Regional News • Asia
South Korea bans sending of leaflets to North Korea

South Korea has banned the sending of leaflets critical of the regime to neighboring North Korea. The parliament in Seoul passed a law to that effect on Monday, which also makes it a punishable offense to pass on money or USB data carriers containing entertainment or information. Earlier, Pyongyang had sharply increased pressure on its neighbors to the south.

Regional News • Asia
North Korea declares state of emergency in Kaesong over first suspected Covid-19 case
Kim Jong-un in a meeting of the WPK Central Committee
Kim Jong-un in a meeting of the WPK Central Committee Credit: KCNA (Public Domain)

Kim Jong-un declared a state of emergency and imposed a lockdown on the border city of Kaesong after a person suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border.

According to KCNA, a person "who went to the south three years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus, returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line.".

If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by Pyongyang.

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North Korea cuts communication channels with South Korea
North Korean soldier
North Korean soldier Credit: Roman Harak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

North Korea announced Tuesday it would cut off all communication channels with South Korea, including a hotline between the two countries' leaders. Pyongyang decided to escalate its pressure on the South for not stopping activists from floating anti-regime leaflets across their tense border.

South Korea's government repeated that it would work toward restoring peace on the Korean Peninsula. North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace agreement was reached when the Korean War ended in 1953.

Regional News • Asia
North Korea's Kim Jong Un appears in video after 21-day absence
Kim Jong Un attending a fertilizer plant opening
Kim Jong Un attending a fertilizer plant opening Credit: Korean Central News Agency

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released video footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending a fertilizer plant opening in Pyongyang. Kim cut a ribbon at the event on Friday, ending three weeks of speculation about his wellbeing.

The video footage has not yet been independently verified.

North Korean Dictator has left Pyongyang following Covid-19 outbreak

A South Korean source claims that "intelligence analysis suggests that Kim Jong-un" has left the capital city of North Korea and has moved to Wonsan on the east coast of the country following the spread of the coronavirus. The source also says that over 180 North Korean soldiers have died following the Covid-19 spread.