North Korea's Olympic Committee has decided not to participate in the 32nd Olympic Games in order to protect its players from the world public health crisis caused by Covid-19, the country's sports ministry says.
The test-fires were Pyongyang’s first major provocation since President Biden took office in January, an apparent move to pressure the US administration and to boost North Korea’s leverage in future talks.
The move was downplayed by the Biden administration officials as "common" military testing, saying they would not block Washington's efforts to engage with North Korea on denuclearisation.
North Korean state news agency KCNA reports that the country's authorities are considering ways to hand over the body of the slain official to the South if it is found.
South Korea has accused Pyongyang of fatally shooting one of its public servants, who was likely trying to defect, and burning his body after finding him on a floating object in North Korean waters earlier this week.
Seoul says the suspected defector was killed at sea and his body burned as a coronavirus precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours.
South Korea made the statement after the sister of North Korea's leader warned of retaliatory measures against the country over anger toward defectors sending back propaganda leaflets.
A stronger relationship between the two will trigger another headache for the US, but this time in its own hemisphere.
Rumours have been circulating about the health status of North Korea's leader, who was last seen in public on April 11 and was not in attendance for the country's most important holiday.
A barrage of North Korean missiles fired from both the ground and fighter jets splashed down on the waters off the country’s east coast, a show of force on the eve of a key state anniversary in the north and elections in the rival south.
The string of weapons drills come as a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States drags on, and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the pandemic.
State media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised his second live-fire artillery exercise in a week
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