Pyongyang - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Pyongyang


North Korea says released Australian student was 'spying'

Jul 06, 2019 - 9:18 PM

Official North Korean news agency KCNA says Australian Alek Sigley had admitted 'he had been spying by collecting our internal information and sharing with others and repeatedly asked for our forgiveness'

Alek Sigley, an Australian student who was detained in North Korea, heads for his departure at the Beijing International airport on July 4, 2019. A 29-year-old Australian student detained in North Korea surfaced in Beijing on July 4, saying he felt "great" after being released. Sigley was expected to travel to Japan, where his wife still lives.  NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP

Australian student detained in North Korea 'released, safe'

Jul 04, 2019 - 12:50 PM

(UPDATED) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Alek Sigley is 'safe and well'

Wife voices 'concern' for Australian missing in North Korea

Jun 28, 2019 - 10:42 AM

Yuka Morinaga, wife of the missing Alek Sigley, says his disappearance in Pyongyang is 'very concerning' and there was not 'anything weird' last time they spoke

MISSING IN NOKOR. This undated handout photo received on June 27, 2019 courtesy of the Sigley family shows Australian student Alek Sigley, one of only a handful of Western students who studies Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University, at an unknown location. Sigley family handout/AFP

Australian student feared detained in North Korea

Jun 27, 2019 - 10:33 AM

(UPDATED) Alek Sigley – who speaks fluent Korean and is one of only a handful of Western students living in Pyongyang – is believed to have been detained sometime in the last 3 days

MISSING. File photo of Australian student Alek Sigley from his Twitter account.

Kim and Xi in Pyongyang talks as both face standoffs with Trump

Jun 20, 2019 - 11:42 AM

(3rd UPDATE) Xi Jinping is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years

XI IN NORTH KOREA. People watch a television news screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping at Pyongyang airport, at Seoul railway station in Seoul on June 20, 2019. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Trump: we paid North Korea nothing for Warmbier's release

Apr 27, 2019 - 8:34 AM

The Washington Post quotes unidentified sources as saying that a US official was made to sign a pledge to pay $2 million in medical costs before being allowed to fly Warmbier back home from Pyongyang in 2017

MOURNING. This handout photo obtained courtesy of the Warmbier family shows a mourner signing a guest book at Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, on June 22, 2017, during the funeral for Otto Warmbier. Photo from the Warmbier Family / AFP Handout / FAMILY HANDOUT / AFP

North Korea blasts U.N. resolution on rights abuse

Dec 25, 2018 - 3:33 PM

This comes after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the 'systematic, widespread, and gross' human rights violations in isolated North Korea

NORTH KOREA. The North Korean flag is seen past a barbed-wire fenced wall of the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur on March 5, 2017. File photo by Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Two Koreas agree to remove some border guard posts

Oct 26, 2018 - 8:27 PM

The two sides agree to withdraw all troops and weaponry from the 11 guard posts along the border and destroy them by the end of November, according to a joint statement released by Seoul's military

PANMUNJEOM. File photo shows a North Korean soldier (left) looking at the south side as a South Korean soldier stands guard during a press tour to the truce village of Panmunjeom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang – Seoul

Sep 06, 2018 - 10:24 AM

Leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in will discuss issues including 'practical measures' to denuclearize the flashpoint peninsula

NEXT SUMMIT. In this file photo, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un (L) shakes hands with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) at the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries at the start of their April summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom. File photo by Korea Summit Press Pool/AFP

Seoul may delay opening North Korea office

Aug 27, 2018 - 3:49 PM

South Korea shelves it plan to open a liaison office in the north after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancel his trip to Pyongyang

This handout from the Blue House taken and released on May 26, 2018 shows South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (L) shaking hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their second summit at the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). South Korea said President Moon Jae-in met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un on May 26 inside the Demilitarised Zone dividing the two nations, a day after US President Donald Trump threatened to abandon a summit with Pyongyang. handout / The Blue House / AFP

Emotional farewells as North and South Koreans part for last time

Aug 23, 2018 - 2:48 PM

The relatives burst into tears when a loudspeaker announcement in a banqueting hall at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort declared: 'The reunion is over.'

FAREWELL. South Koreans (on the bus) wave farewell through the window to their North Korean relatives at the end of a three-day family reunion event at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort on August 22, 2018. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Koreas to hold Pyongyang summit in September

Aug 13, 2018 - 6:41 PM

The two sides 'agreed at the meeting to hold a South-North summit in Pyongyang in September as planned,' the joint statement says, without giving a precise date

DEMILITARIZED ZONE. In this photo taken on August 2, 2017, South Korean soldiers stand before the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom, within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

North Korea slams 'alarming' U.S. impatience on denuclearization

Aug 04, 2018 - 5:23 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'As long as the US does not show in practice its strong will to remove our concerns, there will be no case whereby we will move forward first unilaterally,' says North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on May 29, 2018, shows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) in Washington, DC on May 29, 2018; and Vice Chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee Kim Yong Chol in Pyeongchang on February 25, 2018.  Pompeo will meet in New York this week Kim amid intensifying US-North Korean summit preparations, the White House said on May 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO AND POOL / Mandel NGAN AND Patrick Semansky

North Korea gets illegal oil, enlists Syria arms broker – UN report

Aug 04, 2018 - 2:48 PM

North Korea has flouted the cap on exports of coal, petroleum, weapons, and other products through illegal ship-to-ship transfers, rendering the sanctions hailed by UN 'ineffective'

Ping-pong diplomacy between the two Koreas

Jul 18, 2018 - 10:31 AM

Table tennis has long had an unusual impact in foreign affairs, most notably in the 'ping-pong diplomacy' of the 1970s between China and the US.

AS ONE. File photo shows Pyon Song Gyong of North Korea serving during a match of the Pyongyang Open annual International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) match in Pyongyang. Photo by  Ed Jones/AFP

PDP-Laban to hold historic meeting with North Korean party

Jul 15, 2018 - 4:16 PM

The ruling PDP-Laban says this is the 'first-ever visit by a Philippine political party to the North Korean capital' of Pyongyang

Koreas hold talks on connecting railways

Jun 26, 2018 - 12:56 PM

Linking up the two systems – and modernizing the North's aging rail infrastructure – would give trade-dependent South Korea a land route to the markets of China, Russia, and on to Europe

INTER-KOREAN RAILWAY. In this file photo, South Korean soldiers walk by the inter-Korean railway under construction with a newly-built tunnel near the border with North Korea in Paju, north of Seoul, September 13, 2001. File photo by Kim Jae-hwan/AFP

Singapore top diplomat to visit Pyongyang before Trump-Kim summit

Jun 06, 2018 - 8:33 PM

The announcement comes a day after the White House reveals that the historic June 12 meeting between the US and North Korean leaders will take place in a luxury hotel on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa

SINGAPORE DIPLOMAT. This file picture taken on June 12, 2017 shows Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan speaking during a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. Photo by Greg Baker/AFP

Top North Korean to meet Pompeo ahead of U.S. summit

May 29, 2018 - 6:29 PM

(UPDATED) Officials say General Kim Yong-Chol will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York on Wednesday, May 30, or Thursday, May 31

TOP BRASS. File photo of General Kim Yong Chol (center), who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs for North Korea's ruling Workers' Party. Photo by Korea pool/AFP

North Korea to join efforts for total nuclear weapons test ban

May 15, 2018 - 11:47 PM

Dialogue brokered by Seoul has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war last year to a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12

KOREAS. People watch a screen showing images of (from left) South Korea's president Moon Jae-in, US president Donald Trump, China's president Xi Jinping, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul on May 11, 2018. AFP

North Korea frees 3 U.S. detainees ahead of Trump summit

May 09, 2018 - 9:39 PM

(UPDATED) The release of the 3 had been expected as a goodwill gesture amid preparations for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

FREE. This file picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 25, 2016, shows Korean-American Kim Dong-chul as he addresses a news conference in Pyongyang. Photo by KCNA VIA KNS/AFP

Pompeo in Pyongyang as diplomatic dance speeds up

May 09, 2018 - 12:31 PM

His visit comes as rumors fly over 3 US citizens being held in the North, with suggestions they may have been moved in preparation for a release

China's Xi, North Korea's Kim meet ahead of Trump summit

May 08, 2018 - 11:39 PM

Kim's trip to Dalian is his second visit to China since March, highlighting efforts by the Cold War-era allies to mend relations that have chilled as Beijing has supported UN sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear activities

TALKS. US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping committed to maintaining pressure and sanctions on North Korea, should talks between the US and North Korea backslide. Photos from AFP

Trump suggests Korean truce village for Kim Jong Un summit

Apr 30, 2018 - 9:50 PM

The Peace House in Panmunjeom, the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, was where Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Friday for a historic summit

US President Donald Trump attends a joint press conference with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on November 12, 2017. Trump arrived in the Vietnamese capital on November 11 after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit leaders meetings earlier in the day in Danang. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / LUONG THAI LINH

WATCH: What will happen to the DMZ after the inter-Korea summit?

Apr 23, 2018 - 5:35 PM

Rappler visits the Korean Demilitarized Zone a week before the historic meeting between North Korea's Kim Jong-Un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in

North and South Korea open hotline between leaders

Apr 20, 2018 - 5:41 PM

The line links the presidential Blue House in Seoul with the Pyongyang office of the nuclear-armed North's State Affairs Commission, which Kim Jong-un chairs

DIRECT CALL. A telephone hotline to North Korea is displayed at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on April 20, 2018. Yonhap/AFP

Meet Ri Sol Ju, wife of North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Apr 19, 2018 - 9:29 PM

North Korea state media refers to her as the 'respected First Lady' – the first time the title has been used in more than 40 years, and with the addition of an adjective usually reserved for the country's leaders

FIRST LADY. This video grab taken from footage released by China Central Television (CCTV) on March 28, 2018 shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju waving goodbye as they depart by car following a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing. CCTV / AFP

North Korea rights record likely off table at Korean summit – Seoul

Apr 04, 2018 - 2:23 PM

'In order to enhance dialogue, the topics that both sides have agreed upon will be discussed,' says South Korea's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha

KOREAN SUMMIT. In this file photo, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) delivers a statement during the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministerial Meeting at the 50th ASEAN regional security forum in Manila on August 6, 2017. File photo by Noel Celis/Pool/AFP

Red Velvet, other South Korean musicians leave for Pyongyang performance

Mar 31, 2018 - 3:23 PM

The 120-member group is performing ahead of an inter-Korean summit on April 27

RED VELVET. The South Korean girl group is among the artists headed to the North Korean capital ahead of the inter-Korean summit. Screenshot from

Two Koreas to hold high-level talks ahead of summit

Mar 29, 2018 - 10:27 AM

The meeting comes days after Kim Jong Un made his international debut with a surprise trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping for the first time

PANMUNJOM. A North Korean soldier (L) looks at the south side as a South Korean soldier (R) stands guard during a press tour to the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas on July 19, 2017. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

North Korea agrees to inter-Korean talks next week – Seoul

Mar 24, 2018 - 12:37 PM

Each will send a 3-member delegation to the border truce village of Panmunjeom for talks aimed at paving the way for a rare summit in late April

PANMUNJOM. A North Korean soldier (L) looks at the south side as a South Korean soldier (R) stands guard during a press tour to the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas on July 19, 2017. File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

South Korean envoys in historic trip to meet North's Kim

Mar 05, 2018 - 7:08 PM

In the latest step in an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula, the most senior South Koreans travel North to meet leader Kim Jong Un

PYONGYANG BOUND. A South Korean delegation boards an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang at a military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on March 5, 2018. Photo Jung Yeon-je / pool / AFP

North Korea lambasts U.S. for attaching preconditions for talks

Mar 04, 2018 - 1:11 PM

Pyongyang has long expressed its desire to talk without preconditions, while Washington insists that the isolated regime disarm first

PRECONDITIONS? North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reports works of North Korean Workers Party Central Committee during the 7th Workers Party Congress at the 'April 25 Palace' in Pyongyang. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / STR

North Korea calls UN chief 'henchman' of the U.S.

Feb 23, 2018 - 2:57 PM

North Korea's mission to the United Nations releases a statement complaining of 'reckless remarks' by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the Munich Security Conference last week

UNITED NATIONS. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. File photo by Manuel Elias/UN

U.S., South Korea united despite inter-Korea talks – Pence

Feb 11, 2018 - 10:18 AM

North and South Korea hold talks in conjunction with the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, believed by analysts to undermine alliance between Seoul and Washington

Kim Jong Un invites S. Korea's Moon to Pyongyang

Feb 10, 2018 - 3:49 PM

(2nd UPDATE) The invitation, delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo Jong, says Kim was willing to meet the South's leader 'at the earliest date possible'

DISPATCH. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong hands over an autographed letter from Kim Jong Un to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on February 10, 2018. Photo from Yonhap / AFP

Kim Yo Jong: North Korea's political princess

Feb 09, 2018 - 4:00 PM

Kim Yo Jong made history as the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to set foot in the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War

POWER. Kim Yo Jong (right), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sibling, talks with South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (not pictured) upon her arrival at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on February 9, 2018, to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Photo by Dong-A Ilbo / AFP

U.S. ally Jordan cuts ties with North Korea

Feb 02, 2018 - 9:32 AM

The decision comes months after similar moves by Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, who are also key regional allies of the United States

Rappler on NBI probe, Nene Pimentel on No-El, North and South Koreas in Winter Olympics | Midday wRap

Jan 18, 2018 - 12:24 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Koreas start first official talks in two years

Jan 09, 2018 - 11:19 AM

The talks in Panmunjom, the truce village in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula, comes after the North's leader Kim Jong-Un indicated in his New Year's speech that he could send a delegation to next month's Games in Pyeongchang in the South

TALKS. South Korea Unification Minister Cho Myung-Gyun (left) shakes hands with North Korean chief delegate Ri Son-Gwon during their meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on January 9, 2018.  Korea pool/AFP

Trump says willing to talk with North Korean leader

Jan 07, 2018 - 7:54 AM

'I always believe in talking,' says Trump at the Camp David presidential retreat when asked if he would speak to Kim by phone

This file photo taken on December 18, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump speaking on his national security strategy at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP

Cocaine in Sorsogon, Cuy is DDB chief, Seoul-Pyongyang talks | Midday wRap

Jan 05, 2018 - 1:38 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Marguerite de Leon

North Korea's chilling new weapon: ICBM made of ice

Jan 03, 2018 - 11:46 PM

The star of the Pyongyang Ice Sculpture Festival is the replica of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile

ICY ICBM. A group of men stand before an ice sculpture depicting a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as people mark the new year at the Pyongyang Ice Sculpture Festival on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on December 31, 2017. Photo by Kim Won-Jin/AFP

North Korea could send delegation to South for Winter Olympics – Kim

Jan 01, 2018 - 10:58 AM

The build-up to the event has been overshadowed by tensions running high over the North's escalating nuclear and missile tests

China rejects Trump accusation on oil transfer to North Korea

Dec 29, 2017 - 5:47 PM

(UPDATED) In a tweet, US President Donald Trump accuses China of helping North Korea skirt sanctions

DENIES HELP. China rejects US President Donald Trump's accusation that that it is transferring oil to North Korea amid sanctions. Photo by Aly Song/ AFP

Lavrov, Tillerson discuss need for urgent North Korea negotiations

Dec 27, 2017 - 8:58 AM

'The sides were united in the opinion that nuclear missile projects in North Korea violate the demands of the UN Security Council,' says the Russian foreign ministry after the two men spoke by telephone

NEGOTIATIONS. In this file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on April 12, 2017. State Department photo/ Public Domain

North Korea slams new UN sanctions as an 'act of war' – state media

Dec 24, 2017 - 1:14 PM

It's the first official reaction from Pyongyang, a day after the UN Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions that will restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state

This March 18, 2009 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency shows the launch of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile during a test on March 17. US Missile Defense Agency/Handout/AFP

Olympics chief seeks North Korea visit – report

Dec 08, 2017 - 11:26 AM

South Korean organizers of the Pyeongchang Olympics are pushing for the North to compete as they hope to portray the event as a symbol of peace on the flashpoint peninsula

OLYMPIC CHIEF. International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach at a press conference closing the 125th IOC session on September 10, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

North Korea holds mass celebrations for latest missile test

Dec 02, 2017 - 1:59 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un declares the country has achieved 'full nuclear statehood'

CELEBRATION. This photo taken on November 29, 2017 and released on November 30, 2017 by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows people in Pyongyang celebrating the test of a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Photo by KCNA via KNS /AFP

Russia rejects U.S. call to cut North Korea ties

Nov 30, 2017 - 8:32 PM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accuses the United States of seeking to provoke Kim Jong-Un's regime and demands to know whether Washington was plotting to destroy the isolated country

PROVOCATION. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria in Moscow on November 24, 2017. Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP