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Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

After Successful Missile Launch, North Korea Threatens New Nuclear Test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2013

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

When North Korea put a satellite into orbit last month, it declared that the launch was an exercise of its “right to use space for peaceful purposes” and denounced criticism by the U.S. and others that it was carrying out a ballistic-missile test meant to threaten its neighbors. On Tuesday the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the launch, which it said was banned under previous resolutions, and moved to strengthen existing sanctions. Today North Korea responded angrily to the Security Council’s move, declaring that it may soon carry out another nuclear test — the isolated totalitarian state’s third — a move its National Defense Commission said was aimed at the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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N. Korea develops missiles capable of reaching US – Seoul

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 24, 2012

An undated image released by South Korea's defence ministry in Seoul December 23, 2012, shows South Korean officers checking a piece of wreckage of North Korea's Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket, at the Agency of Defense Development in Daejeon, south of Seoul (Reuters / Handout)

An undated image released by South Korea’s defence ministry in Seoul December 23, 2012, shows South Korean officers checking a piece of wreckage of North Korea’s Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket, at the Agency of Defense Development in Daejeon, south of Seoul (Reuters / Handout)

Pyongyang is developing missiles capable of reaching the US, South Korean officials have claimed. The allegations came as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un called for the development of more powerful rockets after the successful launch of a satellite.

The North’s launch of a three-stage Unha-3 rocket on December 12 prompted numerous allegations that the event was a secret missile test, rather than the purported satellite launch. South Korea has claimed that their analysis of the rocket’s debris shows that Pyongyang may have developed technology allowing it to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile.

“Based on our analysis of the material of Unha-3, North Korea had secured a range of more than 10,000 km if the warhead is 500 to 600 kg,” a South Korean Defense Ministry official said on Sunday.

If the claims are true, North Korea has developed missiles capable of reaching the US.

An undated image released by South Korea′s defence ministry in Seoul December 23, 2012, shows a  piece of wreckage of North Korea′s Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being pulled up by the South Korean navy. A minesweeper equipped with the sonar system detected three parts of the rocket in waters 151 km (94 miles) west of Gunsan city and 85 meters below the sea, according to Yonhap (Reuters / Handout)
An undated image released by South Korea’s defence ministry in Seoul December 23, 2012, shows a piece of wreckage of North Korea’s Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being pulled up by the South Korean navy. A minesweeper equipped with the sonar system detected three parts of the rocket in waters 151 km (94 miles) west of Gunsan city and 85 meters below the sea, according to Yonhap (Reuters / Handout)

South Korea said Sunday that it had retrieved the key parts of the rocket’s first stage, except for the engine. The parts recovered included the fuel tank – which displayed the digit ‘3’ – a chemical combustion chamber and an engine connection rod, officials reported.

An analysis of the parts will provide a clearer picture of North Korean advances in rocket technology, experts said. Read the rest of this entry »

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US claims N. Korea’s satellite is ‘out of control’ security threat

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 14, 2012

NKOREA-MISSILE-SATELLITEDespite the nature of North Korea’s recently launched satellite being unknown Washington condemned it as an “out of control” threat to regional security. Pyongyang maintains it was a surveillance device, denying allegations of warmongering.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity voiced their concerns over the “out of control” satellite to US broadcaster NBC News. They said that the celestial object was a threat to regional security and could potentially collide with other satellites in orbit.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Aerospace Research Institute said that Pyongyang’s satellite was orbiting at between 494 and 588 kilometers above the earth as predicted. The typical orbiting altitude for an observation satellite is between 480 and 970 kilometers.

The controversial launch was greeted with a wave of furious condemnation by the international community, who regard North Korea’s rocket launches as thinly-veiled missile tests, paving the way for possible nuclear armament.

The UN decried the launch as a violation of international law, while Washington said that Pyongyang would face“consequences” for what it branded as a “highly provocative act.” The international community is now discussing a new set of sanctions to slam on Pyongyang following the contested launch. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea declares its rocket launch a success

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2012

A missile is displayed during a militaryNorth Korea launched a long-range rocket Wednesday morning despite international opposition and growing tensions in the region. Pyongyang claimed the Unha-3 rocket successfully delivered a scientific satellite into orbit.

Seoul has strongly condemned the launch as a violation of UN resolutions, with the South Korean president calling for an emergency meeting over the issue. The launch was confirmed by officials at the South Korean Defense Ministry and its Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shortly after liftoff, the Aegis radar system in the Yellow Sea detected the move,” a senior South Korean military official said, Yonhap news agency reports.

North Korea said the Unha-3 rocket delivered a Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite into orbit as planned.

“The second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center by carrier rocket Unha-3 on Wednesday,” the official Korean Central News Agency said. “The satellite entered its preset orbit.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reported that the North Korean missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit, which would fall in line with Pyongyang’s claims about the nature of the launch.

However critics believe this could be a ballistic missile test, which the UN has banned North Korea from conducting. The UN Security Council is to gather for an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the developments.

The debris of the rocket fell into waters off the Philippines at 10:05 a.m. local time after passing over Okinawa, the Japanese government said, according to Yonhap. An official in Seoul told the news agency that the first stage of the North Korean rocket fell in the Yellow Sea. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kim Jong Un’s Iran Visit Will Mark First Official Overseas Visit

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 23, 2012

Half a year after taking over for his late father Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s young head of state is planning his first official trip abroad next week. NBC News reportsthat Kim Jong Un is headed to Iran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.

Just what sort of meeting would draw the leader of the hermetic state halfway across the world? AFP explains:

The NAM, born at the height of the Cold War, brings together nations that consider themselves independent of the world’s major power blocs. The organisation counts a total 119 countries plus the Palestinian territories.

Kim will be rubbing elbows with the likes of India, Egypt, and Cuba, AFP notes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States isn’t thrilled about the whole thing. “[W]e frankly don’t think that Iran is deserving of these high-level presences that are going there,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, according to Fox News. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korean Mystery Woman Could Be Kim Jong Un’s Sister Or Wife

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

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North Korea Mystery Woman
SEOUL, South Korea — A mysterious young woman appearing at the side of North Korea’s new leader is the subject of speculation she could be Kim Jong Un’s younger sister or even wife, but Pyongyang has released no details.

North Korean state TV on Sunday showed an elegant, somber young woman in a black jacket and skirt bowing with Kim at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

She is believed to be the same woman shown Saturday seated next to Kim at a concert. North Korean state broadcaster KRT showed her walking into the concert hall behind Kim, and they clapped together at the end of Friday’s performance.

The North’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Monday ran a photo of Kim and the woman on its website without identifying her. Her appearances with Kim were front-page news in South Korean media. Read the rest of this entry »

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How the U.S. Could Pressure North Korea Tomorrow: Quit the $100 Bill

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 27, 2012

Photo-Illustration by TIME

PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION BY TIME

U.S. negotiators are heading into a second day of what have been dubbed “serious and substantial” talks with North Korean officials. Yet amid all the discussion of how the U.S. will attempt to work with Kim Jong Un, there has been little (open) speculation as to whether Dear Leader Junior might crank up production of $100 and $50 bills. No, not North Korean 100- or 50-won banknotes, worth about as much as old tissues. I’m talking about fake greenbacks — or as the U.S. Secret Service has dubbed them, “superdollars.”

These ultra-counterfeits are light-years beyond the weak facsimiles produced by most forgers, who use desktop printers. As an anticounterfeiting investigator with Europol once put it, “Superdollars are just U.S. dollars not made by the U.S. government.” With few exceptions, only Federal Reserve banks equipped with the fanciest detection gear can identify these fakes.

Yet as unpatriotic as this may sound, perhaps America would be better off if Kim Jong Un were to try and enrich himself with DIY Benjamins. Let me explain, by way of a little background about superdollars.

(MORE: Can a Second Bailout Save Greece?) Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellite images show activity at N. Korea nuclear site

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 28, 2012

Photo shows work at North Korea nuclear test site (Associated Press / DigitalGlobe)

Photo shows work at North Korea nuclear test site (Associated Press / DigitalGlobe)

Satellite imagery reveals an escalation in activity at North Korea’s Punggye-ri atomic site in possible preparation for a third nuclear test, experts say. However, there is no clear indication from the photos when the test may occur.

The images from a US-based website highlight a chain of mining carts on piles of excavated soil. This coincides with South Korean intelligence reports at the beginning of April claiming that the North was digging a new tunnel at the Punggye-ri for the purposes of a covert nuclear test.

The US-Korea Institute at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies analyzed the photos taken between March 8 and April 18 by a private satellite operator. The most recent images suggest that 8,000 cubic meters of rubble have been excavated at Punggye-ri. North Korea carried out two atomic bomb tests at the site in 2006 and 2009.

“While it’s very clear from looking at these photos that the North has stepped up preparations for a nuclear test over the past few months, it’s unclear exactly when the blast will occur,”  Joel Wit, editor of the institute’s website said to the Associated Press.

He added that upon close examination there has been “a lot of activity at the site” where “you can clearly see vehicles” and objects being moved around. Read the rest of this entry »

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Marines Leave Okinawa: U.S. To Remove 9,000 Stationed On Japanese Island

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2012

By ROBERT BURNS

WASHINGTON — About 9,000 U.S. Marines stationed on the Japanese island of Okinawa will be moved to the U.S. territory of Guam and other locations in the Asia-Pacific, including Hawaii, under a U.S.-Japan agreement announced Thursday.

Marines Landing Exercise

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Must-Reads From Around the World: April 26, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

PETER DEJONG/AFP/GettyImages/Pool

PETER DEJONG/AFP/GETTYIMAGES/POOL
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes at the start of the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone’s rebels who paid him in “blood diamonds,” on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague

Life For Death? – The five-year trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other offenses, is finally coming to a close in The Hague on Thursday, with a possible life sentence for the ousted leader. The Guardian, live-blogging the verdict from the tribunal, noted that Taylor is “clearly listening with care,” as it is read out. And judges found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.

New Front in Drone War – The White House expanded the authority of the Pentagon and CIA to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, which is widely believed to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda operatives, the New York Times reports. U.S. Defense Secretary LeonPanetta has defended the strategy, the Guardian says, but international legal experts argue that drone strikes amount to execution of suspects before trial, making them illegal – especially when carried out in Yemen where the U.S. is not engaged in war.

Questioning Misogyny – Following the fierce debate over its cover story, “Why Do They Hate Us?“ which casts Arab societies as deeply misogynistic, Foreign Policy shares critiques and commentary from six Muslim observers, including the senior editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website. Also chiming in is The Atlantic’s Max Fisher, who argues that while misogyny is a problem in Arab countries, it’s not a distinctively Arab problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea’s Missiles Displayed At Parade Are Fake, Say Analysts

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

TOKYO — Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country’s claims of military prowess.

Since its recent rocket launch failure, Pyongyang’s top military leaders have made several boastful statements about its weapons capabilities. On Wednesday, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho claimed his country is capable of defeating the United States “at a single blow.” And on Monday, North Korea promised “special actions” that would reduce Seoul’s government to ashes within minutes.

But the weapons displayed April 15 appear to be a mishmash of liquid-fuel and solid-fuel components that could never fly together. Undulating casings on the missiles suggest the metal is too thin to withstand flight. Each missile was slightly different from the others, even though all were supposedly the same make. They don’t even fit the launchers they were carried on. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea Nuclear Test Reportedly Ready Soon

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2012

North Korea Nuclear Test

By Benjamin Kang Lim

BEIJING, April 24 (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test, a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said, an act that would draw further international condemnation following a failed rocket launch.

The isolated and impoverished state sacrificed the chance of closer ties with the United States when it launched the long-range rocket on April 13 and was censured by the U.N. Security Council, which includes the North’s sole major ally, China.

Critics say the rocket launch was aimed at honing the North’s ability to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States, a move that would dramatically increase its military and diplomatic heft.

Now the North appears to be about to carry out a third nuclear test after two in 2006 and 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea Rocket 2012: World Leaders Condemn Failed Launch

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 13, 2012

The much-vaunted launch of the North Korea’s latest rocket has ended in failure, causing considerable international embarrassment for Pyongyang.

Two minutes after lift-off, the Unha-3 rocket reportedly exploded in flight and plunged into the Yellow Sea between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula.

Despite the failure, the launch drew international condemnation amid accusations from Washington, Tokyo and Seoul that the rocket, supposedly built to put a weather satellite in orbit, was in fact a ballistic missile test.

The rocket was fired at 11.39pm on Thursday (7.39am local time) from a launch pad in the west coast town of Tongchang-ri, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Friday.

In an rare moment of honesty, North Korean state TV, acknowledged the satellite’s failure to enter orbit. “Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure,” added the Korean central news agency. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea Rocket Test: Launch Pad Set Despite Warnings Of Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 9, 2012


Comment: Every country or block trying to make themselves safe and powerful and not trying to make safe the whole world. From this point it could be difficult to blame this country only:

TONGCHANG-RI, North Korea — North Korean space officials have moved all three stages of a long-range rocket into position for a controversial launch, vowing to push ahead with their plan in defiance of international warnings against violating a ban on missile activity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pyongyang, North Korea, Rebuilds On The Home Front

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 31, 2012


“Split and rule” – everywhere the same principle in the politics:

PYONGYANG, North Korea — The sprawling site, which buzzes in the shadow of a giant bronze statue of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, looks at first like a high-security military installation.

Scores of soldiers march through a zone sealed off by green mesh fencing and checkpoints. A crew of about 1,000 soldiers and 2,000 police officers works around the clock, along with thousands more civilians in street clothes and hard hats, spurred on by billboards that rate their performance.

But they are not building tanks here at the foot of Mansu Hill, or weapons, except perhaps for a propaganda war. They are building 3,000 new apartments, a department store, schools and a theater, in the hope of selling a modern version of Pyongyang to the people of North Korea – albeit one that most will never get to see.

North Korea has long been known for its military-first policy, which in effect translated into a military-only policy with little room left for investment anywhere else. But now, without abandoning its focus on what it calls defense and the world calls defiance, it also appears to be trying to revive a dying economy and rebuild on the home front.

The stated aim of the reconstruction sweeping Pyongyang is to put North Korea on the path of being a “strong and prosperous nation” in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder and president Kim Il Sung on April 15. But the campaign also serves another political purpose: It sets up Kim Jong Un as the new leader of a great people, just as a construction frenzy heralded his father’s ascension before him. Read the rest of this entry »

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