North Korea Tech let us know that indiegogo, a website dedicated to letting people on the internet fund proposed projects, had a page where two people supposedly named Andrew Fox and Dong, Kyung-sun campaigned to start a coup against North Korea by bringing in radio transistors. To use a phrase from “The Interview”, people were “honeydicked” into giving $100, and shortly after the campaign had vanished. North Korea Tech did some more research and found that the profile pictures for the two were stock images from Getty Images. You can find Andrew Fox under “confident business man” and Dong, Kyung-sun under “serious Korean man”.
…Funny enough, shortly after the campaign was started, President Obama had admitted that military actions towards North Korea were limited, because of the damage it would cause to South Korea. He says that access to information and the internet would be able to bring it down though. I think this is the first time a standing president actually admitted that war on the Korean peninsula is not a good idea, yet they haven’t done enough to alleviate North Korean fears that the annual ROK-US exercises are meant to destroy North Korea.
김정은(金正恩/Kim, Jong-Un) “provided guidance” to the “Western Front’s Mechanized Armoured Infantry” for a riverine-crossing exercise, as part of their Winter Training Cycle, which seems to have been delayed. The exact unit or location of the training was not mentioned.
SOUTH KOREA also conducted its own live-fire drill on Tuesday, January 27th, on the island of 백령도 (白翎島/Baeknyeong Island), where a new naval base was stood up last year, and also off of 연평도 (延坪島/YeonPyeong Island), both islands are right up against the maritime border with North Korea.
According to DailyNK sources, compulsory military service will start this April for women. All women from the age of 17 to 20 must serve, as long as they meet medical qualifications. Two Indoctrination periods are April and August. April, is targetted towards the 17-19 year-old high school graduates, while August is mainly for the 20 year-old workers. However, unlike men who have to serve for 10 years, women draftees only need to serve until the age of 23. Before compulsory service came for women, volunteers would have to serve 7 years.
And despite months and months of looking at nuclear reactors, and not seeing any signs of tests, this time, 38North says that the 5MWe Reactor MIGHT be in the process of being turned back on.
Randall Ireson wrote a piece for 38North on what you should expect for this years’ agricultural practices, gleaming through what bits and pieces we can find through 김정은‘s 2015 speech. Despite having increased the percentage of what people could take, there were vested interests against rolling out last year’s policies, and even then, it’s being rolled out unevenly rather than across the board.
North Korea had notified 서울 (漢城한성/Seoul) back in September, of its plans to change terms of the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/ Kaesong Industrial Complex). Saying that if the South Korean government decided to pull its businesses out for any reason, that they would be able to detain South Korean business people, seize properties, and demand for reparations. It wasn’t until Tuesday, January 27th, that South Korea’s 통일부(統一部/Unification Ministry) said that it was a unilateral move, and that they are monitoring North Korean statements for any changes or responses. These plans have not been declared, but it also took a while for South Korea to sift through the details.
The Wonsan Tourist zone has been announced. It will be a 430 square kilometer area, which includes Wonsan City and Popdong, Anbyon, Thongchon and Kosong counties and some parts of Kumgang County in Kangwon Province as well.
Today, marks the 10-year anniversary of the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/ Kaesong Industrial Complex). 10 companies that have operations in the zone had an annual growth rate of 10.16% in sales profits, and 11.76% in operating profits.
According to the Korea International Trade Association, North Korea’s imports of cell phones from China costed $82.8-Million US dollars in 2014. The hugest surge in cell phones since 2007.
Fyodor Tertitskiy wrote a very good piece for NKNews about 신의주(新義州/SinUiJu), and its Special Administrative Region, which has been erroneously mentioned as an “Economic Zone” in the past. What’s the difference between the two? I highly suggest you read the article at DailyNK to find out.
Last week, we mentioned a possible trip to Russia for 김정은. However, Adam Cathcart says this may not be the case, because there’s an equal case to be made for him to travel to Indonesia instead. So is he going anywhere?
…NKNews, as of January 28, has confirmed, that he is indeed going to Russia
And, there’s an old picture of 김정은 looking at Dennis Rodman, from a couple of years ago. Brought to you by the Kim Jong-un Looks at Things Tumblr blog.
Jonathan Cheng of the WallStreet Journal brings us a pie chart of South Koreans perceptions of North Koreans. Obviously mostly negative, but in light of President 박근혜 (朴槿惠/Park, Geun-Hye)‘s calls for reunification, only 5.4% of South Koreans in their 20s believe North Koreans are of the same ethnicity, and only 11% think about reunification.
If you’ve ever wondered if there were gay people in North Korea, you’re in luck. A defector has actually answered that question. Funny enough, there are no laws against homosexuality, so even if people would call the police, nothing much could be done. Unlike other NKNews articles, this one’s not behind a paid wall, so check it out! For a much more light-hearted impression of what Koreans think about gays, you should check out 김정일(金正日/Kim, Jong-Il)-impersonator, Margaret Cho‘s impersonation of her mother describing “gay experiences”.
DailyNK has a story (in Korean, not yet translated into English) about a defector who didn’t use the help of a broker to escape from North Korea. He and a friend did it all on their own, and now, he’s quite successful in the South. You can read his story at DailyNK, the link is in our shownotes.
Show Notes[table “22” not found /]