Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
April 2020 - North Korea Special Weapons News
- U.S. Has No Information about North Korea's Kim Jong Un as Experts Debate Who Might be His Successor Radio Free Asia 30 Apr 2020 -- The United States does not know where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is and is monitoring reports about his health, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week, while warning that there was a high risk of famine in the isolated country if the coronavirus situation gets worse.
- Strenuous Efforts Paid to Anti-epidemic Work in DPRK KCNA 30 Apr 2020 -- All the people have intensified the anti-epidemic activities with high alertness in the DPRK, true to the joint resolution adopted at the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.
- UN Has No Information on North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's Health, Guterres Says Sputnik 30 Apr 2020 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Thursday that he has no information regarding the state of health of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
- Satellite Images Suggest Missing Kim Jong-un May Be Staying at Luxury Resort Sputnik 30 Apr 2020 -- Having analysed recent satellite imagery from the villas of Wonsan, on North Korea's east coast, experts allege that the head of state might currently be there avoiding the limelight and, most certainly, exposure to the novel virus.
- No sight of Kim, real risk of famine in N Korea: US secy of state Press TV 29 Apr 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he has caught no sight of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and is watching reports about his health, adding that there is a real risk of famine in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- North Koreans in China Live in Fear of Repatriation: Church Members Radio Free Asia 29 Apr 2020 -- Illegal migrants from North Korea hiding in northeastern China fear immediate and violent reprisals if they are repatriated, according to missionaries working with the community.
- New satellite images suggest North Korea's leader at favorite resort Press TV 29 Apr 2020 -- New satellite images of the movements of luxury boats often used by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his entourage suggest he has been staying at the country's coastal resort town of Wonsan in recent weeks.
- North Korea Extends COVID-19 National Emergency to End of Year Radio Free Asia 28 Apr 2020 -- North Korea has extended its COVID-19 national emergency to the end of the year in anticipation that the global pandemic will continue, raising concerns among residents that keeping the border with China closed will deal a serious blow to the economy.
- North Korea's Kim may be trying to avoid coronavirus: South Korea Press TV 28 Apr 2020 -- South Korea has again rejected reports about a serious illness afflicting North's leader Kim Jong-un, saying his recent absence from a key public event may have been to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus.
- Kim Jong-un Alive & Dodging COVID-19, S Korean Gov't Minister Says Sputnik 28 Apr 2020 -- The minister argued that Kim has dropped out of sight on at least two occasions since mid-January, which could hardly be considered unusual amid the current coronavirus situation.
- What Awaits North Korea Should Anything Happen to Kim Jong-un? Sputnik 28 Apr 2020 -- Rumours about the North Korean leader being in a coma or even passing away emerged last Saturday, but one thing is certain: it's actually not the first time that 36-year-old Kim Jong-un has "died," with the main intrigue being not the trustworthiness of the claims, but how things would play out should it really be the case.
- Trump Refuses to Comment Whether Kim Jong Un Still at Helm of North Korea, Wishes Him Well Sputnik 28 Apr 2020 -- US President Donald Trump on Tuesday refused to comment during a press briefing on Tuesday whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still at the helm of the country.
- Kim Jong Un's Sister Seen as Likely Successor VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- As the United States assesses reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's health, officials and experts say Washington will continue its sanctions and pressure campaign against Pyongyang.
- Rampant Rumors But Few Facts About Kim Jong Un's Health VOA 27 Apr 2020 -- Where is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and why has he been absent from public view for more than two weeks? It's the question everyone seems to be asking. The problem is, everyone has a different answer.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un 'alive and well:' South Korea Press TV 27 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "alive and well," according to a top security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
- Kim Jong-un 'Alive and Well', Advisor to South Korea's President Says Sputnik 26 Apr 2020 -- The North Korean leader's lack of appearances in public since early April, combined with media speculation, has led to the circulation of a bevy of rumours regarding his health, with some reports alleging that Kim is recovering from heart surgery, while others have gone so far as to suggest that he has become a vegetable or even dead.
- North Korean State Media Report on Kim Jong Un's Activities Amid Death Speculation - Yonhap Sputnik 26 Apr 2020 -- As the world mulls Kim Jong Un's health, with some suggesting that the leader of North Korea may be dead, guesses continue to be fueled by reports of Kim's alleged heart surgery and his disappearance from high-profile official events.
- North Korean leader's train seen at resort town amid speculation about death Press TV 26 Apr 2020 -- Satellite images released by a US think tank have shown a special train probably belonging to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un parked at a coastal resort town in the east of the country, as speculation rises about his whereabouts, poor health, and even death.
- Photos Show Train at N. Korean Leader's Compound in Resort Town VOA 25 Apr 2020 -- Satellite photos show a train believed to belong to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at his compound at a resort town in the country's east, amid rumors about the leader's health.
- China sent medical team to advise on North Korea's Kim: Reuters Press TV 25 Apr 2020 -- China has sent a team of medical experts to North Korea to advise on the country's leader Kim Jong-un amid conflicting reports about his health, Reuters reports.
- China Sent Medical Team to North Korea For Kim Jong Un, Report Claims Sputnik 24 Apr 2020 -- Recently there has been renewed speculation on DPRK leader Kim Jong Un's health, boosted by a CNN report that he had undergone "surgery".
- Amid Health Rumors, China Sends Team to Advise on Kim Jong Un: Report VOA 24 Apr 2020 -- China has sent a delegation, including medical professionals, to North Korea to advise on Kim Jong Un, a report said Saturday, amid rumors the young North Korean leader is seriously ill.
- Broad-spectrum Sterilant Widely Used in DPRK KCNA 24 Apr 2020 -- In the DPRK, stable solution of chlorine peroxide manufactured by its scientists has been widely used in the anti-epidemic work.
- South Korea claims 'unusual' rise in military plane activities by North Press TV 24 Apr 2020 -- The South Korean defense minister says North Korea has recently shown an "unusual increase" in inspecting the country's combat readiness and carrying out air force flight operations.
- Rumors Fly Amid Scant Info About Kim Jong Un's Health VOA 24 Apr 2020 -- International media havе been filled with reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill. In reality, though, nothing is known about his condition.
- Kim Jong-un's Sis: Meet Lady Who's Reportedly Been Prepared Since 2019 to Take Over as DPRK Leader Sputnik 22 Apr 2020 -- Kim Jong-un's younger sister, who is currently first vice-department director of the ruling Workers' Party is believed to have been slowly but surely ascending through the party ranks for the past few years, and has recently been seen by her brother's side at key political gatherings.
- Skepticism, Scrutiny Urged After Dire Reports on North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Radio Free Asia 21 Apr 2020 -- After a flurry of speculative reports surrounding the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a top defector from the country and experts warned Tuesday against relying on thin sourcing for information on the opaque regime, while one former resident of the North said Kim had undergone a surgical procedure.
- News of Defector Envoy's Election Victory in South Shocks North Korean Officials Abroad Radio Free Asia 21 Apr 2020 -- President Moon Jae-in's ruling party swept South Korea's April 15 National Assembly elections, but it is the two newly elected lawmakers from the opposition who were once North Korean citizens that are creating a hopeful buzz among fellow exiles from the reclusive country.
- South Korea, China say North Korea's Kim not gravely ill as CNN claimed Press TV 21 Apr 2020 -- South Korea and China have both refuted a CNN report that said the life of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is in "grave danger" following a cardiovascular procedure, saying that he is not seriously ill.
- DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un in 'Grave Danger' Following Heart Surgery - Reports Sputnik 21 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un missed the celebration of his grandfather's birthday on 15 April, resulting in widespread speculation about his well-being.
- South Korean Officials Deny Rumors Kim Jong Un is Seriously Ill VOA 20 Apr 2020 -- South Korea's government is disputing reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill after undergoing heart surgery.
- N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un had cardiovascular surgery: Daily NK Arirang 21 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly undergone cardiovascular surgery
- Tougher State Emergency Anti-Epidemic Steps Taken KCNA 19 Apr 2020 -- The anti-epidemic campaign involving the whole Party, the state and the society has been ratcheted up to implement the joint resolution adopted at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.
- Room Chief of News Service for Overseas Distribution of Department of Press and Information of DPRK Foreign Ministry Issues Statement KCNA 19 Apr 2020 -- The room chief of the News Service for Overseas Distribution of the Department of Press and Information of the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued the following statement on April 19:
- Pyongyang says no letter recently sent by North's leader Kim Jong-un to Trump Press TV 19 Apr 2020 -- North Korea has denied that its leader, Kim Jong-un, has recently sent a letter to US President Donald Trump.
- N Korea's Foreign Ministry Denies Pyongyang Sent Letter to Trump Sputnik 19 Apr 2020 -- US President Donald Trump said at the Saturday White House coronavirus task force briefing that his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was "fine," adding that the United States would be at war with North Korea if he hadn't won the US presidential election.
- North Korea Denies Sending 'Nice Note' to Trump VOA 19 Apr 2020 -- Pyongyang has refuted a claim by Washington that Kim Jong Un sent a "nice note" to his American counterpart Donald Trump.
- Construction of General Hospital Progresses Apace in Pyongyang KCNA 18 Apr 2020 -- The construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital is progressing apace in the DPRK.
- North Korean Lecturers Admit to COVID-19 Cases Despite Official Zero Toll - Reports Sputnik 18 Apr 2020 -- North Korean authorities have told citizens at public lectures that cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in the country as early as March, Radio Free Asia reported citing anonymous sources.
- Experts: Pyongyang's Anti-Virus Measures Put Stability Over Public Health VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- Experts fear North Korea could be using its tough anti-virus measures to gain tighter centralized control over its people by prioritizing regime stability over public health.
- Report Points to North Korea's Illegal Coal Exports in Chinese Waters VOA 18 Apr 2020 -- On September 5, 2019, large bulk carrier ship Lao Chuan Zhang 717 was spotted near the port of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province in eastern China, about 620 kilometers southeast of Beijing.
- Ruling Party Lecturers Admit COVID-19 is Spreading in North Korea, Contradicting Official Claims Radio Free Asia 17 Apr 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea have been telling citizens in public lectures that there were confirmed coronavirus cases within the reclusive country's borders as early as late March, contradicting Pyongyang's claims that it remains free of the epidemic that has spread to all of its neighbors, RFA has learned.
- Kim's Absence at North Korean National Holiday Drives Health Problem Suspicions Sputnik 17 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been absent from several important state functions recently, including the Day of the Sun this past Wednesday, leading experts to speculate as to why. While some believe he might be sick, most think it's an effort to distance himself from previous leaders.
- Why Did Kim Jong Un Skip a Major Celebration of His Grandfather? VOA 16 Apr 2020 -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not make his regular appearance in state media coverage of the country's most important political holiday Wednesday, a highly unusual absence in the country's methodical reporting of official events.
- North Korea Hackers Pose 'Significant Threat' to Global Finances, US Warns VOA 15 Apr 2020 -- Banks and other financial institutions could soon find themselves in the crosshairs of North Korean hackers, according to a warning issued Wednesday by U.S. officials.
- Coronavirus Poses Major Threat to North Korea's Fragile Health System VOA 14 Apr 2020 -- North Korea is among a handful of countries in the world claiming to be free of COVID-19. The country is also among the most ill-prepared for a coronavirus outbreak.
- China Refuses North Korean Proposal to Restart Trade, Fearing Reintroduction of Coronavirus Radio Free Asia 14 Apr 2020 -- China has rejected a proposal by North Korea to reopen bilateral trade in mid-April, instead offering to open up the border a month later due to concerns over the coronavirus, leaving cash-strapped Pyongyang in the lurch for yet another month while smuggling is on the rise, sources in North Korea told RFA.
- North Korea test-fires multiple cruise missiles: South Press TV 14 Apr 2020 -- South Korea says the North has fired multiple short-range cruise missiles into waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
- North Korea Launches Multiple Short-Range Cruise Missiles - Reports Sputnik 14 Apr 2020 -- The news comes just two weeks after Pyongyang tested a "super-large" multiple rocket launcher, firing two short-range projectiles from Wonsan, according to the Yonhap news agency.
- North Korea Launches Missiles Ahead of S. Korea Election VOA 14 Apr 2020 -- North Korea test-fired multiple short-range missiles Tuesday, its latest military provocation that comes just a day before an important national election in neighboring South Korea.
- North Korea Says it Will Boost Anti-Virus Efforts VOA 13 Apr 2020 -- North Korea says it will intensify its efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- Kim Jong Un Makes New Secret Organization to Fight Military Corruption in North Korea Radio Free Asia 13 Apr 2020 -- North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has set up a secret organization, referred to as the "Military Government Guidance Department," with the intent of reining in military corruption, sources in the reclusive country said.
- N Korean Media Says Annual Parliament Session Held Without Kim's Attendance Sputnik 13 Apr 2020 -- North Korea held a meeting of its Supreme People's Assembly on Sunday, two days later than originally scheduled, and the event took place without the attendance of the country's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Monday.
- Third Session of 14th SPA of DPRK Held KCNA 13 Apr 2020 -- The third Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was held at the Mansudae Assembly Hall on Sunday.
- Implementation of State Budget for Juche 108 (2019) and State Budget for Juche 109 (2020) KCNA 13 Apr 2020 -- The state budget for Juche 108 (2019) was successfully implemented according to the state budgetary report submitted to the 3rd Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly(SPA).
- Report on Work of DPRK Cabinet for Juche 108 (2019) and Its Tasks for Juche 109 (2020) KCNA 13 Apr 2020 -- According to the report on the work of the Cabinet delivered at the Third Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly(SPA) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), last year the Cabinet organized a drive of putting the overall national economy on a new higher stage with a main emphasis put on accomplishing the sustained economic development, ensuring the local production of equipment, raw and other materials and revitalizing production by boosting the capability of independent development of the country, true to the important tasks set forth by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in his report at the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and in his historic policy speech at the First Session of the 14th SPA.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Pursuit Assault Plane Group KCNA 12 Apr 2020 -- Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, inspected a pursuit assault plane group under the Air and Anti-Aircraft Division in the western area.
- Political Bureau of C.C., WPK Meets under Guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un KCNA 12 Apr 2020 -- A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) was held on Saturday at the headquarters building of the WPK Central Committee.
- Security Companies in South Korea Discover North Korean Cyberattack Radio Free Asia 10 Apr 2020 -- Private security companies in South Korea Friday detected evidence that North Korea attempted to hack into the personal computers of select targets, a spear-phishing effort using documents appearing to be related to former North Korean citizens running for South Korea's April 15 legislative election, RFA has learned.
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Guides Drill of Mortar Sub-Units of KPA Corps KCNA 10 Apr 2020 -- A drill of mortar sub-units of corps of the Korean People's Army (KPA) took place at a stirring time when the hot wind of revolution in training sweeps across the KPA and the flame of modernizing weapons and equipment rises higher to increase the combat efficiency of the KPA under the far-reaching plan and energetic leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea to further fortify the country's defense capabilities. The drill was held also at a time when the unprecedented proud achievements are being made successively in developing the national defense capabilities.
- North Korean Workers Remain in Africa Months After Sanctions Deadline to Repatriate Radio Free Asia 09 Apr 2020 -- North Korean migrant workers and the companies that dispatch them overseas still have a strong presence in Africa, despite UN sanctions prohibiting the export of North Korean labor past the last month of 2019.
- WHO Says North Korea Still Reporting no Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Radio Free Asia 08 Apr 2020 -- North Korea remains one of five countries that has yet to report a single confirmed COVID-19 case to the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO said Tuesday, but experts told RFA's Korean Service that North Korea's preventative efforts are focused mainly on the capital Pyongyang, so it is likely that the deadly virus is spreading in the provinces.
- North Korea Executes Three Officials For Theft of Emergency Food Supplies Radio Free Asia 06 Apr 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea executed without trial three high-ranking officials last week on charges of treason, for allegedly stealing food from the country's strategic supply and selling it on the open market amid skyrocketing prices resulting from the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, sources within the isolated country told RFA.
- North Korea's Self-Isolation, Weapons Program Thwart Virus Aid VOA 04 Apr 2020 -- North Korea's decision to protect itself from the coronavirus by sealing its borders and evicting foreigners, coupled with prioritizing its nuclear and missile tests over citizens' health, may be self-defeating as humanitarian groups find anti-virus aid efforts thwarted.
- Law on Prevention of Epidemics Revised KCNA 03 Apr 2020 -- The Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK recently announced the amended law on prevention of epidemics.
- Nationwide Anti-epidemic Work Brisk in DPRK KCNA 03 Apr 2020 -- Amid the uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 and its increasing damage worldwide, the DPRK further intensifies nationwide anti-epidemic activities to thoroughly prevent the inroads of the epidemic.
- Smugglers Beaten as North Korea Applies Military Law in COVID-19 Response Radio Free Asia 03 Apr 2020 -- Two smugglers were savagely beaten by a North Korean anti-smuggling task force this month as the country's tolerance of smuggling across the border with China has given way to a crackdown due to concern over coronavirus, a source near the border told RFA's Korean Service.
- North Korea's Virus-Free Claim 'Impossible,' Top US General Says VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- The top U.S. general in South Korea said he does not accept North Korea's claim that it has no coronavirus cases.
- U.S.-Based Experts Doubt North Korea's Claim of Being Coronavirus Free Radio Free Asia 02 Apr 2020 -- North Korea publicly declared Wednesday that the country was totally free of the coronavirus, a claim that drew skepticism from U.S.-based experts who suggested that Pyongyang had moved to warn off foreign foes and appear strong to its population.
- As Government Orders Public Mask Use, North Koreans Hastily Make Homemade Versions Radio Free Asia 02 Apr 2020 -- North Korea has ordered residents to wear face masks in public to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a scarcity of masks is forcing some to make their own merely to comply with the orders, posing the risk that hastily made masks will not stop the pathogen, a health expert told RFA.
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