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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All News 16:00 April 10, 2020

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

U.S. flies spy plane over Korean Peninsula after N.K. missile launches

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. surveillance aircraft has flown over South Korea, an aviation tracker said Saturday, on an apparent mission to monitor North Korea following its successive major weapons tests.

The U.S. Air Force's RC-135W Rivet Joint was spotted in skies above Gyeonggi Province near the capital city of Seoul and the eastern province of Gangwon, Aircraft Spots tweeted.

This type of aircraft has been detected often here, with the last known flight being made early last month, along with several other types of spy planes. On Sunday and Tuesday, the Navy's EP-3E was spotted over the peninsula.

U.S. aid group sends medical equipment to N. Korea

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. aid group has sent medical and rehabilitation equipment to North Korea for the treatment of people with pediatric development disabilities, according to the website of its co-founder.

IGNIS Community sent a cargo ship last week from the Chinese coastal city of Dalian to the North's western port city of Nampo carrying medical treatment beds, pediatric therapeutic equipment and other items, Joy Yoon said in a statement on the website.

"The medical equipment is scheduled to arrive in Pyongyang within a week or two," she said. "This is the first medical shipment of several more to follow."

Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, Japan hold phone talks over N.K. denuclearization

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held phone talks Wednesday over the North Korean nuclear issue and security situation on the Korean Peninsula, the foreign ministry said.

The conversation between Lee Do-hoon and his Japanese counterpart, Shigeki Takizaki, came amid concerns that the global fight against the new coronavirus could overshadow the efforts to denuclearize North Korea and lay the groundwork for lasting peace on the peninsula.

"The two sides agreed to continue close communication and cooperation between South Korea and Japan, and among South Korea, the United States and Japan, over the North Korean nuclear and other issues, in the midst of active efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 that has been spreading across the world," the ministry said in a press release.

Satellite imagery suggests dummy missile test at N.K. shipyard: U.S. monitor

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Yonhap) -- Commercial satellite imagery suggests that North Korea recently conducted a dummy missile ejection test at its Sinpo shipyard, a U.S. monitor said Wednesday.

The April 5 imagery shows the service tower on the ejection test pad pulled back from its static position, according to 38 North.

Its canister support arms are open, while a possible ejection canister appears to be cradled in the "strongback lifting mechanism" that elevates the canister to an upright position, the monitor said on its website.

U.S. Treasury updates N.K. sanctions rules in line with new law

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it has revised its regulations to incorporate North Korea sanctions provisions contained in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

The revisions do not add new sanctions on North Korea, but reinforce the department's wide-ranging efforts to block the communist regime's access to funds that could be used to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

This comes after personal negotiations between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump have failed.

UNICEF raises N.K. aid budget by $3 mln to $22.5 mln

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it has set this year's budget for North Korea aid projects at US$22.5 million, up about $3 million from last year.

"Prolonged dry spells, flooding and limited agricultural inputs, which led to increased food insecurity in 2019, will likely persist in 2020," UNICEF said in its "Humanitarian Action for Children 2020" report, calling for further external aid to assist North Koreans.

The report said 10.4 million people in North Korea, including 2.67 million under age 18, are exposed to chronic food insecurity and lack access to basic services, such as health care and sanitation facilities.

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