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Former NBA star's lavish birthday gifts for 'friend for life' Kim Jong-un may have violated international sanctions imposed on North Korea

Guarding his anonymity: crime writer James Church

James Church: The man who knows too much about North Korea

The former CIA officer sets his crime novels in the Communist state after years of extraordinary access. Clifford Coonan met him in Beijing

Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey

Q&A: So, North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, what was life like for you at home?

The Independent spoke to Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey, about his life and the current political stand-off in Korea. His story of what led to him escaping is one of shocking sadness, but since coming to the UK - where he is working on a newspaper to smuggle into the country - he has been able to lead a much happier life.

Joo-il Kim defected from North Korea and now lives in New Malden

Never mind nuclear war, says North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, the reality of famine is bad enough

Joo-il Kim believes the rhetoric is just a distraction

Great Leader’ Kim Il-sung looks down on the Tumen bridge

Trading places: the decline of North Korea

Where once China bought electricity from its neighbour, now it sells used clothing. Clifford Coonan reports from Tumen

North Korea 'has nuclear weapon it can mount on rocket' warns US, as John Kerry warns missile launch would be 'huge mistake'

Mr Kerry arrived South Korea as part of a unusual diplomatic journey, traveling directly into a region bracing for a possible North Korean missile test

In an effort to firm up support and loyalty Kim Jong-un has to keep visiting his military bases

Spy claims Kim Jong-un is struggling to control the North Korean army

A former North Korean spy has claimed Pyongyang’s threats of military action are a sign that Kim Jong-un is struggling to control his armed forces.

A civil defence drill at a navy base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, yesterday. Around 500 South Koreans are still at the Kaesong industrial complex

North Korea: Pyongyang's isolation increases with closure of commercial complex shared with the South

Shutting border unit represents a major blow to heavily indebted economy of North

'Wanted, for threatening world peace and wasting money while his people starve to death': Hacks on official North Korea websites lampoon leader Kim Jong-Un amid nuclear tensions

Anonymous collective suspected to be behind attacks on Twitter, Flickr and official state information site

South Korea warn of retaliation against North's aggression

Kim Jong-un announced a 'state of war' over the weekend

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (centre) and military officers watching a live shell firing drill

Nuclear weapons are ‘life of the nation’, says North Korea

North Korea’s nuclear weapons are “the nation’s life” and will not be traded even for “billions of dollars”, the country’s ruling Workers’ Party said today.

Workers in the Kaesong industrial park, a source of foreign currency

Brinkmanship in Pyongyang baffles and alarms the US

Washington DC may not exactly be quaking in dread this early spring weekend at the prospect of a missile attack on the city, as threatened by North Korea. But the rarely precedented bluster and bellicosity from Pyongyang baffle and alarm the US officials and experts who have grappled with the country's erratic behaviour for decades.

North Korea threatens 'all-out war, a nuclear war' as it announces it is 'on war footing' with South

Kim Jong-un warns of 'an all-out war, a nuclear war'

Kim Jong-un watches a live ammunition firing drill by the Jangjae Islet Defence Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defence Detachment

North Korea nuclear threat: Kim Jong-un personally supervises drone attack on simulated South Korea target

Drone strike successfully shot down a target mimicking a South Korean cruise missile, according to state media

Last month, North Korea launched its third nuclear test.

US to boost missile defences as North Korean nuclear threat grows

$1 billion move follows increasingly aggressive rhetoric from the secretive regime 

North Korea 'prepares to strike': Kim Jong-un supervises live artillery drill as inflammatory threats continue

North Korea held a live artillery drill close to its disputed border with South Korea, its official state news agency reported today.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee