Pyongyang issues 50,000 word report hitting back at international criticism of its human rights record, accusing the west of ‘false and reactionary’ agenda to interfere with state sovereignty.
By Maeve Shearlaw, The Guardian.
North Korea has published a 50,000-word report hitting back at international criticism of restrictions on freedoms in the country and insisting that that its citizens “enjoy genuine human rights”.
In contrast to a United Nations publication issued earlier this year detailing grave atrocities in the country, Pyongyang painted a positive picture of its rights situation, saying the “popular masses” are free from slavery, torture and have the right to enjoy a free More >
When the isolated country hosted dozens of reporters, athletes and minor celebrities at its International Pro-Wrestling Contest in Pyongyang at the weekend, opinions on the experience were mixed to say the least. We took a look at the coverage.
Pyongyang is recovering from its International Pro-Wrestling Contest which saw North Koreans line up next to international wrestlers, including three Americans, over two days.
The event was organised by Antonio Inoki, a former a Japanese wrestler-turned-politician, best known for going up against Muhammad Ali in 1979.
Last week I wrote about the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations on U.S. carriers or aircraft using North Korean airspace. They prohibit flight in most of the skies controlled by Pyongyang but allow it — with caution — in a portion east of 132 degrees East latitude.
The ban is in place because of North Korea’s unpredictable short- and medium-range missile launches and uncertainties over just how good the coordination is between civil air traffic controllers and the military. The rules are in place to avoid an aircraft getting shot down, either by mistake or due to a misunderstanding.
So, I decided to More >
The shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine has raised awareness of a series of restrictions the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has placed on aircraft operating around the world, including over North Korea.
North Korean airspace extends well beyond the land borders of the country to include a large portion of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and, to a lesser extent, a region over the Yellow Sea (West Sea.) It’s called the Pyongyang FIR (flight information region) and is shown in the map below.
The FAA regulations date back to April 1997, when North Korea began allowing foreign airlines to fly through its airspace. That included U.S. carriers, but More >
The United States and several other nations have written to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over North Korea’s failure to notify it of missile launches.
Over the past couple of weeks, short and medium-range missile have been fired by North Korea into the sea to the east of the country on a handful of occasions. Each launch took place without a standard warning to air and ship traffic.
“On July 8, the U.S. co-signed a letter to the president of ICAO expressing concern with the serious threat posed to international aviation posed by More >
Singaporean photographer Aram Pan, who previously provided several stunning panorama shots and a GoPro video of Pyongyang, has posted his latest two photographs and they’re big.
The images are wide-angle panorama shots with lots of detail.
The first appears to have been taken from the top of the Tower of the Juche Idea, looking west towards Kim Il Sung Square. On the right, the steps to the monuments on Mansudae Hill are visible while on the left the picture extends to Pyongyang Grand Theater. At 40,976 pixels by 7,249 pixels, it has about 150 times the detail of a high-definition TV picture.
The second, apparently More >
When the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office released details of its North Korean program spending recently, some eyes were immediately drawn to the £287.33 the government paid for rights to show the BBC’s Sherlock at the Pyongyang Film Festival in 2012.
Never mind that it had been reported at the time, it got all the attention. But there’s more of interest in the report, which was issued in response to a freedom of information request.
In the last three years, the U.K. has hosted officials from the North Korean government on seven trips or events.
In 2011 and again in 2012, ten junior or middle-ranking government More >
North Korea has taken its outrage over a new Hollywood movie to the United Nations.
Ja Song Nam, the country’s ambassador to the U.N., sent a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on June 27 with a copy of a Korean Central News Agency article that expressed displeasure at “The Interview,” a movie by Seth Rogen and James Franco.
The movie is described by its makers as an “action comedy” and has Franco and Rogen running a celebrity tabloid TV show.
“When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is More >
With Japan and North Korea starting to talk again about the abductee issue, there’s a possibility that Japan could lift some of the travel restrictions it currently places on travel between the two countries.
That could include a resumption of sailings by the Mangyongbong-92, a passenger and cargo ferry that used to travel between Niigata and Wonsan.
The ferry was an important link between Japan and North Korea for the thousands of Japanese residents whose families hail from towns and cities that are now part of North Korea.
(Just as I was putting the finishing touches to this post, the AP wrote a More >
Four remaining members of the Japanese Red Army Faction terrorist group living on the outskirts of Pyongyang might not be enjoying as free a lifestyle as recently portrayed.
The four are the last members of a group of nine who hijacked JAL351, a Boeing 727, on March 31, 1970, and eventually took the aircraft to Pyongyang. They have been living in the so-called “Japanese village” since then.
Earlier in May, Japan’s Kyodo News published photographs of the village taken by journalist Reinin Shiino, who visited the area on the banks of the Taedong river in late April, according to the news agency.