North Korean diplomat sought in Kim Jong-nam's death, hinting at Kim Jong-un's involvement

Police in Malaysia said Wednesday they want to question a senior diplomat from the North Korean embassy in their ongoing investigation into the recent killing of Kim Jong-nam. This twist suggests the possible involvement of the North Korean government in the deadly poisoning of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half brother.

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Assassination of Kim Jong-nam captured on surveillance video

Doesn't look like they thought they were pranking him.

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Assassin of Korean dictator's brother wore LOL shirt

One of the two women suspected of assassinating Kim Jong-un's brother wore a shirt with "LOL" written on it.

CCTV images released by Malaysian authorities show the suspects lurking in Kuala Lumpur airport; reports variously have them using needles or a spray to poison Kim Jong-nam, who died en-route to hospital.

In a scene out of a James Bond film, the toxic spray-wielding femme fatales targeted 45-year-old Jong Nam – the globetrotting black sheep of his North Korean ruling class family — in the airport’s departure hall on Monday morning.

The women – believed to be North Korean agents – unleashed the noxious fumes in the face of Jong Nam as he waited for a flight to Macau, China.

Jong Nam staggered to a receptionist, indicating that he was on the verge of passing out and suffering a mild seizure, police said.

Nam would be running the hermit kingdom but for several embarrassing episodes (such as being arrested trying to visit Tokyo Disneyland on a false passport) that saw his younger brother rise in their now-dead father's eyes.

Assassin targeting Kim Jong Un’s half-brother wore ‘LOL’ shirt [New York Post] Read the rest

Kim Jong-Un's half-brother assassinated in Malaysia

Two assassins used poisoned needles to off the disfavored half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, reports South Korean media. Kim Jong-nam was attacked in Kuala Lumpur airport by the women, who then escaped in a taxi and remain at large.

Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport.The police said the man's identity had not been verified. An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital told the agency a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim. A source close to the Malaysian Prime Minister's office confirmed Mr Kim's death to the BBC, adding that his body was now undergoing an autopsy.

Kim fell into disfavor with his then-ruling father, leading to his younger brother winning the throne after his death. Nam's screw-ups included being caught trying to get into Japan on a false passport in order to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

The North Korean government's not saying anything, but you can generate a fake Press release with our North Korean press release generator. Read the rest

Trump blabbed about response to North Korean missile launch in the Mar A Lago dining room while diners listened in

After a day of engaging in the most irresponsible activity a president can undertake (according to Donald Trump, anyway), President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to the Mar A Lago dining room with Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn, when Trump got a phone call about North Korea's missile tests. Read the rest

What North Korean defectors think of North Korea

Asian Boss interviewed a couple of young North Korean defectors, who talked about life in the nation-sized cult. Starvation, public executions where everyone over the age of 12 is commanded to watch, no electricity in winter except on days when Kim Il Sung gave his New Year's TV address, and soldiers standing in holes waiting to shoot people trying to escape across a frozen river, are a few of the highlights. Read the rest

Documentary on North Korea's love of 3D photographs

North Koreans have a fondness for lenticular postcards and stereoscopic keepsakes, and they granted Slovenian photographer Matjaž Tančič rare access to create a series of 3D photographs of North Korean daily life. Read the rest

Weird 'artificial' quake was 'clearly' North Korea's fifth nuclear test

If the “man-made seismic event” reported along the North Korea/China border tonight by the USGS is confirmed to be a new nuclear test, America's next Commander-in-Chief will have complex new Pyongyang problems on their plate.

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North Korean minister reportedly executed after falling asleep in meeting

Kim Jong-Un had a Vice premier for education Kim Yong-Jin executed for "disrespect" after he fell asleep in a meeting, reports the AFP, citing South Korean sources. Read the rest

North Korea launches Netflix-like streaming propaganda service 'Manbang'

Despite its name, Manbang is not a gay male pornography service. Kim Jong-un's regime unveiled the service today as a propaganda-filled streaming service delivering on-demand videos to televisions through a set-top box.

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Video of a 7-day vacation in North Korea

Jacob Laukaitis made this wonderful video that shows what it's like to be a tourist in North Korea.

In the past 3 years I traveled to over 50 different countries, but visiting North Korea has always been a dream of mine. So I recently went on a 7 day tour across the country and just published a mini documentary from the trip.

I wanted to make a video that would show people what their daily lives would look like if they went there as tourists. There are quite a few interesting facts and details that I haven't seen in other videos and I'm pretty sure a lot of people will find it interesting.

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North Korea recommends Americans elect "wise politician" Donald Trump

North Korea is on Team Trump, reports Reuters, describing the millionaire mogul as a "wise" choice and his rival as "thick-headed Hillary."

Run by a brutal and notoriously reclusive authoritarian clique, North Korea is under U.N. sanctions and regularly threatens the U.S. and the south with nuclear annihilation. Trump has indicated he will take a softer line with the regime.

"It turns out that Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate," said the [DPRK Today] column, written by a China-based Korean scholar identified as Han Yong Muk.

DPRK Today is among a handful of news sites run by the isolated North, although its content is not always handled by the main state-run media.

It said promising to resolve issues on the Korean peninsula through "negotiations and not war" was the best option for America, which it said is "living every minute and second on pins and needles in fear of a nuclear strike" by North Korea.

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North Korea praises Donald Trump

An official media organ of the North Korean regime has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, describing Democrat rival Hillary Clinton as "dull."

An editorial in DPRK Today, an official media outlet, welcomed the Republican presidential candidate’s proposal to hold direct talks with Kim Jong-un, saying he could help bring about Pyongyang’s “Yankee go home” policy.

“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies’,” wrote Han Yong-mook, who described himself as a Chinese North Korean scholar.

“Trump said he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North, isn’t this fortunate from North Korea’ perspective?”

Analysts said that although the editorial was not officially from Pyongyang, it was sure to reflect thinking inside the regime.

And, yes, I checked to make sure it wasn't a quip from @DPRK_News, the popular Twitter parody account with a gift for emulating the floridly vicious wooden-talk of North Korean propaganda. Read the rest

Meet the sons of an American defector to North Korea

Ted and James Dresnok were born in Pyongyang, North Korea. Their father is James Joseph Dresnok, who defected there in 1962 when he was an American GI stationed in South Korea.

From The Washington Post:

And they’ve just appeared in an extraordinary video published online by Minjok Tongshin, a pro-Pyongyang news service based in the United States that runs the kind of stories that wouldn’t look out of place in North Korea’s official media.

“I want to advise the U.S. to drop its hostile policy against North Korea. They’ve done enough wrong and now it’s time for them to wake up from their delusions,” said Ted Dresnok, 36, who goes by the Korean name Hong Sun Chol. He was wearing a navy blue suit with a red Kim badge on it.

His younger brother, James, or Hong Chol, was wearing a North Korean army uniform and said he held a rank equivalent to a captain in the U.S. Army. His comments also sounded like they came out of the propaganda department.

“The American Imperialists caused the division of the Korean peninsula,” James said.

The Washington Post has a translation of the interview. Here's a snip:

Ted: My precious dream is to become a Workers’ Party member and pay back my gratitude to my general [Kim Jong Un]. I want to stand in a unified country by my general.

James: My lifelong dream is similar to my brother’s. I want to serve my mother country with my life and bring about the unification of the Koreas so the world will see the superiority of Kim’s Korea.

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British Royals' celebrations with narration from North Korean patriotic parade

This is a genius piece of media criticism: mapping the BBC's own slavishly patriotic broadcast of the British royals' 2015 "celebrations" onto its breathless voice-over for a North Korean patriotic demonstration in celebration of a Kim birthday. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Rare photos of the subway system in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang

Elliott was among the first outsiders to be given access to Pyongyang's metro. Previously, only two stations could be visited. He posted a nice big gallery of photos and his reflections on a strange (and beautiful) place.

This may sound mundane, but the previously restricted Pyongyang Metro is surely one of the most mysterious, yet beautiful transit systems on earth, each station uniquely themed in ultra-nationalism, parading North Korea’s revolutionary goals and achievements to impressionable commuters. In many ways, it’s a small museum, most of which formerly hidden from outside eyes and subsequently shrouded in conspiracy theories. Sensationalism aside, here’s my journey in over sixty photos of the beating heart of Pyongyang, the Pyongyang Metro.

There are chandeliers everywhere. Even the trains are museum-pieces - and perfectly looked-after. Previously: Sycophantic Reactionary Foreign Trains Condemned Read the rest

North Korea channels the voice of Abraham Lincoln in “Hey, Obama” letter to U.S.

“Hey, Obama,” a weird letter from North Korea to the President of the United States opens, according to a translation offered by the Associated Press. “I know you have a lot on your mind these days … I’ve decided to give you a little advice.”

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