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N. Korea Attacks Obama in Lincoln's Voice

Pyongyang's state media has published an open letter purportedly from Abraham Lincoln to President Barack Obama, chastising him for stifling the "government of the people, by the people, for the people" -- ie, North Korea.

In the piece uploaded on the North's propaganda website "DPRK Today" on Monday, the 16th U.S. president who was assassinated in 1865 "advised" the 44th president that North Korea would never crumble under sanctions and economic blockades.

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N. Korea Claims Defectors were Kidnapped

North Korea accused South Korea Tuesday of kidnapping its citizens after Seoul said 13 of them had defected to the South from China, where they worked in a Pyongyang-operated restaurant.

In its first reaction since Seoul announced the defections, the North's Red Cross spokesman accused the South of committing a crime on an "unparalleled" scale by "kidnapping" them.

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N. Korea Says Successfully Tested Ballistic Missile Engine

North Korea said Saturday it had successfully tested an engine designed for an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would "guarantee" an eventual nuclear strike on the US mainland.

It was the latest in a series of claims by Pyongyang of significant breakthroughs in both its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

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13 N. Korean Staff in Overseas Restaurant Defect to South

Thirteen North Koreans working in a state-run restaurant outside the country have defected to South Korea, a government official in Seoul said Friday.

The South Korean government estimates that Pyongyang rakes in around $10 million every year from some 130 restaurants it operates -- with mostly North Korean staff -- in 12 countries, including neighboring China.

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N. Korea Says under Leningrad-Style Siege from U.S.

North Korea's top military body has accused U.S.-led "hostile forces" of laying siege to the country like Leningrad in World War II and Cuba during the Cold War missile crisis.

In a statement carried Monday by the North's official KCNA news agency, a spokesman for the National Defense Commission (NDC) also said the latest UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program were "anachronistic and suicidal" and could trigger a nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland.

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Seoul Activists Launch Anti-Kim Leaflets into N. Korea

South Korean activists on Monday launched tens of thousands of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea for the second time in three days, amid heightened military tensions on the divided peninsula.

The conservative activists, including many North Korean defectors, used gas-filled balloons to float 100,000 leaflets criticizing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un over the heavily militarized border.

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Reports: N. Korean Submarine Missing

A North Korean submarine is missing, reports said Saturday, as the reclusive state issued a fresh threat of retaliation against U.S. and South Korean forces involved in joint military drills.

The unknown class of vessel had been reportedly operating off the North Korean coast earlier in the week when it disappeared.

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London Conference Puts Spotlight on N. Korea Rights Abuses

The U.N. commissioner who investigated human rights in North Korea on Friday recommended establishing a panel of experts to study how crimes against humanity in the reclusive state can be punished.

"What do you do if we bring home powerful evidence of crimes against humanity -- and a veto" from one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council "prevents you taking it further? How can you deal with that problem?" said Michael Kirby at a conference in London on human rights in North Korea.

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Russia Calls N.Korea Strike Threats 'Totally Unacceptable'

The Russian foreign ministry on Monday condemned as "totally unacceptable" North Korea's threats to launch preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korea and the United States, and appealed to all sides to show restraint.

North Korea's threat of "indiscriminate" strikes came just hours before South Korea and the U.S. began annual, large-scale military drills, which usually provoke a hardline response from Pyongyang.

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U.N. Adopts Toughest-Ever North Korea Sanctions

The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted on Wednesday the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.

The 15-member council passed a resolution drafted by the United States and backed by China, Pyongyang's sole ally, that was seen as a major shift in the approach to North Korea's provocative actions.

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