North Korea releases 85-year-old American retiree Merrill Newman after 42 days in captivity. The United States once again asks the DPRK to pardon and release Kenneth Bae.
In escalating tensions over the past week, North Korea accuses the United States of double standards when it comes to condemning missile tests, saying that the U.S. only condemned North Korea the same day that South Korea also tested missiles. North Korean state media cited its chief as saying that the American response was a "vivid revelation of the American-style double-dealing attitude" and also says that unless "the U.S. drops its hostile policies towards North Korea, denuclearization can never be put on the table" of negotiations.
In response to the annual military drills, North Korea threatens to destroy Seoul and Washington, D.C. through nuclear weapons if provoked. Both South Korea and the United States insist the drills are for defense.
The North Korean government denies the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations's (FBI) accusation of involvement in hacking Sony's computers, asking the U.S. for a joint investigation and threatening "serious consequences" if the United States refuses the offer of cooperation.
A spokesperson for North Korea suggests new United States sanctions against it are "in violation" of a United Nations statement which did not apportion blame for the sinking of a South Korean warship.