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  1. #1
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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un alive and well (South Korea confirms) [Post#37]

    A report has emerged that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell into a vegetative state after receiving heart surgery.

    The report, which was from the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai, further compounds the mystery of where the nation’s leader has been since April 11. A member of the Chinese team of experts dispatched to North Korea allegedly told the magazine about Kim’s condition.

    The expert, who was not named, claimed that earlier this month, Kim grabbed his chest and collapsed to the ground. He was rushed to a hospital after receiving CPR and later underwent surgery. China was reportedly called after the incident, prompting the delegation of experts to visit the country.

    It was reported Friday that the delegation was being led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department. The team, which also included several doctors, left for North Korea on Thursday.

    On Monday, the Daily NK, a South Korean-based website, reported that Kim was recovering from a “cardiovascular surgical procedure.” CNN also reported late Monday night that the U.S. intelligence community is investigating reports that he was in “grave danger” after the surgery.

    Kim was absent from the public on Friday while the country’s state-run media celebrated the 88th anniversary of the country’s armed forces. South Korean officials have said there is no evidence that Kim is unwell, although intelligence services in both South Korea and the United States have said they are monitoring the reports.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...e-media-report


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    Something is not right here.

    How can somebody in their mid-30s require emergency heart surgery ? Granted Kim Jong Un has never looked a picture of fitness and wellbeing, but the guy's every need is catered to and has access to the top doctors in the country.

    Kim has created a lot of enemies through his purges - is there foul play involved ?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Something is not right here.

    How can somebody in their mid-30s require emergency heart surgery ? Granted Kim Jong Un has never looked a picture of fitness and wellbeing, but the guy's every need is catered to and has access to the top doctors in the country.

    Kim has created a lot of enemies through his purges - is there foul play involved ?
    dude is small and carrying around 300 pounds what do you expect

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Something is not right here.

    How can somebody in their mid-30s require emergency heart surgery ? Granted Kim Jong Un has never looked a picture of fitness and wellbeing, but the guy's every need is catered to and has access to the top doctors in the country.

    Kim has created a lot of enemies through his purges - is there foul play involved ?
    It is not unusual for people in their 30s to get heart attacks specially someone like him who is just a fat tub of lard.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Something is not right here.

    How can somebody in their mid-30s require emergency heart surgery ? Granted Kim Jong Un has never looked a picture of fitness and wellbeing, but the guy's every need is catered to and has access to the top doctors in the country.

    Kim has created a lot of enemies through his purges - is there foul play involved ?
    He is the only obese guy in North Korea! That should tell you all about his diet. He is supposed to be a smoker too, little fitness, the stress of being the supreme leader and having to act everytime the camera is rolling can have adverse effect on health.

    North Koreas doctors most likely have little experience dealing with obese patients and heart surgeries.

    I think Kim is pawn for the military elite but I don't think they can just get rid of him like that. There is no obvious replacement which could lead to a rift within the dynasty.

  6. #6
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    This is a lesson for all morbidly obese people. Take care of your body.



  7. #7
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    If this news is true then RIP homie.

    People might be happy about his situation considering that North Korea is the axis of evil but I have sympathy with him. He inherited North Korea.To inherit the evil of your Father and Grandfather is always a tough thing.

  8. #8
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    It’s time for the Korean unification

  9. #9
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    Train possibly belonging to North Korean leader spotted in resort town: think tank


    A special train possibly belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spotted this week at a resort town in the country, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health and whereabouts.

    The monitoring project, 38 North, said in its report on Saturday that the train was parked at the “leadership station” in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23. The station is reserved for the use of the Kim family, it said.

    Though the group said it was probably Kim Jong Un’s train, Reuters has not been able to confirm that independently, or whether he was in Wonsan.

    “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” the report said.

    Speculation about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

    North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on April 11.

    China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.

    A third-generation hereditary leader who came to power after his father’s death in 2011, Kim has no clear successor in a nuclear-armed country, which could present major international risk.

    On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump downplayed reports that Kim was ill. “I think the report was incorrect,” Trump told reporters, but he declined to say if he had been in touch with North Korean officials.

    Trump has met Kim three times in an attempt to persuade him to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States as well as its Asian neighbors. While talks have stalled, Trump has continued to hail Kim as a friend.

    REPORTS AND CONTROLS

    Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult because of tight controls on information.

    A Trump administration official said continuing days of North Korean media silence on Kim’s whereabouts had heightened concerns about his condition, and that information remained scant from a country U.S. intelligence has long regarded as a “black box.”

    The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to questions about the situation on Saturday.

    Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, cited one unnamed source in North Korea on Monday as saying that Kim had undergone medical treatment in the resort county of Hyangsan north of the capital Pyongyang.

    It said that Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12.

    Since then, multiple South Korean media reports have cited unnamed sources this week saying that Kim might be staying in the Wonsan area.

    On Friday, local news agency Newsis cited South Korean intelligence sources as reporting that a special train for Kim’s use had been seen in Wonsan, while Kim’s private plane remained in Pyongyang.

    Newsis reported Kim may be sheltering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

    Kim, believed to be 36, has disappeared from coverage in North Korean state media before. In 2014, he vanished for more than a month and North Korean state TV later showed him walking with a limp.

    Speculation about his health has been fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN2270TF

  10. #10
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    Questions hang over North Korea succession amid reports on Kim health


    North Korea has never publicised who would follow leader Kim Jong Un in the event he is incapacitated, and with no details known about his young children, analysts say his sister and loyalists could form a regency until a successor is old enough to take over.

    South Korean and Chinese officials on Tuesday cast doubt on reports that Kim was gravely ill following a cardiovascular procedure, after his absence from a key state anniversary event triggered speculation about his health.

    But the media reports sparked questions about who would be in place to take over if the 36-year-old Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader, fell seriously ill or died. He became leader when his father Kim Jong Il died in 2011 from a heart attack.

    Each change of leadership in North Korea has raised the prospect of a leadership vacuum or collapse of the Kim dynasty, which has ruled the country since its founding in 1948.

    So far, each of the three Kims to rule North Korea has defied expectations, holding on to power with an iron grip. But under Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles has grown substantially, raising concerns over who would control those weapons.

    The following are key figures in the North Korean leadership circle and what role they may play in any future transition.

    KIM YO JONG

    Kim’s younger sister has been the most visible presence around the leader in the past two years, while serving formally as a vice director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee but unofficially as her brother’s chief of staff.

    She was named an alternate member of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful Central Committee Politburo earlier this month, continuing her climb through the leadership hierarchy.

    Kim, who is believed to be 31, has a firm control of key party functions, setting herself to be the main source of power behind a collective leadership.

    “Kim Yo Jong will be for the time being the main power base with control of the organisation and guidance department, the judiciary and public security,” Cho Han-bum of the Korea Institute for National Unification said.

    THE PARTY ELDERS

    Choe Ryong Hae rose to be the North’s nominal head of state last year becoming the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

    It capped decades of service with the party for the ruling Kim family, previously serving as the influential political head of the North’s military under the young leader.

    He and Pak Pong Ju, a fellow politburo member and former state premier who oversaw the North’s push to introduce more free market functions to revive its economy, are likely to be the figureheads leading a collective leadership.

    Kim Yong Chol, a party vice chairman and former top nuclear envoy, and Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon could be tasked with handling diplomatic issues including stalled denuclearisation talks with North Korea as they played a key role in summits with U.S. President Donald Trump.

    ESTRANGED BROTHERS, AUNT

    Kim Jong Chol is the leader’s older brother but has not been part of the North’s leadership, instead leading a quiet life playing music, according to Thae Yong Ho, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador in London who defected to the South.

    He is believed to be disinterested in public life and is unlikely to emerge as a major presence, though some analysts say he maintains ties with siblings and could play a more public role in a contingency.

    Kim Kyong Hui was once a powerful figure in the leadership circle when her brother Kim Jong Il ruled the country. She had not been seen since her husband, Jang Song Thaek, once regarded as the second most powerful man in the country, was executed in 2013 by Kim Jong Un. She has long been ill but briefly appeared early this year at a gala performance alongside her nephew.

    FOURTH GENERATION

    Kim Jong Un is believed to have three children with Ri Sol Ju, the youngest born in 2017, according to the South’s National Intelligence Service.

    The oldest is a 10-year-old son, meaning any of the three would need the assistance of their relatives or political guardians if they were to become a fourth-generation hereditary leader.

    Kim Jong Il had been groomed for 20 years to lead the country, while Kim Jong Un only had just over a year due to his father’s sudden death from a stroke.

    “Kim Yo Jong is unlikely to take over the helm but could help build a caretaker regime as a power broker until the kids grow up, and Kim Jong Chol might return to help for a while,” said Go Myong-hyun, a research fellow at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN2270VW

  11. #11
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    lot of fake news goin around

  12. #12
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    I believe he is dead

  13. #13
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    Another great man dead in the month of Ramadan.

    May Allah swt grant him Jannah-tul-Firdaus

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pakistanian View Post
    lot of fake news goin around
    You reporting live from Pyongyang?

  15. #15
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    Too many conflicting reports at the moment.

    Until a statement is released by North Korea itself, we are all just guessing at best.

  16. #16
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    Kim Jong-un’s train possibly spotted in resort. As rumours about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continue to circulate, including reports that he is sheltering from Covid-19, a US-based monitoring group released satellite images of what may have been his train parked at an exclusive resort town in the country’s east.

    Source Guardian


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  17. #17
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    WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - A special train possibly belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was spotted this week at a resort town in the country, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health and whereabouts.

    The monitoring project, 38 North, said in its report on Saturday that the train was parked at the “leadership station” in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23. The station is reserved for the use of the Kim family, it said.

    Though the group said it was probably Kim Jong Un’s train, Reuters has not been able to confirm that independently, or whether he was in Wonsan.

    “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” the report said.

    Speculation about Kim’s health first arose due to his absence from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

    North Korea’s state media last reported on Kim’s whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on April 11.

    China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.

    A third-generation hereditary leader who came to power after his father’s death in 2011, Kim has no clear successor in a nuclear-armed country, which could present major international risk.

    On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump downplayed reports that Kim was ill. “I think the report was incorrect,” Trump told reporters, but he declined to say if he had been in touch with North Korean officials.

    Trump has met Kim three times in an attempt to persuade him to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States as well as its Asian neighbors. While talks have stalled, Trump has continued to hail Kim as a friend.

    Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult because of tight controls on information.

    A Trump administration official said continuing days of North Korean media silence on Kim’s whereabouts had heightened concerns about his condition, and that information remained scant from a country U.S. intelligence has long regarded as a “black box.”

    The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to questions about the situation on Saturday.

    Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, cited one unnamed source in North Korea on Monday as saying that Kim had undergone medical treatment in the resort county of Hyangsan north of the capital Pyongyang.

    It said that Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12.

    Since then, multiple South Korean media reports have cited unnamed sources this week saying that Kim might be staying in the Wonsan area.

    On Friday, local news agency Newsis cited South Korean intelligence sources as reporting that a special train for Kim’s use had been seen in Wonsan, while Kim’s private plane remained in Pyongyang.

    Newsis reported Kim may be sheltering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

    Kim, believed to be 36, has disappeared from coverage in North Korean state media before. In 2014, he vanished for more than a month and North Korean state TV later showed him walking with a limp.

    Speculation about his health has been fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN2270TF


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  18. #18
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    Rumours have swirled surrounding the health of North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un's health following his noticeable absence from state media, official statements and public events in recent days.

    The third-generation hereditary leader who came to power after his father's death in 2011 has no clear successor and it is unclear who would lead the nuclear-armed nation in the event of his incapacitation.

    Speculation includes the theory that the controversial leader is isolating for fears of the coronavirus or that he is suffering from a serious injury or illness.

    While there are no credible reports saying Kim has died, the hashtag #KIMJONGUNDEAD has trended on social media in recent days.

    Kim, believed to be 36, has disappeared from coverage in North Korean state media before, most notably in 2014, when he vanished for more than a month. North Korean state television later showed him walking with a limp.

    A special train possibly belonging to the North Korean leader was spotted this week at a resort town in the country, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington, DC-based North Korea monitoring project, 38 North.

    The group said in its report on Saturday the train was parked at the "leadership station"- reserved for the use of the Kim family - in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23.

    Here is what we know so far about Kim's whereabouts.

    When was he last seen?

    North Korea's state media last reported on Kim's whereabouts when he presided over a meeting on April 11.

    Four days later, Kim was absent from the birth anniversary of North Korea's founding father, his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

    Cheong Seong-chang, director of the Center for North Korean Studies at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, told the New York Times that Kim not making an appearance at his grandfather's mausoleum during the anniversary was "unthinkable" in the country, describing it as "the closest thing to blasphemy in the North".

    Official statements have conspicuously not mentioned Kim in recent days, while state media were yet to release photos of the leader overseeing an April 14 missile test, as is common.

    However, on Saturday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim had received a message of greeting from the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on the occasion of the first anniversary of Kim's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    What have reports said?

    On Monday, Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, cited one unnamed source in the reclusive country as saying that Kim had undergone medical treatment in the resort county of Hyangsan north of the capital Pyongyang. It said Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12, made necessary by heavy smoking, obesity and fatigue.

    Shortly after, CNN, citing a senior US official with knowledge of the situation, then reported Kim was in "grave danger", a claim that was refuted in a report by Reuters news agency citing South Korean government sources.

    Meanwhile, Reuters, citing three people familiar with the situation, said close ally China has dispatched a team to North Korea, including medical experts, to advise on Kim.

    North Korea train

    The news agency also cited a Trump administration official saying that the continuing North Korean media silence on Kim's whereabouts had heightened concerns about his condition.

    Since the NK Daily report, multiple South Korean media reports have cited unnamed sources saying Kim might be staying in the Wonsan area.

    On Friday, local news agency Newsis cited South Korean intelligence sources as reporting that a special train for Kim's use had been seen in Wonsan, while Kim's private plane remained in Pyongyang. Newsis reported Kim may be sheltering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

    What have other countries said?

    US President Donald Trump on Thursday downplayed reports that Kim was ill.

    "I think the report was incorrect," Trump told reporters, but declined to say if he had been in touch with North Korean officials.

    Trump has met Kim three times in an attempt to persuade him to give up a nuclear weapons programme that threatens the United States as well as its Asian allies.

    South Korea also downplayed Kim's absence on Tuesday, saying they had detected "no special signs" in North Korea, a statement they have since reiterated.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...082026823.html
    Last edited by MenInG; 26th April 2020 at 21:21.


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  19. #19
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    There was a popular trend on the social media celebrating his death. I found it to be rather disgusting.

    They were reacting as if Hitler or Bin Laden had died. North Korea is a rouge state and its nuclear arsenal a threat to the whole world but Kim Jong Un inherited all of it and had no role in establishing it. I also believed that if shown a bit of carrot Kim Jong Un would be a lot easier to persuade than any of his predecessors. If he was hesitant to do so that's most probably because of the military elite in the shadows who were pulling the strings.

    Who do you think is responsible for all the fake propaganda, smiling and over the top cheerful crowds? This stuff had been going for two generations before Kim came to power and isn't easy to dismantle. There are many high level officials who benefit directly from the rouge state of North Korea.

  20. #20
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    Please don't ban tributes to Kim. To many of us who do not believe in western propaganda he wasn't a villain as such.


  21. #21
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    The guy is evil, but be careful what you wish for. Better the devil you know.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by freelance_cricketer View Post
    Please don't ban tributes to Kim. To many of us who do not believe in western propaganda he wasn't a villain as such.
    Show me one world leader who is so popular among the kids than the supreme Marshal Kim Jong un



    Be sure to check out that youtube channel, it's the only official channel of the DPRK.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirris View Post
    Show me one world leader who is so popular among the kids than the supreme Marshal Kim Jong un



    Be sure to check out that youtube channel, it's the only official channel of the DPRK.
    Wonderful video and jist goes to show how much people of North Korea love amd adore Kim.

    Western media and people who doubt this remind me of my ex girlfriend's stupid friends who always plotted and conspired against me.

  24. #24
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    Of all the family members who could eventually take the reins from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, his sister seems like the obvious choice.

    Kim Yo Jong, in her early 30s, has been by her brother’s side at summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, sat behind Vice President Mike Pence while representing North Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics and became the first immediate member of the ruling family to visit Seoul, where she delivered a personal message from her brother inviting South Korean President Moon Jae-in to a summit.

    The biggest potential hang-up: She’s a woman in a society rigidly controlled by men. While many North Korea watchers say bloodline is more important than gender, others are skeptical.

    “Yo Jong’s role will likely be limited to a regent at most” due to North Korea’s feudal patriarchy, said Yoo Ho-yeol, who teaches North Korean studies at Korea University and formerly advised South Korea’s unification ministry and defense ministry. “Not only the male-dominant leadership, but also ordinary people there would resist a female leader.”

    The question of whether Kim Yo Jong will become North Korea’s first woman leader has suddenly become front and center as questions about her brother’s health intensify. Kim Jong Un hasn’t appeared in state media in two weeks, prompting a flurry of reports suggesting he could be incapacitated.

    The Kim family dynasty has ruled North Korea for three generations since its founding after World War II, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. divided up control of the Korean Peninsula. Over that time, it has built up one of the world’s most vigorous personality cults -- making the preeminent claim to legitimacy in the dictatorship a bloodline said to stem from the sacred Mount Paektu near the Chinese border.

    When Kim Jong Un took power after his father’s death in 2011, the big question was whether a leader in his 20s could rule a country that revered seniority. He soon exerted authority over geriatric generals and eliminated potential rivals: He executed his uncle and one-time deputy, Jang Song Thaek, and was suspected to have ordered the assassination of his exiled older half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in Malaysia.

    In many ways, Kim Yo Jong -- who has spent nearly a decade enmeshed in the state apparatus -- has been better groomed to take over the top leadership role. She could also similarly surprise anyone who doubts her ability to run the country, according to Soo Kim, a Rand Corp. policy analyst who specializes in Korean Peninsula issues.

    “I don’t think she needs to worry about gaining acceptance as a leader by the North Korean people by virtue of her Kim family bloodline,” Soo Kim said. “North Korea’s fate begins and ends with the Kim family.”

    The other potential male Kim heirs are younger or less experienced in the halls of power in Pyongyang. His brother Kim Jong Chol has no official title and seems to be more interested in playing guitar than politics, while his nephew, Kim Han Sol, has denounced the regime and is believed to be living abroad.

    South Korean media reported that Kim Jong Un has a 10-year-old son, but none of his children have been officially mentioned in state media. Thae Yong Ho, the former No. 2 at North Korea’s embassy in London who defected to South Korea, said in a radio interview that one potential successor is Kim Pyong Il, the only surviving son of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung who returned to the country last year following four decades overseas serving as a diplomat.

    “Those who’re serving Kim Jong Un are the first generation in their 60s through 80s, so there’s at least a 30-year age gap with Yo Jong. In their eyes, Yo Jong is just a novice,” Thae said. The same argument was made when Kim Jong Un took power, though his youth didn’t block his ascent or his control over the old guard.

    Either way, Kim Yo Jong remains the most prominent heir. Born in either 1988 or 1989, she was once a chubby-cheeked girl who loved dancing and was nicknamed “Princess Yo Jong” by her father, the late dictator Kim Jong Il, according to a biography of Kim Jong Un titled “The Great Successor” by Anna Fifield. She joined her brother at a school in Bern, Switzerland until about 2000 and later came back to study in North Korea.

    Her appearance by her brother’s side at the time of their father’s death let the North Korean public know she was a part of the Paektu bloodline. She soon had a position in the Workers’ Party Propaganda and Agitation Department, according to South Korea, where she was responsible for managing the image of the leader in state media -- a post similar to one held by her father when he was being groomed for succession.

    She steadily rose through the ranks and became a closer confidante to her brother, accompanying him on inspection tours of factories, farms and military units. Then her high-profile appearances on the international stage, which included mundane tasks like helping the leader extinguish a cigarette during a train stop in China, helped cement her status.

    Kim Raises Sister’s Profile With North Korean Politburo Post

    “When Kim Yo Jong has risen as high as she already has, she is no longer considered a woman but a leader who inherited greater legitimacy to rule than others,” said Chun Yungwoo, South Korea’s former envoy to international nuclear talks with North Korea. “North Korea certainly is one of the most male chauvinistic societies in the world, but bloodline supplemented by status in the Korea Workers’ Party supercedes gender.”

    Kim Yo Jong’s clout was on display last month when she personally responded to a letter from Trump offering assistance to fight Covid-19. In a statement carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency, she said Trump’s “close relations” with her brother weren’t enough to settle differences between the longstanding enemies -- providing a glimpse into how she would handle U.S.-North Korea ties if she does take power.

    ‘More Powerful’

    “We try to hope for the day when the relations between the two countries would be as good as the ones between the two top leaders, but it has to be left to time and be watched whether it can actually happen,” she said. “However, we will never lose or waste time for nothing, but will keep changing ourselves to be more powerful for that time just as how we made ourselves for the past two years.”

    Kim Hong-gul, the youngest son of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and a lawmaker-elect, said Kim Yo Jong looked firmly in control when a delegation from Seoul visited Pyongyang as part of a summit between the leaders of the countries in 2018.

    “I saw from a distance, at the airport upon our arrival and the banquet in Pyongyang, Yo Jong meticulously taking care of everything near her brother,” Kim Hong-gul said. “It looked like she was the top supervisor on the site.”

    On paper, there’s nothing stopping a woman from taking power in North Korea, even though its rubber-stamp parliament shows the vast majority of its members are older men -- one of the least gender diverse in the world. The constitution says “women are accorded an equal social status and rights with men.”

    Still, some analysts don’t think Kim Yo Jong could hold sway over the country’s generals who command the nuclear weapons program, which for many in Pyongyang represents the main guarantor of protection against a U.S. war for regime change. Ra Jong-yil, former deputy director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, said it was more likely the country is run by a military junta than Kim Yo Jong.

    “It is almost unthinkable to have a female leader in North Korea” in part due to its “unique patriarchy based on the Confucianism,” said Lee Byong-chul, a former South Korea presidential adviser on national security issues who is now a professor at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul. He questioned whether she could control the “old male generals” without her brother’s influence, and saw it more likely that either her uncle Kim Pyong Il or nominal head of state Choe Ryong Hae takes over.

    Still, North Korea’s “cult-driven system” makes it essential to have a family member in charge, and Kim Jo Yong “has shown that she knows how to exercise authority,” according to Sung-Yoon Lee​, who teaches Korean Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

    “The generals with the big guns have every interest in protecting their own power and they understand that power runs through the Kim family,” he said. “She will be able to wield power through a mix of terror and promotions. She knows how to play the game.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...es-male-rivals


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by freelance_cricketer View Post
    Wonderful video and jist goes to show how much people of North Korea love amd adore Kim.

    Western media and people who doubt this remind me of my ex girlfriend's stupid friends who always plotted and conspired against me.
    propaganda my friend

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    propaganda my friend
    What is not propaganda in the world.of politics
    Is Trump and Modi's rise and popularity not propaganda?

  27. #27
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    If he’s really a vegetable now, he’s probably French fries.

  28. #28
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    Surely some (or quite a lot) of the adulation and fanfare that Kim Jong-un receives is not genuine. The good residents of North Korea are probably too terrified of being disappeared, imprisoned or put in front of a firing squad if they don’t cheer and applaud.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    propaganda my friend
    Not everything is a propaganda and not everyone's love can be bought.

    Look at the patriotism and love of the Koreans for their leader, a side which is rarely shown in the western capitalist media, subservient to imperialistic goals. Capitalist leader Donal Trump can only dream of such a loyal nation.


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by freelance_cricketer View Post
    What is not propaganda in the world.of politics
    Is Trump and Modi's rise and popularity not propaganda?
    At least people have a choice to look at other options in a democracy
    Wth it's so hard understand?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    At least people have a choice to look at other options in a democracy
    Wth it's so hard understand?
    It's your conditioning.

    In some countries it may be religion, in some countries it maybe leader or even an idea for which people are blind and irrational.

    Being selective in our judgement for foreign people wrong.

    Kim Jung won everyone's heart when he extended the hand of friendship to South Korea.

    Despite everything the Western media tried , Kim came across as more human and reasonable than mosh world over rated world leaders.

  32. #32
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    There is no choice for the bourgeoisie. It's an illusion. It's amazing how delusional some people are.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigboii View Post
    At least people have a choice to look at other options in a democracy
    Wth it's so hard understand?
    Democracy is a sham system itself. When you have Dmeocrazy and control the media, judges..you control peoples options,thinking by brain washing them.

  34. #34
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    Dennis Rodman to take immediate control of North Korea.


    Pakistan is that kid who never studies for his exams but is surprised when he fails.

  35. #35
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    If the successor has to be a Kim, can it be the one of the Kardashian persuasion?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    If the successor has to be a Kim, can it be the one of the Kardashian persuasion?
    How about making Dennis Rodman the new leader of North Korea? I think he may like the job.



  37. #37
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    South Korea has said Kim Jong Un is "alive and well", casting doubts again on speculation that the North Korean leader is seriously ill after undergoing heart surgery.

    "Our government position is firm," Moon Chung-in, the top foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told CNN.

    "Kim Jong Un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since 13 April. No suspicious movements have so far been detected."

    What happens if Kim Jong Un is dead?

    'China would like to see N Korea more docile'

    Kim, 36, was last seen in public on 11 April at a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party politburo.

    But when the country celebrated the birthday of his late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung four days later, he was absent.

    Since then there have been conflicting accounts about his whereabouts and health, fanned by his heavy smoking, apparent weight gain since taking power and family history of cardiovascular problems.

    CNN last week reported that Kim was in "grave danger" following the surgical procedure, citing an anonymous US official.

    Daily NK, a website run mostly by North Korean defectors, also said last week that Kim was recovering at a villa in Hyangsan County in North P'yongan province after having surgery on 12 April.

    News agency Newsis cited South Korean intelligence sources on Friday as reporting that a special train for Kim's use had been seen in Wonsan, while the dictator's private plane remained in Pyongyang.

    The agency reported that Kim may be sheltering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

    A report by 38 North, a Washington-based project that monitors North Korea, said: "The train's presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country's eastern coast."

    Reporting from inside North Korea is notoriously difficult because of tight controls on information within the secretive state.

    Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader who came to power after his father's death in 2011, has no clear successor in his nuclear-armed country. This could present a major international risk.

    He has disappeared from coverage in North Korean state media before.

    Kim vanished for more than a month in 2014 and North Korean state TV later showed him walking with a limp.

    https://news.sky.com/story/kim-jong-...korea-11979252


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  38. #38
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    Trump says he knows how North Korea's Kim is doing; 'I hope he's fine'

    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he knows how Kim Jong Un is doing and hopes he is fine, after days of speculation over the North Korean leader’s health.

    “I can’t tell you exactly,” Trump said when asked about Kim’s condition at a White House news conference. “Yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can’t talk about it now. I just wish him well.”

    “I hope he’s fine. I do know how he’s doing relatively speaking. We will see - you’ll probably be hearing in the not too distant future,” Trump said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN22931W

  39. #39
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    Huge relief for all the doctors involved. They might have executed the doctors and their families if he had died. Btw how true is this? Do they really execute people because they failed to clap in excited manner or save someone due to medical limitations?

  40. #40
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    South Korea says North Korea's Kim may be trying to avoid coronavirus

    Kim Jong Un may have missed a key holiday on April 15 because of concerns over the coronavirus, not because he is ill, South Korea's minister for North Korean affairs said on Tuesday.


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  41. #41
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    Satellite images of luxury boats further suggest North Korea's Kim at favoured villa: experts

    Satellite imagery showing recent movements of luxury boats often used by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage near Wonsan provide further indications he has been at the coastal resort, according to experts who monitor the reclusive regime.


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  42. #42
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    So the marshal was just practicing self-isolation and the Western Capitalist Tabloid Media starts spreading Imperialist Propaganda about the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    Pathetic.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirris View Post
    So the marshal was just practicing self-isolation and the Western Capitalist Tabloid Media starts spreading Imperialist Propaganda about the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    Pathetic.
    Well there are plenty of examples of good and democratically elected leaders being wronged by Western Capitalism but I don't think this is one of them.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  44. #44
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    Pompeo says no sight of North Korea's Kim, real risk of famine in country


    The United States has caught no sight of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and is watching reports about his health, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, adding there was a real risk of famine in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    North Korean media has not reported on Kim’s whereabouts since he presided over a meeting on April 11, provoking speculation about his health and raising concerns about instability in the nuclear-armed country that could affect other North Asian countries and the United States.

    “We haven’t seen him. We don’t have any information to report today, we’re watching it closely,” Pompeo told Fox News after being asked about conflicting reports about Kim’s health.

    Pompeo said the United States was also monitoring the situation more broadly in North Korea, which borders China, given the risk presented by the coronavirus.

    “There is a real risk that there will be a famine, a food shortage, inside of North Korea too,” he added. “We’re watching each of those things closely, as they have a real impact on our mission set, which to ultimately denuclearize North Korea.”

    Officials in South Korea and the United States have said Kim may be staying at North Korea’s coastal resort of Wonsan to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus, and have expressed skepticism about media reports that he had some kind of serious illness.

    They caution, however, that Kim’s health and location are closely guarded secrets and reliable information is difficult to obtain from secretive North Korea.

    On Saturday, a U.S.-based North Korea monitoring project, 38 North, said satellite images showed what was believed to be Kim’s personal train parked at a station reserved for his use in Wonsan on April 21 and 23.

    New images taken on Wednesday showed a train in the same position, but it was unclear whether it had been there since last week, 38 North said.

    On Tuesday, another North Korea-monitoring website, NK PRO, reported that commercial satellite imagery showed boats often used by Kim had moved in patterns suggesting he or his entourage may be in the Wonsan area.

    38 North said that in its new images, the train did not appear to be prepared for departure as the engine could no longer be seen parked alongside its south end.

    It said the train’s presence did not prove Kim’s presence, but the station was reserved for the exclusive use of the Kim family, “lending weight to the multiple reports that Kim has been staying in the Wonsan area.”

    Pompeo told a later State Department news conference the United States would continue to focus on North Korean denuclearization, “no matter what transpires there.”

    President Donald Trump met Kim three times in 2018 and 2019 in an attempt to persuade him to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States. While talks have stalled, Trump has continued to hail Kim as a friend.

    Pompeo did not elaborate on the risk of famine in North Korea, but a North Korean economic delegation was due in Beijing this week to discuss food supplies and trade issues as the coronavirus outbreak has severely disrupted the country’s food supply, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

    Impoverished and isolated North Korea is prone to food shortages. As many as 1.1 million people died during the famines of the 1990s, according to South Korean estimates.


    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN22B20X

  45. #45
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    Seoul, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was last pictured centre stage at a key political meeting on April 11, but has been out of the country’s state media ever since. Now, after failing to appear at one of the secretive nation’s most important annual events, there is mounting speculation about his health.

    Kim is thought to be 36 years of age, but obesity and a weakness for cigarettes mean he has long been the subject of rumours about poor health - from fractured ankles to gout and even heart complications.

    But the latest rumours have proved more worrying than most. Speculation over Kim’s health went into overdrive when a Seoul-based watchdog publication cited an anonymous source stating that the North Korean leader was in a grave condition after heart surgery.

    Those who follow developments in North Korea say Kim is probably sick. The issue is the extent of any illness.

    “I think he is recovering from something,” said Cheehyung Harrison Kim, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who researches North Korea. “His health was always somewhat questionable and he may have gotten treatment … There are very few reports of him appearing in public in the past two weeks, and the news is usually filled with Kim Jong Un making on-site visits and so forth.”

    Peter Ward, a researcher on the North Korean economy and a columnist at NK News website, says there is little sign of Kim being seriously ill.

    “I think that he is indeed sick, but how sick he is, I don’t know,” Ward said. “There is little evidence that something is critically wrong. If something was critically wrong, we’d see more movement on the ground from space - planes, cars, the military might be on high alert as well. The state would have to go into emergency mode. But we’re not seeing that.”

    There is tangible evidence that something might be wrong, most tellingly Kim Jong Un’s absence from the annual ceremonies to mark the birth of his grandfather on April 15 - a hugely important event in North Korea.

    Reading the signs

    Satellite images have been shared showing a train standing at what is believed to be a private station for the Kim family at a beach resort in Wonsan, and the Stimson Center's 38 North website reported that the train was there again on Wednesday. Medical experts from China have also been dispatched to North Korea, according to Reuters news agency.

    “We should remain very sceptical of rumours about North Korea’s leadership,” said Leif-Eric Easley, an associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.

    “Reports about North Korean palace politics are often wrong or only partially accurate. If these stories were just gossip about a photogenic royal family, probably they wouldn’t matter much.”

    Even so, the rumours over Kim Jong Un’s health are sparking a debate over the succession in North Korea with analysts warning that Kim's sudden death could be disastrous for the Korean Peninsula.

    “We don’t know how the transition of power would happen if the state broke down. It’s a scenario that is fraught with danger and uncertainty and it’s something we should all be very, very concerned by,” NK News’ Ward said.

    Kim Jong Un took control of North Korea when he was just 32, after his father and North Korea’s previous leader, Kim Jong Il, died of a heart attack in 2011.

    Though sudden, analysts were not so surprised: Kim Jong Il was notably reclusive, had been in poor health for a long time and was already roughly 70 years old. His son had already appeared enough times to suggest he might take over from his father.

    But in the event that Kim Jong Un dies suddenly, there is no clear successor in place.

    North Korea Kim

    Kim Jong Un took power in North Korea after the death of his father in December 2011 [File: KCNA via Korea News Service and AP Photo]
    Even though the Kim family has ruled over the country since its beginnings, experts are not even able to confirm if Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, have children or how many they might have.

    That has focused attention on Kim's siblings.

    “I think Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, would most likely become the new head of state,” said the University of Hawaii's Harrison Kim. “But I think the power could possibly become less centralised than ever before. We might witness a transition into a kind of pluralistic leadership, with Kim Yo Jong as the symbolic head of state, but more people consulting behind the scenes.”

    Earlier this month, Kim Yo Jong was promoted to a position as an alternate member of the Central Committee Politburo in the ruling Korean Workers’ Party in what could be a sign of her being positioned for higher ranks, although she was dismissed from the committee last year.

    There is also Kim Jong Un’s older brother, Kim Jong Chol, but he has long been overlooked by North Korean leadership and it is Yo Jong who is most often seen with her brother.

    “Kim Jong Un has come to represent a roadblock to further change in the country. His death will probably allow new opportunities in the future,” Ward said. “But at the same time, we could be fraught with danger. We don’t know what would happen with a transition of power, or what would happen if the state broke down.”

    No political freedom

    Since coming to power, Kim has continued to abuse human rights in order to maintain control. Rights groups have catalogued executions, state-sponsored sexual violence and the use of political prison camps that are believed to be holding at least 120,000 people.

    As one United Nations report put it: “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”

    North Korea Kim

    Kim Yo Jong acted as an emissary for her brother during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. She has also accompanied him at key summits and was this month promoted in the political hierarchy [File: Brian Snyder/Reuters]
    Ward describes the situation as “abominable” and notes North Korea’s human rights situation is the worst in Asia, if not the world.

    “Every human rights abuse you can think of has probably happened in those camps,” Ward said. “The situation is abominable, and the reason why is simple: There are no political freedoms in that country at all.”

    Most chillingly, Kim is suspected of ordering the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, on the busy concourse of Kuala Lumpur’s international airport using a deadly chemical weapon in February 2017. Kim also reportedly had his uncle executed in 2013, perhaps to further consolidate his power.

    Despite such brazen acts, Kim Jong Un has also reached out to the wider world through international diplomacy.

    A significant breakthrough was the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, after the North Korean leader sent a brigade of cheerleaders, half a women’s hockey team and Kim Yo Jong as his emissary.

    Since then, Kim himself has sought closer engagement - meeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump several times during historic, face-to-face summits.

    Although Kim Jong Un’s true intentions have been questioned and nuclear talks broke down in Hanoi last year leading to a slew of missile tests, Kim’s death could mark an abrupt end to North Korea’s relationship-building measures and diplomatic progress.

    Meanwhile, Kim’s death could lead to panic among the senior leaders in North Korea where the economy is struggling under sanctions, there is widespread poverty, and the ever-present risk of natural disaster. Some worry that the country could collapse if its central leadership becomes too weak, leading to possible conflict between North and South Korea, or some sort of intervention from other countries.

    “There’s a lot of possible scenarios. We can’t know who will be able to maintain the North Korean regime after Kim Jong Un,” said Baek Jin-kyung, a researcher at the East Asia Institute in Seoul. “But the most important thing in the end is to maintain power, so I think that will be the country’s top priority.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...234902900.html


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  46. #46
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    Kim Jong-un makes 'first appearance' in 20 days after death rumours

    The North Korean dictator is reported to have he attended a completion ceremony at a factory in Sunchon days after rumours began to circulate he had died.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-...makes-21961055

  47. #47
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    Lots of conflicting news.

    I hope he has learned the importance of good fitness.
    Last edited by sweep_shot; 2nd May 2020 at 04:22.



  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajdeep View Post
    Kim Jong-un makes 'first appearance' in 20 days after death rumours

    The North Korean dictator is reported to have he attended a completion ceremony at a factory in Sunchon days after rumours began to circulate he had died.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-...makes-21961055
    From the mirror link:

    The reports originated in North Korean state media and have not been independently verified.

    Sister Kim Yo Jong also attended and no pictures of the visit - thought to be a ribbon-cutting ceremony- have been released.


    Keeping it interesting! No convincing evidence yet.

  49. #49
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    Trump has no comment on report North Korea's Kim made public appearance

    U.S. President Donald Trump declined on Friday to comment on a report by North Korea’s state news agency that the country’s leader Kim Jong Un had made his first public appearance since April 11.

    “I’d rather not comment on it yet,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll have something to say about it at the appropriate time.”

    There has been speculation about Kim’s health after he missed the birth anniversary celebrations of state founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

    Trump has been unusually restrained on the subject of Kim since questions about the North Korean leader’s whereabouts and health surfaced last month.

    The two leaders have held three summits on efforts to persuade North Korea to denuclearize and, while Trump and Kim have gotten along well, no agreement has been achieved.

    Asked by Reuters what he knew about Kim in an interview on Wednesday, Trump said, “I know everything,” but would not be drawn out on any details.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN22D6FC

  50. #50
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    The pictures are out and the supreme leader is as healthy and smiley as ever, he trolled the Imperialist powers hard








  51. #51
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    Slick hairstyle tho

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Slick hairstyle tho
    That high fade looking too smooth.

  53. #53
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    Is it just me or does he look like he’s aged visibly? There’s slightly less of the puppy fat and a more hardened look about the eyes?

    Could it be a body double?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Is it just me or does he look like he’s aged visibly? There’s slightly less of the puppy fat and a more hardened look about the eyes?

    Could it be a body double?
    It's impossible to find another overweight, let alone obese person in North Korea.

    DPRK is known for its advance superior technology way ahead of western Imperialists. It's possible they are using a highly advanced hologram, while the Supreme leader is continuing his self-isolation.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirris View Post
    It's impossible to find another overweight, let alone obese person in North Korea.

    DPRK is known for its advance superior technology way ahead of western Imperialists. It's possible they are using a highly advanced hologram, while the Supreme leader is continuing his self-isolation.
    That would explain the sheer red dopatta-like fabric already ripped and held together by a single thread while the hologram pretends to snip it. Holograms, advanced or not, cannot manipulate physical objects. At the exact moment the hologram performs the slight of hand, the two men at the peripheries yank at it and rend that thread.

  56. #56
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    After rumours about health, North Korea state media report Kim Jong Un appearance

    After weeks of intense speculation about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the country’s official media said he had attended the completion of a fertiliser plant, the first report of his appearance since April 11.

    In a report on Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim cut a ribbon at the ceremony on Friday and those attending the event “burst into thunderous cheers of ‘hurrah!’ for the Supreme Leader...”

    U.S. President Donald Trump, who met Kim three times in 2018 and 2019 in unprecedented but unsuccessful personal attempts to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons, tweeted on Saturday: “I, for one, am glad to see he is back, and well!”

    Kim was seen in photographs smiling and talking to aides at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and also touring the plant. The authenticity of the photos, published on the website of the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, could not be verified.

    A U.S. government source familiar with intelligence reporting said Washington strongly believes Kim is alive, but has not been able to confirm that the photos of Kim were taken at Friday’s event, or explain why he had not been seen for weeks.

    Many in the large crowd of people at Friday’s event, described as officials of the army, the ruling party and the community who worked on the project, were wearing face masks and standing some distance from the podium where Kim and his aides took part in the ceremony.

    North Korea has not reported any cases of the coronavirus and has said it has been taking tough measures to prevent an outbreak. One suggested reason for Kim’s absence is that he may have been taking precautions against coronavirus.

    Kim was accompanied by senior North Korean officials, including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong and top aides vice-chairman Pak Pong Ju of the State Affairs Commission and cabinet premier Kim Jae Ryong, KCNA said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN22D6DD

  57. #57
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    You have to be a great leader to know a Supreme leader.

    Even the captialst Imperialist leader despite all his hatred for DPRK can't help but recognize the glory of Marshal Kim Jong Un.


  58. #58
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    North Korea's Kim did not have surgery, South says, as shots fired at DMZ

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not undergo surgery during almost three weeks of absence from public life, a South Korean official said on Sunday, as the two Koreas exchanged gunfire at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two sides.

    The government official declined to provide reasons, but said speculative reports that Kim had had an operation, citing some differences in his leg movements, were untrue.

    “Our assessment is that (Kim) did not undergo surgery,” the official, who declined to be identified, told reporters. Asked if media reports of Kim having undergone a simple medical treatment were also untrue, the official simply said: “Yes.”

    North and South Korea exchanged gunfire around a rural guard post, raising tension a day after North Korean state media showed Kim visiting a factory, the first report of him making a public appearance since April 11.

    Multiple gunshots were fired from North Korea towards a guard post in South Korea, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staffs (JCS) said in a statement.

    South Korea responded by firing two shots towards North Korea, the JCS said. No casualties were reported.

    After weeks of intense speculation about Kim’s health and whereabouts, which included one report he had undergone cardiovascular surgery, North Korea’s official media published photographs and a report on Saturday that Kim had attended the completion of a fertiliser plant.

    Kim was seen in photographs smiling and talking to aides at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and touring the plant. State TV footage showed Kim’s leg movements appearing stiff and jerky.

    The authenticity of the photos, published on the website of the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, could not be verified.

    Reclusive North Korea for years pursued nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. Talks between North Korea and the United States, highlighted by three meetings between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, are at a standstill.

    The exchange of gunshots on Sunday was the latest confrontation between the rival Koreas that technically remain still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty.

    In a lengthy briefing held later on Sunday, an official at South Korea’s JCS said the gunshots did not seem a planned provocation.

    The U.S.-led U.N. Command, which oversees affairs in the heavily fortified DMZ, said it was working with the JCS to assess the situation.

    “The UNC will conduct a thorough investigation tomorrow to determine if there was an Armistice Agreement violation, and will provide the report to the appropriate authorities once completed.”

    Choi Kang, vice president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said he believed the timing of the provocation shows it could have been planned to show that Kim was still in charge of the North Korean military.

    “Yesterday, Kim was trying to show he is perfectly healthy, and today, Kim is trying to mute all kinds of speculation that he may not have full control over the military,” Choi said.

    “Rather than going all the way by firing missiles and supervising a missile launch, Kim could be reminding us, ‘yes I’m healthy and I’m still in power’.”

    Ewha University international affairs professor Leif-Eric Easley in Seoul said the shooting could be aimed at boosting morale in the North Korean military.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN22F03N


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  59. #59
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    South Korea's intelligence agency has said rumours about Kim Jong-un's health were groundless, and there are no signs he had heart surgery.

    The North Korean leader recently went 20 days without appearing in public, and missed the celebration of his grandfather's birthday - one of the biggest events of the year.

    Some media reports claimed he was "gravely ill", or even dead.

    But he then appeared at a fertiliser factory - apparently in good health.

    What did South Korean intelligence say?
    The head of South Korea's intelligence agency, Suh Hoon, spoke to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

    According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, he said there were no signs that rumours about Kim Jong-un's health were true.

    The committee heard the North Korean leader had appeared in public 17 times this year. By this time of year, he would normally have appeared 50 times.

    But that could have been down to a Covid-19 outbreak, said one member of the committee - even though North Korea officially has no cases.

    "It cannot be ruled out that there is an outbreak in North Korea," the lawmaker Kim Byung-kee said.

    "Kim Jong-un had focused on consolidating internal affairs such as military forces and party-state meetings, and coronavirus concerns have further limited his public activity."

    After missing the birthday celebrations on 15 April, rumours about Mr Kim's health began.

    Six days later, an anonymous source told the Daily NK - a website run by North Korean defectors - that Mr Kim had worsening cardiovascular problems.

    The claim was then repeated by international media, with some outlets claiming he was in a critical condition, and others even saying he was dead.

    At the time, the South Korean government, and sources at Chinese intelligence - speaking to the Reuters news agency - said this was not true.

    Had he gone missing before?
    In 2014, Kim Jong-Un disappeared for 40 days - sparking a torrent of speculation - before reappearing, pictured with a cane.

    State media admitted he was suffering from an "uncomfortable physical condition", but did not address rumours that he was suffering from gout.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52554612


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  60. #60
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    China's president has expressed concern about the threat of the coronavirus to North Korea and offered help.

    Xi Jinping was responding to a message that he received from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

    Chinese state media reported that the message congratulated Mr Xi on China's apparent success in fighting Covid-19.

    North Korea's government maintains that there has not been a single confirmed case there, though analysts have questioned whether that is possible.

    North Korea was the first country to suspend tourism and to shut its borders in response to the virus, in the third week of January.

    The country has a fragile health system, which experts fear would be quickly overwhelmed by even a small outbreak of Covid-19.

    Source BBC


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  61. #61
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    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made an unusually small number of public appearances in the past two months, once again going three weeks without state media reporting his attendance at a public event, according to analysts.

    Kim’s low profile comes as North Korea imposes anti-coronavirus measures, although the country says it has no confirmed cases, and follows intense speculation about his health last month after he missed a key anniversary.

    Kim has appeared publicly four times in April and so far in May, compared to 27 times in the same period last year.

    Since coming to power in 2011, the previous fewest public appearances Kim has made during those months was 21 in 2017, according to a tally by Chad O’Carroll, CEO of Korea Risk Group, a Seoul-based organisation that tracks North Korea.

    “This is not business as normal,” he said in a post on Twitter this week.

    As a leader with near-absolute power over North Korea’s 25.5 million people, and access to a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, Kim’s health and whereabouts are often scrutinized by the international community for any signs of instability.

    Information in North Korea is tightly controlled, however, and independently confirmed details on Kim are almost non-existent.

    South Korean officials have said they believe Kim’s limited public appearances may be precautions in the face of coronavirus concerns. North Korea has cancelled, postponed, or toned down many major public gatherings because the new coronavirus.

    When asked about Kim’s absences, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said on Friday it is monitoring the situation, but noted Kim is often out of the public eye.

    Citing an unnamed South Korean government official, JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Kim may be carrying out his duties from a favoured villa in Wonsan, on the coast.

    But the North Korean leader may also simply be focused on some of the domestic economic and political goals he outlined before the coronavirus crisis struck, said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a former North Korea open source intelligence analyst in the U.S. government.

    “COVID does remain a major concern for the country, but state media coverage of COVID has declined over the past month or so, so I don’t seen regime’s increased concern,” she said.

    Friday marks three weeks since state media last showed images of Kim attending a public event.

    North Korean state media reported Kim attended the opening ceremony of a fertilizer plant on May 1. That appearance marked a reemergence for Kim, whose unprecedented absence from a major holiday on April 15 sparked weeks of international speculation over his health and whereabouts.

    Since then, state media has carried a steady stream of stories on Kim sending or receiving letters and diplomatic correspondence, but have not shown him attending public events.

    Kim’s longest public absence was for 40 days in 2014. South Korea’s spy agency later said Kim had undergone a medical procedure on his ankle during that time.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN22Y0IE


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  62. #62
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    North Korea has said it will cut off all inter-Korean communication lines with the South, including a hotline between the two nation's leaders.

    The North said this was the first in a series of actions, describing South Korea as "the enemy".

    Daily calls, which have been made to a liaison office located in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, will cease from Tuesday.

    The two states had set up the office to reduce tensions after talks in 2018.

    North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.

    North Korea "will completely cut off and shut down the liaison line between the authorities of the North and the South, which has been maintained through the North-South joint liaison office... from 12:00 on 9 June 2020," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report said.

    Military communication channels will also be cut, North Korea said.

    When the liaison office was temporarily closed in January because of Covid-19 restrictions, contact between the two states was maintained by phone.

    Could North Korea handle a Covid-19 outbreak?
    The two Koreas made two phone calls a day through the office, at 09:00 and 17:00. On Monday, the South said that for the first time in 21 months, its morning call had gone unanswered, although contact was made in the afternoon.

    "We have reached a conclusion that there is no need to sit face-to-face with the south Korean authorities and there is no issue to discuss with them, as they have only aroused our dismay," KNCA said.

    Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader's sister, threatened last week to close the office unless South Korea stopped defector groups from sending leaflets into the North.

    She said the leaflet campaign was a hostile act that violated the peace agreements made during the 2018 Panmunjom summit between the South's Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un.

    It's likely that this shut down isn't just about sending leaflets over the border - but instead, all part of a grander plan by Pyongyang.

    North Korea may be creating a crisis in order to use the tension as leverage in later talks. In short, it could be simply spoiling for a fight to get attention and ask for more from its neighbour.

    They've played this particular game before in 2013 to try to win more concessions from South Korea.

    It's also a good distraction domestically. Kim Jong-un is failing to deliver the economic prosperity he keeps promising and rumours continue to circulate that Covid-19 is affecting parts of the country. Giving the nation a common enemy helps rally his people back around a cause.

    It's worth noting one of the two signatures on this policy. Kim's sister, Kim Yo-Jong gave the order to sever ties with Seoul. This gives her a platform and the spotlight and will fuel more speculation that she is being groomed as a potential leader.

    But how disappointing this must be for the Moon administration. Two years ago in a wave of optimism, the country cheered as the two leaders met and agreed to keep the phone lines open. Now all calls to the North are not being picked up.

    And the question is, if this is just the start of Pyongyang's plan, what comes next?

    North Korean defectors occasionally send balloons carrying leaflets critical of the communist region into the North, sometimes with supplies to entice North Koreans to pick them up.

    North Koreans can only get news from state-controlled media, and most do not have access to the internet.

    Ties between the North and South appeared to improve in 2018, when the leaders of both countries met three times. Such high-level meetings had not taken place in over a decade.

    But Pyongyang largely cut off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a summit between Kim and US president Donald Trump in Hanoi last year that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

    The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-1953 Korean war ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52974061


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  63. #63
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    North Korean leader's sister emerges as policymaker in spat with South Korea

    SEOUL (Reuters) - The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is taking a leading role in a new, more hard-line pressure campaign against South Korea, highlighting what analysts say is a substantive policy role that goes beyond being her brother’s assistant.

    Believed to be in her early 30s, Kim Yo Jong is the only close relative of the North Korean leader to play a public role in politics.

    During the 2018-2019 flurry of international diplomacy, Kim Yo Jong garnered global attention by leading a delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Later, she was often seen dashing about to make sure everything went well for her older brother, including holding an ashtray for him at a train station on his way to a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam.

    But this year, Kim has taken on a more public policy role, cementing her status as an influential political player in her own right.

    “Prior to this, Kim Yo Jong was portrayed in state media as Kim Jong Un’s sister, his protocol officer, or one of his accompanying officials,” said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a former North Korea open source intelligence analyst in the U.S. government. “Now, North Koreans know for sure there is more to her than that.”

    Kim has worked behind the scenes in North Korea’s propaganda agencies, a role that led the United States to add her to a list of sanctioned senior officials in 2017 because of human rights abuses and censorship.

    In March, state media carried the first ever statement by Kim, in which she criticised South Korean authorities. That was followed by several more, including a response to comments by Trump, and last week, a warning that the North would cut communications with South Korea.

    Lee said Kim’s statements have a unique style, showcasing her wit and underscoring her powerful position.

    “In addition to the harsh words and sarcasm, they can be bitingly witty in ways that the other statements are not,” Lee said. “She seems to have more leeway in crafting her statements, which of course is not surprising.”

    When state media announced on Tuesday that the hotlines between North and South Korea would be severed, they said Kim Yo Jong and a longtime hard-liner, Kim Yong Chol, championed the decision at a meeting.

    This rare explanation of a policymaking process portrayed Kim Yo Jong as “a very substantive person,” said Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Stimson Centre, a U.S.-based think tank.

    Madden said this new portrayal of Kim in state media may be a subtle dig at international analysts who have cast doubts on her ability to wield influence in the North’s male-dominated society.

    “They clearly have high hopes and expectations for her,” he said. “Not necessarily the next leader, but something of a king maker nonetheless.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN23H0P2


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  64. #64
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    North Korea's army has warned it is ready to enter the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas.

    The threat is partly in response to defector groups in the South sending propaganda material north.

    Over the weekend, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said she'd ordered the army to prepare for the step.

    And the military now says it is ready to "turn the front line into a fortress and heighten military vigilance".

    Tensions between the two countries have been rising for some time over the cross-border leaflets, usually sent via balloons.

    South Korea's defence ministry on Tuesday responded to the renewed threats by saying it was working with the US to closely monitor military moves in the North.

    What did the North say?

    North and South Korea are separated by the so-called demilitarised zone (DMZ) - a buffer along the border that has separated the two countries since the Korean War in the 1950s.

    On Tuesday, the North Korean military said it was "studying an action plan" for the army to move "into the zones that had been demilitarised".

    The General Staff said it was on "high alert" and ready to "rapidly and thoroughly" implement any decisions by the government.

    The statement comes after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened military action against the South on Saturday.

    "I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean authorities," said Kim Yo-jong, who holds a senior role in the North's political hierarchy.

    She promised to take "action", said she had instructed the military, and ended her statement with: "Rubbish must be thrown into the dustbin."

    Why is North Korea doing this?

    South Korea is taking these threats seriously.

    Intelligence has been stepped up along the DMZ and President Moon has appealed for calm - urging Pyongyang to avoid escalating tensions.

    But just how did it get to this point over leaflets?

    First, North Korea has a point about the anti-regime propaganda. The South Koreans did promise to prevent the leaflets being flown over the border as part of the inter-Korean agreement between President Moon and Kim Jong Un in 2018.

    Secondly, Pyongyang is angry at Seoul for not challenging the United States' insistence that strict sanctions should remain in place.

    So it is likely this is about something bigger. The timing of the releases, and the careful escalation from cutting communications to threats of military action, look orchestrated.

    North Korea could be building to a crisis to punish the South and perhaps use the tension as leverage in future talks.

    As for the threats themselves, they aim to row back the hard won gains by President Moon in 2018.

    A total of 20 guard towers were demolished - with the eventual hope of turning the most heavily-fortified border in the world into a peace zone.

    President Moon said he was looking to establish "irreversible peace" on the peninsula. The North Koreans could be about to prove him wrong.

    What is the leaflet row?

    Last week, Pyongyang cut all communications with the South, including a hotline between the two nations' leaders.

    It said it was angered by North Korean defectors based in the South sending leaflets across the border.

    Defector-led groups often send balloons over the border, carrying leaflets and other items, including food, $1 bills, radios and USB sticks with South Korean dramas and news.

    The South Korean government has already tried to stop the groups, arguing their actions put residents near the border at risk.

    President Moon Jae-in on Monday directly appealed to the North to return to dialogue and not escalate the situation further.

    What is the demilitarised zone?

    The demilitarised zone (DMZ) was set up after the Korean War in 1953 in order to create a buffer zone between the two countries.

    Over the decades it has been the site of occasional gunfire, escapes by North Korean soldiers, and peace talks to ease tensions. From the South, it's even a tourist destination.

    During the relative rapprochement between North Korea and the US, the DMZ was also the site of direct handshakes between Kim Jong-un and both Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in.

    For the past two years, the South Korean government in Seoul has tried to turn the heavily-fortified border into a peace zone.

    Easing military tensions at the border was agreed between the leaders of the two countries at a summit in Pyongyang in September 2018.

    So far though, despite its name, the zone remains one of the most heavily militarised areas in the world.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53059437


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  65. #65
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    North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office building on Tuesday just north of the tense Korean border, South Korea has said.

    Seoul's Unification Ministry says the destruction of the building at the North Korean border town of Kaesong happened at 2:49pm local time (05:49 GMT) Tuesday.

    South Korean media reported that an explosion was heard and smoke could be seen over Kaesong.

    A South Korean military source told Reuters news agency that there were signs of the impending demolition earlier in the day, and South Korean military officials watched live surveillance imagery of the building as it was blown up.

    In recent days, Pyongyang has made several threats against Seoul, and had threatened to destroy the office set up in 2018, if defector groups there continue with their campaign to send propaganda leaflets across the border.

    Earlier on Tuesday, North Korea's military had also threatened to move back into zones that were demilitarised under inter-Korean peace agreements as the country continued to dial up pressure on rival South Korea.

    Joint Liaison Office - Korea
    The joint liaison office in Kaesong Industrial Complex was set up in 2018 to facilitate activities between the rival Koreas [Yonhap via Reuters]
    The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said it is reviewing a ruling party recommendation to advance into unspecified border areas that had been demilitarised under agreements with the South, which would "turn the front line into a fortress."

    Several defector-led groups have been sending leaflets, together with food, one-dollar bills, mini radios and USB sticks containing South Korean dramas and news, over the border and have said they will continue with their planned campaign this week despite the North Korean threats and South Korea saying it will take legal action.

    The leaflets usually carry messages critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    Some analysts say North Korea appears to be using the leaflet issue as an excuse to increase pressure on South Korea amid stalled denuclearisation talks.

    "The leaflets are an excuse or justification to raise the ante, manufacture a crisis, and bully Seoul to get what it wants," said Duyeon Kim, a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group, a Belgium-based independent non-profit organisation.

    On Saturday, Kim Yo Jong, who serves as a senior official of the ruling Workers' Party and is Kim's sister, said she ordered the military to prepare for unspecified "next action".

    South Korea said the defector groups' actions increase cross-border tensions, pose risks to residents living near the border and cause environmental damage.

    On Monday, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in urged Pyongyang to keep peace agreements reached by the two leaders and return to dialogue.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...071045580.html


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  66. #66
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    North Korea has explained why it blew up its South Korean liaison office in a border town on Tuesday.

    A state media article accused the South of breaking 2018 agreements and behaving like a "mongrel dog".

    Meanwhile Kim Jong-un's sister attacked the South Korean president for "putting his neck into the noose of pro-US flunkeyism".

    While the South says it remains open for talks, it has condemned the North's actions as senseless and damaging.

    North Korea also renewed threats to move troops into the demilitarised border zone, warning of a "total catastrophe" between the two sides.

    Tensions have sharply escalated in recent weeks - partly prompted by defectors in the South sending propaganda over the border.

    What did North Korea say?

    North Korean state media accused the South of "systemically breaching and destroying" recent 2018 agreements, including the Panmunjom Declaration.

    The article compared the South's defence ministry to a "feared mongrel dog" that was "bragging and bluffing, rattling the dialogue partner and stoking [a] confrontational atmosphere".

    The article closed with a warning that Tuesday's explosion could be "a prelude to the total catastrophe of the North-South relations".

    Meanwhile, the North's military said it would move troops to two symbols of past Korean co-operation: the shut industrial complex in Kaesong and the Mount Kumgang tourist zone on the east coast.

    There was also an attack from Kim Yo-jong - the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - aimed at the South's President Moon Jae-in.

    "The reason the north-south agreements which were so wonderful did not see...even a single step of implementation was due to the noose of the pro-US flunkeyism into which he put his neck.

    "Even before the ink on the north-south agreement got dry, he accepted the 'South Korea-US working group' under the coercion of his master."

    President Moon's office on Wednesday said the North's conduct was senseless - and warned Seoul would no longer accept unreasonable behaviour by the North.

    Despite the explosion of the liaison office though, the South says it hopes an agreement from 2018 in Pyongyang can be honoured.

    "It is our basic stance that the 19 September military agreement should be complied with without fail to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and to prevent accidental clashes," the South's defence ministry said.

    It warned, though, that any military action by the North was being closely monitored, with a "strong response" to any military provocation.

    The South also offered to send special envoys to diffuse the current tension, yet the North was quick to reject the idea.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53074095


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  67. #67
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    North Korea's Kim stokes tensions with eye on distracted Trump

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has been ramping up tensions with South Korea in recent weeks, but the campaign seems aimed at making a renewed push for sanctions relief by recapturing the attention of a U.S. administration that is distracted by domestic issues.

    North Korea blew up a joint liaison office on its side of the border last week, declared an end to dialogue with South Korea and threatened military action.

    After three historic meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to lead to a denuclearisation deal, U.S. President Donald Trump’s attention is fixed elsewhere, including the coronavirus epidemic, anti-racism protests and the November presidential election.

    Kim, however, is facing real-world consequences for the failed talks, with North Korea’s sanctions-hit economy further strained by a border lockdown imposed to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, potentially threatening his support base among the elites and military.

    Analysts say one of Kim’s goals in lashing out at U.S. ally South Korea is to remind Washington of the unresolved issues with North Korea, potentially forcing it to intervene.

    “Trump could feel the need to talk to the North to manage the situation for now, and publicly claim that he had warded off the possible military provocations that Kim has threatened,” said Chang Ho-jin, a former South Korean presidential foreign policy secretary.

    “By raising inter-Korean tensions, North Korea could also be hoping South Korea will push harder to get sanctions exemptions for joint economic projects that have so far been elusive.”

    Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN23Q1BX


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  68. #68
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    North Korea prepares anti-South leaflets amid heightened tensions

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South Korea, its state media said on Saturday, the latest retaliation for leaflets from the South as bilateral tensions rise.

    Enraged North Korean people across the country “are actively pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution of leaflets,” which are piled as high as a mountain, said state news agency KCNA.

    “Every action should be met with proper reaction and only when one experiences it oneself, one can feel how offending it is,” KCNA said.

    North Korea has blamed North Korean defectors for launching leaflets across the border and threatened military action. On Tuesday, Pyongyang blew up an inter-Korean liaison office to show its displeasure against the defectors and South Korea for not stopping them launching leaflets.]

    South Korea’s unification ministry, which is responsible for inter-Korean dialogue, said on Saturday that North Korea’s plan to send leaflets was “extremely regrettable,” and urged it to scrap the plan immediately.

    A North Korean defector-led group said on Friday it had scrapped a plan to send hundreds of plastic bottles stuffed with rice, medicine and face masks to North Korea by throwing them into the sea near the border on Sunday.

    The two Koreas, which are still technically at war as their 1950-53 conflict ended without a peace treaty, have waged leaflet campaigns for decades.

    South Korea’s military used to launch anti-North flyers across the demilitarized zone, but the program ended in 2010.

    Several defector-led groups have regularly sent back flyers, together with food, $1 bills, mini radios and USB sticks containing South Korean dramas and news, usually by balloon over the border or in bottles by river.

    Pyongyang has used balloons to send its anti-South leaflets. South Koreans previously were rewarded with stationery if they reported leaflets from the North.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN23R01L


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  69. #69
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    North Korea said on Monday that it had readied thousands of balloons and millions of leaflets in preparation for "retaliatory punishment" against South Korea.

    The detail, in a state media report, came a day after North Korea said it was preparing to begin an anti-South Korea leaflet campaign following a series of vitriolic condemnations of Seoul because of anti-North Korea leaflets floated across the border.

    Defectors in South Korea send such leaflets which criticise North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions. The messages are usually attached to balloons or floated in bottles.

    Analysts have said North Korea has been conducting a series of staged provocations aimed at forcing concessions from Seoul and Washington.

    "The preparations for the largest-ever distribution of leaflets against the enemy are almost complete," a report by the Korean Central News Agency said.

    "Publishing and printing institutions at all levels in the capital city have turned out 12 million leaflets of all kinds reflective of the wrath and hatred of the people from all walks of life," it said.

    Talks stalled
    More than "3,000 balloons of various types, capable of scattering leaflets deep inside south Korea, have been prepared," along with other means of distribution, KCNA added.

    Inter-Korean relations have been frozen for months, following the collapse of a summit in Hanoi between Kim and US President Donald Trump early last year over sanctions relief.

    Nuclear-armed and impoverished North Korea is subject to multiple United Nations Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programmes.

    South Korea's President Moon Jae-in initially brokered a dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, but North Korea now blames him for not doing enough to persuade the US to ease sanctions.

    "South Korea has to face the music. Only when it experiences how painful and how irritating it is to dispose of leaflets and waste, it will shake off its bad habit," KCNA said.

    "The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near."

    Last Tuesday, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border, triggering broad international condemnation.

    It has also threatened to bolster its military presence in and around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

    North Korea is planning a large-scale military parade to mark October's 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers Party at which it could showcase its latest missile development, Yonhap News agency reported citing the Defence Ministry in Seoul.

    The ministry said new buildings were under construction at the Mirim airfield in Pyongyang.

    Seoul's unification ministry has called North Korea's leaflet plans "very regrettable" and urged Pyongyang to withdraw.

    South Korea has also warned of a "thorough crackdown" against activists sending anti-North Korea leaflets. It filed a police complaint against two defector groups over the messages that have offended Pyongyang.

    The two Koreas remain technically at war. The Korean War ended with an armistice in 1953, but it has never been replaced by a peace treaty.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...022920361.html


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  70. #70
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    North Korea: Balloons and speakers raise Korean border tensions

    South Korean activists say they have flown propaganda-carrying balloons across the border in to North Korea, the latest provocation in an escalation of tensions between the two neighbours.

    The North has expressed its anger about the balloons, and the South has attempted to stop the activists.

    Since a 2018 thaw, the long-standing rivals had been making efforts to improve ties and maintain dialogue.

    But the relationship appeared to have deteriorated rapidly in the past week.

    The North on Friday blew up the Inter Korean Liaison Office, on its side of the border, which was set up two years ago to ensure regular dialogue between the two countries.

    Wednesday marks the anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Analysts believe Pyongyang is intentionally ratcheting up the tension to increase its bargaining power and force new talks.


    What is happening at the border?

    Balloon campaigns have been going on for years - they usually carry leaflets, USB sticks or DVDs with criticism of the Pyongyang regime, as well as South Korean news reports or even Korean dramas.

    All of this is aimed at breaking the North's control on domestic information with the hope that people might eventually topple the regime from within.

    But South's government has always been uneasy about the balloons, arguing this results in nothing but counterproductive tensions.

    Overnight, despite warnings from both the North and South, activists in the South said they had sent some balloons.

    "North Koreans are deprived of human rights and enslaved by a modern dictator, do they not have a right to know the truth?," the group behind the launch said.

    "Leaflets are not poison, nor do the balloons carry bombs."

    At least one of the balloons, however, ended up caught in a tree south of the border.

    The South Korean government on Tuesday reiterated its condemnation of the balloons, saying they should be "immediately halted to improve inter-Korean relations and promote peace on the Korean peninsula".

    Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53146563


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  71. #71
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    North Korea has suspended plans for "military action" against South Korea, according to state media.

    Recent weeks saw a rising tide of angry rhetoric from the North over activist plans to send leaflets with anti-North Korean messages over the border.

    Last week the North blew up the joint liaison office and also threatened to send troops to the border area.

    But at a meeting chaired by leader Kim Jong-un, state media said the decision was taken to suspend military action.

    The Central Military Commission made its decision after taking what it called the "prevailing situation" into consideration.

    The North also began to dismantle loudspeakers it had erected only last week, traditionally used to blast anti-South Korean messages over the border, Yonhap reported.

    It represents a notable de-escalation in rhetoric after Mr Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong's orders to the army to "decisively carry out the next action". - in part because of what Pyongyang said was Seoul's failure to stop activists floating balloons with anti-regime leaflets over the border.

    The meeting also discussed documents outlining measures for "further bolstering the war deterrent of the country," state news agency KCNA reported.

    Good cop, bad cop
    It looked like the script had been written. North Korea's policy of brinkmanship was back.

    Blowing up the liaison office was just the first stage we were told by Pyongyang. The North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo-Jong had instructed the army to come up with a plan.

    But for those who looked carefully, there was always an out clause.

    When the North Korean army announced it was drawing up its military plans, the statement mentioned that they would have to be approved by the Central Military Commission.

    In other words, Kim Jong-Un would have the final say.

    So why has he decided to pull back?

    Some analysts have raised the possibility that Mr Kim might be playing good cop to his sister's bad cop ahead of future talks. Remember, plans for military action have been suspended - not cancelled - so they remain a possibility.

    The ratcheting up of tensions has certainly given Kim Yo-Jong a strong platform to show off her leadership credentials, but we still know who is ultimately in charge.

    Kim Jong-un is now able to play the role of magnanimous leader, willing to diffuse the situation. It may play well domestically.

    All I can say at this stage is that there's never a dull moment on the Korean peninsula and for now at least, President Moon's administration in Seoul will be breathing a sigh of relief.

    Why has there been a recent escalation of tensions?
    Tensions between North and South Korea appeared to be on the mend when in 2018, leaders of both countries met for the first time at the border.

    The historic summit saw both sides pledge to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons - and in the months that followed, there were efforts to improve ties and maintain dialogue.

    But the relationship has been on a downward spiral after a failed summit between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump.

    And the past few weeks saw relations deteriorate especially rapidly - prompted by defector groups in the South sending propaganda across the border,

    South Korean activists typically send balloons that carry objects like leaflets, USB sticks or DVDs with criticism of the Pyongyang regime, as well as South Korean news reports or even Korean dramas.

    All of this is aimed at breaking the North's control on domestic information with the hope that people might eventually topple the regime from within.

    The South Korean government has already tried to stop groups sending leaflets across the border, arguing their actions put residents near the border at risk.

    The move prompted North Korea to renew threats of military action - and shortly afterwards it blew up a joint liaison office that it had established with the South in 2018.

    But it's unclear what exactly provoked North Korea to escalate the situation.

    "I very much doubt that it's the leaflets that actually motivated Pyongyang in this," Fyodor Tertitskiy of Kookmin University in Seoul had earlier told the BBC.

    "It's much more likely that they are using this incident merely as a pretext to start an escalation. The real reason is that they feel the South has not made any real concessions since the talks."

    After North Korea began talks in 2018, Pyongyang had been hoping the dialogue might translate into tangible easing of sanctions and increased economic co-operation with the South.

    Pyongyang's expectation had been the start of some inter-Korean projects, for instance allowing tourism to the Kumgang mountains, an idea which had been mentioned in a joint declaration by the two sides.

    None of this has not happened, largely because Washington insisted on North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons before there could be any talk on sanctions.

    At the start of the year, Kim Jong-un said he was ending the suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests put in place during talks with the US.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53159577


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  72. #72
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    Divided Koreas mark 70 years since war began, but no treaty in sight

    SEOUL (Reuters) - Seventy years after the Korean War began, prospects for a peace treaty to officially end the conflict appear as distant as ever, as the two Koreas held low-key commemorations on Thursday amid heightened tension.

    The 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving U.S.-led U.N. forces technically still at war with North Korea.

    South Korean leaders in 1953 opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided and were not signatories to the armistice.

    South Korean war veterans gathered to commemorate the anniversary, including one event where U.S. President Donald Trump and other international leaders delivered video messages.

    “The war isn’t really over and I don’t think peace will come while I’m still alive,” said 89-year-old veteran Kim Yeong-ho, who attended an event in the South Korean border town of Cheorwon. “The nightmares just keep coming back to me every day.”

    North Korea released a 5,500-word report blaming the United States for starting the war, committing atrocities and maintaining decades of hostile policies that left Pyongyang no choice but to pursue nuclear weapons of its own.

    As long as the United States clings to a “pathological and inveterate hostile policy” towards North Korea, “we will continue to further build up our strength to contain the persistent nuclear threats from the U.S.”, the Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace said in the report, which was carried by state media.

    Two years ago, a flurry of diplomacy and summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the presidents of the United States, South Korea, and China raised hopes that even if the North’s nuclear arsenal was undiminished, the parties might agree to officially end the war.


    ‘THINK WISELY’

    A series of follow-up meetings and working-level talks failed to close the gap, however, and North Korea has taken an increasingly confrontational tone, resuming short-range missile launches, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office and severing communication hotlines with South Korea.

    On Wednesday, North Korea said it had decided to suspend plans for unspecified military action against South Korea, but warned it to “think and behave wisely”.

    While South Korea’s military stands ready to counter any threat, Seoul does not wish to force its political or economic systems on the North, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said at an anniversary event.

    “We will continuously search for routes that are mutually beneficial for both Koreas through peace,” he said. “Before speaking of unification, I hope that we can become friendly neighbours first.”

    Moon oversaw a ceremony in which the U.S. military repatriated the remains of 147 South Korean soldiers who died in the war. The remains were recovered in North Korea in operations dating back to the 1990s.

    Recovering remains of the roughly 5,300 American service members missing in North Korea had been one element of a statement signed by Kim and Trump at a Singapore summit in 2018, but after North Korea handed over the remains of at least 62 Americans, those efforts stalled as tensions rose.

    Historians have estimated the war may have caused as many as 1 million military deaths and killed several million civilians. Thousands of families were divided with little contact as the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) cut the peninsula in two.

    Despite misgivings from many in the United States, South Korean officials are pushing more forcefully for an end to the armistice arrangement.

    “It is time for Korea to take centre stage in maintaining its own peace and security...,” South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young said on Wednesday.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-k...-idUSKBN23W0K5


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  73. #73
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    Coronavirus in North Korea: Kim Jong-un claims 'shining success'

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has hailed his country's "shining success" in dealing with Covid-19, according to state news agency KCNA.

    Speaking at a politburo meeting, Mr Kim said the country had "prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable situation".

    North Korea closed its borders and put thousands into isolation six months ago as the virus swept across the globe.

    It claims that it has no virus cases, though analysts say this is unlikely.

    Mr Kim is said to have "analysed in detail the six month-long national emergency anti-epidemic work" at a politburo meeting on Thursday. He said the success in handling the virus was "achieved by the far-sighted leadership of the Party Central Committee".

    But he stressed the importance of maintaining "maximum alert without... relaxation on the anti-epidemic front", adding that the virus was still present in neighbouring countries.

    "He repeatedly warned that hasty relief of anti-epidemic measures will result in unimaginable and irretrievable crisis," said the KCNA report on Friday.

    Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53274152


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  74. #74
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    I bet NK was just killing off whoever was getting the virus.

  75. #75
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    North Korea says no need to sit down with U.S. for talks

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea does not feel the need to have talks with the United States, which would be nothing more than “a political tool” for Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Saturday, ahead of a U.S. envoy’s visit to South Korea.

    Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said negotiations would not work out between Washington and Pyongyang and there will be no change in North Korea’s policy.

    “We do not feel any need to sit face to face with the U.S., as it does not consider the DPRK-U.S. dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis,” Choe said in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency.

    DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s formal name.

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun is due to visit South Korea next week to discuss stalled talks with North Korea.

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should meet again before the U.S. elections in November, which would help resume the stalled nuclear negotiations.

    Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York on Thursday that the president might seek another summit with Kim as an “October Surprise” ahead of the election.

    Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore.

    They met again in Vietnam in 2019, but the talks fell apart when Trump said Kim had failed to offer enough nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles in exchange for lifting international sanctions.

    At their third meeting, in June 2019 at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, the two agreed to restart negotiations. Working-level talks between the two sides in Sweden in October were broken off.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN24506N


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  76. #76
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    North Korea has "probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missile", according to a confidential UN report.

    It says several unidentified countries believe North Korea's past six nuclear tests have likely helped it to develop such a capability.

    An interim version of the report - by an independent panel monitoring United Nations sanctions - was submitted to the UN Security Council on Monday and has been seen by the Reuters news agency.

    It also accuses North Korea of continuing its nuclear ambitions, despite it not carrying out a nuclear test for nearly three years.

    The report states: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is continuing its nuclear program, including the production of highly enriched uranium and construction of an experimental light water reactor.

    "A Member State assessed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is continuing production of nuclear weapons."

    One country - not identified - believes North Korea "may seek to further develop miniaturisation in order to allow incorporation of technological improvements... or, potentially, to develop multiple warhead systems".

    The secretive communist state has been subject to UN sanctions for many years over its ballistic and nuclear missile programmes.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has met Donald Trump three times since 2018 in the hope that sanctions could be eased if it denuclearises, but a deal has proved elusive.

    A summit in Vietnam in 2019 was cut short, with Mr Trump saying it was because his counterpart wanted all sanctions lifted - a claim denied by North Korea.

    The UN report also casts doubt on the effectiveness of the destruction of tunnels at North Korea's main nuclear site, Punggye-ri, in May 2018.

    International experts were not allowed in, and the report says only tunnel entrances are known to have been destroyed rather than a complete demolition.

    One country is said to have assessed that it would take only three months for North Korea to get the site capable of conducting a nuclear test again.

    With North Korea's economy still punished by sanctions, the report says it continues to break the rules and generate money through "illicit maritime exports of coal", as well as widespread hacking.

    It is estimated to have stolen $2bn (£1.7bn) through cyber attacks targeting banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.

    "The Panel continues to assess that virtual asset service providers and virtual assets will continue to remain lucrative targets for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to generate revenue, as well as mining cryptocurrencies," it said.

    https://news.sky.com/story/north-kor...eport-12042001


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  77. #77
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    Videos show explosion in North Korean town: reports

    SEOUL (Reuters) - Videos shot from China show an explosion lighting up the night sky across the border in North Korea, multiple media reported on Wednesday, in what one South Korean outlet said was an apparent gas leak that caused a deadly blast on Monday.

    Reuters could not immediately verify the videos, which were obtained by Seoul-based Daily NK, which monitors North Korea, and the Associated Press. Other South Korean media also cited unnamed sources who reported the fire and explosions.

    Citing an unnamed source inside North Korea, Daily NK reported on Wednesday that as many as 15 people had died in the explosion and resulting fire at a house in Hyesan, Yanggang Province.

    The Associated Press quoted a travel agent in the Chinese border town of Changbai who said he observed the explosion and filmed a video of it, but did not know the cause.

    The videos show a fire glowing over tree tops, punctuated by multiple explosions that send columns of flame into the sky.

    North Korean state media has made no mention of an incident, and South Korean officials said they could not immediately confirm the reports.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKCN251233


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  78. #78
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    Kim Jong-un gives sister Yo-jong 'more responsibilities'

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has delegated more responsibilities to his aides, including his sister Kim Yo-jong, South Korea's spy agency claims.

    Mr Kim still maintains "absolute authority", but handed various policy areas to others to reduce his stress levels, the spy agency reportedly said.

    Ms Kim is now "steering overall state affairs", the National Intelligence Service added.

    However, Seoul's spy agency has been wrong about North Korea in the past.

    The claims were reportedly made during a closed-door briefing on Thursday to South Korea's National Assembly.

    Lawmakers then discussed the assessment with journalists.

    "Kim Jong-un is still maintaining his absolute authority, but some of it has been handed over little by little," the agency was quoted as saying.

    Ms Kim now has responsibility for Pyongyang's policy towards the US and South Korea, among other policy issues, and is "the de-facto number two leader," it added, although it stressed that Mr Kim had "not selected a successor."

    Mr Kim's decision to delegate was in part to "relieve stress from his reign and avert culpability in the event of policy failure," it said.

    However, some analysts have been sceptical of the intelligence, with website NKNews noting that she appeared to have missed two important meetings this month, leading to speculation from some observers that she may have been demoted.

    Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53847400


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  79. #79
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    Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea's Kim Jong-un, now 'de facto second in command'

    The influential younger sister of the North Korean ruler, Kim Jong-un, has become his de facto second-in-command with responsibility for relations with South Korea and the US, according to Seoul’s spy agency.

    In what is beginning to resemble a sibling dictatorship, Kim Yo-jong is helping to run the regime with the blessing of her brother, according to Ha Tae-keung, a South Korean MP who sits on the national assembly’s intelligence committee.

    Ha said Kim Jong-un had ceded a degree of authority to his younger sister, who has risen through the ruling party ranks since accompanying her brother to his 2019 nuclear summit with Donald Trump in Vietnam.

    “The bottom line is that Kim Jong-un still holds absolute power but has turned over a bit more of his authority compared to the past,” Ha said after a closed-door briefing by South Korea’s national intelligence service. “Kim Yo-jong is the de facto second-in-command.”

    Ha said the North Korean ruler, who has presided over nuclear and ballistic missile tests since succeeding his father in late 2011, had also delegated some decision-making powers over economic and military policy to other senior officials.

    He speculated that the move may be intended to reduce the strain on Kim – who was recently the subject of rumours about his health – and enable him to avoid blame for any failures.

    He added, however, that while Kim Yo-jong, who is thought to be in her early 30s, appeared to be directing policy towards toward Washington and Seoul, there were no signs that she was being groomed for the leadership or that her brother was in poor health.

    The South Korean report came soon after Kim Jong-un called a rare congress of the ruling Workers’ party in January to devise a new five-year plan for the economy and address policy “shortcomings”.

    Speaking at a meeting of the party’s central committee on Wednesday, Kim conceded there had been “unexpected and inevitable challenges in various aspects and the situation in the region surrounding the Korean peninsula” – thought to be a reference to sanctions, the coronavirus pandemic and torrential rain that has hit in recent weeks.

    In unusually frank terms the party concluded that “the goals for improving the national economy had been seriously delayed” and living standards had not been “remarkably” improved, the state-run news agency KCNA said.

    In addition nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington have stalled since Kim’s meeting with Trump in Hanoi of March 2019 ended without agreement.

    It is impossible to verify claims made by South Korea’s spy agency, which has a mixed record on interpreting developments in North Korea’s ruling elite.

    NK News noted Kim Yo-jong’s absence from several recent high-level meetings, such as a plenary meeting of the ruling party on Wednesday, fuelling speculation that she may have been demoted.

    There is, however, evidence of her upward trajectory inside the dynastic regime. In March she made her first public statement, condemning the South as a “frightened dog barking” after Seoul protested against a live-fire military exercise by North Korea.

    She also publicly praised Trump for sending her brother a letter in which he said he hoped to maintain good bilateral relations and offered help in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ond-in-command


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  80. #80
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    Kim Jong Un showed off executed uncle's headless body, Trump claims

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- The headless body of Kim Jong Un's executed uncle was displayed to senior North Korean officials, U.S. President Donald Trump told the author of an upcoming book on the U.S. president.

    Jang Song Thaek, the North Korean leader's uncle by marriage and a hugely powerful figure within the regime, was purged for treason and corruption in 2013, in what was widely seen as Kim mercilessly asserting his authority.


    Kim "tells me everything. Told me everything," Trump told the Washington Post investigative journalist Bob Woodward, according to his forthcoming book "Rage".

    Kim Jong Un's sister may have taken over a key North Korean post, South Korean officials say
    "He killed his uncle and he put the body right in the steps," Trump said, in an apparent reference to a building used by senior officials.

    "And the head was cut, sitting on the chest," he added in excerpts from the book seen by AFP.

    The North has never officially stated how Jang was executed, although multiple reports say an anti-aircraft gun was used.

    Trump's account -- apparently intended as a demonstration of the closeness of his relationship with Kim -- is the first from any senior official to mention decapitation.

    Nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been at a standstill since the collapse of the Hanoi summit last year over sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

    Pyongyang officials said they had offered to "dismantle all the nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon area", but analysts say the North has several other nuclear sites.

    According to the book Trump demanded five sites be given up.

    "Listen, one doesn't help and two doesn't help and three doesn't help and four doesn't help. Five does help," he said.

    Yongbyon was the North's biggest site, Kim countered according to excerpts from the book seen by AFP. "It's also your oldest," Trump told the author he retorted.

    Kim, though, would not offer further concessions, and Trump told him: "You're not ready to make a deal."

    "I've got to leave," he added, to Kim's shock.

    'I AM REALLY, VERY OFFENDED'
    The collapse of the summit came despite high expectations on both sides beforehand, but according to the book Trump continued to insist on full denuclearisation even after the pair's surprise meeting several months later in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula.

    "It was an honour to cross into your country," Trump wrote in a letter to Kim two days after the encounter, when he became the first sitting US president to set foot in the North.

    He urged Kim to strike a "big deal" that "sheds you of your nuclear burden".

    "Rage", scheduled to hit the book stands next week, unveils 25 letters the pair exchanged, in which Kim repeatedly flatters Trump.

    The DMZ meeting was supposed to restart the talks process but the US and South Korea held military exercises a few weeks later and Kim subsequently wrote to Trump: "I am clearly offended and I do not want to hide this feeling from you. I am really, very offended."

    Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have remained at a standstill ever since, and ties between the North and South have plummeted, but Trump insisted that he still had a good relationship with Kim.

    "He likes me. I like him. We get along," he said.
    Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/kim-jon...aims-1.5100829.




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