North Korea

On Monday afternoon, a security engineer named Matt Bryant stumbled upon a part of the Internet that is usually hidden from most of the world: a list of websites available to people with Internet access in North Korea.

The total number of sites was just 28.

Bryant's list includes every site ending in .kp, which is the country code associated with North Korea.

The ground had barely stopped shaking from North Korea's most recent nuclear test last week when the international condemnations began.

A powerful typhoon in North Korea has caused devastating floods, killing more than 130 people and displacing at least 100,000, according to United Nations agencies.

Typhoon Lionrock struck North Korea about two weeks ago. It triggered floods that have left at least 138 people dead and some 400 others missing, the U.N. resident coordinator's office says.

Days after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet, two U.S. bombers flew over South Korea in a display of force — a warning to Pyongyang and reassurance to Seoul.

"U.S. and South Korean fighter jets escorted the bombers in their low-altitude flight over South Korea's Osan Air Base ... about an hour from the border between North and South Korea," NPR's Elise Hu reports. She says the supersonic B-1B Lancers are based in Guam.

Updated 11:15 a.m. ET

North Korea confirmed it has conducted its fifth test of a nuclear weapon, the second this year. The test occurred Friday morning local time and triggered a magnitude 5.3 seismic event.

The North's state TV said the test "examined and confirmed" the design of a nuclear warhead intended for placement on a ballistic missile. It said there was no leakage of radioactivity. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said radiation levels in its border region with North Korea were normal.

The North Korean regime's network of overseas restaurants have enjoyed a bit of renown this year, after the defection en masse of 13 restaurant workers from one of the Pyongyang dining outposts in Northeastern China this spring.

Those restaurant workers are now in South Korea, having absconded in a coordinated defection that is the biggest mass-defection from North Korea in history.

As world leaders were gathered in China for the G-20 summit, North Korea launched three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, NPR's Elise Hu reports.

The launch — the latest in a series of North Korean missile tests that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions — came on the final day of the summit. U.S. Strategic Command tracked the launch, and a spokesman says the missiles began by the western city of Hwangju and passed over North Korea before traveling off the country's eastern coast and into the sea of Japan.

The U.S. and South Korea began annual military drills today amid heightened inter-Korean tensions and threats of a nuclear strike from the North.

In a statement, U.S. and South Korean forces described the 12-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian war games as "non-provocative in nature" and designed to enhance "readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula."

North's Korea's No. 2 diplomat in the U.K. has defected to South Korea — one of the highest-ranking officials to do so, according to South Korea.

A spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry announced Wednesday that London-based Thae Yong Ho had recently arrived in the country and that he and his family are now under government protection, the Yonhap News Agency reports.

The U.S. is imposing a new round of sanctions on North Korea — this time for human rights abuses. The sanctions target senior officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, and are part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. to isolate the government. This is the first time that Kim has been directly targeted with sanctions.

The Obama administration says human rights abuses in North Korea are among the worst in the world.

A once-in-a-generation gathering of the North Korean ruling party is happening in Pyongyang, where leader Kim Jong Un has laid out his plans for the country's future. But the new vision for North Korea — parallel economic and nuclear development — looks a lot like the old one.

In a broadcast shown on state television, Kim spoke to thousands of the ruling party elite for a marathon three hours on Saturday, with occasional interruptions of frenzied applause from the audience.

At a rare political event in Pyongyang, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un told party members that the country would not carry out a nuclear strike unless its sovereignty is violated.

This comes after the country has carried out a series of provocative weapons tests. During his remarks at the Workers Party Conference, Kim vowed to push forward with nuclear development despite international pressure.

NPR's Elise Hu tells our Newscast unit that this is "the highest level political convening in North Korea and the first of its kind since 1980." Here's more from Elise:

North Korea's Supreme Court has sent another U.S. citizen to prison, sentencing a Korean-American man to 10 years in prison and hard labor over espionage charges. Kim Dong-chul, 62, is reportedly a former resident of Fairfax, Va.

North Korea claims that it has conducted a successful test of an engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile, which it says would boost its ability to carry out a nuclear attack on the U.S.

It's not possible to verify the claim, which follows a series of weapons tests from the isolated nation.

South Korea is a place where appearance really matters. The country's cosmetic surgery prowess is known the world over. It's one of the world's top plastic surgery markets, and by some estimates, more cosmetic procedures are performed here per capita than anywhere else on the planet — mostly facial enhancements such as Botox injections, eyelid jobs or nose jobs.

North Korea fired five short-range missiles into the sea Monday, the South Korean military says.

NPR's Elise Hu in Seoul reports that these are the latest in a string of similar launches, despite repeated calls from the international community to halt them.

"The missiles were fired near the eastern coastal city of Hamhung, and analysts say the short-range projectiles traveled about 120 miles," Elise tells our Newscast unit.

What started out as a budget tour to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, has stretched into an extended stay for 21-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier. State media reported Wednesday that North Korea's highest court convicted Warmbier of subversion and sentenced him to 15 years of prison and hard labor.

The offense? According to an apparent confession, Warmbier tried to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel.

The U.S. and South Korea have started their largest-ever annual joint military exercises amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula — and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has threatened to respond to the exercises with a nuclear offensive.

The U.S. says the Korean People's Army in North Korea was informed about the drills and their dates by the United Nations Command. The maneuvers include a computer simulation of military attacks, as well as maneuvers in the field.

From Seoul, NPR's Elise Hu reports that:

On the heels of new U.N. sanctions that could crimp its economic dealings with China, North Korea has fired six projectiles — possibly rockets or missiles — into the sea on the country's eastern coast, South Korean officials say.

The projectiles that were fired Thursday flew for at least 60 miles before hitting the water, according to media reports in South Korea.

From Seoul, NPR's Elise Hu reports:

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday, in response to a recent nuclear test and rocket launch that violated U.N. resolutions on the country's military activities.

In the wake of North Korea's nuclear weapons test last month and its long-range missile test in early February, the U.S. and China have agreed on a draft U.N. resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea is already under a raft of international sanctions, but the new proposal would tighten them and impose new bans.

About 4,000 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, have landed in South Korea in the past few weeks, to serve along the border of the two Koreas. As policy makers contend with the thorny security challenges of the region, soldiers are adjusting to more day-to-day challenges.

Fresh off the planes from central Texas, the men and women of the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team say it's the snow that made the most noticeable first impression.

As the international community grapples with how best to stymie North Korea's nuclear development, South Korea is making one move on its own. It's shutting down the last remaining vestige of inter-Korean cooperation, the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

The special zone, located north of the border just six miles inside of North Korea, employs an estimated 55,000 North Koreans. South Korea's government and industries pay to operate the park. A total of 124 South Korean companies run businesses and factories there, mostly making goods like shoes and clothing.

"Irresponsible," "senseless," "deplorable," "destabilizing," "totally unacceptable."

North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket has filled the isolated nation with pride — and sparked fierce censure from the rest of the world.

As we reported yesterday, the launch on Sunday morning local time arrives just a month after a nuclear test that had already raised tensions in the area:

On the fifth floor of South Korea's sprawling National Library is a place far more fascinating than its name suggests: The North Korea Information Center.

Here you can read every edition of North Korea's national newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, dating to its first publication. Or peruse a collection of 100,000 North Korean books and videos — fiction, nonfiction and the complete teachings of the autocratic dynasty that runs the country.

North Korean state media said Friday that the country has detained a U.S. student from the University of Virginia for "anti-republic activities."

The state-run agency, KCNA, said the student, Otto Frederick Warmbier, entered North Korea as a tourist but "with a goal to wreck the foundation of state unity ... under the manipulation of the U.S. government."

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it was aware of the report.

The University of Virginia's website lists an undergraduate with that name at the McIntire School of Commerce, the university's business school.

North Korea is getting pressure from its one and only ally, China, to tone down its latest blustery rhetoric and not to conduct a planned space launch or possible nuclear test.

Eric Bridiers / U. S. Mission General

"Early in 2015, Shin Dong-hyuk changed his story.”

The State Department says a U.S. envoy will travel to North Korea this week to seek the release of an American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the authoritarian country.

The visit by Bob King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, will be the first public visit by a senior administration official to North Korea in two years.

A North Korean media outlet has released footage of an interview with Kenneth Bae, the Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years hard labor for what the regime called hostile acts against the state.

In the undated footage released via CNN, Bae said he is mainly working in farm fields, but only for eight hours a day. Bae stated his handlers are “considerate, so I’m not working too hard."

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