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.
A visit to North Korea by the executive director of the UN World Food Programme this week has provided a glimpse inside a handful of state-run establishments that care for babies and new mothers.
The pictures, shot by the WFP on May 20, showed several stops on the visit by Ertharin Cousin, which lasted from May 19 to May 21.
The children in the images don’t appear to be suffering from some of the chronic malnutrition witnessed in the past in North Korea, but their ages are unclear and it’s not known whether the facilities were given notice of Cousin’s visit or the More >
The revelation by North Korean state media on Sunday that Pyongyang suffered a major construction accident underlines how strong the regime’s grip on information flow remains, despite cracks appearing in recent years.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, according to the domestic media reports, but the world didn’t hear anything about the incident until those first reports were published on Sunday. By then, the rescue efforts had been completed and, apparent from images, the site had already been cleared of all debris.
The reports were unclear about the exact accident and number of casualties, but it appears likely an entire apartment block collapsed More >