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North Korea reportedly flaunts new ‘monster’ ICBM at showy military parade — and some analysts believe it could be one of the world’s largest ballistic missiles

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly celebrated during a recent military parade, which featured what is reportedly one of the biggest intercontinental ballistic missiles in the world, according to a Saturday
Reuters report.

The outlet reported that the missiles — previously unseen — were shown at the military parade, which showcased North Korea’s long-range weapons for what the news organization said was the first time in two years.

CNN notes that some analysts believe the ballistic missile is one of the world’s largest ever seen.

What are the details?

The parade reportedly took place in Pyongyang to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party, and displayed several large missiles.

Melissa Hanham, deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network, called the missile a “monster,” according to the report.

One missile in particular was so large that the huge trailer on which it was transported had 11 axles.

“Also displayed were the Hwasong-15, which is the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, and what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM),” Reuters noted.

According to the news organization, an unnamed senior U.S. official said the display was “disappointing” amid the recent development of relations between North Korea and South.

The unnamed official said, “It is disappointing to see the DPRK continuing to prioritize its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile program over working towards a brighter future for the North Korean people.”

Kim, according to the outlet, appeared and waved to the crowd before making remarks.

“We will continue to build our national defense power and self-defensive war deterrence,” he reportedly said in his remarks.

The report noted, “The parade was highly choreographed, with thousands of troops marching in formation, displays of new conventional military equipment including tanks, and fighter jets launching flares and fireworks. Kim became visibly emotional as he thanked the troops for their sacrifice in responding to natural disasters and preventing a coronavirus outbreak.”

Reuters reported that Kim expressed his gratitude that not a single North Korean citizen tested positive for the virus — a previously disputed claim.

What else?

Following the news, the U.S. urged North Korea to return to negotiations.

An unnamed U.S. official reportedly told The Daily Caller, “The United States remains guided by the vision President Trump and Chairman Kim set forth in Singapore and calls on the DPRK to engage in sustained and substantive negotiations to achieve complete denuclearization.”

“It is disappointing to see the DPRK continuing to prioritize its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile program,” the source added.


North Korea unveils ‘monster’ intercontinental missile

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Kim Jong Un may be at coastal resort compound, according to satellite images of luxury boats

Kim Jong Un has not been seen for several weeks, which has ignited rumors that the North Korean leader is gravely ill or possibly dead. New satellite images of luxury boats pose the possibility that Kim is at his beachside resort compound on the country’s east coast.

North Korean-monitoring website NK Pro reported that luxury boats often used by Kim have been spotted at his coastal resort compound near Wonsan. Satellite images show that Kim’s 95-foot Princess 95MY luxury yacht at the beachfront compound. The vessel was made by British-based Princess Yachts and was valued at $7 million in 2013.

Kim’s seaside compound in Wonsan features a private beach, nine large guest villas, recreation center, basketball court, a shooting range, a horse riding track, a boathouse, and it’s own train station. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman stayed at the Wonsan resort when he visited Kim in 2013.

“It’s one of his favorite houses,” said Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Stimson Center.

Madden told Reuters that Kim has about 13 significant compounds around the country, but only uses half of them.

“All of them are set up to serve as the leader’s headquarters, so they are all equipped for him to run the country,” Madden said.

Last week, satellite images revealed a train likely belonging to Kim was also at the Wonsan compound in recent weeks. On April 21 and 23, satellite images showed the 820-foot-long train at the Wonsan compound’s train station.

“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” wrote 38 North, a website “devoted to analysis about North Korea.”

Kim’s last confirmed public appearance was on April 11, when he was at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party committee of policymakers.

Kim, 36, was noticeably missing from The Day of the Sun celebrations on April 15. The celebration, which is North Korea’s most important holiday, commemorates the birthday of the nation’s first leader Kim Il-Sung, who is Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.

Kim did not make any speeches or appearances during the 88th anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army on April 25.

South Korean and U.S. officials say the leader of the hermit kingdom is alive, and may be in isolation to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. However, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would “be shocked” if the North Korean dictator is not dead or medically incapacitated.

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North Korean state media: Kim Jong Un isn’t dead — see, he wrote a thank-you letter recently

In an apparent effort to prove that Kim Jon Un is not dead, North Korean state media reported Monday that the dictator recently sent a thank-you letter to the builders of his tourist resort in Wonsan.

The country’s main news outlet, the Rodong Sinmun, claimed Monday that Kim sent a message of appreciation to workers at the seaside resort, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

“Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has sent his appreciation to the workers who devoted themselves to building the Wonsan-Kalma tourist zone,” Rodong Sinmun allegedly reported. Yonhap added that the Korean Central Broadcasting Station carried similar news.

South Korea believes that Kim has been residing at the Wonsan report since April 13.

What’s the background?

The report comes amid intensifying speculation about the health of Kim Jong Un, who has not been seen in public since April 11. His unusual absence from a key ceremony celebrating the 108th birth anniversary of the country’s first ruler, Kim Il Sung, was noted in particular.

Then last week, unverified reports began circulating that Un was in “grave danger” following surgery. Over the weekend, Japanese media reported that Kim indeed underwent a surgery that left him in a “vegetative state.”

The Trump administration has not yet confirmed whether or not they believe Kim to be dead, but have reportedly been informed that if he’s alive, his health is poor. Officials have been looking into who would be in the line of succession should the ruler be deceased.

In a Fox News interview Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that he would “be shocked if [Kim is] not dead or in some incapacitated state.”

Anything else?

The South Korean government has pushed back against reports that the North’s ruler is dead, saying last Tuesday that Kim appeared to be handling affairs as usual. South Korean officials added that they have no information to confirm the rumors about Kim’s health.

Satellite images posted by the U.S. monitoring website 38 North appear to show Kim’s “special train” parked in the Wonsan compound since at least April 21.

“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” the report said.

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Satellite images likely show Kim Jong Un’s train at resort compound amid health concerns

Satellite images show a train likely belonging to Kim Jong Un has been spotted at his compound in a resort town on North Korea’s east coast. The train has been parked at the compound since last week.

There is much speculation that Kim Jong Un is critically ill and possibly dead, despite the lack of confirmed reports of his condition. There are unconfirmed reports Kim was in critical condition after receiving heart surgery. A Japanese magazine reported that the North Korean leader is in a “vegetative state.”

The rumors concerning Kim’s health are being exacerbated from his recent lack of public appearances. Kim’s last confirmed public appearance was on April 11, when he was at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party committee of policymakers, according to North Korean state media reports.

Kim, 36, was noticeably missing from The Day of the Sun celebrations on April 15, which is North Korea’s most important holiday because it commemorates the birthday of the nation’s first leader Kim Il-sung.

On Saturday, Kim did not make any speeches or appearances during the 88th anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.

Since April 21, the 820-foot-long train has been parked at the Wonsan compound, and it was repositioned for departure on April 23. The train was not present on April 15.

“The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health, but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast,” 38 North wrote.

The Wonsan complex includes nine large guesthouses and a recreation center. At the center of the grounds is a large building that was constructed shortly after Kim Jong Un came to power in 2014. It also includes a protected port, shooting range, recreation building, and a covered dock that is believed for his mega yacht. Adjacent to the railway station is a small runway that was originally used for light aircraft but was converted in the second half of 2019 into a horse-riding track to match Kim’s latest hobby.

If Kim is in Wosan, that will back multiple reports that Kim left Pyongyang to shelter on North Korea’s eastern coast.

However, there are many reports disputing speculation that Kim Jong Un’s health had deteriorated.

According to Reuters: “South Korean government officials and a Chinese official with the Liaison Department challenged subsequent reports suggesting that Kim was in grave danger after surgery. South Korean officials said they had detected no signs of unusual activity in North Korea.”

The South Korean source said Kim was alive and would likely make an appearance soon.

President Donald Trump rejected reports that Kim was gravely ill or dead. “I think the report was incorrect,” Trump told reporters during Thursday’s White House coronavirus news briefing. “I’m hearing they used old documents.”

“I think it was a fake report done by CNN,” Trump added. Trump did not say if he had talked to North Korean officials about the condition of Kim Jong Un.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media, said the rumors of Kim’s declining health is “speculation.”

This isn’t the first time that there have been rampant rumors regarding the decline of the hermit kingdom’s leader. In 2014, Kim Jong Un had not been seen in nearly six weeks before returning and needing a cane to walk. South Korean intelligence said Kim had undergone surgery to remove a cyst from his ankle.

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Lindsey Graham drops bombshell, explains why he believes Kim Jong Un is ‘dead or incapacitated’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed on Saturday that he would “be shocked” if North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is not dead or medically incapacitated.

Speaking on Fox News, Graham said he did not have direct knowledge about Kim’s situation, but said the rumors about his health are probably more truth than fiction.

“Well, it’s a closed society, I don’t know anything directly,” Graham said. “But I’d be shocked if he’s not dead or in some incapacitated state because you don’t let rumors like this go forever or go unanswered in a closed society, which is really a cult, not a country, called North Korea.”

“So I pretty well believe he is dead or incapacitated,” he said.

“And I hope the long-suffering North Korean people will get some relief if he is dead, and President Trump’s willing to do business with North Korea in a win-win fashion,” Graham continued. “So, if this guy is dead, I hope the next person who takes over will work with President Trump to make North Korea a better place for everybody.”

Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As TheBlaze reported, Japanese media has reported that Kim was left in a “vegetative state” following complications during a recent surgery. According to the report, Kim underwent surgery after suddenly collapsing during a visit to parts of rural North Korea.

The development followed a CNN report last week that indicated Kim’s health was in “grave danger.” The South Korean government pushed back against those claims, and top U.S. military personnel said they had no reason to believe Kim was not in control of North Korea.

Kim has not been seen publicly for weeks, and he missed celebrating a major North Korean holiday on Saturday.

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Report: Kim Jong Un left in ‘vegetative state’ following complications during surgery

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly in a “vegetative state” following complication during a recent surgery.

Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai reported that Kim collapsed during a recent visit to a rural part of North Korea.

In response, a team of Chinese medical experts were rushed to North Korea. The team determined that Kim would need a stent to open a congested blood vessel.

More from Fox News:

Shukan Gendai subsequently detailed how the surgeon in charge of Kim’s operation was not used to dealing with obese patients and was too nervous during the operation, leading to delays that left Kim in a “vegetative state.”

The magazine cited an unnamed member of Kim’s medical team.

Reuters reported on Friday that China has, indeed, dispatched a team of medical experts to help North Korea with Kim’s health.

Concerns over Kim’s health surfaced this week after CNN reported that U.S. officials were monitoring intelligence that indicated Kim’s health was in “grave danger.” was in “grave danger.”

Subsequent reports said that U.S. officials were trying to determine North Korea’s line of succession should Kim die.

However, South Korea later pushed back against the reports. They said Kim was handling affairs in North Korea as usual. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten then said the U.S. military had “no reason not to assume” that Kim was still alive and in control of his country.

Kim was absent from a major North Korean holiday on Saturday, and his whereabouts remain officially unknown.

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MSNBC’s Katy Tur under fire for tweeting and deleting: ‘Kim Jong Un is brain dead’

MSNBC’s Katy Tur apologized after tweeting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “brain dead” following a surgery.

CNN announced on Monday that Kim recently had a surgery and had suffered complications as a result.

What are the details?

To her 724,000+ Twitter followers, Tur wrote, “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is brain dead, according to two US officials. He recently had cardiac surgery and slipped into a coma, according to one US current and one former US official. @NBCNews confirms and adds to CNN scoop.”

Following apparent questions — and swift backlash — over the tweet, Tur deleted the tweet.

“I’ve deleted that last tweet out of an abundance of caution,” she admitted. “Waiting on more info. Apologies.”

At the time of this writing, Tur has not tweeted further on the alleged status of Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean leader has reportedly not been seen in public since April 11.

You can read more about Monday’s late-breaking story here and here.

What else?

On Monday night, CNN’s Jim Sciutto said, “I’m told by a U.S. official with direct knowledge that the U.S. is monitoring intelligence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in grave danger following a surgery.

“Now we should note that Kim, he recently missed the celebration of his grandfather Kim Il Sung’s birthday on April 15,” he added. “This raised speculation about his wellbeing, about his health.”

The Los Angeles Times later announced, “The Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that gathers information from informants inside the isolated nation, reported Tuesday that Kim underwent ‘a cardiovascular surgical procedure’ and was now mostly recovered.” The Times noted, however, that it was it was “impossible to immediately verify the report, which the Daily NK said was based on one person inside North Korea.”

On Tuesday, national security adviser Robert O’Brien appeared on Fox News and promised that the U.S. is “keeping a close eye” on the reports.

“We’re monitoring these reports very closely,” O’Brien said. “As you know, North Korea is a very closed society.”


Kim Jong-Un in ‘grave danger’ after heart surgery: Report

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BREAKING: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ‘in grave danger following a surgery’: report

The United States is reportedly investigating intelligence information that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s “health is in grave danger following a surgery,” according to a new report from CNN.

What are the details?

CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted Monday evening that “The US is monitoring intelligence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health is in grave danger following a surgery, a US official with direct knowledge tells me.”

Sciutto then linked to a full story from CNN, found here.

Kim has not been seen in public since April 11.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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North Korea denies having any COVID-19 cases — but privately requests medical aid, new report says

North Korea is reportedly requesting medical aid from other countries, though it has thus far denied having any COVID-19 cases.

What are the details?

According to The Hill, which cited a Thursday Financial Times report, North Korean officials are privately requesting “unspecified aid” because they fear there won’t be enough testing kits for the country.

The outlet reported that the official number of reported cases in North Korea are zero at the time of this writing.

A source said, “The government has testing kits for COVID-19 and they know how to use them, but [the number of kits are] not sufficient, hence, [officials are] requesting all organizations … to support them in this regard.”

The Financial Times also reported that the country has tested at least 590 citizens, but none of them reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Last week, a
Reuters report noted that officials requested aid from agencies including masks and testing kits.

One source told Reuters, “North Koreans need assistance and have asked for it, but things are now on hold.”

Nagi Shafik, a former World Health Organization project chief and UNICEF official in Pyongyang, told
Business Insider that there’s a real concern over a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in North Korea.

“There’s not enough medicine for the country,” Shafik said. “I’m really concerned about them facing an outbreak.”

North Korea closed its border with China in January.

What else?

Reuters reported that the country is “especially vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak as its health system lacks resources … because of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.”

The Reuters report added, “Aid groups have made urgent pleas for the United Nations to grant sanctions exemptions and it has approved six-month waivers for the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Doctors without Borders to send thermometers, portable ventilators, resuscitators, gloves, face shields, surgical masks, gowns and goggles.”

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CNN host compares President Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un over coronavirus

The mainstream media’s criticism of President Donald Trump has been fierce in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. On Sunday, that criticism reached a fever pitch when a CNN host compared Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

In a lengthy monologue on his CNN show, Fareed Zakaria blasted Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, partially blamed the president for the economic downturn, and claimed the pandemic “seems to have been designed to bring out the worst of Trump.”

“The president doesn’t like or trust experts, often explaining that he knows more than they do. He has bluffed and fibbed his way through much of his life and thinks nothing of doing so again,” Zakaria said.

“In most global crises, the United States takes the lead and provides comfort and assurances to the world. In this one, Trump has been mostly AWOL,” he continued. “When he does appear, it is to blame the disease on foreigners and announce policies that are designed to reinforce that view. The broad collapse in global markets is surely, in part, a reaction to the vast vacuum of leadership in the White House.”

Zakaria went on to claim that Trump has been “emulating” Kim Jong Un.

“Donald Trump views everything from the narcissistic prism of his ego,” Zakaria said. “He dismisses opposing views and insists that even the senior-most members of his administration repeatedly praise him and his leadership at all times.”

“Watching the heads of America’s leading science agencies prefacing their statements with ritual praise for the dear leader has been deeply depressing,” he continued.

“Come to think of it, the Trump administration has been copying the wrong Korea. Instead of the intelligence and expertise of South Korea, it is emulating the sycophancy, incompetence, and propaganda of North Korea,” Zakaria said.

Zakaria’s comparison of Trump to the North Korean dictator was prefaced with a comparison between the response of the U.S. and South Korea to the coronavirus. While the U.S. has tested relatively few people — more than 10,000, but less than 20,000 — South Korea is testing tens of thousands of its citizens per day.


Fareed Zakaria: Crisis brings out the worst in Trump

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Bloomberg story laments that climate change is hampering Kim Jong Un’s plans for ski resorts

Apparently, global warming and the coronavirus are making North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s propaganda and economic efforts difficult for him.

According to a story published Thursday at Bloomberg Green, the dictator’s efforts to boost the country’s international profile via ski resorts in the country are supposedly being threatened by rising global temperatures. Should the world feel bad for the communist strongman?

Here’s a selection from the piece:

The North Korean leader, who once went to school in Switzerland, has made tourism a centerpiece of his economic vision since taking power almost a decade ago, building ski resorts to attract winter-sports enthusiasts and hard currency.

But with the coronavirus spreading in China, Kim has shut the border to his neighbor, cutting off the largest group of tourists to North Korea. Worse still, like other snow centers from the French Alps to Japan, North Korea is falling victim to changing Arctic weather patterns that are warming winters and reducing the levels of snow on lower slopes.

North Korea, a mountainous country roughly at the same latitude as Colorado, reported this month that higher-than-usual temperatures are causing “abnormal climatic phenomena.” South Korea’s weather office says average temperatures in its northern neighbor will probably rise 15% by 2040 from 1981-2010 levels.

The story goes on to describe how the dictator built his first ski resort in Masikryong in 2013, recently cut the ribbon on another in December, and is his hoping to rebuild another one by the end of the year. The one completed late last year even has hot springs and a horse racetrack to boot.

“Kim’s enthusiasm for luxury resorts isn’t just about propaganda,” the authors write. “The growing number of tourists from around the world seeking new adventures, and the rapid increase in international travelers from neighboring China present a valuable potential source of foreign reserves.”

The story goes on to describe the experiences of two skiers who have traveled to the Hermit Kingdom to hit the slopes. One 39-year-old skier named Christian told the outlet that his trip last year was almost canceled because of a “really bad snow season” there and said he was “lucky” that the place was open when he arrived.

A German skier named Ralph said that Masikryong was right up there with some of his other favorite destinations around the world and that the threat of global warming posed to it was “on the same level as lower-lying small European ski resorts.”

“Hopefully for Korea it will get more relaxed and more people will be able to enjoy it,” Ralph told the outlet via outlet. “I would truly love to go back there.”

The story was also promoted via Twitter video on Bloomberg Asia’s account, complete with a picture of Kim riding a white horse through snow-covered pine trees.

“Kim Jong Un dreamed of turning North Korea into a skiing paradise,” the tweet said. “Now those plans are melting away due to climate change.”

The coverage here offers such a rosy depiction of Kim’s ski tourism efforts and the resorts themselves that one can almost forget that it’s a story about an oppressive communist regime if they’re not careful. But we are, in fact, talking about a very oppressive regime here.

“Surveillance is pervasive, arbitrary arrests and detention are common, and punishments for political offenses are severe” in North Korea, according to Freedom House. “While some social and economic changes have been observed in recent years, including a growth in small-scale private business activity, human rights violations are still widespread, grave, and systematic.”

Human Rights Watch similarly describes the country as “one of the world’s most repressive states.”

Then there are, of course, the disturbing reports forced abortions, the “horrific conditions” that political prisoners are subjected to, and Kim’s proclivity for brutal executions of regime officials.

Given all of that information, is anyone really supposed to be remotely concerned about the fate of Kim’s luxury ski resorts? A fate that may or may not come to fruition over the next two decades if the reported projections are to be believed?

The only real victims in this situation are the countless North Koreans who have suffered under Kim’s iron rule while their dictator tries his hand at creating winter vacation destinations meant to bring in foreign money and — as the story puts it — “ski his way out of international sanctions.”

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