FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Wednesday:  July 23, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

HUM HUMOR

"CLIMATE CHANGE: EVERYWHERE"

CARTOON: Peter Broelman, Australia/BROELMAN.com.au) "HILLARY ROUND THE WORLD"

(CARTOON: Taylor Jones/Politicalcartoons.com)

"HOW THE MIGHTY FALL"

(CARTOON: Michael Ramirez/Weekly Standard)

COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
WORLD CLOCKS
   
San Marino     Mongolia
   
Vancouver     Ghana
"THE GIRL EFFECT" - VIDEO

Advertisement

 

HUM SEARCH
@HUMNEWS ON TWITTER

`SUPPORT-A-REPORTER'

 Follow Me on Pinterest  Folo us on Pinterest.

Read some exciting news about our founder and FFI, here: http://bit.ly/12GJyXs

Are you a Global Citizen?Join us on GlobalCitizen.org to help end extreme poverty.

TRANSLATE HUMNEWS

THE HUM - OUR DAILY EMAIL OF WORLD HEADLINES
MY HUMPLANET

Do you have your eye on the world? Help us expand the global perspective and tell the stories that shape it.  SHARE what's happening locally, globally wherever you are, however you can. Upload your news, videos, pictures & articles HERE & we'll post them on  MY HUM PLANET CONNECT.  Learn something NEWS every day! THX

Advertisement

HUM BOOKS: Focus on FRIENDSHIP
  • Friendship in an Age of Economics: Resisting the Forces of Neoliberalism
    Friendship in an Age of Economics: Resisting the Forces of Neoliberalism
    by Todd May
  • Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship
    Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship
    by Bradley Trevor Greive
  • Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement
    Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement
    by Tom Roach
HUM SOCIAL GOOD

Learn more and join us here!

HUMNEWS SOCIAL MEDIA

  Look for HUMNEWS in the News Section of PULSE @www.pulse.me. For iPad, iPhone & Android-recently launched on deck for Samsung’s Galaxy tab.

Advertisement

HUM TWITTER FEEDS
10000 Women 9/11 9-11 92Y ABC News Abdel Futuh Abdoulaye Wade abductions Abidjan Abuja abyei Acapulco ACS Action Against Hunger ADB Adivasi Adjara adolescents Afghanistan Africa Africa Fashion Week Africa Human Development Report African Wax AFRICOM agriculture agrochemical Ahmad Ashkar Ai Weiwei aid Aid Effectiveness aid work aid workers AIDS Air Canada Air France airlines Aisha Gaddafi Alain Juppe Alan Fisher Alassane Ouattara Albania Albanians Alexandria Algeria Alina Vrejoiu Alliance of Small Island States al-Qaeda Amama Mbaba Amazon American Samoa Americas Amina Filali Amnesty International Amr Moussa ANC Andaman Islands Andes Andorra Angelina Jolie angola Anguilla Anna Hazare Ansar Dine Antarctica Antigua & Barbuda Antonio Guterres Antonio Patriota apartheid Apple Arab Spring Aral Sea Arctic Argentina Armenia Art Aruba ascetism ASEAN ASEM Asia Asia Pacific Asia Society Asian Development Bank Asylum Asylum-seekers Augusto Pinochet Aung San Suu Kyi Aurora Borealis Australia Autism Azawad Azerbaijan baby trafficking Baghdad Bahamas Bahrain Balkans Balthasar Garzon Baluchistan Ban Ki-moon Bangalore Bangkok BANGLADESH Barack Obama Barbados Bashar Assad Bashir Bashir al-Assad bats Beijing belarus Belgium BELIZE Belo Monte Benghazi Benin Berlusconi Bermuda Bettina Borgfeld Beyonce Bhutan Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation BILL GATES Bill McKibben bio fuel Bishkek Bitter Seeds black jails Boko Haram Bolivia Bono books Bosco Ntaganda Bosnia Bosnia-Herzegovina Botswana Bouthaina Kamel BRAC Brazil Brazilian government Brian Williams BRICS Britain British Indian Ocean Territory British Indian Territory British Virgin Islands broadband Bron Villet Bruce Springsteen Brunei Brunei Darussalam Bruno Pellaud Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Business Cairo Cambodia Cameroon Campesino Campesinos sin Terra Canada cancer Cape Town Cape Verde Carbon CARE Caribbean CARICOM Carlos Enrigue Garcia Gonzalez Carlos Travassos Cartagena Casablanca Catherine Ashton Catholic Relief Services Cayman Islands CBS Central Africa Central African Republic Central America Central Asia CGI Chad Charles Feeney Chernobyl Child Labor child labour child marriage child soldiers Children chile China China's Communist Party Chinese farmers Chocolate cholera Cholpan Nogoibaeva Christiane Amanpour Christianity Christmas Island CIDA CItigroup Citizen Ciudad Jarez climate climate change Clinton CLMV Countries cluster munitions CNN Cocos Island coffee Colombia Columbia University Commission for Africa Committee on World Food Security Committee To Protect Journalists commodities Commonwealth community-based organizations Comoros conflict Congo Congolese conservation consumer Contas River Contraception Cook Islands COP17 corruption Costa Rica Cote D'Ivoire cotton Council on Foreign Relations coup Cover The Night CPJ credit Crime Crimes Against Humanity crisis Croatia Cuba culture cyclone Cyprus Dadaab Dakar Damon Runyon Dan Lashof Dan Toole Darfur David Bernet David Von Kittelberger DDenmark Dear Kara Delhi democracy Democratic Republic of Congo demonstrations Dengue Fever Denmark dennis fentie Department of State depression Deraa Desmond Tutu developing countries development Diabetes Dilma Rousseff Disaster Risk disasters discrimination disease Diwali Djibouti Doctors without Borders Dominica Dominican Republic Dominique Strauss-Kahn DPKO DPRK Dr. Judy Dr. Judy Kuriansky Dr. Mark Welch Dr. William Gray DRC DRINKS drought Drug war Drugs Dubai Duncan McCargo Earth Hour Earthquake East Africa East Timor Easter Island Eastern Europe ECHO economy ECOSOC ECOWAS Ecuador Education Egypt Eid Eirene El Alto EL SALVADOR El Trabajo de Crecer Election elections electricity Elizabeth Okoro Ellen Johnson SIrleaf Emerging emerging markets energy Energy4All enough project environment Environmental Defense Fund equality Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia ethnic cleansing EU Eurasia EurasiaNet Europe European Union expats explosion Facebook Falkland Islands famine FAO FARC farmers Farming Faroe Islands FASHION Father Wismick Jean Charles Federated States of Micronesia Feeding America Felipe Calderon Femicide Fernando Lugo Festival FGM FIFA Fiji Fiji Islands Films finance Finland flood floods food food crisis food security Forbes Ford Foundation foreign aid foreign assistance foreign correspondents club of China Foreign Policy Forest Whitaker Foxconn France FRENCH GUIANA French Polynesia fuel Future G20 G8 Gabon Gabriel Elizondo Gaddafi Gambia Gandhi Ganges River Gangs Gao Gauteng Gaza Gbagbo GCC GDP Geena Davis Gender Genetically Modified Food Geneva Genocide George Clooney Georgia Germany Ghana Giants of Broadcasting Gibraltar Girl Effect Girls Giving Pledge Gladstone Harbour Glenn Ashton Global Compact Global Digital Solidarity Fund global food prices Global Fund Global Health Global Malaria Program Globalhealth Globalization GMO's GMO's India Golden Globes Goma Good Samaritan Center Goodluck Jonathan Google grassroots organizations Greece Greed Greenland Greg Mortenson Grenada GRIST GRULAC Guadeloupe Guam Guantanamo Guarani Guatemala Gucci Guinea Gulf of Aden GUYANA Habitat For Humanity Haiti Half the Sky Halloween Hamadoun-Toure Hamid Karzai Happiness Haze health Heglig Helen Wang Hershey hhuman rights Hillary Clinton Hindu HIV HIV/AIDS HIVAIDS Hoffman Hollywood Hollywood Foreign Press Association homosexuality Honduras hookah Horn of Africa Hotel Housing HSBC Hu Jintao Hubble Telescope Hugo Chavez Hult Global Case Challenge HUM Human Impact Institute human rights Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch Film Festival human trafficking Human Unlimited Media Humanitarian humanitarian work HUMmingbirdz Hunger hurricane Hurricane Rina IAEA IAVI Ibrahim Azim ICC Iceland ICG ICRC IHL ILO IMF immigrants Immigration improved cook stoves Imran Garda India Indian Ocean Indians Indigenous Indonesia inequality information infrastructure Innocence of Muslims Innovation INSI International Aid international community International Criminal Court International Crisis Group international development International Human Rights Day International Labour Organization International Maritime Board International Red Cross Internet Internews Interpol investing investment Invisible Children IO IOC IOM IPad IPhone Iran Iraq IRC Ireland irrigation Islam Islamabad Islamic Broadcasting Union Islamic Republic of Iran Islamists Islamophobia Islands Israel Italy ITC ITU Ivory Coast IWD Jamaica Japan Jarvis Island Jason Russell Je Yang Camp Jerusalem Jerusalem Post Jezebel Jim Rogers Jody Williams Johannesburg John McCain John Prendergast JOIDES Resolution Jordan Jose Carlos Meirelles Jose Graziano Da Silva Joseph Kabila Joseph Kony journalism journalists Joyce Banda Jr Judy Kuriansky Julia Gillard Kachin State Kah Walla Kaingang Kano Karachi Karen Attiah Karl Marx Kashmir Kazakhstan kenya Kenya Airways kgb Khaled Said Kidal Kigali Kim Jong-il King Mswati Kiribati Koror Kosovo Kurdistan Workers' Party Kurds Kuwait Kyoto Treaty Kyrgyzstan La Nina Labuje camp Lagos landmines Laos Las Vegas latin america Latvia Laurent Gbagbo Laurie Garrett LDCs Lebanon Leslie Lane Lesotho Lesser Antilles Leyla Qasim LGBT Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Literacy Liu Changlong Liuxiazhuang London London Stock Exchange Louise Arbour LRA LTTE lukasenka LUNCH Luxembourg lybia M23 Macau Macedonia Madagascar Maggie Padlewska Maha Kumbh Mela Mahatma Gandhi Mahmoud Abbas Mahmoud Ahmadinejad malaria Malawi Malaysia maldives Mali malnutrition Malvinas Islands Manuel Zelaya Margaret Chan Marie Claire Marina Cue marine Mark Fitzpatrick Marrakesh Marshall Islands Martin Indyk Martin Luther King Martinique Marwan Bishara Mary Robinson MASERU Mashable Mastercard Foundation maternal health mauritania Mauritius Max Frisch Mayotte MDG Summit MDGs MDG's media Melanesia Melanesian Spearhead Group Memorial Day Memphis Mental Health Mercy Corps Mexican Red Cross mexico Mia Farrow Micha Peled Michael Bociurkiw Michelle Funk Micronesia micronutrient initiative micronutrients Middle East migrants migration Mike Hanna millennium development goals Mine Ban Treaty mining Misogyny Misrata Miss Universe Mississippi river Miyagi MLK Mogadishu Mohamed Cheikh Biadilah Mohammad Nasheed Mohammad Waheed Hassan Moldova Money Mongolia Mongolian Stock Exchange Monsanto Montenegro MONTSERRAT Morocco Mothers Mozambique Mr. Gay World MSF Mswati Mt. Merapi Muammar Gaddafi Mubarak Muhammed Munduruku Murder Musharraf Muslim Brotherhood Mustapha Erramid Myanmar MYUGANDA NAB Nahru Nairobi Namibia NASA Natalie Billon national congress party National Congress Party (NCP) National Democratic Force National Science Foundation NATO Natural Resources Defense Fund Nauru NBC News Nelson Mandella NEMA Nepal Netherlands Antilles Nevada New Caledonia New Jersey New York New Zealand NGO nicaragua Nicholas Kristof Nick Popow Niergai Nigel Fisher Niger Nigeria Nigerian elections Nike Nike Foundation Niue Nobel Nobel Women's Initiative Nokia Non-Aligned Movement North Africa North Kivu North Korea Northern Mexico Norway not on our watch Nuclear nuclear power plant Nutrition NYC OAS Obama OccupyNigeria Ocean Ocean Health Index oceans OCED OCHA OECD OHCHR Ohrid Framework Agreement OIC Oil Olena Sullivan OLPC Olympics Oman Omar al-Bashir Omar Suleiman One Laptop Per Child One Village Planet-Women's Development Initiative Oprah Organization of American States Organization of Islamic Countries Osama bin Laden OSCE Ouattara OXFAM Oxi P-5 Pacific Pacific Institute of Public Policy Pacific Island Forum Pacific Small Island Developing States Pakistan Palau Palestine Palestinian Liberation Organization Palestinians Palocci Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Parana Park Won Soon Paul Giannone Paul Kagame Paul Martin PDP Peace Peacekeepers Peacekeeping PEACEMEAL PEPFAR Perspective Peru philanthropy Philippines Pilay Piracy Pirates Pitcairn PKK PNG Pokuaa Busumru-Banson polio politics pollution Pope Benedict population Pork Port-au-Prince Porto Alegre Portugal poverty President Asif Zardari President Bingu wa Mutharika President Joseph Kabila President Karzai President Lee Myung-bak President Thein Sein Press Freedom Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski Prime Minister Shekh Hasina Wajed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Prince Zeid protests Proview Puerto Rico Putin Qatar Quetta rainforest Ramadan rape Rarotonga Ray Chambers RC Palmer Red Cross Reduction referendum refugees religion remittances Reporters Without Borders Reproductive Rights Republic of Congo Republic of South Sudan Reunion Island Richard Branson Richard Parsons Richard Pithouse Richmond Rick Steves Rio Branco Rio de Janeiro Rio Grande do Sul RIO+20 Robert Mugabe Robinah Alambuya Romania Ronit Avi Room to Read Rousseff Rowan Jacobsen Roxy Marosa Royal Air Maroc Russell Daisey Russia Rwanda S-5 SACMEQ sacsis Sahel Sahel NOW Saint Helena Island Salafists Saliem Fakir Salva Kiir Salvador Dali Samoa San Marino sanctions Sanitation Saudi Arabia Save the Children Savvy Traveller Scenarios From the Sahel ScenariosUSA security Security Council Senegal Senetable Seoul Serbia Sergio Vieira de Mello Seth Berkley sex trafficking Sexism sexual abuse Seychelles Sharia Sharks Shashi Tharoor Shirley Wessels shisha Shreeya Sinha Shrein Dewani Sierra Leone Sindh Singapore Skype Slovakia Slovenia smoking Social Good Summit social development social media Solar Solar Panels SolarAid Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South America South China Sea South Kordofan South Korea South Pacific South Sudan Southeast Asia Southern Kordofan Southern Sudan South-South cooperation South-Sudan Southwest Farm Press Soweto Soya Spain SPLA sports Sri Lanka St . Vincent & The Grenadines St Lucia St. Kitts and Nevis St. Maarten St. Vincent and the Grenadines Stand Up For Peace Project starvation statelessness steel StopRape Students Sub-Saharan Africa sudan sudan people's liberation movement Summitt of the Americas Superstorm Sandy Surfing SURINAME Sustainable development Svalbard Svalbard & Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Tahiti Taiwan Tajikistan Taliban Tanzania technology Ted Turner Tehran Terena terror Thailand Thaksin The Arab Spring The Bahamas The Caribbean The Carter Center The Elders The Enough Project The Gambia The Hunger Games The Marshall Islands the Middle East The Netherlands The Ocean Project the Philippines The Republic of South Sudan The Surfrider Foundation The Whistleblower theatre Thein Sein Themrise Khan Three Cups of Tea Tibet Tiger Tigers Tikki Pang Tim Hetherington Timbuktu Timor-Leste Tobacco Togo Toilets Tokelau Tom Schelling Tonga Tony Lake Toronto tourism trade Trademarks trafficking travel Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Tripoli tsunami Tuareg Tuberculosis Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks & Caicos Tuvalu Twitter Typhoon Bopha Typhoon Pablo UAE Uganda UK Ukraine UN UN Clean Development Mechanism UN Food and Agriculture Organization UN Foundation UN Peacekeepers UN Security Council un techo para mi pais UN Women UNAIDS UNCTAD UNDP UNEP UNESCO UNFCC UNFPA UNHabitat UNHCR unicef Union Solidarity and Development Party UNISDR United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United Nations United States United to End Genocide University of South Florida UNOCI UNRWA urbanization Uruguay US US Peace Corps US Supreme Court US Troops USA Uzbekistan Vancouver Vandana Shiva Vanuatu Vanuatu. Fiji Venezuela Vestergaard Vice President Joyce Banda Victoria Hazou Vidal Vega Vietnam Vii VIIPhotography Viktor Yanukovych Vladimir Putin Vladivostok Vlisco Vodafone volcano Walmart War Water West Africa West Bank Western Sahara WFP WHO wimax Wine Woman Women Women's Economic Opportunity World World AIDS Day World Bank World Cup World Economic Forum World Food Day World Food Prize World Food Programme World Health Assembly world hunger World Refugee Day WorldCup WTO WWF Xi Jinping Xingu Yemen Youssou N'dour Youth Youth Olympics YouTube Yoweri Museveni Yukon Yulia Tymoshenko Zambia Zimbabwe Zuma

HUM QR CODE

North Korea

Capital | Pyongyang

Population | 24,457,492 (July 2011 est.)

Area | 120,540 SQ KM

Official Language | Korean

Holidays | Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)

Currency | Won (KPW)

Time Zone | UTC +9

Best Time to Visit | May, for May Day and the Arirang Mass Games

Connecting with the Culture | Feeling the full force of North-South tension along the Demilitarized Zone at Panmujeom. Taking in pristine mountain views in the stunning resort of Kumgangsan. Walking (with minders) amid Pyongyang’s architectural wealth, and grabbing a few solo moments shopping in Department Store No 1. Revisiting the past at the ancient Korean capital of Kaesong. Exploring the far north and Korea’s highest peak and holy mountain Paekdusan.

Read | widely—there’s not a lot of factual material in print or on the web, and people are rarely ambivalent about North Korea.

Listen | to the beat of the marching feet of the world’s fifth largest army.

Watch | Forever in Our Memory, a 1999 film that deals with the starvation of up to three million North Koreans during the 1990’s.

Eat | bibim naengmyeon (cold noodles), or the Korean menu on an tour.

Drink | soju (rice wine) or nokcha (green tea)

In a Word | Juche (self-reliance)

Characteristics | The Great Leader (the late Kim II Sung) and his son, The Dear Leader (Kim II Jung, AKA The Great Leader; Confused? So are we.); cult of personality; the 38th parallel; Cold War 21st century style; kidnapping, nuclear tests, rapprochement, border tension.

Surprises | There’s an Internet café (just one); the current Great Leader has only uttered six words in public (‘Glory to the people’s heroic military’), and is said to own 20,000 movies

NEWS ABOUT NORTH KOREA:

Fighting words: North Korea Threatens South Korea

(PHOTO: Kim Jong-UN, NK's leader/Telegraph)(HN, 4/18/12) - North Korea threatens South Korea with `Special Military Action', escalating the war of words between the 2. Pyongyang is now threatening “quick action” against its neighbor who last week after N. Korea's failed missile launch, unveiled a missile of its own saying its capable of quickly striking any target in the North. On Monday afternoon KCNA, the state news agency interupted regular programming reading a not so normal announcement saying a `special operation' would reduce to “ashes in 3 or 4 minutes” the supporters of South Korea's president using "unprecedented peculiar means & methods.”  Pyongyang blames President Lee for insulting the North as the country was mourning its late leader, Kim Jong Il, who died in December. North Korea often uses aggressive language in its dictums. But some analysts say the latest message may could preclude some sort of attack;  tho there seems to be no suggestion of a mobilization of North Korea's military. Since 1953 when an armistice was signed ending 3 years of devastating warfare. The 2 Koreas have never signed a peace treaty, have no diplomatic relations & exist with 50,000 US troops between them.  (Read more at KCNA)

After Failed Rocket Launch, North Korea Puts on Fireworks Display, Mass Dance Party

 

(Video Ria Novosti)

(HN, 4/10/12) - Following North Korea's failed rocket launch thousands staged a mass dance party & watched a grand fireworks display that drew a storm of applause from spectators on the streets of Pyongyang.  The fireworks concluded the "Day of the Sun" - North Korea's highest holiday celebrating the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung who died in 1994 after giving power to his son Kim Jong-Il, who suffered a fatal heart attack last December & who then gave his own son Kim Jong-Un power over the impoverished but nuclear-armed nation. The dance started with "My Homeland", a tune supposedly composed by Kim Il-Sung himself.

(PHOTO: Kim Il-Sung Square, Pyongyang, NK/Pedro Ugarte)Other songs touted the virtues of Vinalon, a domestically-made synthetic textile, as an example of the regime's juche (self-reliance) philosophy; & another number sang the praises of Computer Numerical Control, the subject of a propaganda drive to boost industrial production & revive the ailing economy.  "Let's be at the cutting edge of modern technology!" it implored. Most songs - "Hurrah for Generalissimo Kim Il-Sung" & "Safeguard Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un with our Lives" - focused on the Kim dynasty, whose members are said to have near-supernatural powers in official propaganda. Other celebratory performances were in the centre of the square featured young women in colorful leotards on roller skates, jugglers, & acrobats on seesaws.  On Sunday the square was the venue for a military parade featuring thousands of troops & some 880 pieces of weaponry. (Read more at Times of India)

North Korea Prepares to Flex Muscles


(Video RT)   

(HN, 4/6/12) - North Korea appears to be preparing for a 3rd nuclear test after its controversial rocket launch of a 30-meter high Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) at the coastal Sohae Satellite Station situated in Cholsan County of North Phyongan Province & what the country says is a weather satellite for the nation's `economic development' scheduled for later this month between April 12th & 16th to mark the100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth, North Korea's founder, which falls on April 15th. South Korea intelligence officials said new images showed piles of earth & sand at the entrance of a new tunnel at the Punggye-ri site, where 2 nuclear blasts were previously conducted in 2006 & 2009. Pyongyang insists the planned rocket launch is intended to put the country's "technology of space use for peaceful purposes on a higher stage."

(PHOTO: North Korea's Unha-3 rocket on the launchpad/ABC Online) Nevertheless, the US & its allies view the satellite launch as an excuse for testing a missile & Japan & South Korea have already threatened to shoot down the rocket if it violated their air space.  Earlier Monday, North Korea brought foreign news agencies to Sohae Satellite Station,  ignoring international concerns & warnings. The US has since suspended delivery of planned food aid to North Korea, warning the potential rocket launch will be in direct violation of UN resolutions that prohibit North Korea from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology stemming from 2005 & 2009 agreements of the 6-party talks involving the two Koreas, the US, China Russia & Japan.  Some airlines plan to change flight paths to avoid the rocket should it be launched. Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines, & All Nippon Airways are changing routes connecting Tokyo to Manila, Jakarta & Singapore, & the US to Seoul.

US suspends food aid to North Korea over announced rocket launch

(PHOTO: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un Inspecting the Defence Unit on Cho islet /KCNA)

(HN, 3/26/12) - The US has suspended food aid to North Korea, as Pyongyang refuses to cancel its scheduled rocket launch. North Korea says it has nothing to do with nuclear tests; instead the launch's purposes are absolutely peaceful, as the rocket will just take a weather satellite into orbit for scientific purposes. "This planned launch is highly provocative because it manifests North Korea's desire to test & expand its long-range missile capability," said Peter Lavoy, Acting US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs.  According to the agreement signed by the 2 countries in February, the US provides food aid to North Korea if it partially freezes its nuclear activities & agrees to a missile test moratorium. 

(PHOTO: Anti-flooding operation in Congjin, NK that was supported by WFP in Food for Work programme in 2004/WFP)Earlier in the week US President Barack Obama, speaking to the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in next-door Seoul, South Korea said, "North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations".  The launch is scheduled for between April 12-16; dates specifically chosen to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder & Great Leader.  North Korea has been unable to produce adequate food for its people since it suffered a famine in the 1990s, & the U.S. has not sent food assistance since 2009.

North Korea to halt nuke enrichment, missile tests in exchange for US aid

(This TV footage fr/National Chinese Television channel shows N. Korea's cooling tower seconds before its public demolition at Yongbyon nuclear complex/CCTV)(HN, 3/1/12) - North Korea says it is ready to halt missiles tests, disable its nuclear reactors & allow IAEA observers into the country in exchange for a 240,000-metric-ton food aid package from the US, agreeing to meet demands to disable its nuclear reactors & stop nuclear testing at Yongbyon.  The US made the offer last week during talks in Beijing. Once specialists from the IAEA have inspected uranium enrichment facilities, the deal can be finalized, the US says. In 2009, the IAEA inspectors were asked to leave Yongbyon after 6-party talks broke down. While working on its nuclear program North Korea has been unable to feed its people and has relied on international aid. Moscow has praised the efforts of all parties to revive the talks. (Read More at RT)