Foreign Relations of North Korea

North Korea crisis ‘has already gone too far’, says UN’s Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference in Andorra, on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that tensions had already soared too high on the Korean Peninsula and warned Pyongyang against making nuclear threats.

Wednesday, 3 April, 2013, 8:41am 1 comment

North Korea cuts military hotline with South

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (second right) overseas a live fire drill using self-propelled drones at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Photo: AFP

North Korea severed its military hotline with South Korea on Wednesday, breaking the last direct communication link between the two countries at a time of heightened military tensions.

The decision coincided with an announcement that the North’s top political leadership would meet in the next few days to discuss an unspecified “important issue” and make a “drastic turn”.

27 Mar 2013 - 5:33pm 1 comment

China business brisk on N Korea's trade lifeline

A woman checks the cargo list at a customs port in the Chinese border city of Dandong, Liaoning province, on December 14. Photo: AFP

On China’s economic front line with North Korea, rocket launches are far from traders’ minds and few worry about sanctions impeding the flow of cars – or pianos.

15 Dec 2012 - 1:29pm

Boat carrying 3 North Koreans drifts south

Vehicles drive towards the North Korean border town of Siniuju along the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge in the Chinese border city of Dandong, in China's northeastern Liaoning province on December 14. Photo: AFP

A South Korean coastguard official says a fishing boat carrying three North Koreans has drifted south of the countries’ eastern maritime boundary.

15 Dec 2012 - 1:38pm

U.S. deal with North renews Seoul's fears

The agreement last week between North Korea and the United States that promises to halt Pyongyang's nuclear and military provocations in return for food has highlighted old fears in South Korea.

It worries that the enemy is trying to drive a wedge in regional diplomacy in order to limit the South's role in charting North Korea's future.

4 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Doubts linger over North Korean deal

North Korea has struck an important new deal with the US, but as with previous ones, there is concern whether Pyongyang will keep its word. In return for 240,000 tonnes of food aid and perhaps more, new leader Kim Jong-un's regime has promised to suspend uranium enrichment and agreed to a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

2 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Seoul sceptical of nuclear 'deal'

While the world hails an apparent breakthrough in talks - brokered between Washington and Pyongyang in Beijing - regarding North Korea's nuclear plans, experts in Seoul remain deeply cynical of the negotiations delivering any real progress on the ultranationalist state's atomic weapons programmes.

2 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Facing realities

The sudden demise of Kim Jong-il has drastically increased the probabilities of a regime collapse in Pyongyang and the reunification of the two Koreas. Should either scenario become a reality, China will face the most difficult geopolitical challenge since the disintegration of the Soviet Union two decades ago.

22 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Talking points

Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

City's sporting future on Legco agenda

10 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Leaders have duty to get Pyongyang back to talks

Hu Jintao and Barack Obama may not agree on the value of the yuan, arms sales to Taiwan and human rights, but on North Korea, there should not be any argument. The North's threats and attacks are putting at risk East Asia's prosperity. There is a danger that events precipitated by the rogue nation could spin out of control, dragging the region into a conflict it has tried so hard to avoid.

19 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

China must play its part to defuse crisis

As tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalate once more, global stability hangs in the balance. This time it involves a serious border skirmish and another announcement by the rogue North Korean regime that it is augmenting its nuclear capability in defiance of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, which again is obliged to seize the initiative.

26 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

UN statement sinks along with the Cheonan

The United Nations Security Council's statement on the Cheonan episode was a model of compromise. Now debate rages on whether it was a shrewd way to avoid the 'all-out war' threatened by North Korea, or a study in appeasement that will only invite a worsening conflict.

16 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Clinton visit shows value of engagement

The speed with which former US president Bill Clinton won the release of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea was breathtaking. Just 24 hours after his plane touched down in Pyongyang, he and Euna Lee and Laura Ling were flying home, having won a pardon from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il over dinner on Tuesday.

6 Aug 2009 - 12:00am

The cold logic that drives N Korea

Given the ease with which North Korea vents its diplomatic spleen - Pyongyang just last week described US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as both a schoolgirl and a 'pensioner out shopping' - it is all too easy to dismiss its bellicose rhetoric.

1 Aug 2009 - 12:00am

Sino-US co-operation the route to better ties

China is neither an ally nor adversary of the US. The ambiguity and shades of grey mean that suspicions, misunderstandings and second-guessing of intentions abound. Given the nations' global importance, they have to make every effort to work together. The joint military talks that end in Beijing today must serve as a stepping stone to widening and strengthening that process.

24 Jun 2009 - 12:00am