News North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek - Jang Song Thaek is reported to have been executed for 'attempting to overthrow the state'

Claims that secretive communist regime has carried out a further brutal purge of those the young leader sees as a threat to his authority

Satellite rocket is ready for launch, says Pyongyang

Preparations for North Korea's planned satellite launch this week have been completed, according to space officials who denied it is a cover for a missile test.

North Korea ready for controversial rocket launch

North Korean space officials said today that all assembly and preparations for a planned satellite launch have been completed, while denying it is a cover for a missile test.

Kim Jong-il, right, and Kim Il-sung, the centenary of whose birth will be celebrated by a missile launch

South Korea accuses Pyongyang of planning nuclear weapons test

New allegations coincide with rocket launch to mark North Korean founder's centenary

GRAND MONUMENT ON MANSU HILL: 'The leader's image must always be placed in the centre of the architectural space,' writes Kim Jong-Il in his treatise On Architecture. 'Architectural space must be composed to ensure that the leader's image dominates all the elements of the space and that all the architectural components throw the leader's image in bold relief. This will help people to look up at the leader's image at all times and inspire them with the pride and consciousness that they are happy in the leader's embrace”

What do North Korea's buildings and landmarks tell us about the totalitarian state?

The country has some of the world's biggest – and most bizarre – buildings and landmarks.

New satellite images reveal North Korean rocket launch preparations

Satellite images of a North Korean rocket launch site show evidence of increased preparations for what the West believes is a cover for a long-range missile test.

Leading article: A reversion to type in North Korea

Less than a month ago, after bilateral talks with the US, North Korea agreed to a moratorium on its nuclear missile programme and the return of UN inspectors, in exchange for American food aid. Could it be, some wondered, that the pariah state's new leader Kim Jong-un was signalling a change of course, one that might lead to a resumption of disarmament talks and, perhaps, an end to his country's isolation? The answer, alas, appears to be no.

Russia urges North Korea to refrain from rocket launch

Russia expressed serious concern on Friday over North Korea's plan to launch a satellite and urged Pyongyang not to create hurdles to the revival of six-nation talks over its nuclear programme.

Kim Pyong-il hoped to succeed his father, Kim il-Sung (pictured)

Left out in the cold: the man who would be Kim

Kim Pyong-il, once viewed as North Korea's next leader, now lives in diplomatic exile in Poland. Shaun Walker goes in search of the secretive heir on the streets of Warsaw

Kim puts DMZ troops on alert

New leader Kim Jong-un ordered troops along the border with South Korea to be on high alert yesterday as he visited the demilitarised zone between the two countries.

Kim Jong-un, the new leader

Nuclear weapons programme halted in return for food

North Korea has agreed to halt its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for US food aid, in a surprise breakthrough in the first talks between the two countries since the death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un, the new leader

North Korea halts nuclear plan after US pressure

North Korea has agreed to halt its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for US food aid, in a surprise breakthrough in the first talks between the two countries since the death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of Kim Jong-un.

The discussions with North Korea’s new government (new leader Kim Jong Un pictured) is ready to agree to steps demanded by Washington and Pyongyang’s neighbours to restart disarmament talks

US and North Korea talk food and 'other topics'

The US and North Korea resumed talks yesterday that had been delayed by the death of North Korea's long-time leader Kim Jong-il two months ago, with the US envoy saying he and his counterpart covered US food aid and other topics.

US and North Korea resume talks

The United States and North Korea resumed talks today delayed by the death of North Korea's longtime leader Kim Jong Il two months ago, with the US envoy saying he and his counterpart covered US food aid and other topics.

North Korean soldiers march and carry a portrait of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a military parade at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang

New North Korean leader following in his father's goose steps

Goose-stepping soldiers marched by the memorial palace for North Korea's late leaders as Kim Jong-un yesterday presided over a military birthday commemoration for his father.

Birthday turns into memorial for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

North Korea commemorated Kim Jong-il's 70th birthday today with the flowers that bear his name, a military parade and pledges of loyalty to the son who has taken his place.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
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The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain