North Korea

Tillerson to warn China of sanctions over North Korea

Tillerson will deliver this message on his first official trip to Asia, a three-country tour that promises to be a tightrope walk of diplomatic tensions -- and nowhere more so than in Beijing, North Korea's closest ally and protector.

Kim Jong-nam death: Malaysian UN workers leave North Korea

The pair, who are employed by the World Food Programme (WFP), arrived in Beijing on Thursday.

North Korea and Malaysia on Tuesday banned each other's citizens from leaving, in a row over the killing of the North Korean leader's half-brother.

Kim Jong-nam was killed with a potent nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Malaysia has not directly blamed North Korea for this, but there is widespread suspicion Pyongyang was responsible.

Malaysia blames North Korea for Kim Jong Nam's death

It comes amid a deepening diplomatic row over the February killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

"What we are facing now is the result of their action in assassinating their own citizen in Malaysia, on Malaysian soil, using a strictly banned chemical weapon," Najib told state media agency Bernama Wednesday.

A press official for Najib confirmed the comments to CNN. North Korea has repeatedly denied any involvement in Kim Jong Nam's murder.

Malaysia accuses North Korea of holding citizens 'hostage'

North Korean state media reported Tuesday that Pyongyang will not allow Malaysian nationals inside North Korea to leave until Kuala Lumpur guarantees the safety of its own diplomats and citizens in Malaysia.

Of the Malaysians believed to be in North Korea, four are embassy staff and their families, plus two United Nations employees, a Malaysian government official told CNN.

"This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement Tuesday.

Malaysians 'banned from leaving North Korea'

The state news agency KCNA said the ban would stay in place "until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved".

Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, was killed in Malaysia last month.

North Korea has denied accusations that it carried out the killing.

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan, PM Abe says

The move comes as South Korea and the United States are holding their joint military exercises, which Pyongyang sees as preparations for an invasion.

Kwon Ki-joon, a spokesman for the South Korea Defense Ministry spokesman, said "several projectiles" flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

The firing took place in Tongchang-ri, in the country's North Pyongan province, and the projectiles are believed to have landed in the Sea of Japan, which is also known as the East Sea, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry official.

Top source: Trump believes North Korea is greatest threat

Trump has already called on China to take action to rein in North Korea, over which China has considerable influence and leverage, the official said.

"You gotta work on North Korea," Trump told a Chinese official on Monday, the senior administration official said, apparently pointing to a brief meeting at the White House Monday between Trump and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the highest-ranking Chinese official Trump has met with since taking office.

North Korea executed 5 security officials, South Korea says

The deputy minister-level officials had worked under the recently fired state security chief Kim Won Hong, and are believed to have been executed for making false reports to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to two parliamentarians who had been briefed by South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS).

"Kim Won Hong, the state security chief, is in a house arrest situation after an investigation and more than five deputy minister-level officials who worked under him have been executed by anti-aircraft guns," South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee said.

Trump administration nixes informal talks with North Korea

     

The back-channel talks were to be held in New York between the US experts and a six-member team of North Koreans led by Choe Son-hui, the director of the American affairs bureau of the country's foreign ministry.

Donald Zagoria, the head of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, an advocacy group that was organizing the talks, emailed participants Friday morning to say next week's meeting would proceed as scheduled after receiving assurances that the visas would be granted, the two participants said.

VX nerve agent used to kill Kim Jong Nam

Nerve agents are the most toxic and fast-acting substance known in chemical warfare -- and VX is the most potent of all of them, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.