North Korea

Pro wrestling returns to the ring in North Korea
North Koreans watch a pro-wrestler leave the fighting arena after a match Aug. 30 in Pyongyang. (AP Photo)
PYONGYANG--North Koreans got their first look at pro wrestling in about 20 years on August 30 when an ex-NFL lineman and 20 other grapplers from around the world took to the...
With eye on China, Japan defense planners seek spending boost
The annual live-firing exercise at the Ground Self-Defense Force Higashi-Fuji training range in Shizuoka Prefecture on Aug. 24 (Yusuke Fukui)
Japan's defense planners are seeking their biggest budget ever for the coming fiscal year to pay for stealth fighters, drones and a hi-tech submarine, as Prime Minister Shinzo...
North Korea calls US 'graveyard of human rights'
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis Aug. 25. (AP Photo)
SEOUL--North Korea's government said August 27 that the police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, is evidence that the United States is a...
HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA: Defector carried knife for suicide to...
North Korean women wash clothes in the Yalu River on the border with China under the watchful eye of North Korean security officials. (Koichiro Ishida)
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Asahi Shimbun Digital website and part of a series of articles titled "HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA."
HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA: Purge of N. Korea’s No. 2 man left...
Jang Song Thaek, center, in Beijing in August 2012 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Asahi Shimbun Digital website and part of a series of articles titled "HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA."
North Korea on major sports drive, says Pyongyang official
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches a basketball game with former U.S. professional basketball player Dennis Rodman, right, in Pyongyang in January. (Korea News Service)
SEOUL--North Korea hopes to harness the power of sport to raise its image on the world stage through international competitions such as the Olympic Games, and to bolster labor...
Pope tells Asia's communist nations not to fear Christians
Pope Francis baptizes Lee Ho-jin, the father of one of the children who died in South Korea's Sewol ferry disaster, in Seoul on Aug. 17. (AP Photo)
HAEMI, South Korea--Pope Francis, in remarks clearly intended for communist-ruled countries such as China, North Korea and Vietnam, said on Aug. 17 that Asian governments...
Yokotas keep fingers crossed they will finally get word on Megumi
Sakie and Shigeru Yokota during the interview at their Kawasaki home (Takeshi Kawai)
KAWASAKI--September can't arrive soon enough for Shigeru and Sakie Yokota.
Beijing allowing N. Korean officials to capture defectors on...
The Yalu river in China's Liaoning province, which North Korean defectors cross when fleeing their home country, is shown. A North Korean village is seen in the background. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SHENYANG, China--North Korean agents are searching for and detaining defectors from the reclusive country hiding on the Chinese side of their shared border, all with the...
Papal visit underscores religious divide in Koreas
Pope Francis is greeted by the faithful upon his arrival for the Mass of Assumption of Mary at a stadium in Daejeon, South Korea, on Aug. 15. (AP Photo)
Yes, North Korea has Catholics. It even has a Catholic church.
Japan imposes asset freeze on N. Korean shipping firm
The North Korean cargo ship Chong Chon Gang, operated by Ocean Maritime Management, was seized in July 2013 when it was passing the Panama Canal carrying weapons from Cuba. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan on Aug. 15 froze the assets of the operator of a North Korean ship seized for smuggling arms, the Foreign Ministry said, just as Tokyo is engaged in talks with Pyongyang...
N.Korea: rocket firing not timed to coincide with papal visit to...
Pope Francis during a mass at a soccer stadium in Daejeon, South Korea, on Aug. 15 (The Asahi Shimbun)
SEOUL--North Korea said on Aug. 15 its firing of three short-range rockets shortly before Pope Francis arrived in the South Korean capital the previous day had nothing to do...
North Korea's Christians kept in the dark about pope's visit to...
A scene from Kim Jin-moo's "The Apostles," a 2013 movie about the faithful in North Korea’s "underground churches" (Provided by Taepung Korea Co.)
SEOUL--Christians in North Korea who have to practice their faith in secrecy won't be hearing any messages of peace issued by Pope Francis during his five-day visit to South...
UPDATE: North Korea fires 5 short-range rockets as pope visits...
A test launch of a North Korean tactical rocket. (From Rodong Sinmun Website)
SEOUL, South Korea--Pope Francis became the first pontiff in 25 years to visit South Korea on Aug. 14, bringing a message of peace and reconciliation to the war-divided...
N. Korea's new foreign minister leaves his mark on international...
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong arrives at a hotel in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on Aug. 9. (Akihiko Kaise)
SEOUL--North Korea's new foreign minister hit the diplomatic circuit in earnest at a key ASEAN conference in Myanmar, in an apparent effort to end Pyongyang's international...
Kishida meets with foreign ministers of China, N. Korea in Myanmar
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Asahi Shimbun photos)
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar--Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Chinese and North Korean counterparts here in hopes of improving Japan's unstable relations with the two nations.
Pyongyang will demand commensurate action by Tokyo over abduction...
When North Korean General Secretary Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, a debate emerged over a possible transition to a collective leadership system due to the “insufficient...
PHOTO: An afternoon on Moran Hill, where Pyongyang beats the heat
North Korean students practice Taekwondo at the Moranbong or Moran Hill in Pyongyang July 31, 2014. (AP Photo)
PYONGYANG--Along with its towering monuments to socialism, bronze statues of its leaders and sprawling plazas for mass political gatherings and military parades, North Korea's...
South Korea says North Korea fires 4 projectiles
A mock Scud-B missile of North Korea, left, and other South Korean missiles are displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul May 20, 2013. (AP Photo)
SEOUL--North Korea fired four short-range projectiles toward the ocean off its east coast on July 30 in its latest in a series of missile and artillery tests, officials said.
EDITORIAL: Japan must tell North Korea that its provocations are...
A photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on June 30 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watching an earlier test launch of a tactical rocket. (Korea News Service)
North Korea has kept up a series of provocative missile launches this year. In its latest test, apparently a political gesture, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic...