Despite its boasting a much ballyhooed Pyongyang bureau, the Associated Press filed its report on the supposed fire at the iconic Koryo Hotel in the North Korean capital last week from its. . .Tokyo bureau. It appears that no AP reporters in North Korea have contributed reporting on the fire – this despite the fact that they actually live in the Koryo when they’re in the country.
The AP has come under fire in this magazine and elsewhere for apparently ceding control of its Pyongyang “news bureau” to the North Korean authorities. That the AP bureau would not report on the fire at the famous hotel—just as the official North Korean media hasn’t—will not do much to allay those concerns.
The Koryo Hotel is probably the most famous hotel in Pyongyang. (Granted, that’s a small pool.) It’s the usual spot where tourists stay on their unethical, ill-advised junkets to the country. And it’s apparently on fire.
Growing cooperation between Iran and North Korea suggests that Tehran may develop a nuclear weapon with support from Pyongyang despite ongoing negotiations with the P5+1. Accordingly, the United States must seek to prohibit any form of nuclear cooperation between the two regimes as part of a final nuclear agreement, and challenge their broader goal of undermining U.S. global leadership.
John Kerry is hoping to offer North Korea "a more legitimate entry road to the global community and to the norms of international behavior." The example the secretary of state has for the rogue regime? Iran.
There’s ominous (is there any other kind?) news from North Korea. South Korean intelligence has reported that Kim Jong-un has executed some fifteen of his top officials, including the vice minister of forestry. Granted, as satraps of the world’s cruelest regime, it’s hard to gin up much sympathy for the dead. But, unfortunately, it does indicate that the dauphin Kim is every bit as brutal as his father and grandfather were. They would be so proud.
A top intelligence official under President Obama, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says that the chances Hillary Clinton's private emails were hacked is "very high." Flynn, who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency but is now retired, called it hackings "likely."
Flynn made the comments to Megyn Kelly last night on Fox News:
Seoul From the moment his dead-of-night emails, texts, and encrypted Wickr messages start flooding my inboxes like a storm surge, it’s clear that Thor Halvorssen, who keeps vampire hours, is not your average clock-punching do-goodnik.
Countries that choose to host North Korean embassies (the United States is, quite rightly, not among them) take a real risk. Not only is the regime that they serve a horror show, but many of the country’s “diplomats” are literally criminals. When not conducting “diplomacy,” they engage in money laundering, counterfeiting, and drug trafficking schemes.
The recent vicious attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert (he was stabbed in the face in Seoul) is, in fact, not the first attack on an American ambassador in that country. The earlier attackers on Ambassador Donald Gregg’s residence in 1989, however, were radical students with anti-free trade motives. The 55 year-old who assaulted Ambassador Lippert, on the other hand, has ties to radical pro-Pyongyang organizations and has visited North Korea several times.
Kim Jong-un, seeking to escape international isolation, has found a willing partner in Russia’s Vladimir Putin and thereby revived Pyongyang’s Cold War art of pitting Moscow against Beijing, perfected by his grandfather Kim Il-sung. The collapse of the Soviet Union just prior to Kim Jong-un’s father’s ascent in 1994 ended the game for a time. But Kim Jong-il tilted a bit back toward Moscow after the arrival of Putin, and his son is doubling down.
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the release of a United Nations’s Commission on Inquiry’s report on human rights in North Korea. The U.N. report laid out, in devastating detail, what we’ve known for all too long: Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship is the Westboro Baptist Church of regimes – almostcomically evil.