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nationalpost:

Graphic: The Military Balance on the Korean PeninsulaTensions in the Korean Peninsula have soared with a series of provocations from North Korea as well as a revelation in a U.S. intelligence report that suggested the Hermit Kingdom now has the ability to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead — even if the weapons would lack reliability. Some analysts fear a miscalculation by Kim Jong-un, or an accident, could provoke a regional war dragging in even China and Russia.

nationalpost:

Graphic: The Military Balance on the Korean Peninsula
Tensions in the Korean Peninsula have soared with a series of provocations from North Korea as well as a revelation in a U.S. intelligence report that suggested the Hermit Kingdom now has the ability to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead — even if the weapons would lack reliability. Some analysts fear a miscalculation by Kim Jong-un, or an accident, could provoke a regional war dragging in even China and Russia.

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nationalpost:

North Korea says it has final approval to launch ‘merciless’ strike on the U.S.The North Korean army said on Wednesday that it had final approval to launch a “merciless” strike on the United States, AFP reported.“The merciless operation of [our] revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the statement published by the official North Korean news agency said.The statement also said that war could break out in the Korean peninsula either today or tomorrow.In the face of escalating threats from North Korea, the Pentagon said Wednesday it will deploy a missile defense system to Guam to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s protections against a possible attack. (UNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

nationalpost:

North Korea says it has final approval to launch ‘merciless’ strike on the U.S.
The North Korean army said on Wednesday that it had final approval to launch a “merciless” strike on the United States, AFP reported.

“The merciless operation of [our] revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the statement published by the official North Korean news agency said.

The statement also said that war could break out in the Korean peninsula either today or tomorrow.

In the face of escalating threats from North Korea, the Pentagon said Wednesday it will deploy a missile defense system to Guam to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s protections against a possible attack. (UNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

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nationalpost:

Graphic: North Korea’s Unha-3 long-range rocketIn Pyongyang, North Koreans clinked beer mugs and danced in the streets to celebrate the country’s first satellite in space. In Washington, Seoul and Tokyo, leaders pushed for consequences for Wednesday’s successful rocket launch, widely seen as a test that takes the country one step closer to being capable of lobbing nuclear bombs over the Pacific.The surprising, successful launch of a three-stage rocket similar in design to a model capable of carrying a nuclear-tipped warhead as far as California raises the stakes in the international standoff over North Korea’s expanding atomic arsenal. As Pyongyang refines its technology, its next step may be conducting its third nuclear test, experts warn.With this in mind, the National Post’s graphics team takes a look at North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket.

nationalpost:

Graphic: North Korea’s Unha-3 long-range rocket
In Pyongyang, North Koreans clinked beer mugs and danced in the streets to celebrate the country’s first satellite in space. In Washington, Seoul and Tokyo, leaders pushed for consequences for Wednesday’s successful rocket launch, widely seen as a test that takes the country one step closer to being capable of lobbing nuclear bombs over the Pacific.

The surprising, successful launch of a three-stage rocket similar in design to a model capable of carrying a nuclear-tipped warhead as far as California raises the stakes in the international standoff over North Korea’s expanding atomic arsenal. As Pyongyang refines its technology, its next step may be conducting its third nuclear test, experts warn.

With this in mind, the National Post’s graphics team takes a look at North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket.

Filed under north korea asia infographic missiles

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China hires tens of thousands of North Korea guest workers
Because of sanctions, North Korea is unable to export weapons. So it is using its people to raise money. Most of their earnings will go directly to the North Korean regime
SEOUL — China is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.The deal, which has not been publicly announced by either Beijing or Pyongyang, would allow about 40,000 seamstresses, technicians, mechanics, construction workers and miners to work in China on industrial training visas, businesspeople and Korea analysts say. Most of the workers’ earnings will go directly to the communist North Korean regime."The North Koreans can’t export weapons anymore because of [international] sanctions, so they are using their people to raise cash," said Sohn Kyang-ju, a former South Korean intelligence official who now heads the Seoul-based NK Daily Unification Strategy Institute.Although migrants from North Korea, as well as Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines, have worked illegally in China for years, it is unprecedented for Beijing to issue visas for unskilled and semi-skilled workers, several labor experts in China said. The deal, which provides workers for a region where China suffers no labor shortages, underscores how far Beijing is willing to go to support its potentially unstable protege.Longtime leader Kim Jong Il died last year and was replaced by his son Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s."My gut feeling is that this is the beginning of a larger wave of North Korean workers coming in. It could be quite significant," said John Park, an academic who has written widely on North Korean-Chinese relations. "It will allow the North Koreans to piggyback on China’s economic success to jump-start the economy under the new leadership.”Over the years, North Korea has exported smaller numbers of workers to far eastern Russia, where they work in logging and mining, as well as to Libya, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Angola. Hundreds of young North Korean women used to work in garment and shoe factories in the Czech Republic, but their contracts were canceled because of European human rights activists’ concern that they were virtually slave laborers.The first North Korean workers under China’s new program arrived a few months ago in Tumen, a sleepy town hugging the North Korean border."They are already here," said a Tumen-based businessman, who asked not to be quoted by name. He said he knew of 140 North Koreans who were working in an underwear factory in town.
 
 
Pictured: Hundreds of young North Korean women used to work in garment and shoe factories in the Czech Republic, but their contracts were canceled because of concerns by European human rights activists that they were virtually slave laborers. (Ludvik Hradilek, For The Times / July 1, 2012) 

China hires tens of thousands of North Korea guest workers

Because of sanctions, North Korea is unable to export weapons. So it is using its people to raise money. Most of their earnings will go directly to the North Korean regime

SEOULChina is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.

The deal, which has not been publicly announced by either Beijing or Pyongyang, would allow about 40,000 seamstresses, technicians, mechanics, construction workers and miners to work in China on industrial training visas, businesspeople and Korea analysts say. Most of the workers’ earnings will go directly to the communist North Korean regime.

"The North Koreans can’t export weapons anymore because of [international] sanctions, so they are using their people to raise cash," said Sohn Kyang-ju, a former South Korean intelligence official who now heads the Seoul-based NK Daily Unification Strategy Institute.

Although migrants from North Korea, as well as Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines, have worked illegally in China for years, it is unprecedented for Beijing to issue visas for unskilled and semi-skilled workers, several labor experts in China said. The deal, which provides workers for a region where China suffers no labor shortages, underscores how far Beijing is willing to go to support its potentially unstable protege.

Longtime leader Kim Jong Il died last year and was replaced by his son Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s.

"My gut feeling is that this is the beginning of a larger wave of North Korean workers coming in. It could be quite significant," said John Park, an academic who has written widely on North Korean-Chinese relations. "It will allow the North Koreans to piggyback on China’s economic success to jump-start the economy under the new leadership.”

Over the years, North Korea has exported smaller numbers of workers to far eastern Russia, where they work in logging and mining, as well as to Libya, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Angola. Hundreds of young North Korean women used to work in garment and shoe factories in the Czech Republic, but their contracts were canceled because of European human rights activists’ concern that they were virtually slave laborers.

The first North Korean workers under China’s new program arrived a few months ago in Tumen, a sleepy town hugging the North Korean border.

"They are already here," said a Tumen-based businessman, who asked not to be quoted by name. He said he knew of 140 North Koreans who were working in an underwear factory in town.
 
 
Pictured: Hundreds of young North Korean women used to work in garment and shoe factories in the Czech Republic, but their contracts were canceled because of concerns by European human rights activists that they were virtually slave laborers. (Ludvik Hradilek, For The Times / July 1, 2012) 

Filed under china north korea asia migrant workers

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North Korea rocket launch fails
The rocket - seen by many as a banned test of long-range missile technology - was launched from north-west North Korea early on Friday.
The US, Japan and South Korea say it flew only for a short time before breaking up and crashing into waters off the Korean peninsula.
North Korea said its scientists were assessing what had caused the failure.
North Korea says the aim of the rocket was to launch a satellite into orbit - a move marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of national founder Kim Il-sung.
But the US and other nations say the launch constituted a disguised test of long-range missile technology banned under UN resolutions.
In a statement, the White House condemned the launch, despite its failure. The UN Security Council is due to meet later in the day to discuss the launch.
Pictured: North Korea’s keenly-watched rocket launch has failed, Pyongyang has confirmed.

North Korea rocket launch fails

The rocket - seen by many as a banned test of long-range missile technology - was launched from north-west North Korea early on Friday.

The US, Japan and South Korea say it flew only for a short time before breaking up and crashing into waters off the Korean peninsula.

North Korea said its scientists were assessing what had caused the failure.

North Korea says the aim of the rocket was to launch a satellite into orbit - a move marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of national founder Kim Il-sung.

But the US and other nations say the launch constituted a disguised test of long-range missile technology banned under UN resolutions.

In a statement, the White House condemned the launch, despite its failure. The UN Security Council is due to meet later in the day to discuss the launch.

Pictured: North Korea’s keenly-watched rocket launch has failed, Pyongyang has confirmed.

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Obama and Hu to co-ordinate on North Korea rocket launch
China and the US have agreed to co-ordinate their response to any “potential provocation” if North Korea goes ahead with a planned rocket launch, the White House says.
North Korea says the long-range rocket will carry a satellite. The US says any launch would violate UN resolutions and be a missile test.
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao met on the margins of a nuclear summit in South Korea.
The launch is scheduled for April.
Its timing - between 12 and 16 April - is intended to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s late Great Leader Kim Il-sung.
'Destabilising'
The White House said Mr Hu indicated to Mr Obama that he was taking the North Korean issue very seriously and was registering China’s concern with the government in Pyongyang.
"We both have an interest in making sure that international norms surrounding non-proliferation, preventing destabilising nuclear weapons, is very important," Mr Obama said ahead of the meeting.

Obama and Hu to co-ordinate on North Korea rocket launch

China and the US have agreed to co-ordinate their response to any “potential provocation” if North Korea goes ahead with a planned rocket launch, the White House says.

North Korea says the long-range rocket will carry a satellite. The US says any launch would violate UN resolutions and be a missile test.

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao met on the margins of a nuclear summit in South Korea.

The launch is scheduled for April.

Its timing - between 12 and 16 April - is intended to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s late Great Leader Kim Il-sung.

'Destabilising'

The White House said Mr Hu indicated to Mr Obama that he was taking the North Korean issue very seriously and was registering China’s concern with the government in Pyongyang.

"We both have an interest in making sure that international norms surrounding non-proliferation, preventing destabilising nuclear weapons, is very important," Mr Obama said ahead of the meeting.

Filed under north korea china USA nuclear weapons summit asia

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Barack Obama visits the demilitarised zone, a heavily fortified 2.5 mile-wide stretch of land that has separated North and South Korea since 1953. The US president was seen peering over the border through binoculars and his visit will be followed by an international summit to discuss ways to prevent nuclear terrorism amid ongoing concerns over nuclear activity in North Korea

(Source: Guardian)

Filed under south korea north korea asia nuclear power nuclear weapons summit

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Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — It may not be on the official agenda, but North Korea’s ears will be burning during the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

Over 50 heads of state will be meeting in South Korea on March 26 and 27 to discuss nuclear security, just 50 kilometers from a state that is secretive and striving for nuclear weapons.

(Source: CNN)

Filed under south korea north korea nuclear power summit asia

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reuters:

North Korea agreed on Wednesday to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile launches, and to allow checks by nuclear inspectors, in an apparent policy shift that paves the way for resuming long-stalled disarmament talks.
The surprise breakthrough, announced simultaneously by the U.S. State Department and North Korea’s official news agency, makes possible the resumption of six-nation nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang. It followed talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.
While analysts cautioned that Pyongyang has backtracked repeatedly on past deals, the moves by North Korea mark a sharp change in course, at least outwardly, by North Korea’s reclusive leadership following the death in December of veteran leader Kim Jong-il.
Read more: North Korea agrees to nuclear moratorium

reuters:

North Korea agreed on Wednesday to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile launches, and to allow checks by nuclear inspectors, in an apparent policy shift that paves the way for resuming long-stalled disarmament talks.

The surprise breakthrough, announced simultaneously by the U.S. State Department and North Korea’s official news agency, makes possible the resumption of six-nation nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang. It followed talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats in Beijing last week.

While analysts cautioned that Pyongyang has backtracked repeatedly on past deals, the moves by North Korea mark a sharp change in course, at least outwardly, by North Korea’s reclusive leadership following the death in December of veteran leader Kim Jong-il.

Read more: North Korea agrees to nuclear moratorium

Filed under north korea asia nuclear power talks

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US and North Korea resume nuclear talks
Countries hold first talks since Kim Jong-il’s death in Beijing, in effort to restart wider six-nation negotiations.
Envoys from the United States and North Korea have met in Beijing for their first talks on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programme since the death of Kim Jong-il, the country’s long-time leader.
The discussions, which started on Thursday, will be closely watched for signs of a more co-operative approach from North Korea, which stands to gain food and economic aid in return for taking steps to end its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Kim’s death on December 17 last year stalled talks that officials said were close to concluding a deal on the US providing food aid in return for the suspension of uranium enrichment activities.
"Today is, as we say, ‘game day’. We will have an opportunity to meet with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim and his team," Glyn Davies, the US envoy, said before the start of morning talks on Thursday with Kim Kye Gwan at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing.
The two will hold a second session of meetings on Thursday afternoon at the US embassy.
The talks in Beijing are the third round of negotiations since July, and are aimed at restarting wider six-nation disarmament talks, which also involve China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.
Those talks have been suspended since 2009, when North Korea walked away from the table, and later exploded its second nuclear device.
Pictured: Envoys will be meeting at the US and North Korean embassies in Beijing for two rounds of talks on Thursday [AFP]

US and North Korea resume nuclear talks

Countries hold first talks since Kim Jong-il’s death in Beijing, in effort to restart wider six-nation negotiations.

Envoys from the United States and North Korea have met in Beijing for their first talks on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programme since the death of Kim Jong-il, the country’s long-time leader.

The discussions, which started on Thursday, will be closely watched for signs of a more co-operative approach from North Korea, which stands to gain food and economic aid in return for taking steps to end its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Kim’s death on December 17 last year stalled talks that officials said were close to concluding a deal on the US providing food aid in return for the suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

"Today is, as we say, ‘game day’. We will have an opportunity to meet with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim and his team," Glyn Davies, the US envoy, said before the start of morning talks on Thursday with Kim Kye Gwan at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing.

The two will hold a second session of meetings on Thursday afternoon at the US embassy.

The talks in Beijing are the third round of negotiations since July, and are aimed at restarting wider six-nation disarmament talks, which also involve China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

Those talks have been suspended since 2009, when North Korea walked away from the table, and later exploded its second nuclear device.

Pictured: Envoys will be meeting at the US and North Korean embassies in Beijing for two rounds of talks on Thursday [AFP]

Filed under north korea usa nuclear power asia talks

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Demonstrators protests China’s arrests of North Korean defectors 
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– Angry demonstrators staged a rally Tuesday near the Chinese Embassy here to protest China’s arrests of dozens of North Korean defectors who face torture, imprisonment and even death if returned to their homeland.
For years, human rights advocates have criticized China’s refusal to recognize North Korean defectors and its policy of returning, or repatriating, all escapees from the North captured on its soil. Beijing’s stance has taken on more urgency in recent weeks, after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to punish and even kill three generations of family members of anyone who tries to leave the impoverished North.
On Tuesday, ringed by police officers, more than 100 people gathered across the street from the Chinese Embassy, waving banners that read “The Chinese government should stop pushing North Korean defectors toward the guillotine” and “Forced repatriation is a death sentence.”
Pictured: South Korean activists stage a rally on behalf of North Korean refugees arrested by Chinese authorities. Credit: Lee Jin-man / Associated Press

Demonstrators protests China’s arrests of North Korean defectors

REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– Angry demonstrators staged a rally Tuesday near the Chinese Embassy here to protest China’s arrests of dozens of North Korean defectors who face torture, imprisonment and even death if returned to their homeland.

For years, human rights advocates have criticized China’s refusal to recognize North Korean defectors and its policy of returning, or repatriating, all escapees from the North captured on its soil. Beijing’s stance has taken on more urgency in recent weeks, after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to punish and even kill three generations of family members of anyone who tries to leave the impoverished North.

On Tuesday, ringed by police officers, more than 100 people gathered across the street from the Chinese Embassy, waving banners that read “The Chinese government should stop pushing North Korean defectors toward the guillotine” and “Forced repatriation is a death sentence.”

Pictured: South Korean activists stage a rally on behalf of North Korean refugees arrested by Chinese authorities. Credit: Lee Jin-man / Associated Press

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fotojournalismus:

Kim Jong-il funeral: thousands mourn North Korean leader

Tens of thousands of people have endured freezing temperatures in Pyongyang to bid farewell to the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in a meticulously-choreographed funeral designed to cement his legacy and transfer power to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un.

Photos:

#1 : A car is surrounded by mourners as it carries the casket containing Kim Jong-Il’s body during the funeral procession in Pyongyang. (KYODO NEWS/AFP/Getty Images)

#2 : Mourners react as a car Kim Jong-Il’s body passes by during the funeral procession in Pyongyang. (KYODO NEWS/AFP/Getty Images)

Filed under north korea asia Kim Jong-il

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thedailywhat:

Follow Up of the Day: A North Korean state television presenter, clad all in black, tearfully announces the death of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il as a result of an “advanced acute myocardial infarction” brought on by “a great mental and physical strain.”

According to state media, Kim died Saturday morning on a train near Pyongyang while on a “field guidance tour for the building of a thriving nation.”

The official mourning period will last through December 29th. His funeral ceremony has been scheduled for December 28th. No foreign delegations will be allowed to attend.

His 27-year-old son, Kim Jong-un, was declared the new leader of North Korea. According to a bio in The Daily Telegraph, experts expect the “young general” to follow in his father’s “militaristic path,” particularly in area of nuclear arms development.

The White House released a short statement saying it was monitoring reports of Kim Jong-il’s death closely, and remains “in close touch with our allies in South Korea and Japan.” 

[bbc / yonhap: 1,2 / telegraph.]

See Also: Václav Havel on Kim Jong-il; Christopher Hitchens on Kim Jong-il; Joshua Treviño: “I’d like to think God let Havel and Hitchens pick the third.”

(Source: thedailywhat)

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