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Showing posts with label North Korea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Korea. Show all posts

Friday, April 6, 2018

Former South Korean President Park sentenced to 24 years in prison - CNN

Former South Korean President Park sentenced to 24 years in prison - CNN

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)A South Korean court has found former President Park Geun-hye guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion and sentenced her to 24 years in prison.

Park's conviction brings to close a corruption scandal which gripped South Korea, upending the country's politics and implicating some of the country's most powerful figures.
"The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens," the judge said, adding a tough sentence was needed to send a firm message to the country's future leaders. Prosecutors had asked for Park to receive a 30 year sentence.

Park, 66, was found guilty of 16 of the 18 charges she faced, related to a massive influence-peddling case that removed her from office last year. As well as the prison sentence she was also fined $17 million.

The former president was not in the Seoul Central District Court to hear the verdict. Park and her lawyers refused to participate after the court decided to live broadcast the judgment, the first time this has happened in South Korea, after a law was passed last year to enable it.

Park lawyer's are expected to appeal her sentence.
Outside the court, hundreds of supporters of Park had gathered to watch the verdict on a large screen, waving Korean and US flags and calling for the former president's release. Older, conservative South Koreans, who remembered the dictatorship of Park's father fondly as a period of strength for the country, were her electoral base and a common sight throughout the impeachment process.

Dramatic downfall
South Korea's first female president, and the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye was arrested in March 2017 shortly after she was stripped of her office by the country's Constitutional Court, which upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach her.

That vote came after millions of South Koreans took to the streets over a period of several months to demand Park's ouster, after revelations of the alleged massive influence wielded by her adviser and confidant, Choi Soon-sil.

Choi, the daughter of a cult leader once accused of having "complete control over Park's body and soul during her formative years," held no political office but is accused of using her influence over the President to funnel money to organizations she controlled and get her daughter a place at an elite university.

Park was accused of being unduly influenced by Choi. The court which upheld her impeachment agreed with accusations that Park had abused her authority in helping Choi raise donations from companies for foundations she had set up.

In February, Choi was sentenced to 20 years in jail on 18 charges including abuse of power, coercion, fraud and bribe, and fined $16.6 million.

Also implicated in the scandal was Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong. The 49-year-old billionaire was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges last year and sentenced to five years in prison, but in February a higher court reduced his sentence and suspended it for four years.

read on Source

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#NorthKorea says seriously considering plan to strike Guam: KCNA

#NorthKorea says seriously considering plan to strike Guam: KCNA

#NorthKorea says seriously considering plan to strike Guam: KCNA

شمالی کوریا نے امریکہ کے خطرے کی گھنٹی بجادی
امریکی صدر ڈولنڈ ٹرمپ کے بیان کے بعد شمالی کوریا کے رہنما کم جون کا اہم ترین بیان آگیا۔ امریکی   فوجی بیس گوم پر حملے کے بارے میں سنجیدگی سے سوچ رہے ہیں

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Wednesday it is "carefully examining" plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

North Korea has made no secret of plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile able to strike the United States and has ignored international calls to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

The strike plan would be put into practice at any moment once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision, a spokesman for the Korean People's Army (KPA) said in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency.

"The KPA Strategic Force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in order to contain the U.S. major military bases on Guam including the Anderson Air Force Base," the spokesman said.

The plan would be reported to the North's Supreme Command soon, the spokesman said, without citing a date.

On Monday, two US B-1 bombers flew from Guam over the Korean Peninsula as a part of its "continuous bomber presence," a U.S. official said, in a sign of the strategic importance Guam holds.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also accused the United States of devising a "preventive war" and said any plans to execute this would be met with an "all-out war wiping out all the strongholds of enemies, including the U.S. mainland."

The United States should stop its "reckless military provocation" against North Korea to avoid any military action, the army spokesman said.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday over its continued missile tests.

Trump ratcheted up the rhetoric against North Korea on Tuesday, saying Pyongyang should not make any more threats against the United States in a meeting with reporters at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Monday, May 15, 2017

North Korea's latest missile launch suggest progress towards ICBM - experts

North Korea's latest missile launch suggest progress towards ICBM - experts

North Korea's latest missile launch suggest progress towards ICBM - experts

North Korea's apparently successful launch of a mid-to-long range missile indicated a significant advance in its drive for an intercontinental ballistic missile, monitors said on Monday, a worrying sign for the Korean peninsula and the United States.

The isolated North boasted on Monday that the launch the previous day, supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, was aimed at verifying the capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear warhead".

Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes" and warned Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike", the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

However, the U.S. military's Pacific Command said on Sunday the type of missile that was fired was "not consistent" with an ICBM and South Korea's military played down the North's claim of technical progress on atmospheric re-entry.

"We believe the possibility of that is low," said Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The missile landed in the sea near Russia on Sunday in a launch that Washington called a message to South Korea, days after its new president took office pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.

Moon responded on Monday by sending special envoys to the United States, China, Germany, Japan and Russia to explain his new government's plans and policy towards the defiant North.

North Korea has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, a flight of some 8,000 km (4,800 miles), presenting U.S. President Donald Trump with perhaps his most pressing security issue.

Trump said last month major conflict with North Korea was possible but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome. He has also vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

The latest missile launch suggested the North had taken a step in that direction, analysts said.

The new ballistic missile, named Hwasong-12, was fired at the highest possible angle to avoid affecting neighbouring countries' security and flew 787 km (489 miles) after reaching an altitude of 2,111 km (1,242 miles), KCNA said.

Those details were largely consistent with South Korean and Japanese assessments and indicated the missile flew higher and further than an intermediate-range missile test-fired from the same area in North Korea's northwest in February.


North Korea is banned under United Nations resolutions from engaging in nuclear and missile development, but has conducted its fifth nuclear test and a string of missile launches since the start of last year.

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the North's latest missile launch, diplomats said, at the request of the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Experts said Sunday's launch would have had a range of at least 4,000 km (2,500 miles) if fired at a standard trajectory.

That "represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", Washington-based monitoring project 38 North said in an analysis.

"It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to reliably strike the U.S. base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)," it said.

KCNA also claimed that the test launch verified "guidance and stabilization systems" and the reliability of a new engine, as well as the warhead homing feature that allowed it to survive "under the worst re-entry situation" and detonate accurately.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said that, if true, that would mark a quicker-than-expected advancement in the North's ICBM programme.

He said the missile's trajectory indicated the North was clearly testing the re-entry technology under flight environments that would be consistent for an ICBM۔

Read more on Source

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No. 1 threat to the Trump presidency may be North Korea's nuclear plans

No. 1 threat to the Trump presidency may be North Korea's nuclear plans

via Yahoo News

The No. 1 foreign policy threat that may be awaiting President-elect Trump is North Korea's nuclear capability and its close ties with Iran. It's a high-stakes game of brinkmanship, with a whole new layer of uncertainty as the U.S. administration changes guard in the weeks ahead. Time will tell if Trump will pull out of the nuclear pact the United States signed last year with Iran, potentially freeing the Mideastern power to act on its ambitions.

According to military officials, the United States and South Korea remain on high alert after receiving reports that North Korea may test-fire an intermediate-range ballistic missile when Trump enters the White House in January. The missile test is said to be a warning that Pyongyang will not give up its nuclear- and missile-development programs.

The Musudan, or BM-35 missile, has an estimated range of 3,500 kilometers, which is enough to allow it to target the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, an island with key strategic assets for U.S. forces.

Though Western security analysts know very little for certain about the missile test expected, arms-control experts and North Korea watchers can agree one thing is likely: A small group of Iranian observers will be there to witness the latest demonstration of North Korean ballistic missile technology.

The cozy military relationship between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran no longer receives the attention it did two decades ago, when the two countries actively exchanged ballistic missile technology and know-how. But the relationship may be pulled back into focus as the next U.S. presidential administration attempts to manage a tenuous rapprochement with Tehran at the same time North Korea dials up its nuclear and ballistic missile provocations.

Little exists in the way of hard evidence suggesting the two countries are currently co-developing ballistic missiles or exchanging critical nuclear technologies, experts say. However, Iranian scientists and military officers have reportedly observed most of North Korea's major missile and nuclear tests over the past 20 years.

Decades of previous cooperation between the two countries raises the specter that Iran — its economy and government coffers on the mend after years of devastating sanctions — could offer monetary assistance to the cash-strapped hermit kingdom in exchange for missile technology, or even assistance with its now-halted nuclear program at some point in the future.

"There's no really good evidence that they cooperate on nuclear issues," said Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California. "But given the scale of the cooperation we've seen on the missile side, would it shock me? No, it would not shock me."

Security ties between North Korea and Iran reach back at least as far as the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, when North Korea supplied Iran with hundreds of Soviet-designed Scud-B and Scud-C ballistic missiles during the latter half of the decade and into the early 1990s. Iran renamed its Scuds Shahab-1 and Shahab-2, respectively, and its engineers began tinkering with the technology under an indigenous ballistic missile technology program.

North Korea also supplied Iran with its own medium-range No-dong missile, a scaled-up adaptation of Scud technology with an estimated 1,500-kilometer — or roughly 930-mile — range first flown by North Korea in 1993. Iran dubbed its No-dong derivatives Shahab-3 and developed several variants that remain in Iran's arsenal, including one with a reported range of roughly 1,900 kilometers, or nearly 1,200 miles. (Pakistan also received Scud technology from North Korea around this time, renaming its missile variants Ghauri.)

In the latter half of the 1990s, the concrete ties between the various Scud-based ballistic missile technology programs of North Korea, Pakistan and Iran become less clear. "In a historical sense, the North Koreans provided a lot of liquid fuel missile technology and missiles to a lot of folks, including the Pakistanis and the Iranians," said Tom Karako, a senior fellow and director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The early Shahab missiles and the Ghauris in Pakistan were basically North Korean Scuds with different paint jobs — literally — transferred from North Korea to those countries. Later these countries got their own liquid- and solid-fueled technologies up and running on their own," he said.

In other words, from the late 1990s onward, Iran and North Korea continued to develop their ballistic missile technologies, though exactly how much co-development or technology exchange has occurred between the two remains unclear. "Pyongyang and Tehran may share test data on a limited basis and perhaps trade conceptual ideas," Michael Elleman, an expert on Iran's ballistic missile program and senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Middle East office, wrote in post 38 North, a North Korea analysis website hosted by the U.S. Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, in September. "But there is little evidence to indicate the two regimes are engaged in deep missile-related collaboration, or pursuing joint-development programs."

Not all experts agree strictly with that characterization, however. Lewis points to similarities not only between North Korean and Iranian Scud derivatives like the No-dong and Shahab but also similar design choices, incorporated into the two countries' space launch rockets and the migration of design concepts and components from one country to the other.

One such instance of technology transfer allegedly came to light earlier this year when North Korea tested a new rocket engine incorporating Iranian technology. In response, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned individuals associated with Iran's ballistic missile program, Lewis notes. "We know that there's a pretty robust collaboration," he said. "We see the cooperation right up until this day."

What exactly this means for the future of the U.S.-Iran nuclear accord and international efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile provocations is unclear. North Korea has conducted nine ballistic missile launches and two nuclear tests this year, but heightened tensions between the DPRK and its neighbors, as well as the United States, have taken a backseat to more outwardly visible national security issues, like the campaign against the Islamic State and Russian military provocations in Syria and Eastern Europe.

One of those ballistic missile tests of an extended-range No-dong missile took place just prior to the final U.S. presidential debate in October, but neither the test nor North Korea registered within the debate as a pressing national security issue.

"I think in the public consciousness, it has registered — I think people are more aware now than they were in the past — but in the political circles, it's not getting the attention it should," said Jenny Town, assistant director of the US-Korea Institute and managing editor of 38 North. "I think part of that is because there are no easy answers."

Nor is there an abundance of smoking guns. "I think these days anything that looks like sanctions violations when it comes to North Korea is going to cause some kind of crackdown," Town said. But while it's relatively easy to flag the transport and exchange of whole missile systems or dual-use technologies, both Iran and North Korea are independently far enough along in their respective missile and nuclear programs that such wholesale movement of technologies and systems isn't necessary. Instead, whatever transfers may be taking place are likely of knowledge and data or of components and parts — pieces of the technology puzzle that are far more difficult to monitor.
Nonetheless, North Korea is drawing closer to developing working long-range intercontinental ballistic missile technology that could potentially reach the mainland United States, and its nuclear program continues to progress toward a miniaturized device capable of launching aboard land- or submarine-based ballistic missiles. In August, North Korea tested just such a submarine-launched missile for the first time. It also successfully tested its intermediate-range Musudan missile in June, though two subsequent tests in October failed. Some analysts have floated the idea that one or both of those subsequent failures may not have been Musudan missiles at all, but tests of a North Korean ICBM known as the KN-08.

Though North Korean long-range ICBM technology has yet to prove itself in tests, the technology continues to progress, raising the prospect that the isolated nation could offer the technology to one of its few friends in exchange for necessary missile expertise, nuclear know-how, cash or some combination of the three.

"What confidence do we have that North Korea, for the right amount of cash, wouldn't sell just about anything?" Karako said. "The answer to that is: just about none. There's just about nothing that they won't sell. I don't think we have any reason to be confident about the North Koreans being self-constrained."

That could push the Iran/North Korea military relationship back to the fore as Washington eases sanctions and economic constraints on one party while ratcheting up pressure on the other. While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, proved by comparison a more predictable and measured leader, the younger Kim has demonstrated a stubborn resolve to push ahead with efforts to develop a North Korean intercontinental nuclear missile capability.

"On the North Korean side, it's pretty disturbing, based just on their actions alone, on things we don't have to speculate about," Karako said. "This is something that could come to a head far sooner than anyone would like."

— By Clay Dillow, special to

Friday, November 11, 2016

North Korea has a message for the new US president: We're staying heavily armed

North Korea has a message for the new US president: We're staying heavily armed

North Korea has issued an ominous warning to the incoming U.S. president, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Yonhap reported that a commentary in North Korea's major newspaper Rondon Sinmu did not refer to Donald Trump 's victory specifically, but issued a veiled warning that the incoming administration would have to deal with a nuclear-armed North Korea.

The newspaper condemned outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama 's "strategic patience" policy with North Korea - in which he continued to pressure the country with sanctions in an attempt to convince it to give up its weapons - with Rondon Sinmu saying that the policy had only left a bigger burden for his successor because Pyongyang used the time to become a nuclear state.

To read the full Yonhap report, click here.

"Washington's hope for North Korea's denuclearization is an outdated illusion," the newspaper commentary said.

Yonhap also reported that although the rogue regime held off conducting nuclear or missile tests while the U.S. went to the polls, possibly so it could gauge Trump's policy on the country, it was likely tests would be conducted around key dates in December or January, including the fifth anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father.

During his campaign, Trump said that he was open to holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and North Korea cheered Trump's comments in June that South Korea should be forced to pay more to have U.S. troops on its soil.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kim Jong-un labels DOG MEAT a 'superfood' and encourages starving population to beat pooches to death

Kim Jong-un labels DOG MEAT a 'superfood' and encourages starving population to beat pooches to death

The North Korean dictator has suggested the dish is rich in vitamins and is good for the stomach and intestines

Tyrant Kim Jong-un has hailed DOG MEAT as a superfood to try and encourage more of his starving population to eat pups.

The North Korean leader is encouraging everyone to eat more dog meat, suggesting it contains more vitamins than chicken, beef, pork and duck.

Sickeningly, the state's propaganda channel even claims that torturing a dog to death improves its taste.

According to North Korean YouTube propaganda channel DPRK Today, the dish is a traditional "stamina food" and is good for the stomach and intensines.

Facebook/Marc ChingAnimal Hope & Wellness foundationDogs are cruelly slaughtered in the country

The state are advocating torturing the defenceless animals

The Korea Times reports that the channel also encourages people to beat the dog to death, before removing its fur and scorching it.

Several other media outlets in North Korea have also lauded dog meat as a nutritional option, with radio station Tongil Voice describing puppy stew as "medicine".

Despot Kim has warned his people they may have to go on "an arduous march" - the name for the four-year famine which killed millions in the 1990s.

The obese dictator loves gorging on European cheese and fine wines while two-thirds of his people struggle to survive on reduced state food handouts.

Amnesty International said recent reductions in the state-controlled handouts have “severely threatened” the majority of the nation from getting enough to eat.

GettyNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-Un being franked with female pilots as he inspects the Korean People's Army (KPA) Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 2620 honored with the Title of O Jung Hup-led 7th RegimentThe North Korean leader loves rich food – but his population is starving

Dog is a popular winter food in parts of China and Korea, where the rich meat is believed to help keep people warm.

Historically the meat came from strays and dogs bred for sale but now animal rights campaigners say they often discover dogs with collars and tags when they intercept traders.

Read more on source

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