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north korea

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Trump’s self-described ‘love letters’ to Kim Jong-un seized from Mar-a-lago have been published

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  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump were essentially penpals between April 2018 and August 2019, exchanging letters that Trump often described as “love letters.”
  • On Sunday, The Korus Journal, by nonprofit Korean-American Club, published 27 personal letters exchanged between Kim and Trump.
  • Kim sent two letters in September 2018, in which he indicated his desire to personally discuss with Trump a potential denuclearization of North Korea.
  • “The most important cause of what your side considers the headache of ‘missile threats’ and nuclear problem is the military actions of your side and the South Korean military that threatens our safety,” Kim wrote. “And until these elements are eliminated, no changed outcome can be anticipated.”
  • The two leaders exchanged letters actively for about a year, halting only after their second summit in Hanoi failed to make progress.
  • “As of now, it is very difficult for me and my people to understand the decision and behavior of you and South Korean authorities,” read Kim’s letter, dated Aug. 5, 2019.

Letters exchanged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump between April 2018 and August 2019 have recently been published. 

Korean-American Club, a nonprofit composed of South Korean journalists from different news agencies, published 27 personal letters exchanged between Kim and Trump in the latest issue of its magazine, The Korus Journal.

‘Positive thinking’ is ‘very necessary’ for denuclearization of North Korea: South Korean official

  • The 2022 Seoul Defense Dialogue gathered 54 countries in collaboration against international security threats.
  • On Wednesday, the panelists — led by Beom Chul Shin, the vice minister of the Ministry of National Defense in the Republic of Korea — addressed international cooperation for the denuclearization of North Korea.
  • Shin presented three major efforts in the fight for denuclearization and emphasized the need for international cooperation.
  • The panelists unanimously agreed that international cooperation was critical when striving towards North Korea’s denuclearization.
  • Although North Korea’s nuclear capabilities present itself as a looming threat, Shin maintained an optimistic view.
  • “[This] kind of positive thinking is very necessary to solve North Korea’s nuclear problem. So I am still positive. In the end, we are winning,” Shin declared.

The 2022 Seoul Defense Dialogue addressed the complete denuclearization of North Korea, noting “positive thinking” as key.

At the beginning of this week, national security experts from 54 countries gathered at Lotte Hotel in Seoul in collaboration against international security threats. The central theme for the 10th annual Seoul Defense Dialogue is “How to Address Complex Security Challenges: Fostering International Solidarity.” The dialogue began on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and will continue to Thursday, Sept. 8. 

Kim Jong-un’s sister tells S. Korea’s ‘simple’ president to ‘shut his mouth’

  • Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong called South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol “simple” and “foolish” for proposing economic aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament.
  • Kim Yo-jong suggested that Yoon “shut his mouth” and called his plan “childish.”
  • To mark his 100th day in the office, Yoon proposed that South Korea would provide the North with food, energy and infrastructure if they abandon their nuclear program.
  • South Korea’s Unification Ministry expressed disappointment over Kim Yo-jong’s comments and stated that it will “threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong called South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol “simple” and “foolish” for proposing economic aid in exchange for nuclear disarmament. 

To commemorate Yoon’s 100th day as the president of South Korea, he proposed an aid plan to provide North Korea with food, health care and the means to modernize their electricity generation systems.

Kim Jong-un declares N. Korea ‘ready to mobilize’ nuclear weapons and ‘eliminate South Korea’

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared during a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice that he was ready to fight the U.S. and “eliminate” South Korea.
  • He also assured citizens that the country’s armed forces were “thoroughly prepared” for any crisis and that their “nuclear war deterrent” was “ready to mobilize its absolute power” at any given time.
  • The speech marked Kim’s first public appearance in nearly three weeks, and was one of the strongest rhetorical statements against South Korea in recent times.
  • Newly-elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, had pledged to take a tougher stance against Pyongyang.
  • Former President Moon Jae-in was heavily criticized by many for being too soft towards North Korea, and “so desperate” to please the supreme leader.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared during a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice that he is ready to fight the U.S. and “eliminate” South Korea.  

July 27, 1953 marks the date on which an agreement signed by allies and leaders of the North and South sides of the peninsula led to a cease-fire, bringing a bloody three-year war to an inconclusive stalemate. 

Documenting survival, pride and strength: Video celebrates North Korean history and refugees

  • In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month, Liberty in North Korea is celebrating North Korean Ancestry.
  • The video, “North Korean Ancestry,” highlights not only the North Korean defectors and their fight for freedom, but also the challenges that many North Koreans face today.
  • The “stories of what North Korean people had to do to survive, escape, and then come out to tell their stories is just the most powerful demonstration of human resiliency,” Sylvia Kim, an international human rights lawyer from Toronto said.
  • It is important “not to abandon our past, but if anything, breed that back into our families and into our lives so that our kids feel proud about where they came from,” Paul Y. Song, a CEO and radiation oncologist from Santa Monica, California, said.

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month, an international NGO that dedicates itself to rescuing and resettling North Korean refugees is celebrating North Korean ancestry through a video piece that connects family history, personal connection and identity. 

When it comes to celebrating AAPI heritage, North Korea is not the first country that comes to mind, Liberty in North Korea states. However, the organization shares that for the “Korean diaspora with roots in North Korea, learning about the past can bring a particular mix of pride and melancholy.” 

Kim Jong-un sends rare praise to outgoing South Korean President Moon in ‘letters of friendship’ exchange

Kim Jongun Moon Jaein North South Korea
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged "letters of friendship" with outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in less than three weeks before Moon’s term ends in May.
  • On Wednesday, Moon sent Kim a letter with a commitment to continue pursuing the unification they previously declared through several inter-Korean summits in 2018.
  • Kim mentioned in his response to Moon that he “appreciated the pains and effort taken by Moon Jae-in for the great cause of the nation until the last days of his term of office."
  • Conservative People Power Party’s Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to take office as South Korea’s president on May 10, has said that while he is open to resuming reconciliation talks with North Korea, he plans to bolster South Korea’s defenses.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged warm words with outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in less than three weeks before Moon’s term ends in May. 

North Korean state media outlet KCNA reported there was an “expression of their deep trust” between the two leaders which came in the form of an exchange of letters this week. 

Why only the poorest North Koreans live in the country’s high-rise penthouses

  • A new 80-story residential skyscraper in North Korea is part of the country’s growing efforts to build thousands of apartments for residents; however, defectors are saying that a lack of working elevators and sufficient water supply has resulted in the top floors being undesirable to many.
  • The large-scale housing development is a goal and point of pride for Kim Jong Un, who has vowed to build thousands of high-quality apartments.
  • In North Korea, housing options are assigned, and the buying and selling of homes are illegal.
  • The editor of Daily NK, a Seoul-based news publication covering stories about North Korea, says many believe the apartments are not ready to be inhabited and that while some include furniture, many don’t have working water.

North Korea has finished construction of an 80-story residential skyscraper complete with penthouses in the capital of Pyongyang, but only some of the least fortunate in the country reportedly choose to live on the top floors of the country’s high-rise apartments. 

Defectors have said that many North Koreans take issue with the higher floors of these apartments due to a lack of working elevators, electrical issues, minimal water supply and poor overall safety and quality, according to Reuters

North Korea releases trailer for film about a nurse who exposes traitors to the government

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North Korea released its first feature film in five years yesterday. Titled “A Day and a Night,” the movie is about a heroine who uncovers a plot to overthrow the government.

The movie was produced by Korean April 25 Film Studio, whose name references the day that the Korean People’s Army was founded and is known for producing military-themed films. 

Kim Jong-un’s sister threatens South Korea with nuclear ‘extermination’ if North Korea is ‘provoked’

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In response to South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook’s threat of a “preemptive strike” last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, released a statement yesterday saying the country is prepared to retaliate with nuclear weapons.

Kim Yo-jong’s statement, released by the North Korean news agency KCNA Watch, describes Suh’s threat as “a serious mistake” and a “very dangerous and sinister manifestation.”

North Korea’s recent ICBM launch was faked, says South Korea

north korea missile
  • The South Korean defense ministry has determined that North Korea’s recent launch of their most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to date was staged.
  • The ministry found that what was previously thought to have been a Hwasong-17 missile was actually a Hwasong-15, a smaller ICBM previously tested in November 2017.
  • Their analysis was based on the missile’s combustion, acceleration and stage separation times. They also found that the ICBM had only two engine nozzles as compared to the Hwasong-17, which is known to have four nozzles.
  • South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-keung believes the launch was likely staged to make up for a failed test of the real Hwasong-17, which exploded after its liftoff from the North Korean capital on March 16.

South Korean officials said today that North Korea’s recent launch of their most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to date was staged using an older missile.

The purported launching of a Hwasong-17 missile on March 24 also came with a Hollywood-style propaganda film of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un overseeing its “success.”

Russia wants to split Ukraine like North and South Korea, intelligence chief says

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  • After failing to seize Kiev and overthrow Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government, Russia is now aiming to split Ukraine like North and South Korea, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence chief.
  • Korea split into North and South after World War II as tensions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. began to escalate, with both superpowers drawing a boundary and backing alleged puppet governments on each side.
  • Russia also announced that it will focus on “liberating” the separatist-backed region of Donbas, a strategy shift which observers say reflects Putin’s acknowledgment of his failure to invade Ukraine.
  • Zelenskyy has urged Western nations to send Ukraine more weapons, saying his country needs just “one percent” of NATO’s aircraft and tanks.

Russia is now attempting to split Ukraine the way the Koreas parted after World War II, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief said on Sunday.

Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, who predicted Moscow’s invasion last November, believes President Vladimir Putin had revised his plan of a full occupation after failing to capture Kiev and oust the administration of Volodymyr Zelenskyy.