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Archive for North Korea

Newsline: Russia’s embassy urges North Korea to release crew of detained yacht

Russia’s Embassy in North Korea has called on the authorities to release the crew of a detained Russian yacht Katalexa, a spokesman for the diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, Denis Samsonov, told TASS on Friday. The embassy has “expressed bewilderment” over a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s consular department that the yacht was detained while sailing in the Sea of Japan for violating the country’s border. According to Samsonov, the Russian yacht was detained in the area located no closer than 50 miles away from the shore. Now Katalexa is in the port of Rajin, in the country’s northeast. Russia’s Consul-General in Chongjin Yury Bochkarev is heading there to meet with the crew members and verify details of the incident. The head of Russia’s company in Rajin, RasonKonTrans, Ivan Tonkih is finding out if the Russians have drinking water and food. The Katalexa yacht was being towed from Taiwan to the Russky Island off Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, the regional Yachting Sport Federation told TASS. According to this organization, three crew members were onboard the yacht. Last year, another Russian yacht en route from South Korea’s Busan to Vladivostok was apprehended approximately 80 miles from the North Korean coast. The vessel was released when Russian diplomats intervened. North Korean authorities said it was held “by mistake” after a crew of a North Korean fishing vessel noticed a South Korean logo on its hull.

http://tass.com/politics/951721

Newsline: North Korea summons UK’s envoy after claims of CIA assassination attempt

North Korea has reportedly summoned Britain’s ambassador after claiming “heinous terrorists” have entered the country armed with a “biochemical substance” in a bid to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Foreign diplomats, including the UK’s envoy Alastair Morgan, were said to have been summoned to a briefing in Pyongyang where they were told of the plot. A report published by the country’s state-controlled media claimed vice foreign minister Han Song-ryol told the diplomats that “man-killing demons” had entered the secretive nation from South Korea and the US. The CIA and South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) are behind the alleged assassination attempt, the report claimed. Demanding a “Korean-style war on terrorism”, Han apparently called for a “principled stand to find out all of the terrorist maniacs and mercilessly wipe them out”. Britain’s Government dismissed Pyongyang’s account of the briefing, The Daily Star reported, while confirming Mr Morgan did indeed attend the briefing.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/804435/Kim-Jong-un-assassination-plot-British-ambassador-summoned-North-Korea

Newsline: North Korean Diplomat Says Talks With US Possible

A senior North Korean diplomat who handles relations with the United States said Saturday that Pyongyang would have a dialogue with the U.S. administration if conditions were right, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s foreign ministry director general for U.S. affairs, made the comment to reporters in Beijing as she was traveling home from Norway, Yonhap said. “We’ll have dialogue if the conditions are there,” she told reporters when asked if the North was preparing to hold talks with the Trump administration, according to Yonhap. When asked if North Korea was also preparing to talk with the new government in South Korea, of liberal President Moon Jae-in, Choe said: “We’ll see.”

https://www.voanews.com/a/diplomat-north-korea-us-talks-possible/3850425.html

Newsline: Germany’s government shuts down North Korean embassy property

The German government will shut down a Berlin hostel after it emerged that the site is North Korean embassy property and had been leased in violation of UN rules. Located downtown next to the gated North Korean embassy, Cityhostel Berlin offers dorm beds for as little as 16 euros ($17) a night. But it came under scrutiny after German media reported that the North Korean embassy was not just the hostel’s neighbour but also owner of the prime real estate. Rented out since 2004, the property fetches Pyongyang some 38,000 euros per month in rent, public broadcaster ARD said. Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer cited a UN Security Council resolution that requires member states to only allow “North Korean foreign representations to carry out diplomatic and consular activities”. “Any kind of commercial activity on the site of the embassy or in relation to the embassy is prohibited,” he said. “Cityhostel in Berlin constitutes neither a diplomatic nor consular activity of a North Korean foreign representation,” said Schaefer, adding that the government will move to “shut down the financial source to the North Korean regime as quickly as possible”. Over the past 11 years, the Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions on Pyongyang — two adopted last year — to significantly ramp up pressure and deny the North Korean regime the hard currency revenue needed for its rocket and atomic programmes. But UN sanctions experts have repeatedly told the council the measures have had little impact because they have been poorly implemented.

http://www.dw.com/en/berlin-hostel-over-nkorea-link-will-be-closed/a-38794049

Newsline: North Korea Claims Pakistani Tax Officials Assaulted Diplomat

North Korea’s embassy in Pakistan has accused the country’s tax authorities of assaulting a diplomat and his wife, claiming armed officials broke into their Karachi home and held guns to their heads, an official confirmed. The written complaint, seen by AFP and addressed to the chief of Pakistan’s Excise and Taxation department, demands action against the officials and warns the incident could seriously impact diplomatic relations. It said at least 10 armed men from the department burst into the diplomat’s Karachi home on April 9 and attacked him and his wife, dragging her by the hair and hitting them both in the face before aiming guns at the couple. They also shot at photographs of the couple, the letter alleges. “This is a very serious issue and we have set up a high-powered investigating team to probe into the allegations framed by the Korean embassy,” said Shoaib Siddiqui, chief of the department. The incident was recorded on closed circuit television cameras, the letter, dated April 27, claimed. “We will examine the CCTV film so that we can identify the men,” Siddiqui said. The diplomat’s role in Karachi is not known. Pakistan and North Korea are infamously linked by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, who admitted in 2004 that he ran a nuclear black-market selling secrets to rogue clients including Pyongyang. He later retracted his remarks and in 2009 was freed from house arrest, although he was asked to keep a low profile.

http://newsweekpakistan.com/north-korea-claims-pakistani-tax-officials-assaulted-diplomat/

Newsline: Chinese Embassy urges citizens in North Korea to return home

The Chinese Embassy in North Korea has advised Korean-Chinese residents to return home amid concern that the North’s military provocations may trigger a U.S. attack on the North, according to a source. The embassy began sending the message on Apr. 20, five days before the North celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army with a show of military power, Radio Free Asia said Tuesday. The station cited a Korean-Chinese living in the North’s capital, who said he left for China late last month after the embassy contacted him. He said he has been visiting China every two to three months but, after being told he should “stay in China for a while,” left North Korea a month early. “The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry,” said the man, whose name was withheld. But he said that most Korean-Chinese residents in Pyongyang were ignoring the message. The city’s “peaceful” atmosphere, despite the global crisis due to the state’s threats involving missiles and nuclear tests, might have kept them unaware of the situation, he added. The embassy’s warning indicates that China is worried that the saber-rattling North and U.S. moves to destabilize the Kim Jong-un regime might affect Chinese citizens abroad. The North was expected to conduct its sixth nuclear test around the 105th anniversary of the state’s founder Kim Il-sung’s birth on Apr. 15 and/or on the national military anniversary on Apr. 25. The test did not happen on either day, except a fizzled missile test on Apr. 29.

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/05/103_228651.html

Newsline: North Korea envoy calls US efforts to rid nukes a ‘wild dream’

North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador has said US efforts to get rid of his country’s nuclear weapons through military threats and sanctions are “a wild dream.” Kim In Ryong told The Associated Press that North Korea’s nuclear weapons are never part of “political bargains and economic deals.” “In a nutshell, DPRK have already declared not to attend any type of talks which would discuss its nuclear abandonment, nuclear disbandment,” he said, using the acronym for the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Kim reiterated North Korea’s longstanding contention that its nuclear program “is the product of the United States hostile policy towards DPRK.” Kim “categorically rejected” yesterday’s UN Security Council meeting on the North Korean nuclear issue which his country declined to attend as “another abuse” of the council’s authority, acting on instructions of the United States which is a veto-wielding member. The United States holds the council presidency this month and organized the ministerial session that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chaired.

http://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/north-korea-official-calls-us-efforts-to-rid-nukes-a-wild-dream/646753/