North Korea Agrees To Join Winter Olympics In South Korea

North Korea has formally agreed to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. It further revealed that it will send a delegation of high-ranking officials, athletes and a cheering squad to the The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018 international multi-sport event is scheduled to take place from Feb. 9 to Feb. 25 in PyeongchangCounty, South Korea.

South Korea’s vice unification minister Chun Hae-sung said Seoul proposed inter-Korean military talks to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula and a reunion of family members in time for February’s Lunar New Year holiday.

South Korea also proposed that athletes from the two Koreas march together at the Games’ opening ceremony and other joint activities between the two nations during the Winter Olympics, Chun told reporters outside the first formal talks between North and South Korea in more than two years.

The talks are being closely watched by world leaders eager for any sign of a reduction in tensions on the Korean peninsula amid rising fears over North Korea’s missile launches and development of nuclear weapons in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

The meeting was to continue on Tuesday afternoon after the two sides broke up for separate lunches.

It began at 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) in the three-storey Peace House just across the demilitarised zone on the South Korean side of Panmunjom truce village.

“North Korea said that they are determined to make today’s talks fruitful, and make it a groundbreaking opportunity,” Chun said.

Chun also said the South Koreans proposed resuming negotiations over the North’s nuclear programme but there was no specific response from the North Koreans.

According to Chun, North Korean officials said during the meeting they were open to promoting reconciliation between the two countries through dialogue and negotiation.

 

North Korean Leader Begins The New Year With Threats

Kim Jong in his 2018 New Year address has threatened to blow up the United States.

Kim Jong Un has warned the United States that the nuclear button is always on his desk but he says he won’t use nuclear weapons if there’s no aggression against his country.

“The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality,” said Kim during his annual New Year’s Day address.

He also declared that his country is “a responsible nuclear nation that loves peace” and said that as long as there’s no aggression directed at it, “we do not intend to use nuclear powers.”

Kim called on his country to accelerate production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

“As for the areas of nuclear weapons research and rocket engineering, we need to accelerate the mass production of nuclear warheads, whose power and reliability have already been secured, and ballistic missiles,” Kim said, adding that the country also needed to be ready “to retaliate against the enemy’s move for a nuclear war.”

 

Kim Jong-un Executes Two Senior Officials Over Failed Nuclear Test

Two top officials of North Korean government has been executed by the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un over mishaps at the country’s test missile site.

The latest unnamed executive was killed after he allegedly took responsibility for setbacks at the Punggye-ri nuclear base, which led to the date of a rocket launch being pushed back.

Five days ago, a high-ranking official once described as the ‘second most powerful man in North Korea’ disappeared from public life, sparking speculation he too may have been executed by death squads.

General Hwang Pyong-so once held the most senior military position in the hermit state as a Vice-Marshall after the supreme leader.

The most recent victim was said to be the director of Bureau 131, in charge of construction at Kim’s missile and nuclear bases.

Back in September, at least 200 workers were reportedly killed when a tunnel collapsed shortly after the detonation of an H-bomb.

It has been claimed the nuclear base, situated in the North Korean mountains, is falling into disrepair after being struck by earthquakes and landslides due to repeated nuke blasts.

A source told Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun: “It seems he took the blame as the prolonged mining of the nuclear facility pushed back the test date to September when it was initially set for spring.”

Kim has executed more than 340 people since he came to power – and that doesn’t include untold numbers sent to gulags or labour camps.

The so-called tubby tyrant is said to have been reshaping North Korea’s ruling elite in recent months as he fears the military is becoming too powerful.

He has also launched dozens of missiles this year, as well as detonating the hydrogen bomb on September 3.
Earlier this month Kim was pictured on top of a mountain he previously ‘climbed’ before executing top officials – sparking fears he was about to do the same again.

The tyrant visited the significant Mount Paektu, seen as mystical and situated not far from North Korea’s nuclear testing facilities, where Kim goes to make important decisions.

In 2016 he was pictured on the mountain before carrying out a huge nuclear test.

In April 2015 he visited the mountain then executed former defence chief Hyon Yong-chol.

In November 2013 he visited the mountain before killing uncle and political guardian Jang Song-thaek.

(Metro)

North Korea Agent Charged With Crime

A “loyal agent of North Korea” has been charged with trying to sell missile parts and technology on the black market to raise money for Pyongyang in breach of international sanctions, Australian police said Sunday.

The 59-year-old naturalised Australian citizen of Korean descent was attempting to broker illicit deals that could have generated “tens of millions of dollars” for North Korea, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said.

The man was involved in discussions to set up a ballistic missile production facility and the supply of missile construction plans in addition to components, software and the transfer of technical expertise from Pyongyang, police alleged.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters the case was “like nothing we have ever seen on Australian soil”, alleging that the man was in contact with high-ranking North Korean officials.

“This man is a loyal agent of North Korea, believing he was acting to serve some higher patriotic purpose.”

The alleged agent’s plans did not involve other governments or officials, police said. Authorities did not reveal which individuals or entities the man was allegedly trying to trade with.

North Korea is under tough United Nations sanctions aimed at choking off revenue to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

“This is a very important arrest, the charges laid are the greatest nature,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

“It is vitally important that all nations … enforce those sanctions.”

The man, who has lived in Australia for three decades, allegedly used encrypted communication services to facilitate the attempted trades, which included the transfer of coal from North Korea to entities in Indonesia and Vietnam.

He is in custody and faces a total of six charges, with maximum penalties of up to 10 years in jail.

Investigators would not rule out further charges, and are probing other attempted commodity trades involving oil and gemstones.

This is the first time charges have been laid for breaches under Canberra’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and for violating UN sanctions against North Korea in Australia.

Global anxiety about North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s authoritarian government has steadily risen this year, with Washington calling on other UN members to cut ties with Pyongyang in order to squeeze the secretive regime.

North Korea Launches New Ballistic Missile, To Reach United States

North Korea says it has successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can reach the whole of continental United States.

State television said Pyongyang had achieved its mission of becoming a nuclear state.

The Hwasong-15 missile, described as its “most powerful”, was launched in darkness early on Wednesday.

It landed in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other missile the North had previously tested.

The test, which defied international sanctions imposed over the North’s weapons programme, drew swift international condemnation, with the UN Security Council due to convene an emergency session.

South Korea responded by carrying out live-fire exercises, launching one of its own ballistic missiles.

News of the launch was announced on state television in a special broadcast at midday, as well as in a report released by state news agency KCNA.

Pyongyang says the missile reached an altitude of 4,475km (2,780 miles) and flew 950km in 53 minutes, close to independent estimates made by South Korea’s military.

The projectile, fired at a steep incline, did not fly over Japan as some have done in the past, and landed about 250km short of its northern coast, according to Japanese officials.

Trump, Abe Agreed To Increase Pressure On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister  agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump and spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election on Sunday.

Nishimura told reporters that Abe and Trump were planning to play golf together on Nov. 5, when Trump makes his first visit to Japan.

 

Update: Two Women Accused Of Kim Jong-nam’s Murder Plead Not Guilty

The two women accused of the assassinating the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have pleaded not guilty at the start of the high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court on Monday.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, are charged with killing Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with VX, a chemical poison at the Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on 13 February.

The late estranged half-brother of North Korean leader was on his way back to his home in the Chinese territory of Macau when he was attacked with VX, a banned chemical poison under the 1993 chemical weapons convention.

The two women who are charged with murder under section 302 of the Malaysian criminal code, which carries a mandatory death sentence arrived at court Monday wearing bullet proof vests with their eyes downcast, surrounded by heavy police presence.

After two interpreters read the charges to the women in the Shah Alam court, the interpreters told the court that the women pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution said their actions showed “intent to kill the victim” by smearing his face and eyes with VX nerve agent, which a post-mortem confirmed had killed Kim. They also told the court that four North Koreans who are at large helped the accused women carry out several practice runs in Kuala Lumpur shopping malls.

The women, however, told their lawyers they did not know they were participating in a deadly attack and believed they were carrying out a prank for a reality TV show.

If found guilty, the accused women will face a mandatory death sentence.

Trump Approach To N’Korea Crisis Not Best Way – France

Frane’s foreign Minister has pointed out and said to President Donald Trump on the way to handle the nuclear crisis and urged the U.S. to focus attention on raising diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

Bellicose statements by Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un in recent weeks have created fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications, particularly since Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.

“Trump’s method is perhaps not the best, but at the same time we shouldn’t mix up the responsibilities,’’ Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM TV. “The country that is breaking with nuclear international agreements is North Korea. “President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a

“The country that is breaking with nuclear international agreements is North Korea. “President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a

“President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a doubt, there is a way to act in a different way by putting pressure and sanctions.”

North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Ho, on Monday accused Trump of declaring war on North Korea and threatened that Pyongyang would shoot down U.S. warplanes flying near the Korean Peninsula after American bombers flew close to it last Saturday.

The North Korean minister was reacting to Trump’s Twitter comments that Kim and Ri “won’t be around much longer” if they acted on their threats toward the U.S. Drian repeated that a maximum amount of pressure needed to be placed on Pyongyang to get it back to the negotiating table, but warned there was a risk of an accidental military escalation.

“The world is living in a dangerous period,” he said. “At the moment we’re at a verbal clash, but there could be an incident. We need to avoid incidents.”

 

US Would Destroy North Korea- Donald Trump

To defend itself or its allies, the US President Donald Trump has told the UN General Assembly that America would destroy North Korea if they had to.

In his debut speech, he mocked North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, saying: “Rocket man is on a suicide mission.”

North Korea has tested nuclear bombs and missiles in defiance of the UN.

Just before Mr Trump spoke, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had urged statesmanship, saying: “We must not sleepwalk our way into war.”

The American leader also attacked Iran, saying it was a “corrupt dictatorship” which was intent on destabilising the Middle East.

He called on the government in Tehran to cease supporting terrorism and again criticised the Obama-era international agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme, which he called an embarrassment.

Washington has repeatedly warned North Korea over its weapons tests, which violate UN Security Council resolutions.

The crisis worsened last month when the North announced plans to test missiles around the US Pacific territory of Guam.

“If [the US] is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Mr Trump said.

 

Japan In Defence Deploy Missile To Protect Northern Island

North Korea launched a missile over the island, sparking emergency warnings to take cover, while Japan deployed Tuesday an additional missile defence system on its northern island of Hokkaido, days after.

“As part of measures to prepare for emergencies, we will today deploy a PAC-3 unit” to a base of the nation’s Ground Self-Defense Force in the southern tip of Hokkaido, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system arrived at the base later on Tuesday, a local defence official told AFP.

The move came with tensions on the Korean peninsula at fever-pitch after Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test and fired two missiles over Japan in the space of less than a month.

North Korea “may take further provocative actions including launching ballistic missiles that would fly over Japan again in the future”, Onodera said, adding that his ministry “would take appropriate measures to protect people’s safety”.

According to local officials, Japan has already deployed the PAC-3 system to another part of Hokkaido.

But defence officials declined to confirm where in Japan other systems were deployed, citing the sensitive nature of defence information.

North Korea has threatened to “sink” Japan into the sea and said Saturday it sought military “equilibrium” with arch-enemy the United States by developing a full nuclear arsenal.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would “never tolerate” the North’s “dangerous provocative action” and has urged the international community to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang.

The UN Security Council, which condemned the launch as “highly provocative,” will hold a new ministerial-level meeting Thursday on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, focused on enforcing sanctions on the North Korean regime.

N’Korea Nuclear Issue Must Be Resolved – China

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his Russian counterpart during a meeting at the UN, that the North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved peacefully, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. and South Korea, and separately Russia together with China, started military drills on Wednesday in a show of force against North Korea, which repeatedly defied the UN to conduct nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Wang said in a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday that China would strictly implement UN Security Council sanctions and stressed that “parties directly involved” must also take action and responsibility.

“The current deepening vicious cycle must be broken. Resuming peace talks is an equally important step in implementing Security Council resolutions,” Wang said, according to a statement on the foreign ministry website.

Russia has supported China’s “suspension-for-suspension” proposal, where the U.S. and South Korea would agree to halt joint military drills while North Korea halted missile and nuclear tests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke about keeping the pressure on North Korea using economic sanctions imposed through the UN, the White House said on Monday.

Trump and Xi spoke on the phone days after Trump and his aides publicly discussed potential military action against North Korea.

Trump said on Friday he was “more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming”.

Pyongyang carried out the latest in a rapid series of missile launches by firing another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, soon after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of UN sanctions and other international pressure.