World on alert: Kim Jong-un considers TERRIFYING surprise on huge North Korea anniversary

The Hermit State is gearing up for celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party of Korea – an important day in the secretive nation’s calendar. Professor Jim Hoare, of London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies, told Express.co.uk the occasion presented the Supreme Leader with an ideal opportunity to roll out new weaponry.

He said: “In the DPRK, anniversaries marking 5 or 10 years are regarded as particular important, so this year’s parade may be a bit more of an occasion than usual.

“Such occasions have been used in the past to show off new weapons (or at least mock-ups of new weapons – one is never sure).

“Because it has happened in the past, many commentators speculate at it will happen again – sometimes they are right, sometimes not.

“There may be what seem to be clues but there is probably no way of being sure until the day itself that something new might be on display.”

Prof Hoare explained: “This probably ranks as the third most important national holiday in the DPRK, after the birthdays of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il – it is probably deemed as more important than the National Foundation Day, which marks the establishment of the country in 1948.

“The party anniversary marks the day in autumn 1945 where a meeting established the Northern Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea, which eventually became the Korean Workers’ Party, the DPRK ruling party.

JUST IN: ‘Barnier was RIGHT!’ Farage AGREES with EU chief in cheeky Tweet

“As the day progresses, much alcohol is consumed.

“It may be a bit more subdued this year because of COVID and the recent monsoon damage.

“There will certainly be no foreigners around since the borders are still closed.

“But even during the famine years of the 1990s, the show went on and I would think this year will be no exception.”

With the US election on November 3, the parade is also an opportunity for Kim to send a message to Washington.

A high-profile event, with Kim in attendance, would also counter claims about his health following rumours of his death earlier this year.

After he disappeared from the public eye in April, it was suggested he was either dead, or in a persistent vegetative state as a result of bungled heart surgery.

His sister, Kim Yo-jong, has also been talked up as a possible successor.

Footage of Kim opening a fertiliser factory in May seemed to scotch the rumours – although sceptics pointed out it was impossible to date the clip.



Kim Jong-un cover-up: Secret documents reveal how North Korea evaded US sanctions

Confidential bank documents show how firms linked to Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom suspiciously transferred money in bursts, sometimes only days or hours apart. Many of the companies in question had opaque ownership.

The papers reviewed by NBC News suggest the practice continued for years.

And Chinese firms helped with the covert process, the documents suggest.

The money was moved through prominent banks in New York for no clear commercial reason.

The amounts shifted were in round figures.

Graham Barrow, a British anti-money laundering expert, said the transactions outlined in the documents amounted to “red flags”.

Mr Barrow, who is based in London, said the information contained in the bank papers clearly pointed to parties’ efforts to conceal the origins of illicit money.

The documents cover a period mainly from 2008 to 2017.

READ MORE: WW3: Iran could have ‘nuclear weapon by the end of the year’

On Sunday it emerged the Trump administration is planning to slap sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional arms programs.

The plan was announced by a senior US official.

President Trump, who is gearing up for the November 3 election, is keen to be seen to be taking strong actions against America’s foes.

The move will put teeth behind UN sanctions on Tehran that Washington argues have resumed despite the opposition of allies and adversaries.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said Iran could have enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon by the end of the year.

The source said that Tehran has resumed long-range missile cooperation with nuclear-armed North Korea.

He did not provide detailed evidence regarding either assertion.

The new sanctions fit into Mr Trump’s effort to limit Iran’s regional influence.

The round of penalties comes a week after US-brokered deals for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel, pacts that may coalesce a wider coalition against

Iran while appealing to pro-Israel voters ahead of the presidential election.



North Korea PANIC: Defector arrested after trying to make it across the border

The man, who fled to South Korea in 2018, was suspected of breaking into a military training site in the border town of Cheorwon on Thursday on his way back to Kim Jong-un’s secretive state. He was reported to have had four mobile phones and a cutting machine when he was caught. Police said the man defected to the South two years ago and had been staying in the capital of Seoul, but did not provide any further details on his identity.

A policewoman said: “The man is under police investigation. We are looking into details such as why he tried to cross the border.”

The officer could not confirm the date of the arrest.

The latest arrest comes after a 24-year-old defector returned to North Korea in July via the route he initially left by.

He went through a drainage ditch and swam across the Han River to the North.

This sparked the Government into action, who launched an investigation into the military unit responsible for the crossing.

It is against national security law to enter the North without state approval.

Defectors returning to North Korea have come under the spotlight over recent weeks after Pyongyang claimed someone suspected of suffering from coronavirus symptoms crossed the inter-Korean border and returned to his hometown.

The ministry in charge of affairs between the two counties had said a total of 11 North Korean defectors have returned to their communist homeland over the past five years.

READ MORE: North Korea could launch deadly new submarine missile NEXT MONTH

The lockdown order also referenced the “illegal border crossing” into Samjiyon.

Daily NK reported the order added the authorities would maintain a “top class national emergency anti-epidemic system” with “a strong lockdown” until separate orders to lift the measures are given.

The lockdown order also asked for local authorities in the two cities to place a “special guidance management implementation system” to take care of local citizens.



Kim Jong-un masterplan: North Korea's secretive global trade campaign that makes billions

Satellite images taken this month suggest that North Korea is readying to show off yet another arsenal of long-range ballistic missiles. Analysts say the potential unveiling is likely to coincide with the country’s military parade next month. The celebrations will mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Images of the training grounds where parade rehearsals have taken place in the past show large temporary structures in places which appear big enough to conceal from view the North’s largest and longest-range missiles.

The North has long been on a campaign of expanding its missile collection – an expensive endeavour for any nation.

Supreme leader Kim Jong-un has near total control over the state coffers, with the North’s economy described as one of the world’s “most centrally directed and least open” and faces “chronic economic problems,” according to the CIA World Factbook.

The factbook projected data from a 1999 OECD study to estimate North Korea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011 to be $1,800 (£1,400) per capita. It puts growth at 0.8 percent.

However, UN estimates for 2011 put per capita GDP at $506 (£391) and growth at -0.1.

Things are made more difficult as most countries around the world have imposed trading sanctions on the North.

It has led the North to become reliant on trade through China, which accounts for 67.2 percent of the country’s exports and 61.6 percent of imports according to 2011 data.

Other countries and blocs like South Korea, India, and the EU make up the rest of the North’s official imports and exports.

However, North Korea is understood to secretly trade and have money-making operations elsewhere in the world, mainly exporting weapons to countries such as Iran and African nations.

The illicit trade has allowed the dictatorship to amass considerable wealth.

JUST INWorld War 3: US came ‘incredibly close’ to war with North Korea

During the 1980s, North Korea emerged as a legal arms trader to primarily Third World countries.

It exported inexpensive, technically unsophisticated, but reliable weapons, according to a US Foreign Policy document dated October 1991.

While the Iran-Iraq war waged, some 90 percent of arms exports from the North went directly and indirectly to Iran, and between 1981 and 1989, the Kim family reeled in an astonishing $4billion (£3.8bn) from arms sales.

It also has a track record in proliferating nuclear and missile technology and, in 2001, reports suggested the country made sales of around $550million (£425m).

Modern-day UN sanctions on North Korea now ban its sale of all arms, although an intricate network of indirect sales and multiple middlemen has made a way for the North to

In a 2014 UN report, Syria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and Iran were all suspected to have bought weapons from North Korea.

It isn’t just arms the North has used to build its economic empire.

The state is believed to have businesses around the world, who use frontmen to disguise the real beneficiary.

Earlier this year, a German court ruled that a Kim-owned hostel in the heart of Berlin had to shut down.

circumvent the sanctions and use front companies and embassies to traffic weapons.

DON’T MISS

North Korea fears: China could ‘use Kim as proxy’  [REPORT]
Kim Jong-un threat: Terrifying satellite images show secret base [INSIGHT]
North Korean Children must memorise bizarre Kim Jong-un facts 
[ANALYSIS] 

To find out details of coronavirus in your area, please fill in your postcode below.

German media said City Hostel Berlin was run by a Turkish hotelier who pays more than €38,000 (£32,000) a month in rent to North Korea.

The embassy also drove income from a conference hall at the site.

The move was in line with UN sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons capability.

What is known as “Room 39” or “Office 39” has also attracted much attention in recent years – a centralised government organisation that seeks to maintain the foreign currency slush fund of Kim.

The Office is claimed to oversee the government’s illegal activities such as counterfeiting and drug production, and allegedly has 17 overseas branches, 100 trading companies and banks under its control, according to Daily NK.

The Office’s assets alone are thought to total to some $5billion (£3.8bn).

Despite all of this, North Korea is constantly on the brink of economic fallout.

The country regularly faces droughts and extreme weather, as reported earlier this month after Typhoon Maysak devastated swathes of the country.

The UN estimates that more than 10million people – around 40 percent of the population – face severe food shortages in such disasters.

After a drought last year, an assessment by the UN suggested North Koreans were living on just 300g of food per person a day.

In the 1990s, a devastating famine is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.

China regularly sends aid to the North, providing 240,074 tonnes of food aid in 2012.

That was more than 80 times the amount the European Commission handed North Korea that year.



World War 3 warning: US came 'incredibly close' to nuclear war with North Korea

Bob Woodward claimed US President Donald Trump told him that the US was closer to war with North Korea than anyone knows. He said that former defence secretary James Mattis had been ordered to shoot down any missiles from North Korea which came to the US. In his new book titled Rage, Mr Woodward claimed Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged personal letters and photographs.

Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Woodward said: “The president told me that we came much closer to war with North Korea than anyone knows.

“The president said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told him that.

“The number one senior cabinet officer didn’t know if it was real or a bluff but the secretary of defence, James Mattis, has one responsibility and that is to protect the country.

“President Trump confirmed to me that he authorised Mr Mattis to shoot down a missile from North Korea if it was coming to the US.

READ MORE: North Korea CHAOS: Kim Jong-un orders nationwide ‘inspection’

“At that moment North Korea had a couple of dozen nuclear weapons well-concealed.

“Mr Mattis’ worry was if he shot down a North Korean missile, Kim would say, ‘now I’ve got to use all the weapons that I have’ and we would have had a nuclear war.”

The revelations come as analysts and security officials say they are watching for signs that North Korea may use an upcoming holiday to unveil new weapons or test fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), after a flurry of activity was detected at a key base.

Formations of troops have been seen practicing for what is expected to be a major military parade on October 10, the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

Some observers say North Korea may showcase its largest missiles for the first time since 2018.

Imagery analysts and security officials caution that so far there is no conclusive evidence of an impending launch.

But after several typhoons lashed North Korea in early September, satellite photos have shown a flurry of activity at the Sinpo South Shipyard, including in a secure basin where a barge used in previous underwater missile launches is docked.

Won In-choul, the nominee for chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “We’re monitoring developments, as there is a possibility that a submarine-launched ballistic missile test will be conducted there using ejection equipment shortly after the repair is done.”

DON’T MISS

North Korea fears: China could ‘use Kim as proxy’ [INSIGHT]
North Korea paranoia: Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice [ANALYSIS]
Brexit FURY: Merkel ally compares UK to North Korea in attack [VIDEO]

Other South Korean officials have sounded less cautious, including incoming South Korean defence minister General Suh Wook, who said on Monday that he considered an SLBM test unlikely because there is too little time to prepare ahead of the anniversary.

On Thursday, Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports on North Korea, cited a single unnamed source near the shipyard as saying the site “is bustling with activity to prepare for the ballistic missile launch,” with officials and researchers arriving since late August.

38 North, a US-based think tank, said in a report on Wednesday that imagery showed “heavy activity” at the shipyard, but that “no other indicators of launch preparations were observed.”

On Thursday the group reported that the missile barge, which had disappeared from view after the storms, likely after being repositioned under a protective awning, had reappeared.



North Korea CHAOS: Kim Jong-un orders nationwide 'inspection' after portraits damaged

The Central Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department found that paper and booklets with Kim Jong-un’s face on them were being treated as scrap paper and so announced an investigation and immediate program of ideological training to rectify the situation. The booklets with Kim Jong-un’s face on them are known as “No. 1 publications”. Now the central authorities have pledged to track down the local officials that allowed the revered books to be treated in such a way and hold them responsible for this perceived lack of respect.

A North Korean official spoke in anonymity to Radio Free Asia and said: “Under the supervision of the Central Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, the ideological inspections are being conducted on the party committees of each province, city, and county.

“The purpose of this inspection is to further strengthen the ideological education of local government officials and residents through the process of censuring and criticising the effectiveness of the local government agencies’ ideological education projects.

“The inspection is all because people are allowing books and newspapers containing No. 1 portraits, or artwork by Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un to be damaged.

“The people are further undermining the authority of the ‘great people of Mount Paekdu’ by selling the damaged publications as scrap paper.”

The official added: “The authorities ordered strict punishment of such acts because they go against the party and compromise its authority and that of its leaders.”

The nationwide order to “thoroughly manage No. 1 publications and to educate and control the people so that they don’t sell them as scrap paper” went out to officials, workers, and members of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League.

The source added: “The authorities will thoroughly check each provincial party committee on how No. 1 publications are distributed to lower-level organisations.

“The officials are nervous because the authorities mentioned punishing responsible officials for the damaged publications.”

READ MORE:North Korea could launch deadly new submarine missile NEXT MONTH

Another source from North Korea told Radio Free Asia the inspection will also include old videos of the leaders that have deteriorated in quality over time.

The source said: “The party, labour organisations and Group 109 are also collecting substandard videos.

“So far, there have been several instructions and inspections to root out the old videos, but it was concluded that nothing has improved, so the authorities are trying to find problems and take more stringent measures”.

The Kim family has been revered in a strict program of government forced worship since the founding of the totalitarian state.



Coronavirus cases MAPPED: Where are COVID-19 cases rising? From London to North West

This means there were around 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day – almost double the rate of the week previously.

The ONS estimated 3,200 new cases per day in last week’s report.

In Wales for the same period, the ONS estimate that 1,500 people had COVID-19, which is around 1 in 2,000 people.

The report also stated there was clear evidence of increasing coronavirus cases amongst people aged two to 11, 17 to 24 and 25 to 34.



North Korea fury: Kim aims for 'mass casualties and destruction' to stop US invasion

North Korea is preparing for a big military parade next month. Early movement suggests the country may show off shiny new long-range ballistic missiles. It would mark the beginning of a new stage of provocation between the two states.

Recent satellite photographs of the training ground where rehearsals have taken place show large temporary structures in place.

They appear big enough to conceal from view the North’s largest and longest-range missiles.

The parade, due to take place on October 10, marks the 75th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party.

Many experts and North Korea watchers say leader Kim Jong-un will specifically use the event to display the new weapons, possibly including the Hwasong-15, which has the potential range to launch a nuclear attack on Washington or New York.

North Korea: Any war with Kim's country would dwarf in size the Iran and Afghanistan conflicts

North Korea: Any war with Kim’s country would dwarf in size the Iran and Afghanistan conflicts (Image: GETTY)

Military parade: The North will mark the 7th anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party

Military parade: The North will mark the 7th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party (Image: GETTY)

Sour relations between the US and the North have bubbled away for decades – even when Kim and Trump met several times to sign mutual agreements.

Military and political experts often cringe at the manpower that would be required for war against North Korea – its military totalling around 1.2 million active personnel.

They also fear the extent to which Kim would go to in order to prevent his family dynasty from being compromised.

In 2017, writing in Foreign Policy, Jeffrey Lewis, an arms-control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, warned that the North’s military exercises left “little doubt” over the dictatorship’s nuclear intentions.

JUST INNorth Korean Children must memorise bizarre Kim Jong-un facts

North Korea military: The country has around 1.2million active military personnel

North Korea military: The country has around 1.2million active military personnel (Image: GETTY)

He wrote: “What is disturbing about the situation, though, is how the war plans of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States might interact.

“North Korea’s military exercises leave little doubt that Pyongyang plans to use large numbers of nuclear weapons against US forces throughout Japan and South Korea to blunt an invasion.

“In fact, the word that official North Korean statements use is ‘repel’.

“North Korean defectors have claimed that the country’s leaders hope that by inflicting mass casualties and destruction in the early days of a conflict, they can force the United States and South Korea to recoil from their invasion.”

DON’T MISS

Brexit FURY: Merkel ally compares UK to North Korea in attack [REPORT]
North Korea could launch deadly new submarine missile NEXT MONTH [INSIGHT]
North Korea paranoia: Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 
[ANALYSIS] 

Kim Yo-jong: Kim's sister has recently been passed considerable powers

Kim Yo-jong: Kim’s sister has recently been passed considerable powers (Image: GETTY)

State media: Kim is regularly followed around by state media who document his daily activities

State media: Kim is regularly followed around by state media who document his daily activities (Image: GETTY)

In the event of a ground invasion, a 2016 South Korean white paper said the US would need to deploy 690,000 ground troops to South Korea if war broke out.

This is a far higher number than what the US deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Military affairs and national security expert, Yochi Dreazen, explained in a 2018 Vox report: “Estimates of the exact numbers of US troops that would take part in a push north vary widely, but current and former military planners uniformly believe it would require vastly more forces than took part in the invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation who has spent decades studying North Korea and the Kim family told Mr Dreazen that he believes the US would need to send at least 200,000 troops into North Korea.

North Korea missiles: The country has built up a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons

North Korea missiles: The country has built up a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons (Image: Express Newspapers)

Of this, Mr Dreazen said: “By way of comparison, that would be significantly more troops than the US had in either Iraq or Afghanistan at the peaks of those two long wars.”

Many believe that Kim would be more than willing to use his vast arsenal of nuclear weapons in the event of war.

This would result in huge bloodshed on scales never before seen, reports say.

Fighting any war with the North would not be as straightforward as any other war that has been fought in recent history.

North Korea-US relations: Kim and Trump have met several times in recent years

North Korea-US relations: Kim and Trump have met several times in recent years (Image: GETTY)

North Korea experts agree that Kim and his cabinet are highly unpredictable and have several methods in which they would push the boundaries to ensure the Kim leadership is protected.

While some say Kim would have no qualms in pressing the nuclear button first, others suggest he could use his country’s vast supplies of chemical weapons and nerve agents to cause an altogether different type of destruction.

The human death toll from such an attack would be huge, with military historian Reid Kirby estimating in 2017 that a sustained sarin attack could kill up to 2.5 million people in Seoul alone, while injuring nearly 7 million more.

Among the chemical weapons the North is thought to have is VX, sarin, smallpox, yellow fever, anthrax, hemorrhagic fever, and even plague.



North Korea HORROR: Children spend 90 minutes a day memorising bizarre Kim Jong-un facts

The news was revealed by Daily NK, a South Korean based publication with sources in the North. Previously North Korean pre-schoolers only had to spent 30 minutes a day being taught about Kim Jong-un.

The new government instruction, titled ‘greatness education’, was released on August 25.

It is designed for “cultivating loyalty and trust toward North Korea’s leadership”.

The sister of Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo Jong, is said to have given the instruction.

Ms Kim has been gaining in power and is now Kim Jong-un’s de facto deputy according to South Korean intelligence.

She has been leading the North Korean state response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to Daily NK children are taught Kim Jong-un was a highly intelligent child who aged five “rode a yacht, did target practice, and liked to read”.

Kim Jong-un took over as North Korean dictator in 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il.

North Korea has been governed as a communist dictatorship since being created in 1948.

READ MORE: North Korea paranoia – Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 

The United States, Britain and France intervened on the side of South Korea whilst China backed the north.

The war ended in stalemate and technically the two Koreas remain at war to this day.

Separately Daily NK reports five North Korean Economic Ministry employees were executed on July 30 after criticising Kim Jong-un at a dinner party.

Their families were also detained and sent to the Camp 15 gulag near Yodak.

This is a notorious facility built to house suspected enemies of the regime in which torture, slave labour and abuse have been reported.

A source explained: “They are in a situation where they cannot even give any opinions.

“It is even more strict because the administration is trying to gain discipline.”

North Korea is currently battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst the country has yet to officially report any cases Kim Jong-un admitted the virus “could have entered” the country back in July.

In the same week the city of Kaesong was placed into lockdown for three weeks after a resident displayed coronavirus like symptoms though the diagnosis was never confirmed.



North Korea HORROR: Children spend 90 minutes a day memorising bizarre Kim Jong-un facts

The news was revealed by Daily NK, a South Korean based publication with sources in the North. Previously North Korean pre-schoolers only had to spent 30 minutes a day being taught about Kim Jong-un.

The new government instruction, titled ‘greatness education’, was released on August 25.

It is designed for “cultivating loyalty and trust toward North Korea’s leadership”.

The sister of Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo Jong, is said to have given the instruction.

Ms Kim has been gaining in power and is now Kim Jong-un’s de facto deputy according to South Korean intelligence.

She has been leading the North Korean state response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to Daily NK children are taught Kim Jong-un was a highly intelligent child who aged five “rode a yacht, did target practice, and liked to read”.

Kim Jong-un took over as North Korean dictator in 2011 following the death of his father Kim Jong-il.

North Korea has been governed as a communist dictatorship since being created in 1948.

READ MORE: North Korea paranoia – Kim Jong-un makes SHAMEFUL sacrifice 

The United States, Britain and France intervened on the side of South Korea whilst China backed the north.

The war ended in stalemate and technically the two Koreas remain at war to this day.

Separately Daily NK reports five North Korean Economic Ministry employees were executed on July 30 after criticising Kim Jong-un at a dinner party.

Their families were also detained and sent to the Camp 15 gulag near Yodak.

This is a notorious facility built to house suspected enemies of the regime in which torture, slave labour and abuse have been reported.

A source explained: “They are in a situation where they cannot even give any opinions.

“It is even more strict because the administration is trying to gain discipline.”

North Korea is currently battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst the country has yet to officially report any cases Kim Jong-un admitted the virus “could have entered” the country back in July.

In the same week the city of Kaesong was placed into lockdown for three weeks after a resident displayed coronavirus like symptoms though the diagnosis was never confirmed.