Trump’s pandering to North Korea secured nothing but a photo op for himself and greater visibility for Kim Jong Un. Unsurprisingly, analysts believe that since the Singapore Summit, North Korea has produced at least 12 nuclear weapons.
North Korea launched two short range missiles, prompting concern among U.S. and South Korean officials. This is the first launch of North Korean missiles since President Trump entered North Korea less than a month ago.
North Korea, upset at upcoming U.S.-South Korea military drills, is threatening to end its 20 month suspension of nuclear and missile testing. Trump, who prizes his work with North Korea, may be tempted to give in to their pressure.
Washington and Pyongyang are supposedly locked in “behind-the-scenes” talks to hold a third summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump. That’s according to the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, who said Wednesday: “Both sides have been engaged in dialogue in regard to a third summit… It’s noteworthy that the behind-the-scenes talks have been preceded by the mutual understanding of each other’s position gained through the Hanoi summit.”
U.S. President Donald Trump will visit South Korea this weekend after an exchange of letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boosted hopes for talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump is set to arrive in South Korea for a two-day visit on Saturday, and will meet President Moon Jae-in on Sunday, following a summit of G20 leaders in Japan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea for a historic visit Thursday, becoming the first Chinese leader to travel to the country in 14 years. His two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un comes days before Xi is scheduled to meet with President Trump during a Group of 20 summit in Japan, leading some experts to interpret the Pyongyang trip as a means to strengthen China’s hand in its trade war with Washington.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea for two days from Thursday, state media in both countries reported on Monday, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years. Neighboring China is reclusive North Korea’s only major ally, and the visit comes amid renewed tensions between the United States and North Korea over efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.
At least 30 North Korean escapees have been rounded up in a string of raids across China since mid-April, according to family members and activist groups. It is not clear whether this is part of a larger crackdown by China, but activists say the raids have disrupted parts of the informal network of brokers, charities, and middlemen who have been dubbed the North Korean “underground railroad.”
In reference to a letter that Kim sent to US President Donald Trump, Moon also said there were “interesting parts that President Trump didn’t disclose,” prompting the interpretation that North Korea has made a proposal for denuclearization that includes more concessions than simply shutting down its Yongbyon nuclear complex.
“By saying he wouldn’t allow American intelligence to cultivate an asset so close to Kim, he’s saying he wouldn’t use spying to better understand the country’s biggest overseas challenge. Put another way, he’s ruling out having the best information possible headed into high-stakes negotiations. Tying one hand behind your back like this makes sense only if you have a messianic belief in your own negotiating prowess—which Trump does, despite the collapse of the most recent round of talks.”
Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was killed in Malaysia in 2017, had been an informant for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The former officials who this information came from also said Kim Jong Nam had been almost certainly in contact with security services of other countries, particularly China’s.
More than 300 sites used by the North Korean government to publicly execute its citizens have been identified in a new report. A South Korean nonprofit called Transitional Justice Working Group says it interviewed around 600 North Korean defectors over four years to reach its shocking findings.
Donald Trump on Wednesday hesitated to criticize the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un amid muddied reports that some of the country’s top representatives in nuclear talks with the U.S. had been purged or killed. “They like to blame Kim Jong-un immediately,” he said. “But they said he was killed, and he wasn’t, he was at the theater the other night. So he wasn’t killed. The other four people I know nothing about.”
Just days after he was reported to have been purged over Kim Jong Un’s failed nuclear summit with Donald Trump, a high-ranking North Korean official has been seen in public sitting alongside the country’s leader. It was reported last week that Kim Yong Chol was sentenced to hard labor and ideological re-education for the aborted talks.
While in Germany, Sec. of State Pompeo was asked about reports stating that Kim Jong Un had some of his envoys executed for the failed summit in Vietnam. Pompeo admitted he had seen the reports but had nothing to add except for, “We’re doing our best to check it out.”
The United States is attempting to check on reports that a senior North Korean official involved in Pyongyang’s non-proliferation talks with Washington has been executed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday. “We’re doing our best to check it out. I don’t have anything else to add to that today.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly ordered the execution of several top officials in March after they were unable to reach an agreement with President Trump at a second summit between the two leaders earlier this year. Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s special envoy to the U.S., was executed, along with four other foreign ministry officials involved in the Hanoi, Vietnam, summit. A fifth official, Kim’s top deputy, Kim Yong Chol, has reportedly been sentenced to hard labor.
President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s scathing view of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, dismissing criticism that he was siding with a dictator over a fellow American.
Members of both parties criticized President Trump’s handling of North Korea on Sunday after the president tweeted that he has “confidence” in Kim Jong Un and quoted North Korean state-run media’s assessment that former vice president Joe Biden is a “low IQ individual.”
National security adviser John Bolton said Saturday that sanctions against North Korea must be kept in place after the rogue country violated a United Nations Security Council resolution when it test-fired short-range missiles last week.
North Korea said Friday that nuclear negotiations with the United States will never resume unless the Trump administration moves away from what Pyongyang described as “unilateral demands for disarmament.” “We hereby make it clear once again that the United States would not be able to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the further its mistrust and hostile acts toward the DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be,” the NK Foreign Ministry statement said.
North Korea’s official state-news agency has released a statement on Joe Biden that reads like a Donald Trump tweet, calling the former vice president a “fool of low IQ.” It looks like Kim Jong Un might be spending a little too much time with the US President.
Trump was asked about a report that he had personally authorized around the time of the 2018 midterm election, and the President confirmed the previously uncorroborated news story. He also gave sensitive details on why he didn’t strike a deal with Kim Jong Un, saying North Korea has 5 fully operational sites capable of producing nuclear weapons.
In an effort to keep foreign information out and to revamp its propaganda arm, North Korea has redesigned the presentation of its propaganda on TV. Instead of scripts and outdated dress, North Korea is opting for trendily dressed presenters and modern sets to cast an element of legitimacy over its news.
North Korea wants the UN to look into the seizure of a North Korean cargo ship by U.S. authorities. North Korea said, “This act of dispossession has clearly indicated that the United States is indeed a gangster country that does not care at all about international laws.”
North Korea has called the U.S. seizure of its cargo ship last year an “unlawful robbery” and demanded that it be returned. U.S. officials first detained the ship, which was reportedly used to transport banned coal exports, in April 2018.
Early on the morning of May 9th, North Korea fired off two short-range missiles in quick succession, conducting its second such test in less than a week. The United States followed suit with a much bigger launch of its own just minutes later.
In the hours following the launch of two North Korean missiles, the U.S. has announced that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that it says is used to transport coal in violation of international sanctions. This may be a signal that nuclear talks between the two countries have deteriorated even further.
The launch comes less than a week after North Korea test-fired several new weapons systems, the first launches of their kind since Donald Trump and Kim met for the first summit between the two countries. North Korean state media reported the launches last Saturday were part of a drill to “check the operating ability of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons.”
The Pentagon has suspended its negotiations with North Korea to recover the remains of U.S. service members. This failure in negotiation signals that talks between the two countries are struggling or suspended at every level.
After North Korea’s missile test yesterday, President Trump issued a bizarre tweet saying “I am with [Kim Jong-un]”. He went on to say that he is sure Kim does not want to break an unknown promise made to Trump, and a nuclear deal will be reached. It is not clear why Trump is infatuated with the murderous North Korean dictator.
North Korea fired several “unidentified short-range projectiles” into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, prompting South Korea to call on its neighbor to “stop acts that escalate military tension on the Korean Peninsula.” Experts say the projectiles appeared to be multiple rocket launchers, not ballistic missiles.
At the request of North Korea, the UN conducted a food security assessment and found that food rations in North Korea are under 11 ounces per person each day. The recent harvest in North Korea was poor and experts believe that if North Korea does not improve the word famine will be used to described the food crisis.
Before releasing Otto Warmbier back to the U.S., North Korea billed the U.S. $2 million. The U.S. agreed to pay for Warmbier’s release, with the approval coming directly from President Trump. The U.S. still has not paid North Korea.
Donald Trump said the United States did not pay any money to North Korea as it sought the release of Otto Warmbier, a day after a report said Trump had approved a $2 million bill from Pyongyang for the American student’s “care.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to share the details of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with the United States, theoretically kickstarting stalled negotiations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim on Pyongyang’s path to denuclearization.
A group opposed to the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un is now at odds with the Trump administration. Supporters of Free Joseon (Free Korea) argue the storming of the North Korean embassy in Madrid on Feb. 22 was designed to rattle the Pyongyang leadership, and the defendants should be treated as political opponents of the regime, not criminals. But the DOJ is honoring Spain’s extradition request for Christopher Philip Ahn, an American citizen and retired U.S. Marine involved in the raid.
North Korea in 2017 reportedly issued a $2 million bill to the U.S. for the hospital care of American Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma when he was returned to the U.S. and died without regaining consciousness. North Korea insisted that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay the bill before returning Warmbier, and the U.S. envoy who retrieved Warmbier signed it on instructions from President Trump. It’s unclear if the Trump administration ultimately paid the bill.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said after holding his first face-to-face talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday that U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to shut down its nuclear program.