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 seeks release of ship crew in Panama
North Korean diplomats have been negotiating in Panama for the release of the crew of a ship detained for smuggling Cuban arms
Panama’s security minister says two North Korean diplomats have left the country after trying to settle the status of the crew of a ship seized in July that was found to be carrying weapons from Cuba.
Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said on Thursday the diplomats met with top Panamanian prosecutors. He did not give details of the outcome.
Foreign ministry officials have said most of the 35 crewmen would be released and allowed to return to North Korea.
Chief drug prosecutor Javier Caraballo said last week that one option would be to detain a few, including the captain, for further investigation.
The crew is accused of illegal possession of weapons. The ship was headed from Cuba to North Korea when it was seized by authorities who suspected it carried drugs.