North Korea

“Suspicious Activity” Reported At Secret North Korean Nuclear Complex

Recent satellite imagery shows “suspicious activity” at North Korea’s nuclear complex in what could be a sign that Pyongyang might be trying to harvest weapons-grade plutonium from spent nuclear fuel, a U.S. website monitoring the North said Monday. The website 38 North said in a report that the satellite imagery has shown “exhaust plumes” from a… Read More

US Expert Calls For More Serious Attention To N. Korea’s H-Bomb Claims

The United States should more seriously take North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s claims that the country has developed hydrogen bombs, an expert said, pointing out that the international community has often incorrectly underestimated Pyongyang’s capabilities. The North’s leader made the H-bomb claims last week, saying the country has become a “powerful nuclear weapons state.” It was… Read More

Talking Again: North and South Korea Hold Talks In Effort To Boost Ties

North and South Korea have held high-level talks at a North Korean border town, aiming to ease tensions and improve ties that degenerated after a military standoff in August. Hwang Boo-gi, South Korea’s vice unification minister, met his North Korean counterpart on Friday at the jointly run industrial park just over the border in the North’s… Read More

Dozens Of Boats Filled With Dead Bodies Keep Washing Up On The Japanese Shoreline

By Erika Hills

Something very strange is washing up on the shores of Japan. Dozens of old boats, filled with dead bodies keep finding their way to the coastline of the world’s third largest economy.

According to The Japan Times, it has become a yearly occurrence for wrecked ships to drift in the seas near Japan by the dozens.

Between 2013 and 2014, 145 boats were found by officials.

In total, 34 have been found this year, including boats that were discovered within the past two months. These ghost ships are thought to have originated in North Korea.

Most recently, on Nov. 20, officials discovered 10 bodies in three boats off the coast of Ishikawa Prefecture. Just a mere two days later, a fourth boat was found.

Carrying a nearly intact body with the head, six skulls, as well as other bones and remains, there it drifted an hour from the location of the other three boats, at Fukui Prefecture.

“There’s no doubt that the boats are North Korean,” John Nilsson-Wright, the head of the Asia program at the Chatham House policy institute told CNN.

Japanese Coast Guard officials said that for the past two months, 11 fishing boats with bodies on board have been found. They carry equipment, nets, and signs written in Korean, including one saying “Korean People’s Army,” the North Korean army, on it.

WATCH: Japanese TV report on a ship that washed ashore

Coast Guard spokesman, Yoshiaki Hiroto, said the small size and poor condition of the 10-to-12 meter long boats are not typical of South Korea or Japan.

Hiroto told the AP that evidence suggests the vessels are from the Korean Peninsula.

A tattered scrap of cloth on one of the boats also points to where they sailed from, as it looks like it could be the North Korean national flag, according to Japan broadcaster, NHK.

“There’s no doubt that the boats are North Korean,” John Nilsson-Wright, the head of the Asia program at the Chatham House policy institute told CNN.

Upon examining photos of the boats, Nilsson-Wright determined the lettering is Korean or Hangul.

Along with the tattered cloth and “Korean People’s Army,” sign, Nilsson-Wright said it is “very logical” to say the boats are from North Korea.

He believes one possibility is that people are trying to flee the regime, although he added that it is impossible to truly know with the limited information authorities have.

CNN reports that local Japanese media have been indicating that fishing boats under the command of the Korean People’s Army could have fallen victim to Kim Jong Un’s pressure for them to catch more fish.

Experts say that due to this, boats also may have drifted off course, ill-equipped to handle the harsh seas.

Cover Photo Credit: Mario Micklisch/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Kim Jong Un Always Travels With A Personal Toilet

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is not exactly known as a man of the people.

After all, this is the guy who had his own uncle shot because he somehow ran afoul of his nephew’s views. And oh yeah, many people in his country are starving to death and have nearly no rights to speak of.

That’s why the news out this morning that Kim doesn’t use public restrooms when he travels around his country but instead uses portable toilets built into all of his large vehicles is not really that surprising. But it does speak to the level at which Kim is kept inside an ivory tower in the regime.

According to the Daily NK (and republished by the Guardian), Kim is never that far away from a toilet.

“The restrooms are not only in Kim Jong Un’s personal train but whatever small or midsize cars he is traveling with and even in special vehicles that are designed for mountainous terrain or snow,” a source close to the Escort Command who guards the leader told the Daily NK. “There are multiple vehicles within the convoy so that people cannot tell which one he is in, and there is a separate car that acts as his restroom.”

Kim took power after the death of his father in 2011 and is the scion to a cult of personality that has ruled the dictatorial communist nation since 1948. As such, Kim is projected as a god like figure to the North Korean public and a source told the Daily NK that it would be “unfathomable” to imagine the Supreme Leader using a public restroom.

“He has to travel around the entire country for field guidance, so there always needs to be a personal restroom exclusively for the Suryeong [Supreme Leader] Kim Jong Un,” the source told Daily NK. “It is unthinkable in a Suryeong-based society for him to have to use a public restroom just because he travels around the country.”

More from the Daily NK story:

“The source went on to explain that preparation for ‘No. 1 events’ that involve the leader is as elaborate as can be, including his use of the restroom. Because the matter requires absolute secrecy, it can also be one of the most challenging and sensitive issues for members of the Escort Command.

Another reason why the leader uses exclusive facilities is for periodic examination of his urine and fecal matter to ensure the leader is free of illness and in overall good health, according to the source.”

In more serious North Korea news, CNN is reporting that another close advisor to Kim may have been purged in recent days, sparking additional questions about the leaders grip on power.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: thierry ehrmann/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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