Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for North Korea

Newsline: North Korea’s Kim Visits Chinese Embassy, Bus-Crash Victims

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited survivors of a deadly tour-bus crash, which killed dozens of Chinese tourists, and personally offered condolences to China’s ambassador in Pyongyang, state media said. Mr. Kim arrived at the Chinese Embassy at 6:30 a.m. Monday, the day after the crash, to “express his deep sympathy” and extend his condolences to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a Tuesday report. Later Monday, Mr. Kim visited the hospital where survivors are being treated, KCNA said. The agency published photos showing Mr. Kim holding hands with patients. The tour bus fell from a bridge Sunday evening in North Hwanghae province, leaving 32 Chinese and four North Koreans dead and two Chinese severely injured, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-koreas-kim-mending-beijing-ties-visits-chinese-bus-crash-victims-1524545797?mod=fox_australian

Advertisements

Newsline: US Could Open Embassy in Pyongyang

The administration of US President Donald Trump is working out the terms of an agreement with North Korean officials that would improve political and economic relations between the two adversaries. Details of the US proposal have made rounds in South Korean media ahead of the historic summit expected in May or June 2018. American officials have been in direct negotiations with officials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), President Trump told reporters this week. South Korean media reports that the US is willing to open an embassy in Pyongyang in exchange for denuclearization. The report says the US embassy would come in addition to humanitarian aid and an economic boost.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201804121063497324-Trump-Kim-Summit-Success-US-Could-Open-Embassy/

Newsline: North Korean diplomat heads to Finland ahead of possible US talks

A senior North Korean diplomat left for Finland on Sunday for talks with former U.S. and South Korean officials, Yonhap News Agency reported, amid a series of diplomatic encounters ahead of a possible U.S.-North Korean summit. North Korea is pursuing its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. It defends the programs as a necessary deterrent against a possible U.S. invasion. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea but denies any invasion plans. Tensions have eased in recent weeks, coinciding with North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics held in the South last month. Choe Kang Il, a deputy director general for North American affairs at North Korea’s foreign ministry, plans to attend the “track 1.5 talks”, according to Yonhap, reflecting planned contact between former U.S. officials and current North Korean ones in a broader bid to end the standoff over North Korea’s weapons programs. South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement North Korea would participate in the meeting joined by former South Korean officials and academics but did not provide further details.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/now-north-korean-diplomat-heads-finland-amid-diplomatic-035405609–finance.html

Newsline: North Korean Embassy in Cairo accused of military sales

Egypt has purchased North Korean weapons and allowed North Korean diplomats to use their Cairo embassy as a base for military sales across the region, American and United Nations officials say. Those transactions earned vital hard cash for North Korea, but they violated international sanctions and drew the ire of Egypt’s main military patron, the United States, which cut or suspended $291 million in military aid in August. Tensions may bubble up again in the coming weeks with the publication of a United Nations report that contains new information about the cargo of a rusty North Korean freighter intercepted off the coast of Egypt in 2016. The ship was carrying 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades worth an estimated $26 million. The report, due to be released this month, identifies the customer for the weapons as an arm of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Egypt’s main state weapons conglomerate.

Newsline: Number of staff at Mexico’s North Korean embassy down to three

Only three members of staff remain at the DPRK’s embassy in Mexico, the country announced in a February implementation report to the UN Sanctions Committee on North Korea. In a report detailing Mexico’s implementation of UNSC Resolution 2371, the Directorate-General of Protocol of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs said that while the country had hosted “five accredited diplomats” in 2016, the DPRK embassy was now “composed of three staff members.” It remains unclear whether the three remaining staff members are fully accredited diplomats, and numerous requests for further clarity to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs went unanswered. It also remains unclear whether the reported reduction in staff also includes the North Korean ambassador, who was deported last year.

https://www.nknews.org/2018/03/number-of-staff-at-mexicos-north-korean-embassy-down-to-three-report/

Newsline: Japanese men nabbed in shooting at de facto North Korea embassy

Police said they arrested two Japanese men believed to be right-wing activists for shooting early Friday at North Korea’s de facto embassy in Tokyo. The men fired several shots at the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, a pro-North Korean group representing ethnic Koreans in Japan, Tokyo metropolitan police said. The men, aged 46 and 56, drove by in a vehicle and one of them fired several shots, police said. The gate was damaged but nobody was injured. The motive was not known. Japanese media reports said the two men have staged protests criticizing the pro-North Korean group, also known as Chongryon. Patrolling police rushed to the closely monitored building and arrested the two on the spot, confiscating a gun, police said. The two men face allegations of damaging a building and could also face allegations of violating gun control laws.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japanese-men-nabbed-shooting-defacto-nkorean-embassy-53296213

Newsline: North Korea’s Berlin embassy accused of acquiring nuclear tech

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency chief has claimed North Korea has been acquiring equipment and technology for its nuclear and weapons programmes through its Berlin embassy. “We have noticed that so many procurement activities have taken place from the embassy,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), or Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. “From our point of view, they were for the missile programme but also partly for the nuclear programme,” Maassen added in an interview with German public television channel ARD, aired on Monday. Although the exact nature of the technology was not specified, the intelligence chief said they would have civilian and military uses. “When we see such things, we stop them. But we cannot guarantee that we spot and block each attempt,” he said. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency obtained clues on the technology procurements in 2016 and 2017, according to an investigation by ARD. In 2014, it said a North Korean diplomat attempted to obtain equipment used in the development of chemical weapons.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/04/north-korea-berlin-embassy-nuclear-tech-germany-spy-chief