When North Korea launched a volley of projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, it sought to escalate the pressure on President Trump to return to the negotiating table with a compromise on easing sanctions, analysts said, by signaling that it could scuttle his biggest diplomatic achievement with the North.
North Korea Urgently Needs Food Aid After Worst Harvest in Decade, U.N. Says
About 40 percent of North Korea’s population is in urgent need of food aid after the country suffered its worst harvest in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday, even as its regime defied international sanctions in order to keep its nuclear weapons program.
Anyone think these two articles might be connected?
US authorities have made their first arrest in connection with the mysterious raid on North Korea’s Madrid embassy in February when a group of assailants allegedly tied up staff and stole sensitive information.
On Thursday, federal officers arrested Christopher Ahn, a former US marine and a member of the secretive Free Joseon group, who are dedicated to overthrowing Kim Jong-un’s regime and who carried out the bold daylight assault on the embassy.
In a related development, armed agents also raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, the alleged leader of the group, also known as Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD). Mr Hong was not present at the time.
North Korea has dispatched teams to neighbouring China to track down and kill, if necessary, as many as seven members of the Ministry of State Security who have fled in a snowballing series of defections, according to dissident media.
The crisis in the ranks of North Korea’s secret police agency can be traced back to immediately after the failure of the Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, and US President Donald Trump in late February, reported the Daily NK, citing reports from its network of undercover “citizen reporters” in North Korea and China.
In early March, three MSS officials based in the Chinese city of Shenyang concluded that the secret bank accounts that they were using under fake Chinese names had been compromised and they were under surveillance.
The mystery surrounding an audacious commando-style raid in February on the North Korean embassy in Madrid deepened on Tuesday after a Spanish judge reported that the plot mastermind was a Mexican citizen who flew straight to the US to offer sensitive information to the FBI.
The 14-page summary from Jose de la Mata, a high court judge, alleged that Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican citizen with US residency, American Sam Ryu and five named South Koreans were members of a gang of ten who tied up and interrogated six diplomats before making off with confidential files.
The group of men who briefly took control of the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February are believed to have made off with vital decryption computers that Pyongyang needs to communicate with its diplomatic missions and agents overseas, according to a former North Korean diplomat.
Thae Yong-ho, who was the deputy head of the North Korean embassy in London until he defected with his family in 2016, said in a post on his website that the “transformation computer” that was apparently taken “is considered more important than human lives”.
The loss of the equipment potentially compromises the unbreakable code that Pyongyang uses to relay its orders overseas, Mr Thae said, and would “critically harm” the regime.
A secretive group dedicated to overthrowing Kim Jong-un was behind a raid on Madrid’s North Korean embassy just days before a high-profile summit with Donald Trump, according to US media.
Ten men burst into the compound on February 22, tied up staff, stole computers and documents before escaping in two luxury vehicles.
According to the Washington Post, the operation was carried out by a group called Cheollima Civil Defense, a secretive dissident organisation committed to overthrowing the Kim dynasty.
Spanish investigators believe that two assailants who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month and took hostages have links to the CIA, according to reports.
None of the 10 individuals who broke into the embassy before tying up and beating staff as they looked for information on computers have been caught.
But sources from the investigation told the Spanish newspaper El País that they been able to identify several of the attackers from video evidence.
Although the majority of the assailants who sped away in two of the embassy’s cars before vanishing have been identified as Koreans, two of the group “have been recognised by Spanish secret services as being linked with the CIA”, El País reported on Wednesday.
Satellite images of a facility near Pyongyang suggest that North Korea may be preparing to launch a missile or a satellite.
The increase in activity is around a site known as Sanumdong, where North Korea assembled most of its ballistic missiles and rockets.
It comes after reports earlier this week that North Korea’s main rocket launch site at Sohae had been rebuilt.
Work to dismantle Sohae began last year but stopped as US talks stalled.
Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea is rebuilding a nuclear test site. This comes one week after the second US-NK summit. If you recall, Trump bounced early. The two didn’t make a deal.
On the other hand…
Kim shutters nuke facility
At any rate, the news is North Korea’s nuclear program is either dead or in a hospice. If that is bungling and bumbling, let’s have more.
HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said he had walked away from a nuclear deal at his summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Thursday because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift punishing U.S.-led sanctions.
Trump said two days of talks in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi had made good progress in building relations and on the key issue of denuclearisation, but it was important not to rush into a bad deal.
“It was all about the sanctions,” Trump said at a news conference after the talks were cut short. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.”
The Dutch port of Rotterdam has seized 90,000 bottles of Russian vodka allegedly destined for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his top generals.
Customs officers nabbed the 3,000 cases of vodka on Friday in a vessel belonging to the Chinese company Cosco Shipping on a tip from the Russian foreign ministry. They believe the intended recipient was Kim and military commanders.
Kim Jong-un has had 421 officials ‘purged’ and executed – with victims fed naked to animals, blown up with anti-aircraft guns or burned alive with flamethrowers, says South Korean report
Trump said his talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un were the basis for Abe’s reported recommendation.
The North Korean authorities have reportedly reminded citizens that they could face execution if they indulge in watching South Korean television shows.
According to Radio Free Asia, the regime has been hosting lectures in South Hwanghae province, in the west of the country near the border with South Korea, to demand that residents abstain from watching “decadent video materials of capitalism”.
A source told the outlet’s Korean service that police officials began hosting lectures in the province in the new year.
Kinda like Canada where we’re forced to pay for CBC.
CBC News has confirmed that in late September, a five-person delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) arrived in Ottawa for a series of meetings with Canadian bureaucrats.
Would’t you love to know the Nork’s assessment of Team Trudeau?