North Korea wakes its citizens with creepy dystopian music

Somewhere between "hard to believe" and "of course they do" lurks the music, played over massive PA systems in Pyongyang, by the North Korean regime. Here are two important points of comparison: the unsettling Lavender Town locale in Pokemon, which matches North Korea's oddly melodic eeriness...

... and Chicago's tornado siren, for sheer nightmare terror quotient. (via)

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The American student detained by North Korea and sent home in a coma has died

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old University of Virginia student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for taking a propaganda sign from a hotel, has died in a US hospital. North Korea returned him in a comatose state to the United States last week after he'd served 17 months of his sentence.

North Korean officials said Warmbier fell into a coma as a result of botulism and a sleeping pill, but US doctors express doubt that they were the cause. According to USA Today, "Much remains unknown about what happened to Warmbier in North Korea, but he reportedly has been in a coma for more than a year. Brain scans show severe damage."

Otto's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, issued a statement Monday afternoon, which read, in part:

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

From NPR:

As he spoke to the media Thursday, Fred Warmbier also said he was glad to be wearing the same jacket his son had worn during his court appearance in North Korea.

"I'm proud of Otto, and the courage he showed by going to North Korea," Warmbier said, "and having that adventurous side to him ...

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North Korea has been hacking the U.S. since 2009, warn DHS and FBI—and they're not stopping

A rare joint alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation explicitly blames the government of North Korea for a series of hacking attacks on various American targets, dating as far back as 2009. The government alert warns that more such ”state-sponsored cyberattacks,” as they're known in security jargon, are likely to come.

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Kim Jong Un romper suit for dudes

Keep the excesses of one of the world's cruelest, most corrupt nations top-of-mind with this $80 Kim Jong Un men's romper suit, which is, conveniently machine wash/wrinkle free. via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

New clues in WannaCry ransomware attack point to North Korea and Kim Jong Un

“The self-spreading ‘WannaCry’ internet worm, which ripped through 160,000 computers and crippled hospitals and other businesses, is now being linked to a North Korean cyber gang,” reports Kevin Poulsen at Daily Beast.

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Map of American people's attempts to guess where North Korea is

Americans who know where North Korea is are more like to favor diplomacy over war in dealing with its regime. Unfortunately, few Americans know where North Korea is. Read the rest

Even by North Korean standards, the DPRK's Ullim tablet is creepily surveillant

The Ullim Tablet is the latest mobile device from North Korea to be subjected to independent analysis, and it takes the surveilling, creepy nature of the country's notoriously surveillant Android devices to new heights of badness. Read the rest

North Korea displays massive live-fire artillery drill as U.S. nuclear sub docks in South Korea

As a U.S. nuclear-powered missile submarine docked in South Korea today, North Korea put on a huge live-fire artillery drill to commemorate the foundation of its military--and, presumably, show the world who's boss.

Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs are the subject of renewed concerns in recent weeks, as the blundering Donald J. Trump administration 'forgets' where its armadas are. Pretty much the entire world is freaked out today over the possibility of future nuclear tests (or worse) by 'that gentleman' in Pyongyang, as forgetful Donald likes to call him.

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North Koreans spotted playing volleyball at nuclear test site

Looking at satellite images of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear facility, the US monitoring group 38 North thought they might spot signs of a 6th nuclear test. Instead they found volleyball – in fact, three games were going on at the same time.

"An expert from 38 North said it either suggested the site is going into "standby mode" or that it's a deliberate ploy to confuse the U.S. and others monitoring the regime. The group, along with the South Korean and the U.S. governments, has said the recent activity around the site suggests Pyongyang is primed for a nuclear test and that it could happen at any time," says South Korea's Arirang News (video above).

According to CNN:

US military and intelligence analysis has remained the same for the last several weeks, and concludes that North Korea is ready and capable of conducting an underground nuclear test at any time. It's unlikely to give any warning.

And Reuters:

"We see that at three locations in the facility – in the main administrative area, at the support area, at the command center and at the guard barracks near the command center - they have volleyball games going on," said Joe Bermudez, an expert with 38 North, an independent North Korea monitoring project based in Washington.

Bermudez offered two possible explanations - that the test site could be going into "a standby mode" or that the games were intended to confuse observers, given North Korea knows that Punggye-ri is under constant observation.

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North Korea 'bombs' U.S. in birthday video for founder Kim Il Sung

North Korea put on a musical spectacle to honor the birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung, ending with a video in which missiles rain down on the United States and burst into flames. The audience and the current leader Kim Jong Un appeared to love it.

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Sassy Trump Remembers Cake He Ate While Bombing Iraq Or Syria or Something

God Bless America, God Bless Sassy Trump, and God Bless Peter Serafinowicz.

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North Korea test-fires a missile into the sea just before Trump meets with China's Xi

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast today, just before the Trump administration's summit with Chinese leaders. Pyongyang's arms program is one of the topics Trump and China's Xi Xingpi are expected to discuss.

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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

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