north korea

2017 has become the year when absurd jokes appear to be coming true. When Dennis Rodman made his first trip to North Korea back in 2013, it was amusing to imagine the eccentric NBA legend acting as the United States’ de facto ambassador to the country. [...] In an interview with Good Morning Britain, the five-time NBA champion offered to “straighten things out” between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, emphasizing that he considers both men friends.

A U.S. ban on its citizens travelling to North Korea has come into effect, at a time of heightened tensions over North Korean missile launches. The new rule was announced after U.S. student Otto Warmbier died after being released from prison in North Korea. The State Department said it was necessary "due to the serious and mounting risk" of detention.

The tragic condition of U.S. foreign policy ever since the Reagan administration is that public diplomacy has consistently occupied a tertiary status in the scale of national priorities. [...] It is OK to send messages like the Tillerson-Mattis one only if we reassure the North Korean people that we haven’t abandoned them. The Tillerson-Mattis message can thus serve a psychological disarmament purpose, at least to a limited degree. But we must have a parallel track of diplomacy — with the North Korean people. We must give them hope.

The missile, launched early on Tuesday, flew over Hokkaido island, Japan's second-largest island, and fell into the North Pacific Ocean. Jonathan Knight runs a small clothing business in the Hirafu area of the island. [...] Jonathan decided to go for what he thought was the best option: "I got up and did the British thing, I made a cup of tea".

Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, who drew global attention in 2015 by bringing Slovenian avant-garde band Laibach to perform in Pyongyang, will hold the first-ever art symposium in North Korea, Aug. 26 to Sept. 4. His latest initiative named "DMZ Academy" seeks collaborative works between artists from North Korea's state-run institutions and those from the outside world, amid heightened tensions on the peninsula.

North Korea does not have a reputation for culinary excellence. While there is increasing choice if, say, you want to eat out in Pyongyang, it’s a long way away from the world-renowned cuisine you can find south of the DMZ.