(WASHINGTON) Justice Dept Report: DPRK Intelligence Service Affiliated Businessman Accused of Using the U.S. Financial System and Deceiving U.S. Banks to Circumvent Sanctions Against North Korea #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.23: The indictment alleges that Mun defrauded banks and laundered money in an effort to evade counter-proliferation sanctions imposed on North Korea by the United States and the United Nations,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We will continue to use the long reach of our laws to protect the American people from sanctions evasion and other national security threats.”

First North Korean National Brought to the United States to Stand Trial for Money Laundering Offenses: ‘After nearly two years of legal proceedings, Mun Chol Myong (Mun), 55, a national of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has been extradited to the United States’

This case represents the first ever extradition to the United States of a DPRK national. Mun is accused of laundering money through the U.S. financial system as part of a scheme to provide luxury items to the DPRK.

“We are pleased that Mun has been extradited and will stand trial for the offenses alleged in the indictment,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will always be prepared to protect our nation’s financial system and pursue those who violate our laws, regardless of where they might hide.”

“One of the FBI’s biggest counterintelligence challenges is bringing overseas defendants to justice, especially in the case of North Korea,” said Assistant Direction Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “Thanks to the FBI’s partnership with foreign authorities, we’re proud to bring Mun Chol Myong to the United States to face justice, and we hope he will be the first of many.”

“It is important to underscore the relevance of this first-ever extradition of a North Korean national,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office. “Our Minneapolis agents worked this case closely with international partners highlighting how FBI special agents are persistent and have an international impact wherever they are.”

According to the indictment and other court documents unsealed today, between April 2013 and November 2018, Mun and others conspired to covertly and fraudulently access the U.S. financial system. Mun is alleged to have defrauded U.S. banks and violated both U.S. and United Nations (U.N.) sanctions as part of his money laundering activities in transactions valued at over $1.5 million. The indictment further alleges that Mun was affiliated with the DPRK’s primary intelligence organization, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is the subject of U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Mun has been detained in a foreign country since his arrest by local authorities on May 14, 2019. He made his initial appearance today in federal court in the District of Columbia, where he was indicted on May 2, 2019. Mun faces six counts of money laundering, including conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the indictment, Mun and his conspirators went to great lengths to avoid detection of their sanctions-busting operation. They used a web of front companies and bank accounts registered to false names and removed references to the DPRK from international wire transfer and transactional documents. By intentionally concealing that their transactions were for the benefit of DPRK entities, Mun and his conspirators deceived U.S. correspondent banks into processing U.S. dollar transactions for the benefit of DPRK entities, which the correspondent banks would have otherwise not processed.  

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office and coordinated by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. The Department of Justice would also like to thank the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the FBI’s Investigative Operations Division for providing analytical support during the investigation. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing Mun’s arrest and extradition. The FBI’s Washington Field Office also provided essential support during the extradition process.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Grady and Tejpal S. Chawla of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney David C. Recker of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, with support from Paralegal Specialist Brian Rickers and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick, are prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.23: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#doj, #dprk, #laundering, #money, #north-korea

PYONGYANG: ‘ Opening App Instagram on Mobiles issues warning of Blacklisted ‘

#AceNewsReport – PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – Warnings are appearing on Instagram accounts in North Korea that claim access to the popular photo-sharing app is being denied and the site blacklisted for harmful content.

Opening the app with mobile devices on the North Korean carrier Koryolink has resulted in a notification in English saying: “Warning! You can’t connect to this website because it’s in blacklist site.” A similar notice in Korean says the site contains harmful content, though that is not mentioned in the English version.

Ace Worldwide News

 

#harmful-content, #mobile-devices, #north-korea, #north-korean, #pyongyang

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Claims the US targeted them with Live Anthrax ‘

#AceNewsReport – NORTH KOREA:June.12: Pyongyang has accused the United States of using “biological warfare schemes” to target North Korea with live anthrax and wants the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to investigate.

North Korea Claims US Targeted them with Live Anthrax '
‘ North Korea Claims US Targeted them with Live Anthrax ‘

The accusations were made in a letter to the UNSC and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon from North Korea’s ambassador to the UN Ja Song Nam.

The letter, which was dated June 4, was made public on Friday and comes after US defense officials revealed in late May that low concentration samples of live anthrax were mistakenly shipped to labs in 19 states and to at least 70 labs in four countries, including a US facility based in South Korea. Australia, Britain, and Canada have also reported receiving shipments of the deadly bacteria.

Anthrax bacteria

According to the US Defense Department, the anthrax was supposed to have been killed before it was shipped to laboratories for research, a practice that has been carried out successfully for ten years.

“The United States not only possesses deadly weapons of mass destruction…but also is attempting to use them in actual warfare against [North Korea],” Nam wrote in his letter.

Referring to the delivery as “the gravest challenge to peace and a hideous crime aimed at genocide,” the letter also “strongly requests the Security Council take up the issue of the shipment of anthrax germs in order to thoroughly investigate the biological warfare schemes of the United States.”

Pyongyang has been openly critical of the US’ military presence in South Korea, and has strongly objected annual US-South Korean military exercises which it views as a threat.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke dismissed the allegations on Friday, telling reporters in Washington that they were “ridiculous” and “didn’t merit a response.”

The US House of Representatives announced on Wednesday that a thorough investigation has been launched into the incident, and vowed that they will hold the Defense Department accountable for the error.

#ban-ki-moon, #biological-warfare, #national-defence-commission, #north-korea, #pyongyang, #secretary-general-of-the-united-nations, #the-pentagon, #united-nations, #united-nations-security-council, #united-states, #unsc

NORTH KOREA: CYBER-HACKS AND CYBER-WARFARE THOUGH WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE ?

#AceNewsServices – NORTH KOREA:Editors Post:Dec.28 – Recently l posted news and reported on the cyber-hacks and attacks on Sony Pictures and how it has put North Korea’s cyberwarfare program in the spotlight.

Though what do we really know about the internal workings of the country, as not much is known, other than snippets of information have come out over the years, often through defectors and intelligence leaks.Here’s a summary of what we know:The Cyber Units of North Korea’s governing structure is split between the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the National Defence Commission (NDC).North Korea’s main cyber-operations run under the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), which itself falls under the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces that is in turn part of the NDC. The RGB has been operational for years in traditional espionage and clandestine operations and formed two cyber-divisions several years ago called Unit 121 and Office 91.

In 2004, Unit 121 was said to have gained access to 33 of the 80 wireless communications networks used by the South Korean military. The attack coincided with the timing of a military exercise held with U.S. military forces.

North Korea likes to launch its cyber attacks on important dates. On the Fourth of July in 2009, North Korea launched an attack, which included a denial-of-service operation against media and government websites in South Korea and the U.S. The attack included malware that wipes data from the hard drives of targeted machines. A similar attack was carried out by what researchers at Symantec have branded the “DarkSeoul gang,” thought to be working for North Korea, which attacked South Korean banks and TV networks in 2011 and 2013. The attacks in 2013 froze ATM networks in South Korea and prevented people from taking money out of their accounts. They also coincided with North Korea’s cutting of the official communications link between it and South Korea. Further cyber attacks since then have often coincided with the anniversary of the start of the Korean War and other notable dates.

North Korea sees on-line games as a theater of cyber warfare operations. In 2011, South Korean police arrested five people and accused them of collaborating with operators in North Korea. They were alleged to have used “auto-players” in the on-line game Lineage to level up in the game and then use its in-game marketplace to obtain real money. In 2013, the South Korean government said hackers from North Korea released malware that infected 100,000 computers which were then hijacked and used to launch a distributed denial of service attack on computers at the Inchon Airport. It had little effect, but the attack was considered a “clever tactic” for using an online game as what military planners call a “force multiplier.”

North Korea also has the ability to jam signals from GPS satellites and to inject false coordinates into GPS signals. It demonstrated this capability during joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in 2011.

North Korean hackers get some of their training in China and in Russia. In 2012, North
Korea also signed an agreement with Iran to cooperate in combating “common enemies in cyberspace.” One motivating factor for their alliance was the appearance of Stuxnet, a cyber weapon created by the U.S. and Israel and used to attack Iran’s nuclear research facilities.

Editors Comment:

So concluding the next battle will not be fought with conventional military hardware but computer controlled drones, cyber-machines and computer software, all geared to create massive infrastructure damage on countries economies. So as the power of the pound, dollar and euro will decline, the power of control over peoples lives will evolve, as news and social media, take greater and greater control over our everyday lives.

The next war will not be of ‘ guts and glory ‘ or men of honour ‘ fighting for a worthy cause ‘ but of little men with big ideas sitting in ivory towers ‘ Playing at being God ‘ but as with all little men who are really ‘children at heart ‘, there is a stronger and more ‘ Powerful Father ‘ who has watched over us and waits until all things have past, before he comes.

Then NO computer or Cyberattack be it hacker or not will stop his coming, because by then it will be truly too late, because as with life every ‘ Second Counts’ and before you can say it – it will have surely happened and it will be history.

#ANS2014

#cyber-attack, #north-korea

WASHINGTON WRAP: ‘ NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED FROM CAPITOL HILL ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON:Dec.22 – Well last round-up of Washington news you may have missed before Christmas descends on all of us. This weeks wrap is off course dominated by: SONY HACK and was it or was it not North Korea, China or just some great big publicity stunt as many are starting to say: Well all news is good news even when its bad so here goes for another week:

SONY HACK:

Obama: Sony hacking attack not an act of war by North Korea  President Obama says in an interview broadcast Sunday morning that he did not think the Sony Pictures hack was not an act of war by North Korea.  http://ow.ly/GePS9

McCain: Sony hack ‘a new form of warfare’  “We need to react and react vigorously,” the Republican senator said.  http://ow.ly/Gf13H

Intel chairman slams Obama for slow Sony response  “Saying ‘aloha’ and getting on the plane to Hawaii is not the answer,” Rogers said.  http://ow.ly/Gf0xN

Sony hack a ‘wake-up call’ for US, cybersecurity expert says  “You’ve got to invest in a defensible architecture,” Major General Brett Williams said. http://ow.ly/GfgCP

Will US add North Korea to list of state sponsors of terrorism?  The United States is weighing whether to put North Korea back on its list, Obama said.  http://ow.ly/GeZ8A

Sony lawyer: ‘The Interview’ will be distributed  A top Sony lawyer stressed the movie studio will release the film through some platform. http://ow.ly/Gfakt

Iran watching Obama’s moves, Graham says  Graham said Obama must respond “forcefully” to Sony cyberattack.  http://ow.ly/GfcDl

NYPD SHOOTINGS:

Graham: Dems’ tone ‘incites crazy people’  The senator said the shooter alone is to blame for the deaths of two New York officers. http://ow.ly/GfaZ1

NY Democrat: Unfair to blame mayor, Holder for NYPD shootings  Rep. Gregory Meeks said de Blasio and Holder have been trying “to bring the city together.” http://ow.ly/Gf9X8

NAACP chief: Don’t blame Dems for NYPD shootings  Cornell William Brooks said criticism of New York’s mayor and Eric Holder are unfair. http://ow.ly/Gf8ox

CUBA:

Rubio blasts Obama’s Cuba decision  The Florida Republican denounced the president’s actions on three Sunday shows.  http://ow.ly/GfdOF

Senators split on Obama’s Cuba strategy  Sens. Ron Johnson and Ben Cardin debated Obama’s move to normalize relations.  http://ow.ly/Gf3ZS

GUANTANAMO BAY:

Obama on Gitmo: ‘I’m going to be doing everything I can to close it’  Obama stopped short of declaring that he’d succeed in closing the controversial facility.  http://ow.ly/GeXQt

McCain: Obama acting in a ‘most imperial fashion’  “This is a president who ran on an open and transparent presidency,” the Arizona Republican said.  http://ow.ly/Gf2rM

Racial Tensions:  

Obama ‘impatient’ on racial progress in US  Obama said he recognizes that “most Americans have good intentions.” http://ow.ly/Gf65v

US Election 2016:

Former DNC chief: Rubio is ‘done’ for 2016  “I think Jeb does some very interesting things,” Howard Dean said. http://ow.ly/GffGQ

So that just about wraps it up in Washington for another year. I will produce my thoughts in Washington before New Year ……. So stay tune… ED.

#ANS2014 

#capitol-hill, #china, #cuba, #cyber-security, #democrats, #gitmo, #guantanamo-bay, #iran, #mccain, #north-korea, #obama, #racial, #republicans, #sony, #us-election-2016

USA: ‘ FBI INVESTIGATION INTO SONY FINDS NORTH KOREA WITH POSSIBLE CHINESE LINK MAYBE RESPONSIBLE ‘

#AceWorldNews – UPDATE – USA:Dec.19 – A US investigation into the hack of Sony’s computer system has determined that North Korea was behind the operation with a possible Chinese link, Reuters quoted a US official as saying Friday.

41561_01_north_korea_could_be_behind_sony_pictures_hack_investigation_underway_full

USA: ‘ FBI INVESTIGATION INTO SONY FINDS NORTH KOREA WITH POSSIBLE CHINESE LINK MAYBE RESPONSIBLE ‘

The conclusion is announced later by federal authorities Today. 

The probe showed that there may be a Chinese link“either through collaboration with Chinese actors or by using Chinese servers to mask the origination of the hack,” the official said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will for the first time on Friday officially weigh in on the colossal computer hack suffered by Sony Pictures that in recent days has been elevated to an issue of national security.

According to Reuters, the FBI will say that North Korea was responsible for the major breach, but did it by way of Chinese computer networks.

The intrusion into the Hollywood studio’s internal networks last month has since caused a trove of stolen files, including stolen company emails, records and unreleased films, to surface on the web.

Earlier this week, Sony announced that it would be cancelling plans to release “The Interview” next week, a comedy in which North Korea President Kim Jong Un is assassinated, following threats perpetrated by the purported hackers.

#ANS2014 

#china, #cyber-attack, #north-korea, #sony

PYONGYANG: ‘ NORTH KOREA REJECTS SOUTH KOREA’S HIGH LEVEL TALKS MEETING ‘

#AceWorldNews – PYONGYANG – October 29 – North Korea rejected South Korea’s proposal for high-level talks this week, Yonhap news agency quoted the South Korean Unification Ministry as saying Wednesday.

“We express disappointment that it become difficult to open high-level talks on Oct. 30, as we proposed, due to North Korea’s attitude,” the ministry’s spokesman, Lim Byeong-cheol, said at a press briefing.

North Korea responded via fax, expressing its opposition to the spread of leaflets across the border, adding that the South was not interested in talks, and demanding an end to the dissemination of leaflets.

Several activist groups in South Korea have been spreading the leaflets, criticizing the North Korean regime.

South Korea has repeatedly stated that it will not try to control activists’ freedom of speech, calling the North’s demands “unjust.”

#ANS2014 

#north-korea, #pyongyang, #south-korea

NORTH KOREA: ‘ BARS ENTRY TO FOREIGN TOURISTS AND TRAVELLERS OVER EBOLA CRISIS ‘

#AceWorldNews – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – October 23 – North Korea will bar entry to foreigners on tourist trips from Friday because of Ebola concerns, Reuters said, citing tour operators.

“As of tomorrow, tourists from any country, regardless of where they have recently visited, will not be permitted to enter,” said Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours, a travel company based in China.

It was not clear if the Pyongyang ban also covered non-tourist members of the diplomatic or business community.

RT Reported. 

#ANS2014 

#china, #ebola, #north-korea, #pyongyang

WASHINGTON: ‘ JEFFREY FOWLE RELEASED FROM CUSTODY IN NORTH KOREA ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 21 – Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, has been released, the State Department said Tuesday.

American detainee who was arrested in North Korea for leaving a bible at his hotel is released and on his way home, but two other US men remain in secretive state

American detainee who was arrested in North Korea for leaving a bible at his hotel is released and on his way home, but two other US men remain in secretive state

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Fowle was home Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang. 

Fowle was arrested in North Korea in May for leaving a bible at his hotel.

An American government plane picked up Fowle on Tuesday before flying to Guam, a senior State Department official told CNN. 

She said the U.S. is still trying to free Americans Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae.  

Fowle was arrested at the airport earlier this year while trying to leave North Korea.

Last month, Fowle gave an interview to CNN pleading for U.S. help and speaking about conditions of his detention.

He spoke to CNN with Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, two Americans also being held in North Korea.

In the interview, Fowle said he has ‘no complaints’ about his treatment.

‘It’s been very good so far, and I hope and pray that it continues, while I’m here two more days or two more decades,’ he said.

Washington has tried for months to send a high-level envoy to North Korea to seek release of the three men.

Analysts say North Korea has previously used detained Americans as leverage in its stand-off with the U.S. over its nuclear and missile programs, a charge that Pyongyang denies. 

Source: 

#ANS2014

#north-korea, #washington

SOUTH KOREA: ‘ SCHEDULED TO HOLD DEFENCE TALKS WITH US OVER DEAL TO STRENGTHEN COMBINED DEFENCE STRATEGIES ‘

#AceNewsServices – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – October 20 – The foreign and defence minsters from South Korea and the United States are scheduled to have a meeting later this week to discuss an array of security issues, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

South Korea and the U.S. plan to hold a “two plus two” meeting of their foreign and defense ministers Thursday afternoon (Washington Time) in the U.S. capital, according to the foreign ministry.

The planned meeting will bring together South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Defense Minister Han Min-koo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“The two sides are fine-tuning the agenda for the meeting,” a foreign ministry official said without elaborating.

The planned meeting, the third of its kind, comes on the heels of the agreement made between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama at a summit in April.

Such talks were held in 2010 and 2012 when the two countries discussed how to strengthen their alliance and cope with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The two allies will hold their annual defense ministers‘ talks, known as the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), before the two plus two meeting opens.

Seoul and Washington are expected to unveil a deal on delaying the planned transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul while reaffirming joint efforts to strengthen combined defense capabilities.

It is widely expected that the two sides are taking a “conditions-based approach” to the issue of delaying the OPCON transfer.

Source: 

#ANS2014

#korean, #north-korea, #seoul, #south-korea, #wartime-operational-control-opcon, #washington

SOUTH KOREA: ‘ BORDER GUARDS ON BOTH SIDES EXCHANGE GUNFIRE IN SHOOT-OUT ‘

#AceWorldNews – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – October 18 – Border guards of the rival Koreas exchanged gunfire Sunday along their heavily fortified border in the second such shoot-out in less than 10 days, South Korean officials said.

S. KOREA: 2 KOREAS EXCHANGE GUNFIRE ALONG BORDER

S. KOREA: 2 KOREAS EXCHANGE GUNFIRE ALONG BORDER

The shoot-out occurred after South Korean soldiers broadcast warning and fired warning shots against about 10 North Korean soldiers who were approaching to the military demarcation line inside the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Source: 

#ANS2014 

#north-korea, #seoul, #south-korea

SEOUL: ‘ NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR SETS-UP TIMER RELEASED LEAFLETS CONDEMNING PYONGYANG’S DICTATORSHIP’

South Korea-based activists recently launched balloons loaded with propaganda leaflets over the country’s heavily militarized northern land border, triggering a volley of gunfire between border security guards and forcing a bilateral relations dialog to the point of collapse.

Leaflets - Screenshot from 2014-10-16 17:41:35

The airborne leafleting effort is nothing new. Lee Min-bok, a North Korean defector, and his group, the Campaign For Helping North Korea in Direct Way (sic), have used balloons to send printed messages, CDs and even little radios tuned for uncensored news and information, into the country since at least 2003.

North Korean defector Lee Min-bok sets up timer to release leaflets condemning Pyongyang’s dictatorship after balloon carrying the propaganda crosses in the country, Pocheon, South Korea, Oct. 15, 2014.North Korean defector Lee Min-bok sets up timer to release leaflets condemning Pyongyang’s dictatorship after balloon carrying the propaganda crosses in the country, Pocheon, South Korea, Oct. 15, 2014.

“The balloon launch is a primitive humanitarian activity for human rights, which opens eyes, ears and mouths of North Korean people that have been closed by the North Korean regime,” said Lee, an evangelical Christian and former North Korean agricultural scientist.

Source: 

#ANS2014

#north-korea, #north-korean, #pyongyang, #seoul, #south-korea

SEOUL: ‘ North and South Korea Hold First Top-Level Military Talks Behind Close Doors ‘

#AceNewsServices – SEOUL – October 15 – South and North Korea held their first high-level military talks in seven years on Wednesday, but failed to reach agreement on pending issues such as inter-Korean clashes near the tense western maritime border, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

“The two representatives of both countries held the closed-door contact involving military officials from 10 a.m. at the truce village of Panmunjom after North Korea proposed the meeting to discuss the recent exchange of fire between their patrol boats in the Yellow Sea,” defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.

The meeting, which ended at 3:10 p.m., failed to produce any meaningful agreements “due to the differences between the two sides,” he added.

Last week, South and North Korean patrol boats briefly exchanged fire after a North Korean naval vessel violated the NLL, the de facto maritime border in the Yellow Sea.

Heightening tensions further, the communist country on Friday fired anti-aircraft machine guns at balloons containing leaflets criticizing the authoritarian regime.

After some of the shots landed south of border, the two sides traded machine gun fire.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Pyongyang demanded the South “ban its ships from entering the areas it claims as the inter-Korean sea border, stop civic groups from sending propaganda leaflets and refrain from slander including in the press,” Kim said.

Drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, the NLL acts as the de facto sea border between the two Koreas. It is not recognized by Pyongyang.

In response, South Korea called on the North to abide by the NLL, stressing that it is “not possible for the democratic government to control civic groups or media,” according to the ministry.

“Despite being very serious throughout the talks with a will to improve the bilateral ties, the two sides failed to narrow the differences, which caused the meeting to end without specific agreements,” Kim said.

The talks between generals on both sides were reportedly held at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

The South’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report, AFP said.

The last time such discussions were held in December 2007.

Source:

#ANS2014 

#north-korea, #pyongyang, #seoul, #south-korea

SEOUL: ‘ Kim Jong-un Has Leg Injury and Still in Charge Source Reports ‘

#AceWorldNews – SEOUL – October 13 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is in firm control of his government but has hurt his leg, a source with access to the secretive North’s leadership said, playing down speculation over the 31-year-old’s health and grip on power.

Kim Jong-un, center, visits the Ryugyong Dental Hospital and Okryu Children’s Hospital in Pyongyang in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in March 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

North Korea’s state media, which usually chronicles Kim’s whereabouts in great detail, has not made any mention of his activities since he attended a concert with his wife on Sept. 3, and Kim was absent from early state media coverage of an important political anniversary on Friday.

Source: 

#ANS2014

#north-korea, #seoul

KOREA: ‘ North and South Exchange Gunfire As Propaganda Leaflets Denounce Pyongyang Regime ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 10 – North and South Korean soldiers have exchanged gunfire across their mutual border after gas-filled balloons

' Gas-Filled Balloons filled with Propaganda to Denounce Pyongyang Regime '

‘ Gas-Filled Balloons filled with Propaganda to Denounce Pyongyang Regime ‘

With propaganda leaflets denouncing the Pyongyang regime were floated from the South Korean township of Hapsuri.

At 2 pm local time (0500 GMT) Friday, North Korean border guards sprayed bullets across the border.

South Korean soldiers retaliated and both sides peppered each other with gunfire for some time.

No casualties were reported on either side, yet some residents of Hapsuri had to be evacuated.

Earlier and for the first time in three years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wasnot on a list of dignitaries at a celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party.

An official state media dispatch listed senior government, military and party officials who paid their respects at an event marking the party’s 69th anniversary, but not Kim.

It said a flower basket with Kim’s name on it was placed before statues of his father and grandfather, both of whom also ruled North Korea. Kim, who is thought to be 31, hasn’t been seen performing his customary public duties in state media since he attended a concert Sept. 3.

He had been walking with a limp and was more overweight than usual in images that aired before that.

An official documentary from late last month described him as dealing with “discomfort,” which led to international speculation that he may be ill. (AP)

Sources: AP – RT – Kyodo – Euronews

#ANS2014 

#north-korea, #pyongyang, #seoul, #south-korea

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Kim Jong-Un Disappears Whereabouts Unknown ‘

#AceNewsServices – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – October 08 – North Korea’s portly 31-year-old supreme leader has not been seen in public in more than month at a time when a high-level delegation has made a surprise visit to South Korea in an apparent peace initiative.

' Surprise Visit of a High-Level Delegation from North Korea visits South Korea '

‘ Surprise Visit of a High-Level Delegation from North Korea visits South Korea ‘

His disappearance from public view has stirred rumours of coups, health problems and even a low-grade civil war in the Hermit Kingdom. Though it could be linked to our recent post on his leadership being a puppet government, either way his whereabouts are still unknown.    

Kim Jong Un, who succeeded his father Kim Jong Il in 2011, was last seen Sept. 3 attending a music concert with his wife Ri Sol Ju. The state newspaper Rodong Sinmun showed the pair sitting in front-row seats for the performance by an all-girl troupe, the BBC reports.

He was a no-show when the North Korean parliament convened Sept. 26 for its second session of the year. On Tuesday, Kim Jong Un did not attend a national meeting to mark the 17th anniversary of the election of his father as general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea,the South Korean Yonhap news agency reports.

A recent official documentary only shows footage from August of the North Korean leader limping while commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of the country’s founder.

The film mentioned he had been feeling “discomfort,” the BBC reports. 

His sudden low profile coincides with the surprise visit Saturday by a high-level North Korean delegation to the South Korean port city of Incheon to attend the close of the Asian Games, which included North Korean athletes.

Source:

#ANS2014

#asian-games, #incheon, #kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #north-korean, #pyongyang, #south-korea

#AceNewsServices – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – October 07 – A South Korean naval ship fired warning shots on Tuesday after a North Korean patrol boat crossed a disputed sea border off the peninsula’s west coast and fired shots back before retreating, a South Korean defence official said.

There were no casualties on the South Korean side and none of the shots by either side was aimed at the other’s vessel, he told Reuters.

' South and North-Korea Ships Fire Shots on Disputed Sea Border '

‘ South and North-Korea Ships Fire Shots on Disputed Sea Border ‘

It was the latest in a series of similar altercations near Yeonpyeong island, which was bombed by the North in 2010 killing four people, including two civilians.

' South and North-Korea Ships Fire Shots on Disputed Sea Border '

‘ South and North-Korea Ships Fire Shots on Disputed Sea Border ‘

The area near Yeonpyeong has been the scene of clashes in the past that killed scores of sailors on both sides, with North Korean vessels frequently crossing the so-called Northern Limit Line, which it refuses to recognise as the maritime border.

The stand-off came after a surprise visit by the highest-level delegation by North Korea at the weekend, comprised of a top military aide to the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, who met South Korean officials.

They agreed to resume dialogue on improving ties that had been cut off in February, raising hope for a breakthrough in the relationship between the rivals which remain in a technical state of war under a truce ending their 1950-53 war.

In 2010, a South Korean navy ship patrolling the area was hit and sunk in a torpedo attack killing 46 of the sailors on board. South Korea blames the North for the attack but Pyongyang denies involvement.

The attack led to the South cutting off all political and commercial exchange with the North except for a factory zone in the North Korean city of Kaesong where South Korean companies operate manufacturing facilities.

In recent years, Seoul has allowed small private groups to visit the North, mostly on humanitarian or religious trips.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source:

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#north-korea, #north-korean, #pyongyang, #sea-border, #seoul, #south-korea, #yeonpyeong

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Counter-Intelligence Officer Claims Kim Jong-Un is Now a Puppet Leader as Pyongyang is Placed in Lock-Down ‘

#AceNewsServices – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – October 04  – A former North Korean counter-intelligence officer has claimed that Kim Jong-Un is no longer in control of the nation and is now just a ‘puppet leader’.

Jang Jin-sung, who used to be an influential officer in Kim Jong-il’s propaganda division, made the sensational assertion at a September conference in Holland attended by several elite exiles, it’s been reported.

The capital, Pyongyang, meanwhile, has been placed into lock-down with even the elite banned from entering or leaving, according to a respected news site. This adds weight to Jin-sung’s claim, as a North Korean expert said that this kind of measure is only put in place when a coup has taken place – or is suspected.

Daily Mail:

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#kim-jong-un, #north-korea, #pyongyang

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Regional Arms Race on the Cards Should US Deploy Missile Defence System (THAAD) in South Korea ‘

#AceNewsServices NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – October 2 – North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned on Thursday of a regional arms race that could escalate if an advanced US missile defence system is deployed in South Korea.

The deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) “will entail political and military confrontation, and will lead to the arms race in North-East Asia,” the agency said in a commentary published in local newspapers.

The warning comes in response to Washington’s statements that the possible deployment of the THAAD, a key element of the multi-layered global US missile defence program, is set to counter the growing military threat from North Korea.

A top American defence official, Deputy Secretary of Defence Robert Work, told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Tuesday that Washington and Seoul are in talks about the possible deployment of the THAAD.

The US has already moved one THAAD battery to the Pacific island of Guam “in response to North Korean provocations,” he said.

The KCNA news agency said the United States is seeking to use South Korea “to fulfil its strategy aimed at gaining dominance in the Asia-Pacific”, and then “a major armed conflict could erupt.”

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#guam, #north-korea, #north-east-asia, #pacific-island, #pyongyang, #south-korea, #terminal-high-altitude-area-defence-thaad, #united-states

SOUTH KOREA: ‘ Navy Fire Warning Shots Across Bough of North’s Patrol Boat ‘

#AceWorldNews – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – September 19 – The South Korean navy fired warning shots Friday to end a brief incursion by a North Korean patrol boat across the sensitive maritime border, AFP reported.

' Fires Missile Across Bough of North Korea's Patrol Boat '

‘ Fires Missile Across Bough of North Korea’s Patrol Boat ‘

The patrol boat came around 900 meters inside the South’s side of the disputed Yellow Sea border shortly after midday (03:00 GMT), Seoul’s Defence Ministry said.

One of our naval vessels gave a verbal warning by loudspeaker and then fired six warning rounds,” a spokesman said. The North Korean ship returned across the border minutes later.

It was the first such boundary violation in four months, according to Seoul.

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