North Korea acknowledges rocket failureNorth Korea’s much-anticipated rocket launch ended in failure early Friday, splintering into pieces over the Yellow Sea soon after take-off.
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North Korea says it will launch long-range rocket
North Korea announced it would launch a long-range rocket next month to put a satellite into orbit, a move that would breach a United Nations ban imposed after previous launches.
Blast-off will be between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung
China brings supermarket concept to North Korea:
Decidedly un-communist development in North Korea: A new culture of commerce is springing up, with China as its inspiration and source. The market-savvy Chinese are introducing the pleasures of the megamart to a small niche of North Koreans, and flooding the country’s border regions with cheap goods.
Outside Pyongyang, much of the country remains impoverished. Millions rely on state-provided food, but poor agricultural yields mean they’ll get only a fraction of what they need to survive, according to the World Food Program.
Still, there are signs that a new found consumer culture is taking hold both in Pyongyang and in the border towns where Chinese-made goods are bought and sold every day.
North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities for food:
North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States, the State Department said Wednesday.
In return for the moratorium on nuclear activities at this key site, the United States has agreed to finalize a package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance to North Korea. There will be intensive monitoring to assure that the delivery is made to those in need and not diverted to the military or government elites, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
“The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities,” Nuland said.
Chalk another one up for the Obama administration.
Birthday turns into memorial for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il:
North Korea commemorated Kim Jong-il’s 70th birthday today with the flowers that bear his name, a military parade and pledges of loyalty to the son who has taken his place.
New leader Kim Jong-un, wearing a dark Mao suit and a solemn expression, bowed deeply before a large portrait of his smiling father in Kumsusan palace in Pyongyang, the capital. Hundreds of senior officials, military leaders and citizens followed to pay their respects.
What should we call the new leader?
Just before North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died, the skies glowed red above sacred Mount Paektu and the impenetrable sheet of ice at the heart of the mystical volcano cracked with a deafening roar.
At least, that’s the official account of the supernatural circumstances preceding Kim’s death last Saturday, as relayed by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The news agency is one of the chief propaganda organs tasked with building up the quasi-religious mystique around the Kim family, which has ruled North Korea since its founding in 1948.
North Korea: senior military figures pledge allegiance to Kim Jong-un
Sources say North Korean military have vowed support for new leader Kim Jong-un following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il. This is a best case scenario to maintain stability and security in this geopolitical hotbed. A military coup in a nuclear weaponized country is a bad cocktail.
The young Kim Jong-un, 28 years old, needs to build a powerful and trustful team around him to consolidate his rule and pacify potential rogue military generals who have leadership ambition.