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Sep 14, 2017 01:30 PM IST IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

North Korea News LIVE: As work at nuclear site begins, survey says Pyongyang most secretive exporter of small arms

South Korea has said it may have detected activity related to an intercontinental ballistic missile launch. Live updates.

  • Sep 14, 08:03 AM (IST)

    Rating agency Standard & Poor's has said that the tensions in the Korean Peninsula are not high enough to downgrade South Korea's sovereign rating.
    "As long as there is no actual war outbreak, I think the impact is relatively limited, and that's why we don't change our outlook on the rating of South Korea," Kim Eng Tan, senior director of Asia-Pacific sovereign ratings at S&P, was quoted as saying by a Korean newspaper.

  • Sep 14, 08:00 AM (IST)

    What happened when we were asleep?

    The US State Department issued a statement saying they haven't given up on diplomacy to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Deaprtment spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the department is "realistic" but also "optimistic" that diplomacy will resolve the issue, expressing satisfaction with the new UN Security Council resolution against the North.

    The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), a North Korean communist organisation, demanded that that the United States be "beaten to death" like a "rabid dog" for pushing fresh UN sanctions on Pyongyang over its latest nuclear test and added that ally Japan should be "sunken into the sea".

  • Sep 13, 07:41 PM (IST)

    North Korea is one of the world’s most secretive major exporters of small arms such as including Kalashnikovs, rockets and machine guns, according to a report of experts in Geneva. The Small Arms Survey Trade Update 2017 survey states that among 55 percent of nations who trade in small arms, the USD 6 billion market remains a murky industry in which weapons find their way into the hands of terrorists or are used by states to carry out human rights abuses.

    The survey singles out North Korea along with nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran on transparency of small arms. "The five least transparent major small arms exporters are: Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the UAE. These states do not provide information on their small arms exports to Comtrade or the UN Register,” the survey states.

    "North Korea has received a score of 0 in every edition of the Transparency Barometer to date. It has never provided information on its small arms exports to Comtrade or the UN Register.30 In 2013, Comtrade recorded the highest value for North Korean small arms exports: USD 300,000," it says. 

  • Sep 13, 05:38 PM (IST)

    North Korea vowed today to accelerate its weapons programmes in response to "evil" sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council following its latest and most powerful nuclear test. The North says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from "hostile" US forces and analysts believe Pyongyang's weapons programme has made rapid progress under leader Kim Jong-Un, with previous sanctions having done little to deter it. Read the full story here.

  • Sep 13, 04:15 PM (IST)

    US-based defence analysts have said that North Korea has resumed work at its underground nuclear weapon testing site.

    After studying recent satellite images, the analysts said they had detected new vehicles, mining carts and other signs of activity at the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site in northeast North Korea.

  • Sep 13, 03:19 PM (IST)

    In a well-rounded piece published today, Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Washington Post talked about how South Korea now wants nuclear weapons of its own. Not too long ago, this was a fringe idea. But now that the threat from North Korea is escalating every passing day, the argument for South Korea to arm itself with nukes is gaining steam. Read the full story here.

  • Sep 13, 03:15 PM (IST)

    Chinese expert on Korean Studies Lü Chao has said that he does not believe imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea will result in the rogue nation giving up its nuclear weapons program. 

    "The US and its allies Japan and South Korea hope to suffocate North Korea and overturn its regime through economic and military pressure, but this will not work because China and Russia will not accept this, as it will affect their national interests and jeopardize the regional strategic balance," Lü said in an interview to Global Times. Read the full story by Global Times here.

  • Sep 13, 03:07 PM (IST)

    In a statement yesterday, the Russian agriculture ministry said that Russia is ready to develop cooperation with the United States in the field of agriculture. The statement said Russia eyes promoting US investments in its agricultural sector.

  • Sep 13, 03:05 PM (IST)

    The US State Department on Tuesday said that the current diplomatic row between Russia and the United States should not be escalated.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he believed that "no further escalatory action is necessary at his point" and that both countries should look ahead and try strengthening their ties.

  • Sep 13, 02:54 PM (IST)
  • Sep 13, 02:51 PM (IST)

    "Of course, we take these proposals with interest. A creative look and approach to the situation are very much in demand," Ryabkov said when asked what Russia made of Merkel's statement. "But, saying this, I cannot but also say that complete and direct parallels between the two situations are probably already impossible, because the DPRK, unlike Iran, is a country that has already really mastered nuclear weapons technologies at least to a degree that allows Pyongyang to test nuclear explosive devices and move in the direction of constant improvement of delivery systems in the form of ballistic missiles."

  • Sep 13, 02:50 PM (IST)

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov  has said that Russia is considering German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposal of an Iran-like negotiation with North Korea with interest, but direct parallels between the situations are almost impossible.

  • Sep 13, 02:45 PM (IST)

    Even as some politicians have called for the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, the Moon Jae-in-led South Korean government has repeatedly declared its opposition to the idea, noting that it “remains committed to the principle of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.”

  • Sep 13, 02:43 PM (IST)

    North Korea may be facing a shortage of oil at the moment and it does not have any oil reserves of its own either. But the rogue nation may be sitting on minerals worth trillions of dollars, including rare earth minerals and precious metals like gold and silver. Estimates over the last decade by South Korean authorities have pegged North Korea's deposits of coal, iron ore, zinc, copper, graphite, gold, silver, magnesite, molybdenite, and many others, to be worth between USD 6 trillion and USD 10 trillion. Read the full story by RT here.

  • Sep 13, 02:34 PM (IST)

    Business Korea has reported that the leaders of South Korea, the United States and Japan have started discussing ways to hold a summit meeting in New York during the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly scheduled for next week.

  • Sep 13, 02:29 PM (IST)

    Chinese traders along the North Korean border and some regular visitors to the hermit nation have said that scarcer and costlier fuel, as well as earlier UN sanctions banning the export of commodities such as seafood and coal, are now taking a toll. Several Chinese traders said the sanctions had stymied North Korean businesses’ ability to raise hard currency to trade.

  • Sep 13, 01:02 PM (IST)

    A day after North Korea conducted its largest ever nuclear weapons test, South Korean defense minister, Song Young-moo, told lawmakers in Seoul that a special forces brigade that defense officials described as a “decapitation unit” would be established by the end of the year.

    Although it is not a commonly followed practice to announce plans to assassinate someone, South Korea wants to make sure this one is widely heard and prevents North Korea from initiating any conflict. Read the full New York Times story here.

  • Sep 13, 12:24 PM (IST)

    An article by Financial Times has explained in detail how a network of shell companies and old ships is helping North Korea circumvent the sanctions imposed on it by the United Nations. The registered offices of a lot of these shell companies have been found to be at the same address in Hong Kong, and multiple companies in this web own or manage the same ships. Read the full story here.

  • Sep 13, 12:14 PM (IST)

    The UN sanctions on North Korea's textile industry are expected to impact a lot of businesses and cause compliance issues to clothing retailers in US and other parts of the world.

    North Korea exports USD 752 million of textile a year, 80 percent of which goes to China. A lot of clothing retailers in the US too depend on imports from North Korea and even though big retail chains like Walmart can afford to keep North Korean products off its shelves, smaller businesses may not have the wherewithal necessary to do so.

  • Sep 13, 11:58 AM (IST)

    Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger has expressed fears that although everyone seems to be wanting to avoid a nuclear war, the US and NATO are on a path leading to war, not just with North Korea but potentially with Russia and China too.

  • Sep 13, 11:53 AM (IST)

    Former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark has said that secret negotiations mediated by a neutral third party are key to resolving the North Korean crisis.

  • Sep 13, 11:39 AM (IST)

    The New Yorker has published a very well-written piece titled 'To Do', in which the writer lists five things to do for the day, for each day of the week, arranged by priority. While the first five days seem like any other, the lists for the last two days are very interesting and sum up the prevalent American sentiment. Read it here.

  • Sep 13, 11:23 AM (IST)

    Continuation of the KAPPC statement...

    3. The south Korean authorities should not spout "strong military counteraction" for which they can not be responsible, a bluff unbecoming for their have-not position. The stooges moving at the beck and call of others, being subject to sycophancy and submission should not go unreasonable as to call for slapping "painful sanctions" and "pressure", and should stop provoking laughter of people with their such clumsy counteraction as "joint strike" reminiscent of children's playing at soldiers.
    4. The world including the neighboring countries needs to have proper understanding of the nuclear issue of Korea. The nuclear blackmail and threat the U.S. has posed to the DPRK so far have been a wrong option against the rival of wrong choice.

  • Sep 13, 11:22 AM (IST)

    In a report yesterday, North Korean state mouthpiece KCNA published the reactions of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), a North Korean communist organisation.

    This was the KAPPC statement:

    1. The U.S. should stop rash act and not run wild, with deep consideration of the position and weight of its rival Juche Korea that have undergone change after its access to H-bomb. If the U.S. adheres to sanctions and pressure, not properly judging the great significance and the stern warning given by the success in the H-bomb test of Juche Korea, it will face unprecedentedly resolute counteraction it can not hold control of.
    2. Japan should clearly understand its position and stop indecent deed of acting as the U.S. cat's paw. The army and people of the DPRK with pent-up wrath against the Japanese reactionaries are waiting for a moment to settle accounts with the present Japanese authorities who have taken the lead in tightening sanctions against the DPRK pursuant to the U.S. Japan should bear in mind that it is near the DPRK, world-level military power possessed of diversified A-bomb, H-bomb and rockets of deadly striking power and hit effect.

  • Sep 13, 10:50 AM (IST)

    South Korea today said that it had found traces of radioactive xenon gas and confirmed them to be from the North Korean nuclear weapon test earlier this month.

    The country's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said its land-based xenon detector in the northeastern part of the country found traces of xenon-133 isotope on 9 occasions, while its mobile equipment off the country's east coast detected traces of the isotope 4 times.

    However, South Korea has still not been able to determine whether the test was for a conventional nuke or a hydrogen bomb.

  • Sep 13, 10:41 AM (IST)

    According to a United Nations report released Saturday, Tanzania is one among 7 countries being investigated for violating the arms embargo imposed on North Korea by the UN. The other countries implicated in the report are Angola, Congo, Eritrea, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda and Syria.

  • Sep 13, 10:36 AM (IST)
  • Sep 13, 10:34 AM (IST)

    A report by Asia Times today has talked about how, even at a time when North Korea's advancements in the field of nuclear weaponry is making other countries wary, the country's low-tech military equipment is something to worry about. The North Korean air force has 300 An-2 Biplanes that were designed way back in 1946 and are predominantly made of wood.

    These aircraft are known for their ability to fly low and slow and still be easy to maneuver, and are therefore used widely in other countries for crop dusting. However, North Korea could use these aircraft to disperse chemical or biological weapons, as it is known to have stockpiles of toxins like Sarin and VX. The wooden exterior of these aircraft make them very difficult to track by radar and they can carry as many as ten paratroops on board. Read the full story here.

  • Sep 13, 10:16 AM (IST)

    With around 5 months to go for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, the organizers are finding it very difficult to sell tickets. Given the frequent weapons tests by North Korea and mounting tensions in the Korean Peninsula, spectators seem to want to stay away from the ski resort town, which is located a mere 80 km away from the heavily-armed North Korean border.

  • Sep 13, 10:11 AM (IST)

    The North Korean representative to the UN Han Tae Song said yesterday that the US is definitely on a path of military confrontation with North Korea.

    “The sanctions and pressure campaign by the Washington regime to completely obliterate DPRK’s sovereignty and the right to existence is reaching an extremely reckless level,” Song said while speaking at the UN Disarmament Conference. “Instead of making the right choice with a rational analysis on (the) overall situation, the Washington regime finally opts for political, economic and military confrontation.”

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