TOP News

World: North Korean Defector Says Leader Kim's 'Days Are Numbered'

Elite North Korean defector says more diplomats waiting to defect to Seoul - Yonhap

  Elite North Korean defector says more diplomats waiting to defect to Seoul - Yonhap More high-level North Korean diplomats are waiting to defect to South Korea from their overseas posts in Europe, Pyongyang's former deputy ambassador to London said on Tuesday, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Thae Yong Ho defected to South Korea in August last year and since December 2016 has been speaking to local media and appearing on variety television shows to discuss his defection to Seoul and his life as a North Korean envoy."A significant number of North Korean diplomats came to South Korea recently," Thae said, according to Yonhap."I am not the only one from Europe.

North Korean elites have turned their backs on leader Kim Jong Un and dissent is on the rise, according to a recent defector who was formerly a Pyongyang's deputy ambassador to the U.K.

North Korea may test-launch ICBM soon - South Korean media

  North Korea may test-launch ICBM soon - South Korean media North Korea may be preparing to test-launch a new, upgraded prototype of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korean media reported on Thursday, citing military sources.In his New Year's speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country was close to test launching an ICBM, and state media has said a launch could come at any time. Experts on the isolated nuclear capable country's missile programme believe the claims to be credible.

"Kim Jong Un's days are numbered," Thae Yong Ho told a press conference in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Wednesday.

Despite official efforts to tightly restrict the flow of information in the country, "control over the residents has been collapsing due to information seeping in," he added.

"Low-level dissent or criticism of the regime, until recently unthinkable, is becoming more frequent," added Thae, who defected to South Korea along with his wife and children in August 2016.

"The Kim Jong Un regime even abuses the love between parents and children"

Thae has been making media appearances since his defection and giving insights into what life is like inside the poor, authoritarian and nuclear-armed country. Wednesday was the first time he had spoken had spoken with overseas media outlets.

North Korean experts explain what Kim Jong Un wants

  North Korean experts explain what Kim Jong Un wants In the next four years, North Korea may join China and Russia as the only countries with the ability to reach the US's West Coast with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.WASHINGTON — In the next four years, North Korea may join China and Russia as the only countries with the ability to reach the US's West Coast with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

Discussing the reasons for his defection, Thae said that his two university-aged sons were the trigger for his decision to abandon the regime.

He said that after coming to London, his sons asked him why North Korea did not allow the internet, why there was no proper legal system in the country and why officials were executed without trial.

He added that his sons were mocked by their British friends, over North Korea's system of government, as well as their haircuts.

Image: Kim Jong Un © North Korean leader Kim Jong Un listens during the party congress in Pyongyang, North Korea, on May ... Image: Kim Jong Un

"This … brought a kind of debate inside my family. My sons kept on asking me why and I had to tell them the truth," he said.

Thae said that, unlike many North Korean diplomats, he was able to bring both of his children to the U.K. with him, which spurred him to act.

North Korean diplomats posted overseas are "forced to leave one of their children in Pyongyang as a hostage," he added.

North Korean elite turning against leader Kim: defector

  North Korean elite turning against leader Kim: defector The North Korean elite are outwardly expressing their discontent towards young leader Kim Jong Un and his government as more outside information trickles into the isolated country, North Korea's former deputy ambassador to London said on Wednesday.Thae Yong Ho defected to South Korea in August last year and since December 2016 has been speaking to media and appearing on variety television shows to discuss his defection to Seoul and his life as a North Korean envoy.

Related: North Korea Warns It Would Use Nuclear Weapons First If Threatened

"The Kim Jong Un regime even abuses the love between parents and children to control diplomats," he said.

He concluded that his children would have "miserable" lives if they returned to North Korea.

"My sons are happy because they are now feeling true freedom in South Korea," he said. "When they got out of the embassy I told them that I am now cutting off the chain of slavery and you are now free men."

Thae also spoke about his disaffection with the Kim Jong Un regime.

"When Kim Jong Un first came to power I was hopeful that he would make reasonable and rational decisions to save North Korea from poverty. But I soon fell into despair watching him purging officials for no proper reason," he said.

The former deputy ambassador is the highest-ranking North Korean official to defect and enter public life in South Korea since the 1997 defection of Hwang Jang Yop, who was responsible for crafting "Juche" — North Korea's state ideology, which blends elements of Marxism with ultra-nationalism.

Brown's 30 helps Miami beat No. 9 North Carolina 77-62

  Brown's 30 helps Miami beat No. 9 North Carolina 77-62 Freshman Bruce Brown needed only 11 shots to score a career-high 30 points, and the Miami Hurricanes deployed a swarming zone defense Saturday to upset the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels 77-62.The Tar Heels' point total was a season low and 27 below their average, and they shot only 35 percent. The Hurricanes repeatedly got their hands on the ball against the taller Tar Heels, especially in the lane.

Thae also warned that the Kim Jong Un regime would have to be removed in order to solve the nuclear weapons crisis on the Korean peninsula.

North Korean officials have said they could try and target the U.S. mainland if American nuclear forces mobilized against them. Expert opinion opinion is divided on how close Pyongyang is to perfecting the technology needed to achieve such an endeavor and whether Kim would actually do so if he could.

Thae called for strengthened international cooperation and sanctions to put pressure on Pyongyang, as well as disseminating information inside the country.

North and South Korea are technically at war, as the 1950 - 1953 Korean War ended with the signing of a truce, rather than a peace accord, and relations between the neighbors are extremely tense.

Image: Thae Yong Ho © Former North Korean deputy ambassador to the UK, Thae Yong Ho, center, speaks with media at the Fore... Image: Thae Yong Ho

YouTube has deleted content related to North Korea again, and it is unclear why .
Several weeks after the closure of the North Korean national television YouTube account, the online video giant has deleted the two Youtubers, one Polish, the other Vietnamese, used to videos about North Korea. "Your content is incompatible with the community". Here is an excerpt from the message received on January 17 by Vietnamese Youtuber Vũ Nam Phương, who saw his channel devoted to North Korea - 350 videos on the clock -, deleted by YouTube.

See also