SOUTH KOREA: ‘ Impose Financial Sanctions on Companies Allegedly Involved in Arms Trading ‘

#AceNewsReport – SOUTH KOREA: June.26: South Korea imposed financial sanctions Friday on a Syrian research center and six Taiwanese individuals and companies for their alleged involvement in arms trading with Pyongyang, AFP reported.

This is the first time such measures have been taken against a group or individual outside the Korean Peninsula.

Among the blacklisted are Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center and Taiwanese companies – Global Interface Company, Trans Merits and Trans Multi Mechanics.

@AceNewsServices

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#financial-sanctions, #global-interface-company, #pyongyang, #south-korea, #syrias-scientific-studies-and-research-center, #taiwanese-companies

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.

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#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

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

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

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:

#ANS2014  

#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:

#ANS2014

#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.”

#ANS2014

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

UNITED STATES: ‘ Washington Asks North Korea to Grant Amnesty for Three American Detainees ‘

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – September 15 – Washington has asked North Korea to pardon two Americans sentenced to prison terms, VOA said.

U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller (2nd R) sits in a witness box during his trial at the North Korean Supreme Court in Pyongyang, September 14, 2014.

U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller (2nd R) sits in a witness box during his trial at the North Korean Supreme Court in Pyongyang, September 14, 2014.

On Sunday, Matthew Todd Miller, 24 was convicted of espionage.

Kenneth Bae Pleads for Release

Kenneth Bae Pleads for Release

The US has requested Pyongyang to pardon both Miller, who was sentenced to six years hard labour by the Supreme Court, and Kenneth Bae, 46, a Korean-American Christian missionary who has been held since November 2012 and is serving a 15-year sentence.

Jeffrey Fowle Pleads his Innocence

Jeffrey Fowle Pleads his Innocence

Also, Jeffrey Fowle, 56, is awaiting trial for “hostile acts” against the state.

Both Miller and Fowle were detained in April.

The US wants Pyongyang to grant amnesty to all three.

#ANS2014

#christian, #north-korea, #pyongyang, #united-states, #washington

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Supreme Court Sentences American Matthew Miller to Six Years Hard Labour ‘

#AceBreakingNews – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – September 14 – North Korea’s Supreme Court on Sunday sentenced a 24-year-old American man to six years of hard labour for entering the country illegally to commit espionage.

Matthew Miller, a U.S. citizen, sits on the dock at the Supreme Court during his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. North Korea's Supreme Court on Sunday sentenced Miller to six years of hard labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit espionage. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

Matthew Miller, a U.S. citizen, sits on the dock at the Supreme Court during his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. North Korea’s Supreme Court on Sunday sentenced Miller to six years of hard labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit espionage. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

At a trial that lasted about 90 minutes, the court said Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, California, tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport upon arrival on April 10 and admitted to having the “wild ambition” of experiencing prison life so that he could secretly investigate North Korea’s human rights situation.

Matthew Miller, 24, of Bakersfield, California, who was detained in April at Pyongyang’s airport after tearing his visa to pieces and demanding asylum, has been tried on Sunday, AP reports.

Also apart from Miller, there are two more Americans currently being held in North Korean jails. One of them, Jeffrey Fowle, 56, was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a provincial club while another one, Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae, currently serving out a 15-year sentence for alleged “hostile acts.”

#ANS2014

#american, #bakersfield, #california, #jeffreyfowle, #kenneth-bae, #matthew-miller, #north-korea, #pyongyang

NORTH KOREA: ‘ Detained American Matthew Miller Gets Trial Date ‘

#AceWorldNews – North Korea (Pyongyang) – September 07 – Matthew Miller, one of three American citizens currently held captive in North Korea, will be put on trial on September 14 for “perpetrating hostile acts.”

Matthew Todd Miller

Miller was arrested in April, when he tore up his visa at the immigration desk and demanded political asylum -according to an official statement from Pyongyang.

Less than a week ago Miller and two other Americans, Jeffrey Fowle and Kenneth Bae, made a video address in an interview with CNN, something very unusual for the North Korean prison system, with a plea to the US government to send a special envoy to the isolated state to negotiate their release, AFP reports.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to disclose American diplomatic moves to release the prisoners, saying Washington did not want to jeopardise efforts.

CNN: Video July 02 2014 

#ANS2014

#aceworldnews-ans2014, #north-korea, #pyongyang, #united-states-american

‘ North Korea Fires Short-Range Rockets into the Sea in Violation of a UN Resolution Ban ‘

#AceWorldNews – NORTH KOREA (PYONGYANG) – July 02 – North Korea fired short-range rockets into the sea off its east coast on Wednesday morning, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

A South Korean Ministry of Defence official, however, was not able to confirm exactly what kind of weapons were launched but said they were assumed to be 300mm rockets launched from one of North Korea’s many Multiple Rocket Launchers.

Pyongyag tested two short-range missiles on Sunday in violation of a UN resolutions, that prohibit North Korea from procuring and using ballistic missile technology, but short-range rocket launchers are not included in the ban.

New tests came one day ahead of a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seoul. Pyongyang is likely to be high on the agenda when Xi meets his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, Reuters said.

#ANS2014

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

‘ North Korea Is Putting Two American Tourists on Trial for Crimes Against the State ‘

#AceWorldNews – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – June 30 – North Korea will be putting two American tourists on trial for crimes against the state, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Their hostile acts were confirmed by evidence and their own testimonies,” KCNA reported.

The two US citizens, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller, were detained in the spring. Miller’s detention was announced on April 25, two weeks after he arrived in North Korea. Fowle was detained in mid-May.

North Korea sentenced another US citizen, Kenneth Bae – who is a Christian missionary – to 15 years in a labour camp after arresting him in November 2012.

#ANS2014

#american, #north-korea, #pyongyang

‘ North Korea Proposes that Pyongyang and Seoul Halt Hostile Activities ‘

#AceWorldNews- NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – June 30 – North Korea on Monday proposed that Pyongyang and Seoul halt hostile military activities starting later this week, according to the official KCNA news agency.

The move is seen as a show of Pyongyang’s desire for peace before a visit to Seoul by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The North’s top military body, the National Defence Commission, said Pyongyang was ready to suspend all acts of verbal provocation and slander from Friday, and urged the South to reciprocate, AFP reported.

#ANS2014

#north-korea, #pyongyang, #seoul, #xi-jinping

‘ Military Forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Have Been Placed on High Alert ‘

#AceWorldNews – NORTH KOREA (Pyongyang) – June 27 – The military forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK) has been placed on alert, official newspaper of the DRPK Central Committee Rodong Sinmun reported.

In particular, the newspaper says that the US “brought numerous sufferings and calamities to the Korean nation by provoking the Korean War of 1950-1953,” referred to as “Fatherland Liberation War” in North Korea.

“There is no justification for the crimes of American imperialists that had been committed during this three-year long armed conflict,” Rodong Sinmun stressed. However, the paper noted that the US “have not learned from their defeat in this conflict and continue to advance hostile to the DPRK policy, remaining an enemy of the Korean people.”

On June 25, mass gatherings were held across North Korea to remember the start of the Korean War. The war ended in a truce in 1953. People reminisced on the deeds of Kim Il Sung who led the North Korean army against the US and their allies.

Korean Central News Agency – Itar-Tass – DPRK

#ANS2014

#american, #democratic-peoples-republic-of-koreadprk, #north-korea, #pyongyang

` Apartment Building in North Korea Collapses Due to Poor Construction According to Officials ‘

#AceWorldNews – PYONGYANG – May 18 – (KTVZ) The unusual report Sunday from the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said the collapse took place Tuesday at the construction site of an apartment building in Phyongchon, a central district of Pyongyang.

It did not provide the number of casualties.

KCNA Top News: #NorthKorea’s government issues apology after serious construction accident in Pyongyang pic.twitter.com/X0KnIA1rlL
— KCNA Watch (@KCNAWatch) May 18, 2014

Further reports said the building collapsed on May 13 because “the construction of an apartment house was not done properly, and officials supervised and controlled it in an irresponsible manner,” KCNA said.

The apartment building was located in the Pyongchon District. A “state emergency mechanism” was created to help rescue survivors and assist the injured. Senior officials issued an apology to the families affected by the accident.

The KCNA report cited one official as saying that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “sat up all night, feeling painful after being told about the accident.”

#ANS2014

#north-korea, #pyongyang