Ignorance, fear, whispers: North Korean defectors say contacts in the dark about Kim

Ignorance, fear, whispers: North Korean defectors say contacts in the dark about KimDefectors from North Korea say many of their relatives and contacts were unaware of the international speculation over leader Kim Jong Un's health or were unwilling to discuss the issue in clandestine calls made from the South. Two defectors told Reuters their relatives in North Korea did not know that Kim has been missing from public view for almost two weeks, said they didn't want to discuss the issue, or abruptly hung up when the supreme leader was mentioned. Kim's health is a state secret in insular North Korea and speculation about him or his family can invite swift retribution.

U.S. faces tough U.N. battle if it pushes plan to extend Iran arms embargo

U.S. faces tough U.N. battle if it pushes plan to extend Iran arms embargoThe United States faces a tough, messy battle if it uses a threat to trigger a return of all United Nations sanctions on Iran as leverage to get the 15-member Security Council to extend and strengthen an arms embargo on Tehran, diplomats said. Washington has shared its strategy, confirmed by a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity, with Britain, France and Germany, who are council members and parties to the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that prevents Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.