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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 5:23am

North Korea

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. 


North Korea cancels US envoy's visit for talks over detainee Kenneth Bae

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 September, 2013, 4:59am

North Korea said it rescinded its invitation for a US envoy to visit the country to seek the freedom of an American detainee because the US flew B-52 bombers over the Korean peninsula

The moves signal that possible informal talks between the two countries over detainee Kenneth Bae were not going smoothly, with Pyongyang seeking concessions from Washington in return for releasing him, analysts said.

Bob King, the US special envoy for North Korean human rights, had been scheduled to travel to Pyongyang on Friday for talks on Bae, a 45-year-old tour operator and Christian missionary who has been detained since November for committing "hostile acts". He was sentenced in April to 15 years of hard labour.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said his country had intended to allow King's visit despite the US and South Korea conducting annual military drills.

But he said the US "beclouded the hard-won atmosphere of humanitarian dialogue in a moment" by allegedly flying B-52H strategic bombers over the peninsula during the exercises. He called it "the most blatant nuclear blackmail".

Analysts say North Korea has previously used detained Americans as bargaining chips in its stand-off with the US over its controversial nuclear and missile programmes.


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