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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

North Korea: Pyongyang in mass show of strength

A triumphant North Korea staged a mass rally of soldiers and civilians to glorify the country’s young ruler, who this week sent a satellite into orbit in defiance of international warnings.

Kim Jong-Un

Kim Jong Un voted Person of the Year by TIME readers

Hold on, this time it's true! Kim Jong Un has come top of TIME magazine's online poll for Person of the Year. You may remember just a few weeks ago The Onion's spoof piece (Kim Jong Un named 'Sexiest Man Alive') led China Daily to produce a fawning 12-page spread on Kim's good looks. But we've triple checked our sources and - yes - the readers of TIME have apparently elected North Korea's leader as their annual idol.

This picture received from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 12, 2012 shows the rocket Unha-3, carrying the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3, being monitored on a large screen at a satellite control center in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in North Korea. North Korea confirmed it had launched a long-range rocket and succeeded in its mission of placing a satellite into orbit.

UN Council to consider North Korea punishment for rocket

The United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the North Korean rocket launch, calling it a "clear violation" of UN prohibitions.

Editorial: Dangerous signals from Pyongyang

When Kim Jong-un became North Korea's leader after his father's sudden death last year, the West responded with the wariness that naturally attends unexpected events in closed countries. But there was a flicker of hope, too – hope that a new leader, from a new generation, who had, it was reported, studied abroad, might abandon the paranoia, dismantle the secrecy and allow North Korea to take its place in the modern world.

A North Korean military band in Pyongyang celebrates the successful launch of the long-range rocket yesterday

How to halt North Korea's rocket launches? Ban imports of cognac

World Focus: Latest missile test shows Communist state will not be easily controlled

North Korea defies warnings and launches long-range rocket

North Korea fired a long-range rocket today in a second launch under its new leader, defying warnings from the UN and Washington.

North Korea vows to test long-range rocket soon

North Korea has said it will launch a long-range rocket between 10 and 22 December, a move likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul ahead of a South Korean presidential election on 19 December.

Kim Jong-Un is the Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012, seriously

In possibly the most hilarious example of Communist-autocratic self-delusion yet to come from modern China, the online version of the Chinese Communist Party's official news paper has fallen for a massive, giant, unspeakably hilarious send-up in satirical magazine The Onion. The People's Daily ran a 55-page photo spread of North Korean dictator and chubby chops Kim Jong Un, oblivious to the fact that when The Onion declared him their Sexiest Man Alive for 2012, they had tongue firmly pressed into cheek. Here's a little snippet. Can you spot the satire?

Tangachai -ri space centre, North Korea

South Korea says North preparing new rocket launch

With fresh satellite images showing increasing activity at its launch site, North Korea could be ready to fire a long-range rocket within several weeks, South Korean officials said Tuesday.

Mourners weep during the funeral procession for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in snowy Pyongyang

Leave 'no trace of him behind, down to the hair': North Korean official 'executed with mortar round' after drinking during mourning period for Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il

A North Korean army minister has reportedly been executed after drinking during the mourning period for Kim Jong-il.

Thousands of young North Koreans gathered at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium last night in anticipation of Youth Day

Summer camp – North Korea style

Those who thought the London Olympics were consumed by nationalism might concede that they weren't too bad after all if they take a look inside the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium in North Korea's capital.

Kenji Fujimoto in Beijing after his visit to North Korea

Kim Jong-Il's sushi chef praises dead leader's son after flying visit to Korea

Few foreigners get an invitation to the inner circle of North Korea's first family. But Kenji Fujimoto, who has just returned from a meeting with leader Kim Jong-Un inside the reclusive, nuclear-armed state, has been there before.

UN to send food aid to flood-hit North Korea

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has said it will send a first batch of emergency food aid to impoverished North Korea, where a series of deluges and a typhoon have left hundreds of people dead or missing.

An Kum-Ae has a nibble on the gold medal that she won on the Judo floor

London 2012: North Korea provide early shock of the Olympic Games with growing medal haul

Even the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un doesn’t need to propagandise this one.

Weightlifting: New Olympic record for Om Yun Chol

Om Yun Chol caused a sensation this morning as he equalled the world record and set a new Olympic record in the clean and jerk element of the men's 56kg - with the North Korean weightlifter afterwards hailing late leader Kim Jong-il for inspiring his achievements.

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Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
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