#North Korea

Why did North Korea’s ‘ordinary girl’ YouTuber disappear from the web?

A young North Korean woman claiming to be an “ordinary girl” once took to YouTube to defend her country and address any negative news coming from “western media.” But the English-language vlogger has now disappeared from the web, putting an indefinite end to a state-backed North Korean media organization’s innovative and short-lived experiment at enamoring the west.
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The New Yorker

The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army

Shimomura was a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest yakuza crime family in Japan. When one of his superiors asked him if he wanted to make a pile of fast money, he naturally said yes. It was May 14, 2016, and Shimomura was living in the city of Nagoya. Thirty-two years old and skinny, with expressive eyes, he took pride in his appearance, often wearing a suit and mirror-shined loafers. But he was a minor figure in the organization: a collector of debts, a performer of odd jobs.

Revealing photographs by Ted Lau that offer a fresh perspective of North Korea

In 2019, an opportunity arose, and he embarked on an exploratory journey that took him to the capital city of Pyongyang, and to the countryside. In his resulting series, In Work Will Set You Free, Lau gives us a "behind the curtain" peek at this secretive, totalitarian country to find out what everyday life is like for the people there. Unable to leave their country, or even travel within it, they live and work in a carefully curated bubble – something Lau hoped to penetrate with his camera.

North Korea Responds to Biden’s “Hostile Policy,” Warns of “Crisis Beyond Control”

Shortly after the White House said it is getting ready to put forward a new strategy to deal with North Korea, Pyongyang is pushing back, warning that the United States will face “a very grave situation” and a “crisis beyond control in the near future” if it continues to pursue a “hostile policy” against the country. Pyongyang issued three statements Sunday aimed against the United States and South Korea in what could mark a renewal of rising tensions between the three countries.

North Korea Warns U.S. Over Biden's 'Big Blunder'

North Korea warned on Sunday that the United States will face a grave situation if it continues to pursue its "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang's nuclear program. The statement, attributed to Kwon Jong Gun, head of the Foreign Ministry's department of U.S. affairs, comes as the Biden administration is set to unveil a new strategy to deal with the isolated Asian nation.
Human Rights Watch

North Korea’s Leader Warns of Famine

Speaking at a ruling Workers’ Party of Korea conference on Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was surprisingly candid about the country’s dire economic situation, calling on the country to “wage another more difficult ‘Arduous March’” – a propaganda term used in the 1990s during the country’s infamous famine.

Citing Pandemic Fears, North Korea Says It Won't Attend Tokyo Olympics

North Korea says it will skip the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, citing coronavirus concerns – a move that frustrates South Korea's hopes that the games might revive stalled peace talks between the bitter rivals. The decision to sit out the already delayed Tokyo Games means the North's athletes will...
NBC News

North Korea has more nuclear weapons than ever. What should Biden do?

WASHINGTON — Ever since North Korea began building nuclear weapons in the 1990s, the policy of the United States has been clear: Give up those bombs or face international isolation. After three decades of sanctions, threats of force and diplomacy — including President Trump's theatrical summits with North Korean leader...

North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong slams recent leaflet launches as ‘serious provocation’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s influential sister blasted another round of alleged anti-DPRK propaganda leaflet launches on Sunday, directly blaming South Korean authorities and vowing to look into "corresponding action.”. Kim Yo Jong claimed that recent leaflet launches from North Korean defectors were a “serious provocation against our state,”...
CBS News

North Korea's Kim Jong Un admits nation facing "worst-ever situation"

Seoul, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un acknowledged his country is facing its "worst-ever situation" as he addressed thousands of grassroots members of his ruling party during a major political conference in Pyongyang. Experts say Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade...

No social distancing? North Korea holds massive parade despite COVID-19 pandemic

Thousands of North Koreans took part in a massive parade of dancers and torchlight bearers despite the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korean state media showed on Saturday. The parade, which marked the end of North Korea’s 10th Youth League congress last week, aired on the state-run Korean Central Television (KCTV) on May 1 and showed performers spelling out giant letters of party slogans and forming images of important state symbols like the sun, torch and Mount Paektu. At the three-day-long congress, North Korean leadership urged Youth League officials to root out unruly, “anti-socialist and non-socialist practices” among the country’s youth — from their haircuts to speech styles.

South Korea on North Korea: Keep on keeping on

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s policy of engagement with North Korea copped a triple whammy in the past two weeks. After months of deliberation, the Joe Biden administration affirmed that the US President would not meet with North Korea Chairman Kim Jong-un, a clear policy break with the Donald Trump administration.

How Biden nominee Wendy Sherman can pull off a deal with North Korea where others failed

Having finally been confirmed as the next U.S. deputy secretary of state this week, Wendy Sherman will now oversee Washington’s foremost foreign policy challenges — including North Korea. But any success she might have there will hinge on abandoning her predecessors' failed pressure-based approach to force North Korea’s unilateral denuclearization before any other diplomatic progress is made on the peninsula, which has become an increasingly unrealistic goal. Instead, she will have to advance diplomacy toward first achieving peace, then normalized relations, and, ultimately, demilitarization and denuclearization.