wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘NKorea’

Report: NKorea begins building light-water reactor

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

Clinton announces new sanctions against NKorea

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Wednesday that Washington will impose new sanctions on  North Korea in a bid to stem the regime’s illicit atomic ambitions.


Clinton, speaking at a joint news conference in Seoul after holding unprecedented security talks with U.S. and South Korean defense and military officials, said the sanctions were part of measures designed to rein in the regime’s nuclear activities by stamping out illegal moneymaking ventures used to fund the program.


“These measures are not directed at the people of North Korea, who have suffered too long due to the misguided priorities of their government,” Clinton said. “They are directed at the destabilizing, illicit, and provocative policies pursued by that government.”

U.S. Army Col. Kurt Taylor, right, briefs U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, 2nd right, at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, north of Seoul, South Korea Wednesday, July 21, 2010, in Seoul, South Korea.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed stiff sanctions on North Korea in recent years to punish the regime for defying the world body by testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and illegally selling arms and weapons.


With few allies and diminishing sources of aid, impoverished North Korea is believed to be turning to illicit ventures to raise much-needed cash. Pyongyang also walked away last year from a disarmament-for-aid pact with five other nations that had provided the country with fuel oil and other concessions.


Clinton, making a high-profile trip to South Korea with Defense Secretary Robert Gates just four months after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, urged North Korea to turn away from its path toward continued isolation.


“From the beginning of the Obama Administration, we have made clear that there is a path open to the DPRK to achieve the security and international respect it seeks,” she said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


“North Korea can cease its provocative behavior, halt its threats and belligerence towards its neighbors, take irreversible steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and comply with international law,” Clinton said.

Source: SGGP

UN experts say NKorea is exporting nuke technology

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 5:11 am

U.N. experts say North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions.

A North Korean soldier waits on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea as seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, Friday, May 28, 2010

The seven-member panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea said in a report obtained by The Associated Press late Thursday that its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar. It called for further study of these suspected activities and urged all countries to try to prevent them.


The 47-page report and a lengthy annex document sanctions violations reported by U.N. member states, including four cases involving arms exports and two seizures of luxury goods. The report also details the broad range of techniques that North Korea is using to try to evade sanctions imposed after its nuclear tests.

Source: SGGP

NKorea sentences US man to 8 years of hard labor

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

North Korea said Wednesday it has convicted and sentenced an American man to eight years in a labor prison and a fine equivalent to $700,000 for entering the country illegally and unspecified hostile acts.


Aijalon Mahli Gomes acknowledged his wrongdoing during a trial at the Central Court Tuesday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch.


The North said last month that it arrested Gomes, 30, of Boston on Jan. 25 for trespassing after he crossed into the country from China. He was the fourth American to be detained in communist North Korea on charges of illegal entry in little over a year.


Gomes, a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, had been teaching English in South Korea and no details have emerged about why he went to the North. However, a Seoul-based activist — Jo Sung-rae — said Gomes may have been inspired by his acquaintance with an American missionary who made a similar trip to the North in December to protest the country’s human rights record.


The KCNA report said the court sentenced Gomes to eight years of “hard labor” and a fine of 70 million won. North Korea’s official exchange rate is 100 won to the dollar.


“An examination was made of the hostile act committed against the Korean nation and the trespassing on the border of (North Korea) against which an indictment was brought in and his guilt was confirmed” according to the country’s criminal code, it said.


Analysts say verdicts issued by the Central Court — North Korea’s highest — are final and cannot be appealed.


But Yoo Ho-yeol, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Korea University, said Gomes would eventually be released as the North appears to want to use his case as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the U.S. on its nuclear program.


“Continuing to hold him in custody is also a burden for North Korea” as it will only galvanize criticism of its human rights record, Yoo said.


The North is under international pressure to return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks it quit last year.


Representatives of the Swedish Embassy in North Korea, which looks after U.S. interests in the country, witnessed the trial, the KCNA report said. A person who answered the telephone of the first secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang referred queries to the U.S. State Department.


In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore said the government has seen reports about the matter, but that she could not immediately comment.


Thaleia Schlesinger, spokeswoman for Gomes’ relatives, said they are “disturbed” by the verdict and will pray for his early return.


“The family has no comment beyond that they are praying for him and hoping for his return home as soon as possible,” Schlesinger said. “Needless to say, they are disturbed (by the sentence) but they are hopeful that he would be returned home to them and they are praying for that.”


Three other American citizens have been arrested after crossing into North Korea over the past 13 months.

Tourists look at the North Korean side near the demilitarized zone that separates two Koreas in Paju, South Korea.

Missionary Robert Park strode into North Korea from China on Christmas Day in a self-proclaimed mission to draw attention to North Korea’s human rights record and to call for leader Kim Jong Il to step down. He was released in February after more than 40 days in custody.


Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were arrested in March last year near the Chinese border and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in hostile acts. They were freed in August after former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a high-profile humanitarian visit to Pyongyang to negotiate their release.


U.S. officials have said they want to make sure that Gomes is returned to the United States as soon as possible.

Source: SGGP

NKorea sentences US man to 8 years of hard labor

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

North Korea said Wednesday it has convicted and sentenced an American man to eight years in a labor prison and a fine equivalent to $700,000 for entering the country illegally and unspecified hostile acts.


Aijalon Mahli Gomes acknowledged his wrongdoing during a trial at the Central Court Tuesday, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch.


The North said last month that it arrested Gomes, 30, of Boston on Jan. 25 for trespassing after he crossed into the country from China. He was the fourth American to be detained in communist North Korea on charges of illegal entry in little over a year.


Gomes, a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, had been teaching English in South Korea and no details have emerged about why he went to the North. However, a Seoul-based activist — Jo Sung-rae — said Gomes may have been inspired by his acquaintance with an American missionary who made a similar trip to the North in December to protest the country’s human rights record.


The KCNA report said the court sentenced Gomes to eight years of “hard labor” and a fine of 70 million won. North Korea’s official exchange rate is 100 won to the dollar.


“An examination was made of the hostile act committed against the Korean nation and the trespassing on the border of (North Korea) against which an indictment was brought in and his guilt was confirmed” according to the country’s criminal code, it said.


Analysts say verdicts issued by the Central Court — North Korea’s highest — are final and cannot be appealed.


But Yoo Ho-yeol, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Korea University, said Gomes would eventually be released as the North appears to want to use his case as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the U.S. on its nuclear program.


“Continuing to hold him in custody is also a burden for North Korea” as it will only galvanize criticism of its human rights record, Yoo said.


The North is under international pressure to return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks it quit last year.


Representatives of the Swedish Embassy in North Korea, which looks after U.S. interests in the country, witnessed the trial, the KCNA report said. A person who answered the telephone of the first secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang referred queries to the U.S. State Department.


In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore said the government has seen reports about the matter, but that she could not immediately comment.


Thaleia Schlesinger, spokeswoman for Gomes’ relatives, said they are “disturbed” by the verdict and will pray for his early return.


“The family has no comment beyond that they are praying for him and hoping for his return home as soon as possible,” Schlesinger said. “Needless to say, they are disturbed (by the sentence) but they are hopeful that he would be returned home to them and they are praying for that.”


Three other American citizens have been arrested after crossing into North Korea over the past 13 months.

Tourists look at the North Korean side near the demilitarized zone that separates two Koreas in Paju, South Korea.

Missionary Robert Park strode into North Korea from China on Christmas Day in a self-proclaimed mission to draw attention to North Korea’s human rights record and to call for leader Kim Jong Il to step down. He was released in February after more than 40 days in custody.


Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were arrested in March last year near the Chinese border and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in hostile acts. They were freed in August after former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a high-profile humanitarian visit to Pyongyang to negotiate their release.


U.S. officials have said they want to make sure that Gomes is returned to the United States as soon as possible.

Source: SGGP

NKorea vows ‘nuclear strikes’ in latest threat

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 10:23 am

North Korea’s military warned South Korea and the United States on Friday of “unprecedented nuclear strikes” as it expressed anger over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country, a scenario it dismissed as a “pipe dream.”


The North routinely issues such warnings. Diplomats in South Korea and the U.S. have repeatedly called on Pyongyang to return to international negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear programs.


“Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North), whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army,” North Korea‘s military said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.


The North, believed have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs, conducted its second atomic test last year, drawing tighter U.N. sanctions.

A South Korean elderly man watches a documentary picture showing U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief of U.N. forces in the Korean War, second from right, at a photo exhibition of Korean War (1950-1953) in Seoul, South Korea.

Experts from South Korea, the U.S. and China will meet in China next month to share information on North Korea, assess possible contingencies in the country, and consider ways to cooperate in case of an emergency situation, South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported earlier this month, citing unidentified sources in Seoul and Beijing. The experts will also hold follow-up meetings in Seoul in June and in Honolulu in July, it said.


The North Korean statement Friday specifically referred to the March 19 newspaper report.


A spokeswoman said the South Korean Defense Ministry had no information.


South Korean media have reported that Seoul has drawn up a military operations plan with the United States to cope with possible emergencies in the North. The North says the U.S. plots to topple its regime, a claim Washington has consistently denied.


Last month, the North also threatened a “powerful — even nuclear — attack,” if the U.S. and South Korea went ahead with annual military drills. There was no military provocation from North Korea during the exercises.


China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. have been trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in six party talks. The North quit the negotiations last year.


The fate of the North’s nuclear weapons has taken on added urgency since late 2008 as concerns over the health of leader Kim Jong Il have intensified.


Kim, who suffered an apparent stroke in 2008, may die within three years, South Korean media have reported. His death is thought to have the potential to trigger instability and a power struggle in the North.


Gen. Walter Sharp, the top U.S. commander in South Korea, says the possibility of turmoil in the North is of real concern, citing the country’s economic weakness, malnourishment in both the military and general population, and its nuclear weapons.


“The possibility of a sudden leadership change in the North could be destabilizing and unpredictable,” he said in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee hearing earlier this week.

Source: SGGP

In shift, US offers to talk directly to NKorea

In World on September 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

In a policy shift, the Obama administration said it is prepared to hold direct talks with North Korea in a bid to bring Pyongyang back to six-nation nuclear disarmament negotiations.


The administration — which has conditioned talks with North Korea on Pyongyang’s agreeing to return to a nuclear deal it quit in April — made the offer after consulting partners China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, on Friday.


“We had consultations with our partners in the six-party process,” Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley told reporters at the daily news briefing.


“We are prepared to enter into a bilateral discussion with North Korea, but it’s important to characterize it properly,” Crowley added.


“It’s a bilateral discussion that (is) hopefully… within the six-party context, and it’s designed to convince North Korea to come back to the six-party process and to take affirmative steps towards denuclearization,” he said.








This undated picture, released from NKorea’s official Korean Central News Agency on September 4, shows NKorean leader Kim Jong Il (center) visiting the Songjin Steel Complex.

Crowley denied the move amounted to a significant policy change, but suggested it amounted to a tactical shift when he called it a “short-term” measure to bring the reclusive Stalinist state back to talks.


He said it is too early to say when and where envoys such as Stephen Bosworth, the pointman for North Korea in President Barack Obama’s administration, and his deputy Sung Kim would meet their North Korean counterparts.


“Given the consultations that we have, given the invitation that was extended (from North Korea for direct talks), we’ll make some decisions, you know, in the next couple of weeks,” Crowley said.


He was referring to consultations that Bosworth had with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Japan during a tour of Asia in the last week. Kim stayed on in Asia to consult with his Russian counterpart.


Bosworth gave no hint of a change in plan when he spoke in Tokyo on Tuesday.


On August 25, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States would sit down with the North Koreans only if they agreed to return to six-party disarmament talks.


North Korea quit the six-way talks grouping in April in protest at UN censure of a rocket launch. The UN Security Council then tightened sanctions on North Korea after it staged an underground nuclear weapons test in May.


The United States has long said that any bilateral talks would come only within the framework of six-party talks, which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.


The six-party consultations came after North Korea began to soften its posture recently and sought bilateral talks with Washington, while attempting to scrap the six-way talks aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.


But Pyongyang said last week it had reached the final stages of enriching uranium and was also building more plutonium-based atomic weapons.


A senior State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that “it will probably be Ambassador Bosworth” who meets with the North Koreans.


“I wouldn’t say it’s imminent, probably not before UNGA,” the official added.


He was referring to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York at the end of September in New York. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama are expected to discuss North Korea there with their international partners.


Source: SGGP