The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year.
Briefs, December 9, 2012
N Korea mulls putting off missile launch
SEOUL - North Korea said it was considering postponing a planned long-range rocket launch originally set for between tomorrow and December 22. The Korean Committee for Space Technology said its scientists and engineers were "considering seriously the possibility of readjusting the launch period", citing unspecified problems. A US think tank, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said on Friday the launch preparations may have been delayed by heavy snow. The US and its allies insist the launch is a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions. AFP
US drone strike kills an al-Qaeda leader
DUBAI - A US air strike in Pakistan has killed an al-Qaeda leader, Khaled Abdul Rehman al-Hussainan, while he was having dinner after a day of fasting, the group announced. The militant was also known as Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti. US television network NBC News quoted terrorism experts saying that the militant, a 46-year-old Kuwaiti, was a second-generation leader of al-Qaeda. They said he was among those who could have replaced Ayman al-Zawahiri as head of the extremist network, adding that the militant had been killed in a drone attack. AFP
US and British teachers found dead in Thailand
BANGKOK - Two English teachers, one American and the other British, have been found dead sitting side by side in the living room of an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thai police said. Police investigating the deaths found an empty medicine bottle in the room from a government-run drug rehabilitation centre. There was no sign of injuries on the bodies of the men, aged 40 and 35 respectively, or that a struggle had taken place. AFP
Japanese rush to get hands on Wii U console
TOKYO - Hundreds of people queued up at electronics shops across Japan as Nintendo released its new Wii U game console, hoping to reposition itself in a gaming market invaded by online social games. About 100 people were waiting outside Bic Camera's flagship store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro commercial district before it opened at 8am, with the number quickly swelling to several hundred. The Japanese electronics titan has already released the successor to its video game console Wii in the US, Europe and Australia. At a major outlet of another retail chain, Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, Tokyo, 200 Wii U units were sold out in six hours.
Night-market blaze in Siem Reap kills eight
PHNOM PENH - Eight people, including four children, were killed in a fire that tore through a popular night market in the Cambodian tourist town of Siem Reap, police said. The children, aged between nine and 14, were sleeping with their families on the upper floor of a building on the premises when the blaze took hold. Two other people were seriously injured. The inferno, which raged for about two hours, was apparently caused by an electrical fault. AFP