North Korea casts doubt on Trump summit, cancels talks with Seoul, Mandel Ngan/AFP/KCNA via KNS North Korea on Wednesday (May 16) called into question a much-anticipated and unprecedented summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump set for next month. Pyongyang also cancelled high-level talks due on Wednesday with Seoul over the Max Thunder joint military exercises being held between the United States and South Korea, denouncing the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation". "There is a limit to the amount of goodwill and chances we can give," the North's official news agency KCNA said. The drills between the two allies' air forces were a rehearsal for invasion and "a deliberate military provocation" at a time when inter-Korean relations were warming, it added. "The US will have to think twice about the fate of the DPRK-US summit," KCNA said, referring to the North by its official acronym. Washington said it will continue to plan the meeting in Singapore on … [Read more...] about North Korea casts doubt on Trump summit, cancels talks with Seoul
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A bus crash in North Korea has killed 32 Chinese tourists and four North Koreans, the foreign ministry in Beijing said on Monday. Two other Chinese nationals were injured in Sunday's accident south of the capital Pyongyang, ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing. "We are investigating the cause" of the accident, Lu said. The ministry provided few details but China's state broadcaster CGTN earlier tweeted that more than 30 people died when a tour bus fell from a bridge in North Korea. The tweet was later deleted. State broadcaster CCTV broadcast images of a large overturned vehicle with light rain falling on rescue vehicles and doctors attending to a patient. China was informed about the accident on Sunday night, and its embassy personnel in Pyongyang rushed to the scene and are working to manage the situation, the foreign ministry said in a statement earlier. The vast majority of foreign tourists to North Korea are Chinese, with the Cold War-era allies sharing a long … [Read more...] about Beijing says 32 Chinese tourists killed in North Korea bus accident
Following a historic announcement at the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are poised for a face-to-face meeting. Since the end of the Korean War, the countries' relations have been marked by high tensions and periodic, but short-lived, thaws. Here is a recap of their troubled history: A divided Korean peninsula In 1945 Japan's defeat in World War II ends its occupation of Korea. The peninsula is divided along the 38th parallel between the Soviet-backed regime of Kim Il-Sung in the North and a South under U.S. protection. In June 1950 North Korea, later assisted by China, invades the South. A coalition led by the United States retakes Seoul. In July 1953, an armistice -- not a full-fledged peace treaty -- is signed and Washington imposes sanctions on Pyongyang. Pueblo spy ship crisis In January 1968, the spy ship USS Pueblo is captured by North Korea. After 11 months, its 83 crew members are released. According to Pyongyang, … [Read more...] about US and North Korea: foes face-to-face after decades of tension
The United States warned North Korea's leadership it would be "utterly destroyed" if war were to break out, after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, putting the U.S. mainland within range.The Trump administration has repeatedly said all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea's ballistic and nuclear weapons program, including military ones, but that it still prefers a diplomatic option.Still, speaking at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley warned:"We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday ... And if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed."Haley said the United States has asked China to cut off oil supply to North Korea, a drastic step that Beijing - the North's neighbor and sole major trading partner - has so far refrained from … [Read more...] about US warns North Korean leadership will be ‘utterly destroyed’ in case of war
North Korea appears to have carried out a recent missile engine test while brisk movements of vehicles were spotted near known missile facilities. North Korea may conduct additional missile tests this year to polish up its long-range missile technology and ramp up the threat against the United States, South Korea’s spy agency said on Monday, adding that it was monitoring developments closely. North Korea is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. It has fired two missiles over Japan. The reclusive state appears to have carried out a recent missile engine test while brisk movements of vehicles were spotted near known missile facilities, Yi Wan-young, a member of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee which was briefed by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service, said. No sign of an imminent nuclear test had been … [Read more...] about South Korea fears further missile advances by North this year in threat to U.S.
North Korea denounced the U.S. deployment of a naval strike group to the region Tuesday, warning it is ready for "war" as Washington tightens the screws on the nuclear-armed state. The strike group, which includes the Nimitz-class aircraft supercarrier USS Carl Vinson, cancelled a planned trip to Australia this weekend to head to the Korean peninsula in a show of force. "This goes to prove that the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase," a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry said according to state news agency KCNA. "The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.," he said, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. President Donald Trump, fresh from ordering a missile strike on Syria that was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea, has asked his advisors for a range of options to rein in Pyongyang, a top U.S. official said Sunday. Trump has previously threatened unilateral action … [Read more...] about North Korea ‘ready for war’ with United States
A North Korean state agency threatened on Thursday to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test. Pyongyang's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles the North's external ties and propaganda, also called for the breakup of the Security Council, which it called "a tool of evil" made up of "money-bribed" countries that move at the order of the United States. "The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us," the committee said in a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency. Juche is the North's ruling ideology that mixes Marxism and an extreme form of go-it-alone nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong Un. Regional tension has risen markedly since the reclusive North conducted … [Read more...] about N.Korea threatens to ‘sink’ Japan, reduce U.S. to ‘ashes and darkness’
North Korea said Tuesday the Korean peninsula was headed for "thermo-nuclear" war and advised foreigners in South Korea to consider evacuation, in the latest in a series of apocalyptic threats.The warning followed a similar evacuation advisory the North gave Friday to foreign embassies in its capital Pyongyang, saying it could not ensure the safety of their personnel if a conflict broke out."The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermo-nuclear war," the North's Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.Saying it did not want to see foreigners in South Korea "fall victim", the statement requested all foreign institutions, enterprises and tourists "to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety".The "thermo-nuclear war" threat has been wielded several times in recent months -- most recently on March 7 -- despite expert opinion that North Korea is nowhere near developing such … [Read more...] about N. Korea urges foreigners in South to evacuate
Sixty years after the end of a war which killedmillions and sealed the Korean peninsula's division into communist Northand capitalist South, the dream of reunification is fading in SouthKorea. A tourist takes pictures of ribbons carrying messages wishingfor the reunification of the two Koreas, at Imjingak peace park in Pajunear the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, July 23, 2013. After more than a thousand years as a united nation, the separateKoreas came into being in 1948 but went to war two years later when theNorth invaded. They have remained technically at war since the conflictended on July 27, 1953, with an armistice but no peace treaty. Officially, at least, reunification remains the holy grail for both Seoul and Pyongyang. But sentiment in the prosperous South has continued to sour in recentyears, as more people tire of regular threats from their impoverishedneighbour and fret about the potentially huge cost of a merger. A generational shift has … [Read more...] about Dream of reunification fades in S. Korea
The escalated tension between North and South Korea is alarming. It is not only the Korean people who fear another civil war; others in the Asia-Pacific region also have their fear and anxiety. Those with first hand experiences of wars who have survived today would fear the horrors, the suffering, and the catastrophic loses. Map of North and South Korea From the political point of view, nearly one-half of the world’s population live in the countries bordering the Asia-Pacific region. More than half of the economic activities in the world are conducted here. Another war involving the major powers like the United States and China would again bring much instability to this region.Shortly after the artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, the news media informed the general public:“The US President, Barack Obama, and the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, have agreed to hold joint … [Read more...] about North and South Korea, war or peace?