Category Archives: North Korea

Fawning Over North Korea’s ‘Ivanka’ Isn’t Harmless

It’s become a familiar pattern. In the manic pursuit of traffic, accolades, or any number of perverse incentives that have little to do with good journalism, the mainstream political press stumbles into a controversy. The controversy prompts a backlash mostly among, but not limited to, conservatives and is summarily disregarded as bad faith posturing. Pretty soon, we’ve all forgotten what the subject of the controversy was in the first place as we ease into familiar forms of partisan warfare like a warm bath. This was the trajectory of the scandalous coverage of North Korea’s diplomatic presence in South Korea for the Olympics, but the tribal animosities between media creator and consumer must be put aside here. The North Koreans’ are playing a 70-year-old game, and the press would do well to avoid unwittingly advancing North Korean objectives.


While US media fawn over North Korea at Olympics, these drawings from former prisoners should shame and silence them

If members of the American public have been inured to the grotesque, they might be forgiven. As the daily dosage of the media’s inane and trivial reportage might become desensitizing for those of a more passive constitution, it is challenging to highlight the depraved in a meaningful way.


It’s Kim Jong-un’s 34th birthday – but North Koreans are not celebrating

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is believed to be marking his 34th birthday on Monday, but without the expected fanfare of a leader known for his cult of personality and audacious public celebrations of missile launches.

The dictator’s birthday has been a surprisingly low-key affair since he came to power in 2011, and was not included in the state’s official 2018 calendar, despite the country’s claimed successes in 2017 with 16 missiles tests and a 6th nuclear test giving him an excuse for self-promotion.

This year’s omission possibly lies in the backlash over tough economic sanctions, reported the Daily NK news site, citing a source from South Pyongan province


How U.S. Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea

WASHINGTON — At the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, American intelligence agencies told the new administration that while North Korea had built the bomb, there was still ample time — upward of four years — to slow or stop its development of a missile capable of hitting an American city with a nuclear warhead.

The North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, faced a range of troubles, they assured the new administration, giving Mr. Trump time to explore negotiations or pursue countermeasures. One official who participated in the early policy reviews said estimates suggested Mr. Kim would be unable to strike the continental United States until 2020, perhaps even 2022.


Secret Document Reveals China Covertly Offering Missiles, Increased Aid to North Korea

China’s Communist Party adopted a secret plan in September to bolster the North Korean government with increased aid and military support, including new missiles, if Pyongyang halts further nuclear tests, according to an internal party document.

The document, labeled “top secret” and dated Sept. 15—12 days after North Korea’s latest underground nuclear blast—outlines China’s plan for dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue. It states China will allow North Korea to keep its current arsenal of nuclear weapons, contrary to Beijing’s public stance that it seeks a denuclearized Korean peninsula.


North Korean nuclear scientist deported by China ‘commits suicide in prison hours before interrogation’

A North Korean nuclear scientist deported back to his home country after defecting to China has reportedly committed suicide in his prison cell hours before he was due to be interrogated.

The defector, who is in his 50s, was a lead researcher in the physics centre of the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang. He was identified by Radio Free Asia as Hyun Cheol-huh, although it is not known if this was his real name.


Best of the Best: the South Korean school for hackers hitting back against the North

At the fortified border between South and North Korea, students on a computer hacking course are instructed to peer northwards across a strip of empty land toward the enemy state.

“Our country is divided and we are at war, but you can’t see that division in cyberspace,” said Kim Jin-seok. “So we take them to see it in person.”

Kim manages a program called Best of the Best, the goal of which is to train the next generation of so-called white-hat hackers, netizens with elite cybersecurity skills who are able and willing to defend South Korea against malicious hacking attacks, many of which are believed to come from North Korea.


Christmas in North Korea: How people in the hermit kingdom secretly celebrate the festive period

A quick Google search of “Christmas in North Korea” brings up very little actual concrete information.

From US tabloids branding Kim Jong-un the “Grinch who stole Christmas” to a veritable plethora of Christmas jumpers which feature predictable puns that incorporate Christmas and nuclear weapons, it is hard to ascertain what the festive season in the world’s most secretive and isolated regime is actually like.

The short answer is that it is something of a non-event. Santa Claus may exist in the imaginations of millions of children in the West — but for those in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea he’s not even a mythological figure.​ The North Korean government works hard to ensure information about religious holidays does not enter the so-called hermit kingdom, and its citizens subsequently remain unaware people are yanking crackers, gorging on mince pies and belting out Christmas hymns across the West.


North Korea flooded with illicit information carried by hydrogen balloons as tensions escalate

North Korean defectors are ramping up a campaign to covertly flood their former homeland with flashdrives and balloons full of news bulletins and documentaries to counter state propaganda as tensions escalate with the US over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missiles programmes.

Assisted by the US-based, and privately funded, Human Rights Foundation (HRF) their ultimate aim is to bring down the pariah regime from within, by engaging directly with North Koreans, providing illicit information that will influence mindsets and fuel dissatisfaction.


US blames North Korea for WannaCry cyber attack

The US has blamed North Korea for the rampant WannaCry ransomware that infected more than 200,000 victims in around 150 countries.

Businesses, schools and hospitals including the NHS were brought to their knees by the malicious software after it spread in May.

Tom Bossert, President Donald Trump’s security adviser said that the rogue Asian state was “directly responsible” for the malware that spread “indiscriminately”. He said that officials had investigated the matter and had evidence to suggest the attack came from North Korea.