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Panda images for target practice: Comrade Kim and Comrade Xi are not on the best of terms

Kim Jong-Un poses with soldiers during an inspection of the defense detachment on Ung Islet on July 7.  /KCNA/Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea’s military used images of panda bears as targets in an apparent show of Pyongyang’s displeasure with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul, according to news reports here. Images of pandas […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Shaky: Kim pardons thousands in Jang’s network because without them N. Korea could not function

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un observes an artillery exercise of the Hwa Islet Defense Detachment.  /Rodong Sinmun

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un has pardoned thousands of officials who were punished for their connections with his executed uncle Jang Song-Thaek. The action was taken to forestall potential chaos and encourage loyalty from […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Seoul sees new N. Korean sea-skimming cruise missile as potentially ‘destabilizing’

A video screenshot shows the launch of a new North Korean cruise missile.  /Screenshot via KCTV

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea has obtained a new type of “destabilizing” sea-skimming cruise missile with a range of 130 kilometers which could be difficult to detect and intercepted, a South Korean military source said. A […]

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In shot at Japan and a calculated snub of ‘boy emperor’ Kim, Xi Jinping sets visit to South Korea

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, left, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 27, 2013.  /Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com By Willy Lam, East-Asia-Intel.com Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to South Korea in early July heralds a new era of China’s relations with both Koreas. Traditionally, a new Chinese head of state would first visit the DPRK — with […]

Posted in BB Inside China,China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Kim’s older half-sister seen as ‘hidden’ power with more bloodline legitimacy than her brother

Photo released by North Korean state media on July 10, 2011 shows Kim Jong-Il at the Pyongyang Department Store No. 1. The woman who is second from left is believed by some to be his daughter Kim Sol-Song.  /Reuters/KCNA

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Kim Sol-Song, a half-sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, is a “hidden power center” involved in key policies, slush funds management and cyber-security, sources and analysts here say. “Kim Sol-Song has not […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Russia’s ruble agreement gives it access to N. Korean resources, punishes U.S.

Russia and North Korea have agreed to settlements in rubles in all trade between the two countries.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The recent agreement between Russia and North Korea to use the rubles in all their bilateral trade has raised concerns that it would help Pyongyang dodge U.S-led international sanctions, government officials and analysts […]

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Seoul: Tokyo-Pyongyang breakthrough could undermine sanctions against N. Korea’s WMD program

North Korean chief delegate Song Il-Ho, left, and his Japanese counterpart Junichi Ihara arrive for talks in Stockholm, Sweden.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The recent North Korean-Japanese agreement could undermine the U.S.-led international sanction regime aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, government sources and analysts here say. Under a surprise accord announced May 29, […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Japan,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Sanctions fail as N. Korea’s trade hits record high with backing from China, Russia

North Korean trucks carrying iron ore at the Chinese border. /Chosun Ilbo

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com North Korea’s trade volume reached a record high in 2013 in a clear demonstration that U.S-led international sanctions have not succeeded. Thanks to traditional partners China and Russia, the North’s overall trade volume came to […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Peace ploys across bloody borders: Could Kim Jong-Un pull a Modi even if he wanted to?

India’s Narendra Modi, right, and Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com NEW DELHI — The division between India-held and Pakistan-held Kashmir ranks with that between North and South Korea as long-running, bloody and dangerous. The two were divided at about the same time — […]

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Collapse of high-rise in elite area of Pyongyang prompts unprecedented apology from regime

A North Korean official bows in apology to citizens over an apartment building collapse at a construction site in Pyongyang.  /EPA

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Hundreds of North Koreans were believed killed in the recent collapse of a 26-story apartment building in central Pyongyang. The incident could deal a blow to Kim Jong-Un’s fledgling leadership, government officials and […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

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