Archive for North Korea
North Korea has detained another US citizen, bringing to 3 the number of Americans held in the country amid increasing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang Sunday confirmed the detainment of the US citizen but did not elaborate on the matter. However, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed sources, reported on the same day that a Korean-American man was arrested Friday at Pyongyang’s international airport. According to the agency, the man in his fifties identified only by his surname Kim was trying to leave the country when North Korean police arrested him. Kim has been involved in aid and relief programs to North Korea and formerly worked as professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China which has a sister university in Pyongyang. North Korea has at least two other Americans in its prisons. Last year in January, Otto Warmbier, who was 21 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
Newsline: North Korean Embassy in Russia Says the Country is Ready for ‘All-Out War’ if US Starts it
North Korea is ready for an all-out war if the United States starts it, the country’s Embassy in Russia said. “If they [the US] commit a reckless provocation, the Korean Revolutionary Forces will deal a devastating blow and respond with an all-out war to an all-out war, respond to a nuclear war with a nuclear strike,” an attache of the North Korean Embassy Moscow said. North Korea reportedly carried out the most recent missile test early on Sunday. However, the launch was unsuccessful, according to South Korean defense officials. The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that the alleged missile launch had not been announced officially, though it’s Pyongyang’s “sovereign right” to conduct such tests. Earlier, North Korea warned it is ready to launch a “preemptive strike” in case of any US’ “provocation.” Pyongyang said it may target US military bases in Japan, South Korea and the US itself if feels threatened.
US is destabilizing the situation on the Korean peninsula and a thermonuclear war may break out in the region at any moment, the North Korean ambassador to the UN, Kim In Ryong told reporters. He leveled sharp criticism at the US and South Korea for conducting the war games of unprecedented scope and scale and said they could entail dire consequences for peace in the region. “As everybody knows, the US perpetrates military attacks and threatens a sovereign state while claiming “peace by strength,” Ambassador Kim said. “The recent US massive missile attack on Syria tells you well of it.” “The US introduces into the Korean peninsula, the world’s biggest hotspot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the peninsula and pushing the situation there to the brink of a war,” Kim said. “This has created a situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula and posed a serious threat to world peace and security, to say nothing of those in Northeast Asia,” he said. The ambassador stressed North Korea’s resolve to stay calm in the face of aggressive policies of the Donald Trump Administration.
North Korea could either carry out new ballistic missile launches or conduct nuclear tests shortly in commemoration of its public holiday, Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora told Sputnik. “If you carefully read the North Korean press, then there is no need to even guess. They themselves openly say that ‘we will mark the upcoming glorious anniversary with significant events,’ in the plural at that,” Matsegora said. North Korea celebrates the 105th anniversary of its founder Kim Il Sung’s birth on April 15, Saturday. “We can well imagine what events these will be. Some believe that the choice is only in two possible events: either new tests or a missile launch,” Matsegora said. The ambassador added that, the US aircraft carrier group dispatched toward North Korea is a provocation that did not contribute to de-escalation on the Korean Peninsula. “Of course, annual US exercises this year are particularly provocative,” Matsegora said. “Taking into account the fact that the US is bringing up an airborne strike group here, this does not work toward calming the situation.” The Russian envoy stressed that the US drills “are really working out a plan to seize Pyongyang, destroy the leadership of the country, approach the Russian and Chinese border, establish administrative control over the provinces of North Korea.”
Malaysia will maintain diplomatic ties with North Korea and will not close its embassy in Pyongyang, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said Malaysia also hoped that Pyongyang would do likewise. “We have no desire to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea and we hope North Korea will do the same,” he said. Ahmad Zahid, who is also Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman, told this to reporters after attending MCPF’s 24th annual-general meeting here today. The diplomatic tensions between Malaysia and North Korea in the last two months eased somewhat when nine Malaysians who were barred from leaving North Korea following the diplomatic row between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang, arrived safely home on Friday. The tension between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang was triggered following the killing of Kim Jong-nam, 46, the elder brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) here on Feb 13. Ahmad Zahid also explained that Malaysia did not made any trade-offs in saving the nine Malaysians in Pyongyang but it was based on the understanding achieved by both countries.
Three North Koreans who spent weeks hiding in the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur have left Malaysia, police said Friday. The trio had been wanted for questioning in connection with the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. Kim Jong Nam was murdered February 13 when two women wiped his face with the highly toxic VX nerve agent at an airport in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia blamed North Korea for his death, but Pyongyang has strongly denied any involvement. On Friday, Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters police took statements from the three men at the North Korean embassy before their departure. Though Bakar would not name the three that were interviewed, it was previously revealed that Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the embassy, and Kim Uk Il, an employee of North Korea’s national airline, were both hiding at the embassy.Ri Ji U, a 30-year-old North Korean whose employment was not disclosed by Malaysian police, was believed to be the third individual holed up there, a Malaysian government official told CNN. Bakar said the men’s freedom was not tied to an agreement which secured the release of nine Malaysians in Pyongyang and sent Kim Jong Nam’s body back to North Korea. When asked if they were cleared of wrongdoing, Bakar only stated the men were no longer needed for the investigation, which is ongoing. They had been wanted for questioning after being seen on security camera footage at the airport on the day of Kim’s death, he said.
Bulgaria has implemented the latest UN resolution on North Korea and reduced the number of diplomatic staff at the DPRK embassy in Sofia, according to the country’s most recent report on sanctions implementation. Resolution 2321, which passed in November last year, calls upon member states to pay closer attention to the activities of North Korean diplomatic staff.