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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 309 (April 17, 2014)

NEWS IN BRIEF N. Korean leader pays tribute to founder on birthday SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un paid respects to his grandfather and founder of the communist country on April 15 marking his 102nd birthday, the North's state media said. Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the body of Kim Il-sung, along with his son and former leader Kim Jong-un, lies in state, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The founding father died in 1994, and his birthday is one of the most important holidays in North Korea.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 309 (April 17, 2014)

FOREIGN TIPS Russia's deputy PM to visit N. Korea soon: report SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev plans to visit North Korea soon, a U.S. radio report said on April 16. The trip by Trutnev, who is also President Vladimir Putin's envoy to Russia's Far East, is the latest in a series of exchange visits of high-level officials between the two countries, the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing Russian media.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 309 (April 17, 2014)

TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 1) Diplomatic efforts under way for resumption of six-party talks SEOUL (Yonhap) -- Amid prolonged tension on the Korean Peninsula, a flurry of diplomatic moves have been under way to resume the six-party talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Specifically, Seoul, Washington and Beijing are intensifying diplomatic efforts as they wrestle to rein in North Korea's nuclear threats and find middle ground in reopening the long-stalled six-nation forum.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 309 (April 17, 2014)

TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 2) S. Korea dismisses N. Korea's call for joint probe into drones SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea on April 15 rejected North Korea's offer for a joint investigation by the two Koreas into the suspected North Korean drones that were found crashed in South Korea in recent weeks, saying that it is the North's psychological tactic to evade its responsibility.

U.S., China in 'productive' talks after North Korea test threat

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China have held "productive" talks on North Korea, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, part of stepped up international diplomacy after Pyongyang warned of plans to conduct a new type of nuclear test.

N. Korea warns S. Korea will pay dear price for slander

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Monday that it will force South Korea to pay a dear price for its criticism of the North's dignity, the latest in a series of verbal threats against the South. The rival Koreas agreed in February to halt cross-border slander during their first high-level talks in seven years. Still, the North has since claimed South Korea hurled mud at the North's leadership and its social system with the communist country citing, among other things, anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

North Korea denounces US 'double-standards'

North Korea on Friday accused the United States of hypocrisy for remaining silent over a South Korean missile test while condemning Pyongyang's recent launches. "The US double-dealing attitude and despicable mode of action has been brought to light," a spokesman for the North's powerful National Defence Commission (NDC) said in a statement. The statement, carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, comes at a time of elevated military tensions, with Pyongyang threatening a "new" type of nuclear test.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 308 (April 10, 2014)

FOREIGN TIPS U.S. exports to N. Korea jumps nearly 20-fold in Feb. SEOUL (Yonhap) -- U.S. exports to North Korea jumped nearly 20-fold in February from a year earlier, a U.S. radio report said on April 8. The volume of trade between the two countries reached US$1.2 million in February, compared with $62,000 a year earlier, the Voice of America (VOA) reported, citing data compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department.

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 308 (April 10, 2014)

NEWS IN BRIEF N. Korea hit by extensive outbreak of bird flu SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea has experienced an outbreak of bird flu since last month, culling tens of thousands of poultry so far, its news agency said on April 9. A chicken farm in the capital city of Pyongyang first reported symptoms of avian influenza (AI), known as the H5N1 virus, on March 21, and the virus has been spreading to other poultry farms, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, citing Director Ri Kyung-kun of its agricultural ministry.

U.S. to urge N. Korea to accept COI recommendations: King

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- The United States will continue to urge North Korea to accept recent United Nations recommendations to improve its human rights conditions, a U.S. envoy said Wednesday, calling for the international community's support in holding the country accountable for its "outrageous" violation of human rights.
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