from security firms Symantec and Kaspersky revealed that they are looking into technical clues suggesting the Lazarus Group created the virus.

The ransomware – which encrypts victims’ files then demands a fee to unlock them – left Britain’s health service crippled as computer systems and phone lines across the country shut down on Friday.

The NHS is still struggling to get back on its feet following the attack, which means patients could have to wait a month or more to see a doctor after countless operations and appointments were cancelled.

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Canada must keep watch as North Korea arms itself

Over the weekend North Korea conducted its most successful missile test to date. This is a threat not just to the region and the United States, but Canada as well.

While the Hwasong-12 missile that was launched Sunday didn’t have the range to strike North America directly, the 800 kilometres it traveled eastward would be enough to strike the U.S. Anderson Air Force on the Pacific island of Guam.

Plus a North Korean announcement threatened that they now have the ability to strike the North American mainland. This is almost definitely not true, but such a claim shouldn’t be laughed off.

If asked I’m pretty sure Justin would state his admiration for Kim.

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