James's Feed
May 24, 2015

Women activists cross DMZ to mixed reception on South Korean side

PAJU, South Korea (Reuters) – A group of international women activists crossed the heavily-fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea on Sunday in what they said was a symbolic act for peace.

North and South Korea are still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Despite its name the DMZ is one of the most heavily militarized and fortified borders in the world.

May 21, 2015

Bugged phones and double barbed wire: far fewer North Koreans defect

SEOUL (Reuters) – It’s much more dangerous, and twice as expensive, to defect from North Korea since Kim Jong Un took power in Pyongyang three and a half years ago, refugees and experts say, and far fewer people are escaping from the repressive and impoverished country.

With barbed-wire fencing erected on both sides of the Tumen River that marks the border with China, more guard posts and closer monitoring of cross-border phone calls, the number of North Koreans coming annually to the South via China has halved since 2011.

May 20, 2015

North Korea “modified” submarine missile launch photos, says US official

SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) – Photos showing a North Korean
missile launched from a submarine were manipulated by state
propagandists, and the isolated country may still be years away
from developing the technology, a top U.S. military official
said on Tuesday.

North Korea, heavily sanctioned by the United States and
United Nations for its missile and nuclear tests, said on May 9
it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a
submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) which, if true,
would indicate progress in its pursuit of building
missile-equipped submarines.

May 20, 2015

North Korea “modified” submarine missile launch photos, say experts

SEOUL (Reuters) – Photos showing a North Korean missile launched from a submarine were manipulated by state propagandists, and the isolated country may still be years away from developing the technology, analysts and a senior U.S. Navy admiral said on Tuesday.

North Korea, heavily sanctioned by the United States and United Nations for its missile and nuclear tests, said on May 9 it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) which, if true, would indicate progress in its pursuit of building missile-equipped submarines.

May 19, 2015

Ousted Thai PM Thaksin says no plans to mobilise supporters

SEOUL, May 19 (Reuters) – Thailand’s fugitive former prime
minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, said on Tuesday he had no plans to
mobilise his “Red Shirt” supporters but called the first year of
the junta government which came to power in a coup “not so
impressive”.

Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail sentence handed
down for graft in 2008, has rarely spoken about Thai politics
since the military toppled the remnants of the government of his
sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, a year ago.

May 14, 2015

Pyongyang pop and flowers: last days of N.Korea’s defence chief

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean defence minister Hyon Yong Chol settled into a concert hall seat on an evening in late April to watch Pyongyang’s best-known pop act, the Moranbong Band, perform hits including “Glorious Motherland” and “My Country is the Best”.

It was most probably his last public appearance.

According to intelligence gathered by South Korean spies and shared with lawmakers in Seoul, Hyon was charged the next day with treason and later gruesomely executed by anti-aircraft gun fire. If confirmed, it would be the latest in a string of purges under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

May 14, 2015

North Korea executes defence chief with an anti-aircraft gun: South Korea agency

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea executed its defence chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service told lawmakers, which would be the latest in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took charge.

Hyon Yong Chol, who headed the isolated nuclear-capable country’s military, was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim and falling asleep during an event at which North Korea’s young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday.

May 13, 2015

Pyongyang pop and flowers: last days of North Korea’s defense chief

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean defense minister Hyon Yong Chol settled into a concert hall seat on an evening in late April to watch Pyongyang’s best-known pop act, the Moranbong Band, perform hits including “Glorious Motherland” and “My Country is the Best”.

It was most probably his last public appearance.

According to intelligence gathered by South Korean spies and shared with lawmakers in Seoul, Hyon was charged the next day with treason and later gruesomely executed by anti-aircraft gun fire. If confirmed, it would be the latest in a string of purges under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

May 13, 2015

North Korea executes defence chief for napping at military event: South Korean media

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has executed its defence chief on treason charges, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service was quoted as telling lawmakers, in the latest of a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took power after his father’s death in 2011.

Hyon Yong Chol, who heads the isolated country’s military, was purged and then executed by firing squad with an antiaircraft gun, watched by hundreds of people, South Korean media reported on Wednesday, citing the NIS’s comments to a parliamentary panel.

May 13, 2015

North Korea executes defence chief on treason charges – South Korean media

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has executed its defence chief on treason charges, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service was quoted as telling lawmakers, in the latest of a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took power after his father’s death in 2011.

Hyon Yong Chol, who heads the isolated country’s military, was purged and then executed by firing squad with an antiaircraft gun, watched by hundreds of people, South Korean media reported on Wednesday, citing the NIS’s comments to a parliamentary panel.