U.N. Chief Issues Grim Warning of Risk of ‘Nuclear Annihilation’

Conflicts in Ukraine, Asia and the Middle East have lifted the threat of nuclear disaster to a level not seen since the Cold War, according to António Guterres.

#blinken-antony-j, #guterres-antonio, #iran, #north-korea, #nuclear-weapons, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #united-nations

​South Korea’s New President Calls for Criminal Investigation of Past Government

Newly released photos of two North Korean men being deported under Moon Jae-in have revived accusations of a potential “crime against humanity.”

#defectors-political, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #korean-demilitarized-zone, #moon-jae-in, #north-korea, #politics-and-government, #seoul-south-korea, #yoon-suk-yeol

Windblown “alien things” caused massive COVID outbreak, North Korea says

Balloons carrying anti-North Korea leaflets are released by North Korean defectors, now living on South Korea, on February 16, 2013, in Paju, South Korea.

Enlarge / Balloons carrying anti-North Korea leaflets are released by North Korean defectors, now living on South Korea, on February 16, 2013, in Paju, South Korea. (credit: Getty | Chung-Sung Jun)

After an intense, detailed investigation, North Korea has determined what sparked an explosive outbreak of COVID-19 that has led to over 4.7 million “fevers” within its borders since late April. The culprit: “alien things” blown into the country from the South.

According to a report from the official KCNA news agency, North Korea’s outbreak began in early April when an 18-year-old soldier and a five-year-old kindergartener made contact with “alien things in a hill” in the area of Ipho-ri in Kumgang County, which is in the country’s southeastern corner near the border. The two later tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and epidemiological analyses found that those cases were solely behind the country-wide outbreak; the two infections link to greater spread in Kumgang and, from there, into the rest of North Korea.

“It was also ascertained,” the report reads, “that the fever cases reported in all areas and units of the country except the Ipho-ri area till mid-April, were due to other diseases.” The report did not include any information about how officials came to that conclusion.

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#china, #covid-19, #infectious-disease, #north-korea, #public-health, #sars-cov-2, #science, #south-korea, #transmission

How North Korea Used Crypto to Hack Its Way Through the Pandemic

The isolated country continues to find ways to evade sanctions and generate income while operating on the fringes of the global financial system.

#computers-and-the-internet, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #kim-jong-un, #lazarus-group, #north-korea, #virtual-currency

‘Not in This for the Money’: Why Some Families Sue North Korea

Families whose relatives have been abducted or imprisoned by North Korea are seeking to hold the country financially accountable despite the long odds of collecting money from the isolated nation.

#kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #political-prisoners, #south-korea, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #warmbier-cindy, #warmbier-fred, #warmbier-otto-frederick-1994

Song Hae, Beloved South Korean TV Host, Dies at 95

Born in what is now North Korea, he was known for his cheeky grin and folksy wisecracks as the host of South Korea’s weekly “National Singing Contest” for more than three decades.

#deaths-obituaries, #north-korea, #song-hae, #south-korea, #television

North Korea’s Covid Outbreak Is Scary, and an Opportunity

Kim Jong-un may be ready to re-engage with the world

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #vaccination-and-immunization

Putin’s Threats Highlight the Dangers of a New, Riskier Nuclear Era

After generations of stability in nuclear arms control, a warning to Russia from President Biden shows how old norms are eroding.

#arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #iran, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #strategic-arms-reduction-treaty, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

In South Korea, Biden Moves to Shore Up Alliance

President Biden said he would consider expanding joint military exercises that were scaled back during the Trump administration.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #south-korea, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #yoon-suk-yeol

North Korea’s COVID outbreak hits over 1.7M; WHO is “deeply concerned”

People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 4, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea.

Enlarge / People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 4, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. (credit: Getty | Chung Sung-Jun)

A mushrooming COVID-19 outbreak in North Korea has reached over 1.7 million cases, with nearly 233,000 new cases reported on Wednesday alone, according to state media reports. It’s a startling rise given that North Korea claimed to have zero COVID-19 cases a week ago.

But now the secretive, authoritarian country is acknowledging that the pandemic virus has been spreading “explosively” in since late April. Many experts have interpreted the admission as a sign of a dire situation in the country and a plea for international aid. North Korea has a weak health care system, and many of its people are undernourished due to an ongoing food crisis. Moreover, the country previously shunned offers of vaccines from the United Nations-backed COVAX program and China, leaving its population unvaccinated.

After North Korea acknowledged the outbreak for the first time last Thursday, South Korea offered aid, including vaccines. But North Korea has reportedly not responded. But, the country may have accepted aid from its closest ally, China. According to unnamed diplomats who spoke with The Wall Street Journal, three North Korean cargo planes flew to the Chinese city of Shenyang on Monday, returning the same day carrying basic medical supplies.

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#covid-19, #north-korea, #science

China-Style Covid Lockdowns Risk Deepening North Korean Crisis

As infections spread quickly, outside experts are warning that the country’s desire to mimic Beijing’s playbook could worsen a coming disaster.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kim-jong-un, #lee-tae-kyung, #north-korea, #vaccination-and-immunization

North Korea’s Covid Outbreak Continues to Worsen

Nearly 1.5 million people have presented with a fever and 56 have died in what the country said was its first outbreak, according to state media.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #far-east-south-and-southeast-asia-and-pacific-areas, #medicine-and-health, #north-korea

North Korea Says Its Covid Outbreak Is Spreading Fast

State media reported 21 new deaths and a huge jump in suspected cases on Saturday, but it was unclear how many had been definitively linked to the coronavirus.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #workersparty-of-korea

North Korea: Six dead, 350,000 “fevers” as coronavirus spreads “explosively”

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un on June 30, 2019.

Enlarge / North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un on June 30, 2019. (credit: Getty | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI)

At least six people in North Korea have died and more than 350,000 have contracted an unusual fever since late April in an outbreak that “explosively spread nationwide,” North Korean state media said Friday.

On Thursday, 18,000 new cases were reported, 187,800 people were in quarantine, and 162,200 had reportedly recovered. The cases are being defined by “a fever whose cause couldn’t be identified,” according to The New York Times.

The numbers come just a day after the authoritarian country acknowledged for the first time during the pandemic that the coronavirus was spreading within its borders.

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#covid-19, #infectious-disease, #north-korea, #omicron, #outbreak, #public-health, #science, #vaccines

North Korea Says 6 Dead as Covid-19 Spreads at an ‘Explosive’ Rate

The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said 187,800 people were in quarantine, and state TV showed him wearing a mask for the first time.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea

Unvaccinated North Korea reports omicron outbreak, raising fears of new variants

People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 4, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.

Enlarge / People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 4, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (credit: Getty | Chung Sung-Jun)

North Korea instituted a nationwide lockdown Thursday after reporting an omicron coronavirus variant outbreak in its capital, Pyongyang. The report marks the first time during the pandemic that the secretive, authoritarian country has acknowledged coronavirus cases within its borders, though outside experts have doubted the country’s previous claims of zero infections.

Acknowledging omicron cases in Pyongyang raises questions over whether the admission is a sign of deteriorating public health conditions and/or a signal that the country is willing to accept pandemic aid, including vaccines.

So far, North Korea’s government has rejected offers of COVID-19 vaccine supplies from the United Nation’s global vaccination effort, COVAX, and China’s domestically produced vaccines. North Korea is one of the few countries that has not run a public vaccination effort, and its 26 million people are believed to be largely unvaccinated.

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#ba-2, #covid-19, #infectious-disease, #north-korea, #omicron, #outbreak, #public-health, #science, #vaccines, #variant

North Korea Reports Its First Covid Cases

The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered a national lockdown after a subvariant of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was found in the capital.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea

South Korea Inaugurates Yoon Suk-yeol as President

During his inaugural speech, Yoon Suk-yeol said his country would play a greater role in promoting freedom and human rights around the world.

#arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #inaugurations, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #politics-and-government, #seoul-south-korea, #south-korea, #yoon-suk-yeol

President Moon Exchanges Farewell Letters With Kim Jong-un

President Moon Jae-in, who is barred from seeking re-election after his five-year term, and the North’s leader had warm parting words amid a diplomatic stalemate.

#international-relations, #kim-jong-un, #letters, #moon-jae-in, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #politics-and-government, #south-korea

North Korea Launches 2 Short-Range Missiles

The missile test, the North’s 12th of the year, took place as South Korea and the United States were preparing to begin joint military exercises.

#kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea

Kim Jong-un Gives Ri Chun-hee, North Korean Anchor, a Luxe Home

Ri Chun-hee, who delivers the news with a soaring, bombastic tenor, received a two-story apartment in a riverside complex from the country’s leader, apparently for her loyalty.

#kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #ri-chun-hee, #television

‘The Sport of Love’: Ping-Pong, the Great Equalizer

Wally Green has played everywhere from Brooklyn to Pyongyang, becoming a beloved American ambassador for table tennis — and international understanding — in the process.

#china, #content-type-personal-profile, #green-wally, #international-relations, #jha-kanak-2000, #kim-jong-un, #new-york-city, #nigeria, #north-korea, #olympic-games-2020, #race-and-ethnicity, #rodman-dennis, #sarandon-susan, #table-tennis, #wade-dwyane-1982

Ukraine War Revives Nuclear Question in South Korea

Seoul abandoned a covert program in the 1970s, but some argue it is time for the country to embrace its nuclear ambitions and safeguard against a Russia-style invasion.

#north-korea, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #south-korea, #ukraine, #war-and-armed-conflicts

Was North Korea’s New ICBM Test Faked? Not Entirely.

South Korea says Kim Jong-un disguised an older missile as a new one to exaggerate his country’s weapons achievements when he badly needs political leverage.

#kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #propaganda, #pyongyang-north-korea, #south-korea, #yoon-suk-yeol

North Korean hackers unleashed Chrome 0-day exploit on hundreds of US targets

North Korean hackers unleashed Chrome 0-day exploit on hundreds of US targets

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Hackers backed by North Korea’s government exploited a critical Chrome zeroday in an attempt to infect the computers of hundreds of people working in a wide range of industries, including the news media, IT, cryptocurrency, and financial services, Google said Thursday.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-0609, was exploited by two separate North Korean hacking groups. Both groups deployed the same exploit kit on websites that either belonged to legitimate organizations and were hacked or were set up for the express purpose of serving attack code on unsuspecting visitors. One group was dubbed Operation Dream Job, and it targeted more than 250 people working for 10 different companies. The other group, known as AppleJeus, targeted 85 users.

Dream jobs and cryptocurrency riches

“We suspect that these groups work for the same entity with a shared supply chain, hence the use of the same exploit kit, but each operate with a different mission set and deploy different techniques,” Adam Weidemann, a researcher on Google’s threat analysis group, wrote in a post. “It is possible that other North Korean government-backed attackers have access to the same exploit kit.”

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#applejeus, #biz-it, #lazarus, #north-korea, #operation-dream-job

With U.S. Focus on Ukraine, North Korea Launches a Powerful New ICBM

It was the country’s first long-range ballistic missile test since 2017, and it raised the specter of intensified provocations and threats on the Korean Peninsula.

#defense-and-military-forces, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #moon-jae-in, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #south-korea, #yoon-suk-yeol

North Korea Tests New ICBM, Escalating Hostilities

It was the country’s first long-range ballistic missile test since 2017, and it raised the specter of intensified provocations and threats on the Korean Peninsula.

#defense-and-military-forces, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #south-korea

Transgender Youths Become a Political Issue in Texas

The transgender youth controversy in Texas; the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida; U.S. policy and North Korea.

#abbott-gregory-w-1957, #arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #children-and-childhood, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #texas, #transgender-and-transsexuals, #united-states-international-relations

North Korea’s Projectile Launch Fails, South Korea Says

The projectile, fired from outside Pyongyang, failed “immediately after liftoff,” the South Korean military said.

#defense-and-military-forces, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #south-korea

Why North Korea Is Testing Ballistic Missiles

You could be forgiven for forgetting about North Korea, which went quiet for a stretch. Now there’s been a burst of missile tests in the new year.

#kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons

U.S. Says North Korea Is Testing a New Intercontinental Missile

The missile, first displayed in 2020, was tested twice in recent days. While it is unclear whether it can reach the U.S., it poses a new military challenge to President Biden in the midst of the Ukraine war.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-weapons, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile, South Korea Says

The launch is North Korea’s second missile test in a week and comes only days before the presidential election in South Korea.

#defense-and-military-forces, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #south-korea

North Korea Launches a Ballistic Missile, South Korea Says

It was the North’s eighth missile test of the year, after a hiatus of several weeks. Few details were immediately available.

#missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #south-korea

In Hawaii, Blinken Aims for a United Front With Allies on North Korea

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and his counterparts from South Korea and Japan denounced the North’s recent missile tests and called for a resumption of talks.

#blinken-antony-j, #japan, #north-korea, #south-korea, #state-department, #united-states-international-relations

North Korea Builds ICBM Base Near China to Deter U.S.

The location is meant to protect its most powerful weapons from pre-emptive strikes, allowing the military to expand an already rapidly growing arsenal.

#china, #defense-and-military-forces, #kim-jong-un, #military-bases-and-installations, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test Appears to Be Its Boldest in Years

Flight data indicates that a launch carried out Sunday was the North’s most powerful since 2017. South Korea said the projectile was a medium-range ballistic missile.

#kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea

South Korea Indicts Defector From the North Over Leaflets

South Korea banned the spread of leaflets across the border last year. Park Sang-hak, an outspoken activist who defied the ban, was indicted in a first this week.

#defectors-political, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #fugitives, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #kim-jong-un, #moon-jae-in, #north-korea, #propaganda, #south-korea

Can Biden Avert a Crisis With North Korea?

Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has done six missile tests this month — equal to all of 2021 — and called on the nation to prepare for “long-term confrontation.”

#arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #south-korea, #united-states-international-relations

North Korea Launches 2 Ballistic Missiles, South Korea Says

It was the North’s ​sixth missile test this month, the South Korean military said.

#kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons

Why Is North Korea Suddenly Launching So Many Missiles?

Experience has shown Kim Jong-un that saber-rattling is the best way to get Washington’s attention, especially when global affairs are already in a precarious state.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-and-military-forces, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #international-relations, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #politics-and-government, #united-states-international-relations, #workersparty-of-korea

North Korea Launches 2 Short-Range Ballistic Missiles

The recent missile activity has raised tensions in the region at a sensitive time, and has prompted the United States to call for more sanctions on the North.

#embargoes-and-sanctions, #international-relations, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #security-council-un, #south-korea, #united-states

North Korean hackers stole nearly $400 million in crypto last year

North Korean hackers stole nearly $400 million in crypto last year

Enlarge

The past year saw a breathtaking rise in the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, with Bitcoin gaining 60 percent in value in 2021 and Ethereum spiking 80 percent. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the relentless North Korean hackers who feed off that booming crypto economy had a very good year as well.

North Korean hackers stole a total of $395 million worth of crypto coins last year across seven intrusions into cryptocurrency exchanges and investment firms, according to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. The nine-figure sum represents a nearly $100 million increase over the previous year’s thefts by North Korean hacker groups, and it brings their total haul over the past five years to $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency alone—not including the uncounted hundreds of millions more the country has stolen from the traditional financial system. That hoard of stolen cryptocurrency now contributes significantly to the coffers of Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian regime as it seeks to fund itself—and its weapons programs—despite the country’s heavily sanctioned, isolated, and ailing economy.

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#biz-it, #cryptocurrency, #hacking, #north-korea, #policy

North Korea Threatens ‘Stronger’ Reaction as U.S. Seeks Sanctions Over Missile Tests

The country’s warning came as tensions have crept up over its six missile tests in recent months.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #security-council-un, #united-states-international-relations

North Korea Launches 2nd Ballistic Missile in a Week, South Korea Says

The launch came as the U.N. Security Council met to discuss the country’s growing weapons threat.

#kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #nuclear-tests, #security-council-un, #south-korea

North Korea Says It Will Skip Beijing Olympics Because of the Pandemic

The country also blamed “hostile forces” for its decision not to send a delegation to China, its closest ally.

#beijing-china, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #international-relations, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #olympic-games-2022, #south-korea, #united-states

To Reach South Korea, He Risked His Life. To Leave It, He Did It Again.

Officials say a North Korean who crossed the DMZ in 2020 crossed it again to go back. His life in the South seems to have been one of poverty and isolation.

#border-barriers, #defectors-political, #korean-demilitarized-zone, #moon-jae-in, #north-korea, #south-korea

North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile, the South Says

The North last conducted a test in October, when it fired a newly developed submarine-launched ballistic missile.

#embargoes-and-sanctions, #international-relations, #kim-jong-un, #missiles-and-missile-defense-systems, #north-korea, #south-korea

South Korea Says Unknown Person Crossed DMZ Into North

The breach at the Demilitarized Zone went unnoticed for hours, the South Korean military said. There was no immediate response from North Korea.

#korean-demilitarized-zone, #north-korea, #south-korea

Kim Jong-un’s New Year Resolution: More Food for North Korea

At a party meeting, Mr. Kim made little mention of the United States or South Korea. Instead, he promised to “completely solve the food problem.”

#food-insecurity, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #workersparty-of-korea

North Korea Executes People for Watching K-Pop, Rights Group Says

At least seven people have been put to death in the past decade for watching or distributing K-pop videos, as the North cracks down on what its leader calls a “vicious cancer.”

#capital-punishment, #internal-storyline-no, #k-pop, #kim-jong-un, #movies, #north-korea, #south-korea, #transitional-justice-working-group