Tag Archives: Korea

Families Separated Since Korean War Reunite In North Korea

Families Separated Since Korean War Reunite In North KoreaFamilies divided during the Korean War tearfully reunited for the first time



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U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctions

U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctionsThe United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs. In a statement, the U.S. Treasury said China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. Ltd and its Singapore-based affiliate SINSMS Pte. Ltd had netted over $ 1 billion a year by exporting alcohol and cigarette products to North Korea.



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US blacklists Russian and Chinese companies trading with North Korea

US blacklists Russian and Chinese companies trading with North KoreaThe US imposed sanctions Wednesday on three foreign companies it accuses of helping North Korea with the illicit shipments of goods to fund its nuclear program. The Treasury Department said it was taking action against the companies, which are based in China, Russia and Singapore, as well as the head of the Russian firm. The move blocks any assets that they may have in US jurisdictions and bans Americans from doing business with them. It comes as the US continues to press for full compliance with international sanctions against North Korea while it continues talks with the North on ending its nuclear program. "The tactics that these entities based in China, Singapore, and Russia are using to attempt to evade sanctions are prohibited under US law, and all facets of the shipping industry have a responsibility to abide by them or expose themselves to serious risks," Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, said in a statement. "Treasury will continue to implement existing sanctions on North Korea, and will take action to block and designate companies, ports and vessels that facilitate illicit shipments and provide revenue streams to the DPRK. "The consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea." Those targeted on Wednesday are the China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. and its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS Ltd., along with Russia's Profinet Ltd. and its director general. They are accused of helping North Korea evade international sanctions by re-routing exports and imports through Chinese and Russian ports. The US Treasury said the Chinese company and its Singaporean affiliate had used false shipping documents to export alcohol and tobacco products to North Korea in violation of international sanctions. It said the Russian firm and its director, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, provided port services at least six times to North Korean-flagged vessels engaged in sanctions busting oil shipments. 



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S. Korea bans recalled BMWs from streets pending safety inspections

S. Korea bans recalled BMWs from streets pending safety inspectionsBMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) module, which it says caused the recent fires. An average 7,000 cars have been inspected every day but some 27,000 vehicles had not yet been checked by late Monday, the transport ministry said in a press statement, leaving some 20,000 cars to be hit when the measure takes effect midnight Tuesday. Once the ban comes into effect, drivers are forbidden from driving their vehicles unless they are taking them to be tested, the statement said, with a senior official telling Yonhap news agency drivers would be liable in the event of a fire.



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Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in SeptemberSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September, while their envoys also discussed Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament efforts and international sanctions.



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Japanese man detained in North Korea: report

Japanese man detained in North Korea: reportA Japanese man has been detained in North Korea, and government officials are trying to gather information on his safety, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Saturday. It quoted one of the sources as saying that North Korea could use him as a bargaining chip in any future diplomatic talks. Japan, in addition to demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs, has also sought the return of abductees kidnapped during the 1970s and 1980s.



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North Korea urges U.S. to drop sanctions as Seoul probes illicit coal shipments

North Korea urges U.S. to drop sanctions as Seoul probes illicit coal shipmentsBy Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean state media on Monday urged the United States to drop sanctions, as South Korea said it was investigating nine cases of coal shipments that potentially violated U.N. resolutions. Pyongyang had demonstrated good faith by ending nuclear weapons testing and returning the remains of U.S. troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and the resolutions had lost a reason to exist, said the Rodong Sinmun, a mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party. The statements came days after a confidential United Nations report concluded that North Korea had not halted nuclear and missile program, in breach of U.N. resolutions, and continued illegal trade in oil, coal and other commodities.



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North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile programme according to confidential UN report

North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile programme according to confidential UN reportNorth Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a confidential UN report seen by Reuters on Friday. The six-month report by independent experts monitoring the implementation of UN sanctions was submitted to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee late on Friday. "(North Korea) has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018," the experts wrote in the 149-page report. The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment on the report. The UN report said North Korea is cooperating militarily with Syria and has been trying to sell weapons to Yemen's Houthis. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during ceremonies honoring the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War Credit: KCNA/ UPI Pyongyang also violated a textile ban by exporting more than $ 100 million in goods between October 2017 and March 2018 to China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay, the report said. The report comes as Russia and China suggest the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for the first time in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization. The United States and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts. Hwasong-15 ballistic missiles during a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, February 2018 The UN experts said illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in international waters had "increased in scope, scale and sophistication." They said a key North Korean technique was to turn off a ship's tracking system, but that they were also physically disguising ships and using smaller vessels. The Security Council has unanimously sanctioned North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products. The experts said "prohibited military cooperation with the Syrian Arab Republic has continued unabated." They said North Korean technicians engaged in ballistic missile and other banned activities have visited Syria in 2011, 2016 and 2017. Inside North Korea – forbidden photos The report said that experts were investigating efforts by the North Korean Ministry of Military Equipment and Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) to supply conventional arms and ballistic missiles to Yemen's Houthi group. A country, which was not identified, showed the experts a July 13, 2016 letter from a Houthi leader inviting the North Koreans to meet in Damascus "to discuss the issue of the transfer of technology and other matters of mutual interest," according to the report. The experts said that the effectiveness of financial sanctions was being systematically undermined by "deceptive practices" of North Korea. 



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North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile program: confidential U.N. report

North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile program: confidential U.N. reportBy Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Friday. The six-month report by independent experts monitoring the implementation of U.N. sanctions was submitted to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee late on Friday. “(North Korea) has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” the experts wrote in the 149-page report.



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North Korea criticises US insistence on tough sanctions despite nuclear deal

North Korea criticises US insistence on tough sanctions despite nuclear dealNorth Korea on Saturday said the US was acting with "alarming" impatience on the issue of denuclearisation, after Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, stressed the need to maintain full sanctions pressure on Pyongyang. The contrasting comments at a security forum in Singapore came after a UN report showed Pyongyang was continuing with its nuclear and missile programmes and evading sanctions through ship-to-ship oil transfers. At historic talks with Donald Trump, the US President, in June, Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, signed up to a vague commitment to "denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" – a far cry from long-standing US demands for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament. While US officials have publicly been optimistic about the agreement, Pyongyang appears to have made little substantial progress and Washington has become concerned that some UN member states are easing sanctions. At the ASEAN Regional Forum, Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's Foreign Minister, criticised US impatience on denuclearisation. "What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention," he said, according to a statement. Hidden trillions: What if North Korea’s economy opened up? Since the June agreement, Pyongyang had taken "goodwill measures", including a halt on nuclear and missile tests and "dismantling a nuclear test ground", he said. "However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK," he said, using the initials of the North's official name. "As long as the US does not show in practice its strong will to remove our concerns, there will be no case whereby we will move forward first unilaterally," Mr Ri added. Earlier at the same forum, Mr Pompeo said he was emphasizing "the importance of maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea" but also said that he was "optimistic" about the prospects for progress when it came to North Korean denuclearisation. At Saturday's meeting, the US delegation also delivered a letter from Mr Trump intended for Mr Kim, by passing it to Mr Ri, said the State Department. On sanctions, Mr Pompeo singled out Russia after reports suggested Moscow breached sanctions by granting work permits to North Korean workers. During meetings with other foreign ministers in Singapore, Mr Pompeo said he had called specifically for sanctions to be enforced through halting ship-to-ship oil transfers. Cutting off oil and fuel to the North would require enforcement primarily by China, which supplies most of North Korea's energy needs, but also by Russia, which delivers some oil to Pyongyang.



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