US charges three North Koreans for major hacks and cyber-thefts

North Korean intelligence agents charged with $1.3bn in cyber-heists, extortion, malware and phishing schemes. The United States Justice Department has charged three computer programmers working for the North Korean military with using cross-border cyberattacks to raise money for North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un. A federal indictment unsealed in federal court in Los […]

North Korea ‘tried to hack’ Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccine

South Korea’s intelligence agency says North Korea attempted to steal information on coronavirus vaccines and treatments by hacking Pfizer, the US pharmaceutical firm whose highly effective COVID-19 vaccine is being given to millions of people around the world. North Korea has been under self-imposed isolation since closing its borders in January last year and leader […]

Wife of N Korea’s Kim appears in public for first time in a year

Ro Sol Ju, who had not been seen since January 2020, photographed with her husband at a concert. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, appeared in state media for the first time in more than a year on Wednesday, joining her husband at a concert during one of the country’s biggest […]

Seoul questions North Korean man who crossed armed border

The man was found early on Tuesday near a checkpoint on the eastern end of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone. South Korea’s military says it has captured a North Korean man who crossed the heavily fortified border between the two countries and is investigating whether he was attempting to defect. The man was found at […]

N Korea: Kim fires senior economic official amid deepening crisis

North Korea’s border closure, drop in trade and raw material shortages may lead to perfect storm, analysts warn. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ripped into the performance of his cabinet and fired a senior economic official he appointed a month ago, saying they had failed to come up with new ideas to salvage […]

N Korea developed nuclear weapons programme in 2020: UN report

North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes throughout 2020 in violation of international sanctions, helping fund them with some $300m stolen through cyber-hacks, according to a confidential United Nations report seen by the Reuters news agency on Monday. The report by independent sanctions monitors said Pyongyang “produced fissile material, maintained nuclear […]

Biden, S Korea’s Moon pledge ‘comprehensive’ N Korea strategy

Two leaders pledge to strengthen US-South Korea alliance during their first phone call since new US president assumed office. US President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in have pledged to upgrade their two nations’ alliance and pursue a “comprehensive” strategy on North Korea in a phone call. It was their first phone […]

UN report says torture, forced labour rife in North Korea prisons

The United Nations’ human rights office says reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity continue in the country. A new report by the United Nations human rights office has said torture and forced labour are rife in prisons in North Korea’s prisons, amounting to possible crimes against humanity. Tuesday’s publication, issued seven years after […]

Senior North Korean diplomat defects to South: Reports

Ryu Hyun Woo, who was the acting ambassador in Kuwait, is thought to have claimed asylum in 2019. A senior North Korean diplomat who was acting ambassador to Kuwait defected to the South with his family in 2019, it emerged in reports on Monday. Ryu Hyun Woo reached South Korea in September 2019 and sought […]

Fewer North Korean defectors as COVID helps regime tighten grip

Numbers slumped to just 229 last year, far below the 1,047 in 2019 as Pyongyang shut down its border in the face of COVID-19. The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea plummeted last year after Pyongyang closed its border in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Seoul’s unification ministry said on Wednesday. The […]

Blinken says US will review North Korea policy, consider aid

US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state has said the incoming administration will launch a full review of Washington’s approach to North Korea with the aim of increasing pressure on the country to return to talks over its nuclear weapons programme. At his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Antony Blinken said the United […]

‘The world’s most powerful weapon’: N Korea parades new missile

North Korea displayed what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at a parade on Thursday night, state media reported, marking the end of a political congress at which leader Kim Jong Un admitted severe failings but pledged to boost the country’s military might. Clad in a black leather coat, gloves and fur […]

Will Kim Jong Un resume ICBM and nuclear weapons tests?

In one of North Korea’s biggest propaganda spectacles, thousands of delegates from the ruling Workers Party met for an eight-day Congress in Pyongyang that concluded this week. At the cavernous April 25 House of Culture, they alternated between cheering wildly and scribbling furiously on their notepads as leader Kim Jong Un declared the United States […]

US unveils plans to counter China’s rise in Asia

In a new document, the US says it wants to counter China’s ‘predatory economic practices’, ‘accelerate India’s rise’ and help Taiwan ensure its ‘freedom from coercion’. The Trump administration declassified its strategy to ensure continued dominance over China, which focuses on accelerating India’s rise as a counterweight to Beijing and the ability to defend Taiwan […]

Kim Jong Un says US is North Korea’s ‘biggest enemy’

North Korean leader says no matter who is in power in the US, the true nature of American policies towards Pyongyang never changes. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the United States is his nuclear-armed nation’s “biggest enemy”, state media reported on Saturday. “Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing […]

Kim says N Korea to take military capabilities to ‘higher level’

North Korean leader says to secure a ‘peaceful environment’ he wants to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities. Kim Jong Un has promised to expand North Korea’s military capabilities, state media reported on Thursday, even as the country faces international sanctions and pressure over its nuclear weapons programme. Kim, who marks 10 years in power this […]

Kim says last five years ‘worst of the worst’ for North Korea

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un admitted the country’s economic development plan had fallen short in “almost all areas” as he opened a rare congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, state media reported on Wednesday. Kim called the past five years “unprecedented” and the “worst of the worst” time for the country. “The surest and […]

North Korea’s Kim marks New Year with visit to family tomb

The North Korean leader also thanked the people for their support in a letter shared by state media. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marked the arrival of 2021 with a handwritten letter to the country’s citizens and a visit the tomb of his father and grandfather, state media reported, but there was no immediate […]

‘Severe test’: As North Korean economy tanks, Kim needs solutions

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will likely seek fresh impetus for driving growth at a ruling party congress in January after the pandemic added to the pain of sanctions that leave him with a smaller economy than the one he took over nine years ago. After closing its borders in response to Covid-19, North Korea’s […]

North Korea prepares for key party congress as challenges mount

The first congress in more than four years will take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in US President. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chaired a Politburo meeting on preparations for a rare party congress in early January that is expected to set new economic and political goals for the country, state […]

‘Reckless’: N Korea chides Seoul for doubting zero COVID-19 cases

Kim Yo Jong warns claim could worsen already strained ties between the two Koreas. North Korea has condemned South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha for casting doubt over its claim that the country has had no coronavirus outbreaks, saying she will “pay dearly” for her comments and warning already strained ties across the Korean Peninsula […]

US accuses China of ‘flagrant violation’ of North Korea sanctions

US Department of State alleges China is ‘seeking to undo’ United Nations sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear programme. The US Department of State on Tuesday accused China of “flagrant violation” of its obligation to enforce international sanctions on North Korea and said the United States would offer rewards of up to $5m for […]

North Korea toughens rules of entry to sea to fight coronavirus

State media says Pyongyang is taking strong steps to remove ‘uncivilised and unhygienic elements’ that could help spread an epidemic. North Korea is further toughening restrictions on entering its maritime boundary as part of elevated steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic, state media said on Sunday, two days after South Korea said the North had […]

S Korea foils N Korea attempt to hack COVID-19 vaccine makers

Parliament member says it was unclear how many and which drugmakers were targeted adding that there was no damage detected. South Korea’s intelligence agency foiled North Korean attempts to hack into South Korean companies developing coronavirus vaccines, the News1 agency reported on Friday, citing a member of the parliamentary intelligence committee. Legislator Ha Tae-keung said […]