North Korea

The big picture

Nuclear challenges from Russia, Iran and North Korea now fall to Biden
Nuclear challenges from Russia, Iran and North Korea now fall to Biden

North Korea may prove the most difficult of all.

Nov 12, 2020 - World
A landmark nuclear arms treaty shows its age

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is at risk of becoming outdated in a more dangerous world.

Mar 7, 2020 - World
How North Korea executes people

Most are public executions by firing squad.

Jun 11, 2019 - World
How ready is the U.S. for a North Korean missile attack?

We break down North Korea's missile capabilities and how prepared the U.S. is to block them if necessary.

Jan 5, 2018 - Politics & Policy

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Jan 19, 2022 - World

Otto Warmbier's family awarded $240K from seized North Korean assets

Otto Warmbier is escorted out of a courtroom by guards in Pyongyang in March 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

The family of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died in 2017 shortly after being returned to the U.S. in a coma, was awarded more than $240,000 in seized assets from Pyongyang, a New York federal court ruled.

Why it matters: The payment is part of a $500 million wrongful death lawsuit, in which Warmbier's family alleged that North Korea took him hostage, tortured him and was responsible for his death.

Jan 17, 2022 - World

North Korea launches 4th suspected missile test this month

A news broadcast in Seoul of an apparent North Korean missile test on Monday morning local time. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired "two suspected short-range ballistic missiles" eastward from Pyongyang on Monday morning local time, per South Korean and Japanese officials.

Why it matters: The fourth such launch since Jan. 5 comes days after North Korea's military warned of "stronger" action if the U.S. moved to have more sanctions imposed on the country.

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - World

North Korea fires projectile in 3rd launch this month, Seoul says

A news broadcast in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday of a North Korean missile test. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired an "unidentified projectile" eastward on Friday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, per Yonhap news agency.

Why it matters: North Korea's third launch in just over a week came hours after state media warned that its military would take "stronger and certain reaction" if the U.S. moved to have more sanctions imposed on the country.

Updated Jan 13, 2022 - World

U.S. presses UN to hit North Korea with more sanctions over missile tests

A broadcast reports on North Korea's Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on North Korean and Russian individuals and entities for supporting North Korea's ballistic missile program.

Driving the news: The announcement follows North Korea's two missile tests in the past week and leader Kim Jong-un's threat to bolster the country's nuclear weapons program.

Jan 5, 2022 - World

North Korea launches first ballistic missile in 2 months

People watching a television at the Seoul Railway Station on Wednesday. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea on Wednesday, its first launch in roughly two months, according to AP.

Why it matters: The provocation is a signal that North Korea does not intend to rejoin denuclearization talks.

Dec 28, 2021 - World

Biden may face a North Korea crisis within months

Kim Jong-un with his finger near the button (at a demolition site in Pyongyang). Photo: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

It may not be long before President Biden has to grapple with a North Korea crisis.

The big picture: Dictator Kim Jong-un has remained relatively quiet during Biden's presidency so far, keeping his threats and missile testing well below the “fire and fury” levels of the early Trump administration. But a quieter North Korea is not necessarily a less dangerous one.

Dec 13, 2021 - World

President Moon Jae-in: End to Korean War agreed to "in principle"

South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a ceremony in Australia's Parliament House in Canberra on Monday. Photo: Lukas Coch-Pool/Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday the U.S., North Korea, his country and China have agreed "in principle" to declare a formal end to the Korean War. But they've yet to meet on the matter due to Pyongyang's demands.

Why it matters: Moon believes the move would help restart stalled negotiations between the countries on Pyongyang's denuclearization. A State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement that U.S. officials were "prepared to meet without preconditions." 

Dec 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. sanctions people, entities linked to China, Myanmar and North Korea

President Biden delivers closing remarks during the virtual Summit for Democracy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Dec. 10. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday announced new sanctions on dozens of people and entities with ties to human rights abuses in China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and North Korea.

Why it matters: The move, timed with international Human Rights Day and the State Department's two-day Summit for Democracy, is a tool "to draw attention to and promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses," the department said.

Oct 13, 2021 - World

UN report: North Korea faces growing food crisis, economic hardship

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Korea faces a growing food crisis that has left children and elderly people at risk of starvation, a UN investigator said in a report out Wednesday.

Driving the news: Prolonged and strict measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 have worsened conditions in the isolated Asian nation and have lead to "severe economic hardship," per the report.

Oct 7, 2021 - World

WHO sending North Korea COVID medical supplies

Health officials spray disinfectant as part of preventative measures against COVID-19, in the Daesong Department Store in Pyongyang, North Korea, in September. Photo: Kim Won JinAFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said it's sending COVID-19 medical supplies to North Korea.

Why it matters: It's an indication that North Korea may be loosening one of the "world's strictest pandemic border closures to receive outside help," notes AP, which first reported the news. North Korea has never publicly confirmed a coronavirus case, though experts doubt it's been untouched by infection.

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