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  • North Korea says successfully conducts first H-bomb test

    North Korea said it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device on Wednesday, claiming a significant advance in its strike capability and setting off alarm bells in Japan and South Korea.

    The test, the fourth time the isolated state has exploded a nuclear device, was ordered by young leader Kim Jong Un and successfully conducted at 10:00 a.m. local time (8.30 p.m. ET on Tuesday), North Korea's official KCNA news agency said.

    "Let the world look up to the strong, self-reliant nuclear-armed state," Kim wrote in what North Korean state TV displayed as a handwritten note.

    The reported nuclear test drew condemnation abroad, including from China and Russia, North Korea's two main allies. China expressed "resolute opposition" and said it would lodge a protest with Pyongyang.


    More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...0UK0G420160106

  • #2
    Pressure grows on China to rein in North Korea; South launches propaganda barrage

    South Korea unleashed a high-decibel propaganda barrage across its border with North Korea on Friday in retaliation for its nuclear test, while the United States called on China to end "business as usual" with its ally.

    The broadcasts, in rolling bursts from walls of loudspeakers at 11 locations along the heavily militarized border, blared rhetoric critical of the Pyongyang regime as well as "K-pop" music, ratcheting up tension between the rival Koreas.

    North Korea later responded with its own broadcasts.

    South Korea, which has grown increasingly close to China in recent years, also said its foreign minister would speak with his Chinese counterpart later on Friday.


    More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...0UL2DE20160108

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    • #3
      North Korea holding U.S. citizen for allegedly spying


      A Canadian pastor serving a life sentence in North Korea for subversion said he spends eight hours a day digging holes at a labor camp, while a naturalized American citizen said he is being held by the state for spying, CNN reported from Pyongyang.

      If confirmed, Kim Dong Chul, who CNN said was 60 and formerly of Fairfax, Virginia, would be the second Western citizen known to be held currently in North Korea. He was being held for spying for South Korea and asked the South or the U.S. government to rescue him, CNN said.

      Hyeon Soo Lim, a South Korean-born Canadian who was the head pastor at one of Canada's largest churches, has been held by the North since last February. Lim, who was 60 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to hard labor for life in December for attempting to overthrow the North's regime.


      More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...0UP08J20160111

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      • #4
        South Korea calls for 'bone-numbing' sanctions on North for nuclear test


        South Korea warned North Korea on Wednesday that the United States and its allies were working on sanctions to inflict "bone-numbing pain" after its latest nuclear test, and called on China to do its part to rein in its isolated neighbor.

        With tension high on the border after the North's fourth nuclear test on Wednesday last week, South Korean forces fired shots toward what Yonhap News Agency said was a suspected North Korean drone.

        It returned to the North after the shots, South Korean military officials told Reuters.

        The North's nuclear test has angered both China and the United States and again raised questions about what can be done to stop its development of nuclear weapons.


        More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...0UQ2MK20160113

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        • #5
          North Korea rocket launch may spur U.S. missile defense buildup in Asia


          North Korea's latest rocket launch might kick off a buildup of U.S. missile defense systems in Asia, U.S. officials and missile defense experts said, something that could further strain U.S.-China ties and also hurt relations between Beijing and Seoul.

          North Korea says it put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, but the United States and its allies see the launch as cover for Pyongyang's development of ballistic missile technology that could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon.

          Washington sought to reassure its allies South Korea and Japan of its commitment to their defense after the launch, which followed a North Korean nuclear test on Jan. 6.


          More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0VH034

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          • #6
            North Korea executes army chief of staff: South Korean media


            North Korea has executed its army chief of staff, Ri Yong Gil, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, which, if true, would be the latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under its young leader.

            The news comes amid heightened tension surrounding isolated North Korea after its Sunday launch of a long-range rocket, which came about a month after it drew international condemnation for conducting its fourth nuclear test.

            A source familiar with North Korean affairs also told Reuters that Ri had been executed. The source declined to be identified, given the sensitivity of the matter.


            More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0VJ0TW

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            • #7
              North Korea satellite not transmitting, but rocket payload a concern: U.S.


              A satellite put into orbit by North Korea at the weekend does not appear to be transmitting, but it is worrying that the rocket that took it there delivered twice the payload of Pyongyang's previous launch, the head of the U.S. Army's Missile Defense Command said on Wednesday.

              "If you look at the previous launch and the payload it put into orbit … just the increase in weight is I think an important factor," Lieutenant-General David Mann told a seminar on Capitol Hill organized by the Hudson Institute think tank.

              "Whenever you are able to put something into orbit, that's significant," Mann said.


              More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0VJ2PD

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              • #8
                South Korea, U.S. to discuss missile defense; South cuts power to Kaesong park


                South Korea will begin talks with Washington as early as next week on deploying an advanced U.S. missile defense system following North Korea's rocket launch, an official said on Friday, as Seoul cut power to a factory park run jointly with the North.

                The discussions would focus on placing one Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) unit with the U.S. military in South Korea after the North's launch last weekend, a South Korean defense official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

                Seoul and Washington said the test violated U.N. Securityhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png Council resolutions.


                More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0VK2KV

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                • #9
                  U.N. imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program


                  North Korea faces harsh new U.N. sanctions to starve it of money for its nuclear weapons program following a unanimous Security Council vote on Wednesday on a resolution drafted by the United States and Pyongyang's ally China.

                  The resolution, which dramatically expands existing sanctions, follows North Korea's latest nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a Feb. 7 rocket launch that Washington and its allies said used banned ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang said it was a peaceful satellite launch.

                  U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the sanctions go further than any U.N. sanctions regime in two decades and aim to cut off funds for North Korea's nuclear and other banned weapons programs.


                  More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0W41Z2

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                  • #10
                    North Korea leader tells military to be ready to use nuclear weapons at any time

                    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to "pre-emptive attack" mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, state media said on Friday.

                    The comments, carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear program.

                    Kim made the comments as he supervised military exercises involving newly developed rocket launchers, KCNA reported. It did not mention the date of the drills but said the new weapons had South Korea within range.

                    South Korea's defense ministry said on Thursday North Korea launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) away, an apparent response to the U.N. sanctions.


                    More:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0W52PP

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                    • #11
                      South Korea, U.S. begin exercises as North Korea threatens attack


                      South Korean and U.S. troops began large-scale military exercises on Monday in an annual test of their defenses against North Korea, which called the drills "nuclear war moves" and threatened to respond with an all-out offensive.

                      South Korea said the exercises would be the largest ever following North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch last month that triggered a U.N. Security Council resolution and tough new sanctions.

                      Isolated North Korea has rejected criticism of is nuclear and rocket programs, even from old ally China, and last week leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use nuclear weapons in the face of what he sees as growing threats from enemies.



                      More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-so...-idUSKCN0W906W

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                      • #12
                        North Korean leader Kim orders more nuclear tests: KCNA

                        North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watched a ballistic missile launch test and ordered the country to improve its nuclear attack capability by conducting more tests, the official KCNA news agency reported on Friday.

                        The report did not say when the test took place but it was probably referring to North Korea's launch of two short-range missiles on Thursday that flew 500 km (300 miles) and splashed into the sea. "Dear comrade Kim Jong Un said work ... must be strengthened to improve nuclear attack capability and issued combat tasks to continue nuclear explosion tests to assess the power of newly developed nuclear warheads and tests to improve nuclear attack capability," KCNA said.

                        More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0WC2YQ

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                        • #13
                          North Korea sentences U.S. student to hard labor; Washington condemns punishment


                          North Korea's supreme court sentenced American student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested while visiting the country, to 15 years of hard labor on Wednesday for crimes against the state, a punishment Washington condemned as politically motivated.

                          The U.S. State Department called the sentence "unduly harsh" and White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was "increasingly clear" that North Korea sought to use U.S. citizens as pawns to pursue a political agenda.

                          Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student, was detained in January for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel in Pyongyang, North Korean media said previously.


                          More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0WI0BN

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                          • #14
                            Defiant North Korea fires ballistic missile into sea, Japan protests


                            North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile on Friday, which flew about 800 km (500 miles) before hitting the sea off its east coast, South Korea's military said, as the isolated state stepped up its defiance of tough new U.N. and U.S. sanctions.

                            South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missile was likely a medium-range Rodong-missile. If confirmed, it would mark North Korea's first test of a medium range missile, capable of reaching Japan, since 2014.

                            The launch comes amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula after the North rejected U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed earlier in the month in response to a nuclear test conducted in January and the United States issued fresh sanctions this week.


                            More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0WJ30V

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                            • #15
                              Exclusive: U.N. lifts North Korea sanctions on four ships at China's request


                              The U.N. Security Council agreed on Monday to a Chinese request to remove sanctions on four ships the United Nations had blacklisted for ties to Pyongyang's arms trade. The agreement came after China secured assurances the vessels would not use North Korean crews, a U.S. official said.

                              China asked the United States on March 16 for help removing the ships from the U.N. blacklist, according to a diplomatic cable sent the same day from the U.S. permanent mission at the United Nations to a group of other U.S. embassies.

                              The cable, reviewed by Reuters, showed wrangling between top diplomats from the United States and China over the tough new North Korea sanctions, weeks after Washington had presented a united front with Beijing, Pyongyang's main ally and trade partner.


                              More: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-no...-idUSKCN0WN287

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