We will take a break next week, so no episodes there, but we’ll be back the week after, hopefully at our new location. Stay tuned!
North Korea has a policy of 선군, or “Military-First”, so we’re putting military-related stories first!
On Monday, August 3rd, 7:40am, an explosion at 연천군(漣川郡/YeonCheon County), near the 비무장지대 (非武裝地帶/DeMilitarized Zone [DMZ]) killed two South Korean soldiers.
NK News has a really good piece on the changing environments that effect the 국방부 (國防部/Ministry of Defense) said that they, and the US are both capable of detecting North Korean missile launches.
The latest report on North Korea’s nuclear strategy is out at 38North.org. Check it out.
There’s a special report out at the Nautilus Institute. Even though military action recently has been quiet for the most part, which is reflected in their energy use, which hasn’t increased much either, despite the increased media rhetoric on threatening military action. Because to actually have an effective military, they need to train, and to make a modern military run, it needs fuel and energy, but using more of that finite resource would take away from resources elsewhere. Very good report that breaks down how they came to their estimates for all branches of service, and each major platform.
“How’s the view from Room 39?” The economic performance sure looks different on the ground:
이유진, researcher at the 한국산업은행 (韓國産業銀行/Korea Development Bank), says with increasing privitization of the animal husbandry business in North Korea, there may be a chance for inter-Korean cooperation, especially in milk and egg production.
Mr. Andrei Lankov has a good article on how the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/Kaesong Industrial Complex) has gone from a North Korean military treat, to a money-making cash cow. In spite of this, it’s a thorough joint-Korean venture that has flourished. You can check out more details, the link is in our shownotes.
매뚜기 시장 or “grasshopper markets”, are named such, because these are illegal, temporary stalls where people sell things, and are ready to hop out of there with their things intact at a moment’s notice. Because it’s not under the control of the authorities who try to take their cut, it’s pretty serious. However, it’s also very pervasive throughout the country and is hard to crack down.
Wind and solar energy was added to 남포 (南浦/Nampho)‘s energy portfolio. Although the power from these renewable energy sources aren’t good enough to run industrial equipment, it is used to reduce the reliance of fossil fuels in certain areas, so they can use their limited amount of fuel towards the industrial machines and ships that need them.
Despite North Korea’s worries about the drought, NK News says that their imports from China don’t show an increase in preparation for it.
요! Here’s the 411 on North Korea’s propaganda and information flow!
In the “decadent West”, a tattoo is a form of self-expression that you may regret much later. In North Korea, people have tattoos too. Except, they tend to be propoganda material. Something about defending the motherland, and dieing for the Royal Kims or something. So you are pretty sure to regret it much later when you defect to the South.
The site, Retro DPRK is advertising their collection of archived tourist materials (posters, postcards, and other knicknacks). They even have a recent scan of an old tourist book, where you can see what’s in the pages. You should check it out at their website. The link is in our shownotes.
Do you know where the Supreme Leader might be? [(PAWStamp) “A CLUE! A CLUE!”]
FINALLY! Some recognition for “peace, justice and humility”! Yeah, that’s right! 김정은(金正恩/Kim, Jong-Un) wins a peace prize! Where can a dictator get some recognition for this? From another country with a shady record of human rights. This is a country where opinion polls with positive views of North Korea are actually higher than some other places. The Sukarno Education Foundation based in Indonesia will be giving the award.
리수용(李洙墉/Ri, Su-Yong) was originally reported to leave for North Korea on August 6th. It turns out he left Monday, August 3rd, and actually attended the ASEAN conference on August 4th.
Now, we’ll get to North-South relations, reunification issues, life in North Korea, & refugee matters.
North Korea shows the captive Canadian pastor 임현수 “remorsing” over trying to overthrow the North Korean government at their state-run church in 평양 (平壤/Pyongyang).
The South Korean government said that former first lady 이희호 (李姬鎬/Lee, Hee-Ho) will not be bringing a message from the government, thus she will be visiting North Korea this week on a private citizen basis. Her plans to visit North Korea were approved just a day before she was scheduled to leave.
…She arrived in North Korea earlier today, and is expected to be there for 4 days. Whether or not she can meet up with 김정은 is still being speculated.
A group of South Korean businessmen will visit North Korea to honor their late business chairman 정몽헌(鄭夢憲/Chung, Mong-Hun), the chairman of the 현대아산 (現代峨山/Hyundai Asan) Group, who started the 금강산 관광 지구 (金剛山 觀光 地區/Mount Kumgang Tourist Region). His father 정주영(鄭周永/Chung, Ju-Yung) was the founder of the group, and also born in what is now North Korea. The group will also discuss methods on reopening the tourist zone.
If there is one thing that will be revived however, it will be the 경원선 (京元線/Seoul-Wonsan rail line). Construction began yesterday on August 4th Tuesday.
A question was submitted to NK News about how North Korean society treats the mentally ill. Turns out people call mental institutions “Hospital 49”. Why? The author doesn’t know. But if you can be assured that America is having trouble addressing its problem of the mentally ill, North Korea is not better off by much. Although, you can at least see a psychiatrist in the US, if you can afford one.