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Tensions between N Korea and the US

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have escalated after the the United States Navy began tracking a North Korean ship suspected of carrying illegal weapons or technology. Media reports from Japan also claim that the North may launch a long range missile toward the U.S. state of Hawaii in July.

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

The North Korean flagship, the Kang Nam, is currently in the Pacific Ocean and is reported to be heading toward Singapore.

North Korea has warned that any effort to stop its ships would be considered an act of war.

The U.S. started tracking the ship because one unnamed official alleged that the ship is a repeat offender of carrying illegal materials.

The U.S. says they have no intentions of boarding the ship using force, but would act in accordance with United Nations resolutions and ask for permission to board the vessel. Read More…

Obama calls North Korea a “grave threat”

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama branded North Korea a “grave threat” to the World with regards to their nuclear weapons production. Obama said that these actions were worrying other nations and that the United States might be willing to negotiate.

North Korea has said if any nation blocks it ships they will take action. Officials at the Pentagon have said North Korean missiles could hit the US in the next three years if they continue military expansion as they have in the past year.

The South Korean President said that North Korea’s actions would not go unheeded and that South Korea had the support of the US.

UN Security Council Resolution 1874

North Korea declares that it will “weaponise all plutonium” following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 against the country.

An official newspaper said that the country would consider any new sanctions imposed as a “declaration of war”. In response, a statement from the Foreign Ministry, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), said that the country would “weaponise all plutonium” and had reprocessed more than “one-third of our spent nuclear fuel rods”. It also announced it would start uranium enrichment. Read More…

North Korea reportedly names successor to leader Kim Jong-il

South Korean media is reporting that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il has named his successor, after ordering his people to pledge their alliance to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, age 25.

Yonhap News Agency reports that the decision was made after North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear bomb on May 25. The New York Times reports that select unnamed embassies overseas received the news to pledge their support for their decision, but that there has been no official confirmation of the decision. Read More…

North Korea rocket lifted off at 11.32

Despite international appeals, North Korea has gone ahead with a long publicized rocket launch. Authorities from the United States, Japan, and South Korea confirm that the rocket lifted off at 11.32 local time (02.30 GMT) on Sunday April 5, 2009.

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

“A short time ago a flying object appeared to have been launched from North Korea,” read a statement by the Japanese government.

The rocket seems to have passed over the Japanese capital of Tokyo and headed over the Pacific Ocean. Two parts of the rocket, the first and second stages, fell either side of the Japanese home islands, falling into the Sea of Japan and the Pacific.

A statement by the North Korean official news agency said that the rocket had successfully launched a satellite which is now broadcasting “data” and North Korean propaganda songs. Read More…

North Korea missile launch looks imminent

North Korea may be planning to launch one of its Taepodong-2 missiles in the next few days, having announced earlier that it intends to put a communications satellite into space.

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

Scud-B with a Taepodong-2

U.S. intelligence officials announced Wednesday that a missile had been rolled out to a pad at its Musudan launch facility.

It is unknown whether the missile is in fact carrying a satellite, or if a warhead may be in its place.

The missile is reported to be capable of carrying either. Only after a post-launch analysis will officials be able to determine what the missile may have been carrying.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented that were North Korea to launch a missile, they would be in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, and that the U.S. would voice its opposition with the U.N. if North Korea went through with the plan. Read More…

DPRK detains two American journalists

The North Korean military has detained two American journalists after they allegedly crossed into North Korea from China by accident.

Tumen River between China and North Korea

Tumen River between China and NK

“Two reporters working for a U.S.-based Internet news media outlet, including a Korean-American, were detained by North Korean authorities earlier this week, and they remain in custody there,” said Yonhap news agency, quoting an unnamed Korean official.

Reports say that the journalists were both warned several times by the N. Korean military, about crossing the border. Read More…