All North Korea stories

Dave Lawler, author of World
Mar 22, 2019 - World

Trump says he's withdrawing just-announced North Korea sanctions

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Image

President Trump raised eyebrows on Friday with a tweet declaring that he would be withdrawing "additional large scale Sanctions" on North Korea, which he said had been announced earlier in the day by the Treasury Department. 

Between the lines: It's unclear what exactly Trump is talking about, though Treasury did announce sanctions yesterday on 2 shipping companies it said had attempted to evade North Korea sanctions. Per Fox News' John Roberts, the sanctions Trump said he is withdrawing are not in reference to the 2 shipping companies, but instead are referencing "new large-scale sanctions that were about to be announced by Treasury." White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the decision was made because "President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary." 

Editor's note: This post has been updated with a Fox News report.

Mar 15, 2019 - World

North Korea threatens to halt denuclearization talks with U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump at the Hanoi summit. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea might suspend denuclearization talks with the U.S. unless the administration changes its stance following last month's summit in Hanoi, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left Hanoi without reaching a deal on sanctions against North Korea or denuclearization efforts in the country. Kim will make an official announcement soon on whether diplomatic talks will continue, per the Post.

Mar 14, 2019 - World

Woman accused of killing Jong-un's half-brother loses bid to be freed

Photo: MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

Malaysian prosecutors rejected early Thursday a request to free a Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Details: Kim Jong-nam died after having liquid VX nerve agent smeared in his face at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Doan Thi Huong and her co-accused, Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, deny killing him and say they believed they were part of a television prank. Aisyah was freed early on Monday Malaysia time. After it was confirmed Huong would remain in Malaysia, the judge said the defendant was not "physically and mentally" well enough to continue with the trial and adjourned the case until Apr 1, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Mar 12, 2019 - World

Trump envoy says it's all or nothing on North Korea's nukes

Biegun (R) with Secretary of State Pompeo (C) and North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The man tasked with laying the groundwork for a nuclear deal with North Korea says the U.S. is committed to an all-or-nothing approach in which sanctions relief would only follow complete denuclearization — a demand North Korea has said it will never meet, and one that could put a deal beyond reach.

Between the lines: In the lead-up to the Hanoi summit, U.S. officials seemed to hint at openness to a step-by-step process in which some economic carrots would be available before North Korea gave up its full nuclear stockpiles. The rhetoric has been more hawkish since. Special envoy Steve Biegun denied the position was shifting, but insisted: “We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally.”

Dave Lawler, author of World
Mar 8, 2019 - World

North Korean test site back up and running after Hanoi failure

Commercial satellite imagery from March 6 of North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station. Photo: Airbus Defence & Space and 38 North. Pleiades © CNES 2019, Distribution Airbus DS.

North Korea’s Sohae rocket launch site is back to “normal operational status” just 1 week after the Hanoi summit ended in “no deal,” according to an analysis of satellite images by 38 North.

Backstory: North Korea has in recent days been repairing the site, which it partially destroyed following the Singapore summit last year. Joel Wit of 38 North said at a Stimson Center event this week that the regime had poured a lot of money and effort into Sohae, viewed its partial destruction as "above and beyond the call of duty," and felt the U.S. was refusing to make any concessions in return.

Mar 6, 2019 - World

Report: North Korea restoring missile launch site

President Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A mere 2 days after the Hanoi summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, satellite images indicated that North Korea has been rebuilding the long-range rocket site at Sohae Satellite Launching Station, an operational launch facility it previously pledged to dismantle, NBC News reports.

Details: Beyond Parallel, a project by the defense think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the images captured on March 2 are "evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad's rail-mounted rocket transfer structure," per NBC News. Victor Cha, one of the authors of Beyond Parallel’s report, said the "imagery thus far does not show a missile being moved to the launch pad." NBC News reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded, saying: "We don't comment on intelligence."

Mar 4, 2019 - World

North Korean hackers struck U.S. networks as Trump met Kim: Report

Photo: Shealah Craighead / Official White House Photo / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

North Korean hackers continued a sustained attack on U.S. and European businesses as President Trump met with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, researchers at the cyber-security company McAfee told The New York Times Sunday.

Why it matters: North Korean hackers have been targeting financial institutions and other businesses, with reports the country is trying to circumvent sanctions. McAfee researchers told the Times they had been observing attacks for 18 months and had seen in excess of 100 victims. They said the relentless campaign did not stop for the two-day summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which ended abruptly and without an agreement last week.

Mar 2, 2019 - World

North Korea's arsenal grows

President Trump waves to Vietnamese President Nguyễn Phú Trọng after meeting at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. (Dien Bien/Getty Images)

Forget the happy talk. North Korea is steadily adding to its nuclear stockpile, the L.A. Times' Victoria Kim writes from Seoul:

What's new: "U.S. intelligence last summer estimated North Korea may have anywhere from 20 to 60 nuclear weapons. In 2018, North Korea probably produced enough plutonium and uranium for an additional five to seven nuclear weapons, researchers at Stanford have estimated."

Mar 1, 2019 - World

Otto Warmbier's parents push back on Trump over their son's death

Otto Warmbier in North Korean custody in 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

Otto Warmbier's parents have spoken out after President Trump stated that he took North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "at his word" after Kim denied any hand in Warmbier's death, which occurred after the American college student spent 17 months in captivity in North Korea and was returned to the U.S. in 2017 in a vegetative state.

"We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that."
Mar 1, 2019 - World

Richard Haass' takeaways from Trump's Hanoi summit

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass — author of "A World in Disarray" — provides his takeaways on President Trump's failed Hanoi summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which ended abruptly with no joint statement or communiqué.

Haass' bottom line: "Sometimes you have to walk," President Trump said, and he is right. This was one of those times. No deal was better than a bad deal. What's more, walking might well strengthen Trump's hand with N.K. down the road and with China now, as the trade talks reach a critical juncture.