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North Korea

Yearbook 2015

North Korea. According to COUNTRYAAH, there were reports of continued purges at a high political level. Defense Minister Hyon Yong Choi must have been executed - with an air defense weapon - after falling asleep at a military parade, and Deputy Prime Minister Choe Yong Gon after criticizing forest policy. In total, some 70 high-ranking people were reported to have been executed since Kim Jong Un took over as leader in 2011.

2015 North Korea

With one day's notice, the government canceled a planned visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in May, without explanation. Ban, who had previously been South Korea's foreign minister, would have visited the industrial zone Kaesong, which North and South Korea jointly operate.

The UN appealed to donor countries for humanitarian aid for $ 111 million to North Korea. The government stated in June that the country was facing the worst drought in a century, raising concerns about severe food shortages. More than 30% of the rice fields were reported to be dehydrated. Assessors felt that the situation was less threatening than in the 1990s, when hundreds of thousands of North Koreans swallowed to death, thanks to the fact that some privately organized agriculture was allowed and production increased. But according to the United Nations food program WFP, nearly a third of children were still hampered in their growth due to malnutrition.

The situation was very tense for a few weeks in August, following an incident at the border when two South Korean soldiers were injured in a mine explosion and an artillery fire later erupted. South Korea then began propaganda broadcasts through speakers across the border, prompting North Korea to put troops into combat readiness. Previously, such a propaganda war was common, but the countries agreed in 2004 to stop it. High-level negotiations followed, and eventually the shipments were canceled and North Korea withdrew troops from the border. The parties also agreed on new reunification meetings for families that have been separated since the 1950-53 war. In November, hundreds of South Koreans traveled to North Korea for such meetings.

Operations at the disputed nuclear plant in Yongbyon resumed after laying down since 2007. Satellite monitoring had already aroused suspicion and in September the government confirmed that the reactor was running. The United States warned North Korea of "irresponsible provocations". The reactor was closed in 2007 as part of an agreement on aid in exchange for disarmament. As early as 2013, however, Pyongyang threatened to restart it, in a tense situation since the country conducted its third nuclear test. North Korea jumped off the so-called six-party talks on the country's nuclear program as early as 2009. In December, the United States tightened its sanctions on the country.

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