North Korean defector to Finland claims evidence of illegal human experiments

The researcher, "Lee," worked in Ganggye, Chagang, and escaped with what he says is 15GB of data detailing illegal human subjects biochemical research, which he is due to present to the European Parliament this month. (Thanks, Sulka!) Read the rest

These Women Have Crossed the Line: 30 activists cross North Korea DMZ for peace

Members of the WomenCrossDMZ group attend a news conference before they leave for North Korea's capital Pyongyang, at a hotel in Beijing, China, May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
In an historic move, a group of global feminist activists march into the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to create a space for a new type of conversation about truly ending the Korean war.

Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists

A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online. Read the rest

North Korean defectors undermine totalitarianism with smuggled pirate sitcoms

In an amazing, long, in-depth investigative piece, Wired's Andy Greenberg recounts the story of North Korean dissidents who have escaped, but who mastermind ambitious smuggling efforts that send thousands of USB sticks and SD cards over the border stuffed with pirate media: Read the rest

Twitterbot generates North Korean patriotic slogans with Markov chains

The 300 weird patriotic slogans that North Korea released last week had the stilted feel of machine-generated text. Read the rest

Obama administration: North Koreans probably not responsible for Sony Hack, but hey, let's sanction them anyway

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) uses a pair of binoculars to look towards the South during his visit to the Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment on the front, near the border with South Korea, southwest of Pyongyang March 7, 2013 in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang.

In what looks to many in the information security community like a bizarre face-saving gesture with little basis in reality, the Obama administration today announced new sanctions on 10 senior North Korean officials and several organizations.

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Watch the Kim Jong Un death scene that led to the untimely death of 'The Interview'

Watch it, if you dare.

HOWTO make a low-poly Kim Jong Un Hallowe'en head

Tim writes, "I made a giant wearable low-polygon Kim Jong Un head for Halloween, and you should too!" Read the rest

North Korea files UN complaint over James Franco/Seth Rogen film

North Korea has filed a formal complaint to the United Nations over an upcoming American film about an attempted assassination of its leader.

North Korea Condemns Imperialist Dwarf Seth Rogen

Seems like a good moment to remind you that there are an infinite number of North Korean press releases and that no-one is left undenounced. Previously. Read the rest

North Korea threatens "merciless" war against the US over Seth Rogen movie

North Korea has threatened "merciless" war against the USA if a James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy called "The Interview" is released. The movie involves a plot to assassinate North Korean hereditary dictator Kim Jong-un. A North Korean state spokesman called the movie an "act of war" and a "blatant act of terrorism" and "reckless US provocative insanity." The spokesman called the film's director a "gangster filmmaker" and said that North Koreans had greeted the production with "a gust of hatred and rage." Read the rest

North Korean science fiction and the Maoist road to Mars

Jeff sez, "The Journal of Asian Studies has two science fiction-related essays: a full-length study that focuses on North Korean sci-fi stories of the 1950s and 1960s, which were intended for children and influenced by Soviet works of the time; it's paired with a shorter comment that explores parallels between texts Zur analyzes and SF produced in Mao era China." Read the rest

North Korean students must now all wear Kim Jong Un's "Chinese smuggler" haircut

A disturbing new turn in the North Korean Official Haircut Story: men male students can no longer choose from 18 approved haircuts and must henceforth all sport the same haircut as Kim Jong Un. This haircut is locally known as the "Chinese smuggler haircut."

Update: The BBC has since updated its story: the haircut mandate applies only to students, not all men. Read the rest

Official haircuts of North Korea

There are 28 official state-approved haircuts in North Korea, and there is renewed emphasis on the official coiffure parameters under its new leader, Kim Jong Un. Ironically, Kim's own haircut is not on the official list. Read the rest

Meth offered 'as casually as a cup of tea' in North Korea

There's not much stigma attached to meth use in harsh North Korea, writes Los Angeles Times reporter Barbara Demick, interviewing North Koreans in China.

Some take it to treat colds or boost their energy; students take it to work late. The drug also helps curb appetites in a country where food is scarce. It is offered up as casually as a cup of tea, North Koreans say. "If you go to somebody's house it is a polite way to greet somebody by offering them a sniff," said Lee Saera, 43, of Hoeryong, also interviewed in China. "It is like drinking coffee when you're sleepy, but ice is so much better."

More: LA Times. Read the rest

Kim Jong Un laughing alone on ski-lift

Rodong Sinmun, courtesy photo Read the rest

North Korea faxes south to notify it that attack will occur "without notice"

I'll have to add "repeated extra-large provocations" to the North Korea Press Release Generator. [Fox News] Read the rest

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