"At present the hostile forces systematically keep bolstering up their capabilities for making a preemptive attack on the DPRK and increase armaments while intensifying all sorts of frantic and persistent war drills for aggression," North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un warned.
The U.S. State Department's Jalina Porter called the resumption of contacts between North and South Korea "a positive step."
North Korea's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, warned that farming has become a "life or death" issue amid severe food shortages.
Wendy Sherman has expressed concerns about food security and the COVID pandemic in the isolated country.
In this new documentary series on Netflix, Peter Dinklage narrates the infamous life stories of some of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century.
North Korea has, like Mexico, thrown its support behind Cuba's government after recent protests in Havana.
Newsweek has obtained unpublished data from the state-sponsored Korea Institute for National Unification's latest opinion survey, including what research fellow Lee Sang Sin called "a very interesting" shift.
"We express our full support to and solidarity with all efforts and measures taken by the government and people of Cuba for safeguarding the dignity and sovereignty of the country and defending to the end their fatherland, revolution and gains of socialism," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
While North Korea conceded it faces challenges, its report also raved about the life people in the country live, including its universal health care system.
South Korean officials said North Korea doesn't seem to have any foreign COVID-19 vaccines, and it isn't clear if Kim Jong-un has been vaccinated.
Released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the report stated that North Korea is expected to produce a "near-average level" of food crop, which is around 5.6 million tons.
China's envoy to North Korea "called on the US to take seriously and address the DPRK's legitimate and reasonable concerns" and a State Department spokesperson told Newsweek that Washington and Beijing "need to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Kim's message came a day after state media said he had told a powerful Politburo meeting that a "crucial" lapse in the anti-virus campaign has caused a "great crisis."
"Based on the latest COVID-19 update from the government to WHO (as of 24 June), there are still no COVID-19 cases reported in DPR Korea," a WHO spokesperson told Newsweek.
"It's clear that something significant happened and it was big enough to warrant a reprimanding of senior officials," Hong Min, a senior analyst at Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification said.
Kim Jong-un recently admitted the food situation in North Korea is "getting tense" as imports from China have dropped 90 percent.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said contact with the U.S. "would get us nowhere, only taking up precious time."
"It seems that the U.S. may interpret the situation in such a way as to seek a comfort for itself," Kim Yo Jong told the official Korean Central News Agency. "The expectation, which they chose to harbor the wrong way, would plunge them into a greater disappointment."
Kim Yo Jong said the U.S.. had "wrong" expectations after national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed optimism for over talks with Pyongyang.
North Korean hacking group Kimsuky was one of the IP addresses tracked by an analysis following the cyberattack on the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute.
"We continue to hope that the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach and our offer to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions," Kim said.
"We hope the DPRK and the U.S. can meet each other halfway, earnestly accommodate each other's legitimate concerns on the basis of mutual respect and promote the political settlement of the Peninsula issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
"If he was experiencing health problems, he wouldn't have come out in public to convene the plenary meeting of the Workers' Party's Central Committee,"Hong Min, a senior analyst at Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification, said.
The efforts come after the North Korean economy suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, despite Kim's increasing bid to push the country towards self-reliance.
"Israel's horrific crime of killing the bud-like children, yet to be bloomed, is a severe challenge to the future of humankind and a crime against humanity," said the North Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Everything that we know is anecdotal," Lina Yoon, a North Korea specialist at Human Rights Watch, said. "I have been hearing that the situation is dire. Food accessibility is limited and people are having a hard time accessing daily necessities."
Recent reports from North Korean media claim that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, has banned Western fashion trends.
Kim Jong Un said: "The struggle against the anti-socialist and non-socialist practices is a do-or-die battle to defend the working-class purity and lifeline of our style of socialism," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.