It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Pyongyang.. once-in-a-generation political gathering that begins at 9 a.m. on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET Thursday) in a convention center called "April 25 House of Culture"
Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from May 5 suggests that Pyongyang may be preparing for a nuclear test in the near future.
North Korea said on Monday it had told the United States it will cut the only channel of communication between them, at the United Nations in New York, after Washington blacklisted leader Kim Jong Un last week for human rights abuses.
"As the first step, we have notified that the New York contact channel that has been the only existing channel of contact will be completely severed," it said.
"The Republic will handle all matters arising between us and the United States from now on under our wartime laws, and the matters of Americans detained are no exception to this."
The missiles were launched towards east from an area in the North's western region called Hwangju from 5:45 a.m. local time (2045 GMT Monday) to 6:40 a.m., the South's military said.
"The ballistic missiles flight went from 500 kilometers to 600 kilometers, which is a distance far enough to strike all of South Korea including Busan," the South's military said in a statement.
...unnamed female announcer... began with, "From now on, I will give review work for the subject of mathematics under the curriculum of a remote education university for exploration agents of the 27th bureau."
The announcer went on to say, "On page 459, question number 35, on page 913, question number 55, on page 135, question number 86, on page 257, question number 2…"
The string of phrases and numbers continued for another twelve minutes.
North Korea has long used so-called numbers stations—shortwave radio stations that broadcast coded messages to communicate with agents abroad. The messages typically consist of a string of numbers or phrases, nonsensical to anyone but the intended recipient. Spy agencies around the world have used numbers stations for decades, but the advent of the internet has generally made the system obsolete. North Korea ceased transmitting the messages in 2000.
"The drill was conducted by limiting the firing range under the simulated conditions of making preemptive strikes at ports and airfields in the operational theater in South Korea where the U.S. imperialists' nuclear war hardware is to be hurled,"
The Swiss government has put an end to the export of luxury watches to North Korea, and have totalled zero for the last two months, US-backed Radio Free Asia reports. The North Korean Supreme Leader is often photographed wearing an expensive timepiece, and it's long been thought that they've reached the country despite United Nations sanctions. The UN bans the export of luxury items to North Korea due to its nuclear and ballistic missile projects. Kim and his sister Kim Yo-jong - now a senior party official - were both educated in Switzerland.
North Korea is constructing a massive underground facility, capable of sheltering ballistic missile submarine at a location on its east coast new satellite images have shown.
News of the fortified submarine pens in the port city of Sinpo comes as tension spiked again on the Korean Peninsula following a series of recent missile and weapons tests.
North Korea's foreign minister said on Tuesday that whether it conducted another nuclear test depended on the behavior of the United States, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
The minister, Ri Yong Ho, said, however, that the United States had destroyed the possibility of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
"The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK in order to get rid of its unfavorable position during the political and military showdown with the DPRK," Han said, using the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown," he said. "We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war."
Han warned that Pyongyang is viewing next month's planned U.S.-South Korea exercises in this new context and will respond if they are carried out as planned.
"Nobody can predict what kind of influence this kind of vicious confrontation between the DPRK and the United States will have upon the situation on the Korean Peninsula," he said. "By doing these kinds of vicious and hostile acts toward the DPRK, the U.S. has already declared war against the DPRK. So it is our self-defensive right and justifiable action to respond in a very hard way.
"We are all prepared for war, and we are all prepared for peace," he said. "If the United States forces those kinds of large-scale exercises in August, then the situation caused by that will be the responsibility of the United States."
Hundreds of thousands of North Korean citizens have been roped in to finish the project, which consists of a 70-floor skyscraper and more than 60 apartment blocks.
"Project managers are now openly providing drugs to construction workers so that they will work faster,” a construction source in Pyongyang told Radio Free Asia.
"[They] are undergoing terrible sufferings in their work."
A diplomat at the North Korean embassy in London has defected and fled abroad with his family, BBC News understands.
The diplomat, Thae Yong Ho, had served as deputy to the ambassador and was responsible for promoting the image of his country to British audiences.
He had reportedly lived in the UK for 10 years with his wife and family and disappeared from his home in west London several weeks ago.
"[The games] officially got under way on Monday. North Korea's warning from its state media outlet KCNA says that the U.S. and South Korea should bear in mind that if they show the slightest sign of aggression, North Korea would turn the South into a 'heap of ashes through a Korean-style pre-emptive nuclear strike.' "
North Korea publicly executed two top officials earlier this month by shooting them with anti-aircraft guns, a South Korean newspaper reported Tuesday.
The JoongAng Ilbo identified the murdered officials as former agriculture minister Hwang Min and senior education ministry official Ri Yong Jin.
"Doing a major test would be a way of trying to intimidate the incoming president," said Victor Cha, one of the study's authors. "North Korea chooses particular windows that they know will gain maxmum [sic] attention from the world, and the US in particular."
"It could be a sixth nuclear test, it could be launching of their rocket which put a satellite in orbit," Cha added.
The study is scheduled to be published this week on the CSIS website Beyond Parallel.