North Korea

December 22, 2021

North Korea Bans Laughing for 11 Days

The North Korean government placed its citizens under an 11-day laughing ban to honor the death of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s father, former Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il.

According to a Sinuiju city resident, North Koreans cannot drink alcohol, “laugh, or engage in leisure activities” during the mourning period, which started on December 17.

“In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals,” the resident said. “They were taken away and never seen again.”

“Even if your family member dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body must be taken out after it’s over. People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period,” the resident added.

North Koreans were also banned from grocery shopping starting December 17, the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death.

Another unnamed resident said law enforcement officials are ordered to “crack down” on rulebreakers.

“It’s a month-long special duty for the police. I heard that law enforcement officials cannot sleep at all,” the resident said.


North Korea Bans Laughing for 11 Days to Mark Kim Family Anniversary: Report

October 12, 2021

Kim Jong Un vows to build ‘invincible’ military, citing US hostility

Kim Jong Un vowed to build an “invincible” military to combat what he described as persistent hostility from the US.

“The US has frequently signaled it’s not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe that they are not hostile,” Kim said. “The US is continuing to create tensions in the region with its wrong judgments and actions.”

Kim referred to the US as a “source” of instability and said his highest priority is developing an “invincible military capability” that no one could challenge.

The North Korean leader’s comments came as part of a rare exhibition of weapons on Monday, including the long-range missiles the country previously test-launched.

Though there have been recent missile tests, Kim still abides by a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile tests directly targeting the US, signaling that he still wants to keep the door open for future discussions with DC.


Kim vows to build ‘invincible’ military while slamming US

September 19, 2021

Satellite images indicate North Korea ramping up nuclear weapons program

Recent satellite images show North Korea may be ramping up its nuclear weapons program at the Yongbyon research center.

The images indicate a uranium-enrichment plant expansion, which could bolster the country’s ability to produce weapons materials.

A satellite image of the Yongbyon nuclear research facility in North Korea (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

A few weeks ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported North Korea restarted its nuclear reactor. The agency called the findings “deeply troubling” and “cause for serious concern.”

The new development after the country launched two ballistic missiles to test a new counterstrike option. North Korea also test-fired a cruise missile capable of reaching Japan.


North Korea may be ramping up nuclear weapons program again, satellite images show

September 14, 2021

North Korea claims it successfully tested long-range cruise missiles

North Korea issued a statement saying it completed successful test launches of new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend. The country said they hit targets 932 miles away on Saturday and Sunday.

The country referred to the missiles as “strategic weapon(s) of great significance.”

The launches mark North Korea’s first known testing activity since March.

Former President Donald Trump was engaged in negotiations with Kim Jong Un during his term, but they stalled in 2019 after the US rejected North Korea’s demands for significant relief from sanctions.


North Korea says it successfully test fired long-range cruise missiles

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