“North Korea fired several short-range projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, in a move likely to raise tensions as denuclearization talks with the United States remain stalled,” the New York Times reports.
“The South Korean military said in a statement that the North had fired several short-range projectiles between 9:06 a.m. and 9:27 a.m. from near Wonsan, a coastal town east of Pyongyang, the capital. The projectiles flew 70 to 200 kilometers before they landed in the sea between North Korea and Japan, it said.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Russia later this month, the Kremlin said Thursday, in a meeting that offers President Vladimir Putin an opportunity to emerge as a broker in the long-running nuclear standoff and raise Russia’s profile in regional affairs.
The Kremlin said in a brief statement Thursday that Kim will visit Russia “in the second half of April” on Putin’s invitation, but gave no further details.
There seems to be a real fascination with Kim Jong Un’s security and how exactly he goes about his business while paranoid of assassination attempts and decapitation strikes from afar and from potential competition within his own circle of power.
It turns out that Kim doesn’t just have a Secret Service-like agency tasked with his protection. He has his own 100,000 man army with a stove-pipe command structure that reports directly to him. This elite unit is known as Guard Command.
In a nationally televised New Year address, Kim said denuclearisation was his “firm will” and North Korea had “declared at home and abroad that we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them”.
Kim added that Pyongyang had “taken various practical measures” and if Washington responded “with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions … bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace”.
In his opening statement, the North’s chief delegate Ri Son Gwon said: “As the Pyongyang meeting of the leaders of the north and south is being discussed, I think talking about the issue will provide answers to the wishes of the people.”
Using a proverb describing a very intimate friend to refer to inter-Korean ties, Ri added: “We have opened an era where we are advancing hand in hand rather than standing in each other’s way.”