North Korea has a policy of 선군, or “Military-First”, so we’re putting military-related stories first!
According to a North Korean scientist speaking to CNN, two rockets are ready to go for space launch, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 조선로동당 (朝鮮勞動黨/ Korean Workers Party [KWP]).
Back in April, we brought you a New Focus International article that talked about how the best brides in North Korea were teachers. New Focus International now has another article saying that brides who just came out of the military are one of the most undesirable, because they went through rough training, even rough for men let alone women, and thus makes them rough and unsuitable for marriage. Really? Like, they went through the military to serve their country, and this is the way they get treated? Like they’re worn-out rags getting ready to be thrown in the trash can? That’s screwed up on so many levels.
During an inspection that was shown in media, 38North.org has figured out that North Korea has inadvertantly revealed that they have a bio-weapons facility.
“How’s the view from Room 39?” The economic performance sure looks different on the ground:
The European Union has decided to put another North Korean company, and six North Koreans on a blacklist, which may help enforce some sanctions, and deny port of calls to some North Korean merchant ships, until that is, they decide to change shell company registrations.
The Market forces in North Korea say that baby products aren’t all that popular. Most young kids there get their things handed down to them. Unless the vendors have powdered milk, there’s not a whole lot of customers.
Daily NK says that monitoring subjects have expanded. It’s not just the foreign officials and other cadres, the government is also monitoring the 돈주 “Money Masters” that trade for a living as well.
North Korea is apparently selling their Viagra in Bangladesh.
North Korea Tech has some information on a new cell service that plans to rival 고려링크 (Koryolink). It’s actually offered by a local Internet Service Provider called 별.
From January to April of this year, production at the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/Kaesong Industrial Complex) rose by 26%
NK Today looks at the labor relations between the North Korean workers and their South Korean supervisors and bosses at the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/Kaesong Industrial Complex). Apparently, women work more than some men as well. So much for equality for the sexes in the socialist state.
Mr. Stephen Haggard looks into the needs assessment for aid in North Korea, and what is actually given to the humanitarian aid organizations.
Wage issues! You thought we were done with that fiasco at the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/Kaesong Industrial Complex), eh? Not quite. The two Koreas are going to discuss whether or not to raise wages, and if so, by how much? Next Thursday.
In 서울 (漢城한성/Seoul), a new outlet has been opened that exclusively sells products that were made in the 개성공업지구 (開城工業地區/Kaesong Industrial Complex).
Dieter Schmitt has an article, that admits most coverage on business deals involving North Korea tend to concentrate on the illicit activities, but North Korea does indeed have legitimate businesses. Now, he doesn’t get into how these businesses may be involved with other shell companies that may or may not be involved with illicit activities, but that’s outside the scope of his article. He lists which legitimate industries you can actually do business with, and even touches upon business visas.
요! Here’s the 411 on North Korea’s propaganda and information flow!
Fyodor Tertitskiy looks at the doctored photos of North Korea, and shows the changing messages North Korea has about it’s history, and the people who helped shape it.
Do you know where the Supreme Leader might be? [(PAWStamp) “A CLUE! A CLUE!”]
According to Daily NK, 김정은 (金正恩/Kim, Jong-un) was quite angry on an inspection he did in May. As a result, the cadre in charge of that facility was allegedly executed.
…It is exactly this type of behavior that South Korea is seeing more defections from mid-level officials. Some believe that this will lead to the collapse of the regime, but not necessarily. This actually may make it easier for the new regime to run things more smoothly without opposition.
…And with these increased defections by mid-level ranking officials, North Korea is also looking into its low-level overseas laborers as well.
According to South Korean government estimates, the number of female North Korean defectors has reached 83% this year, measured from January to May.
김정은 visited the Automation Institute of 김책공업종합대학 (金策工業綜合大學/KimChaek University of Technology)
A man named 오기범, an ethnic Korean with PRC citizenship, was caught in South Korea for stealing money from an elderly South Korean woman’s bank account. South Korean authorities are trying to verify his identity, but YTN suspects he may be the nephew of 최룡해 (崔龍海/Choe, Ryong-hae), a top North Korean aide.
And we end this section with a link to the Kim, Jong-Un Looks At Things Tumblr blog. This time, looking at a carpet.
Now, we’ll get to North-South relations, reunification issues, life in North Korea, & refugee matters.
Ms 이현서 (Lee, Hyeon-Seo) made some more appearances on BBC, to talk about her latest book “The Girl With Seven Names”.
Israeli-based law organization שורת הדין (Shurat HaDin), which takes on issues affecting terrorism victims’ and their families, is asking the Mexican authorities to hand over the North Korean merchant vessel, the 무두봉. The organization had represented a case where a South Korean pastor was kidnapped by North Korea and subsequently passed away. שורת הדין took the case to the US courts, and won. So now they are trying to get their hands on the ship to collect on the amount owed.
…10 of the crewmembers of that ship, after being detained by Mexican authorities, might possibly have been repatriated to North Korea. Minus the Captain and First Mate.
NK Today follows a YTN report on a North Korean girl in her 20s who is actually looking after 7 orphans.
The Lindenbaum Orchestra had coordinated with North Korean entities and the 통일부 (統一部/Unification Ministry) in setting up a symphony in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonialization. Unfortunately, the venue they chose was 판문점 (板門店/Pan Mun Jom), located within the 비무장지대 (非武裝地帶/DeMilitarized Zone [DMZ]), which falls under the jurisdiction of the 국방부 (國防部/Ministry of Defense), which has not authorized the event.
Now that the dust has settled, Former First Lady 이희호 (李姬鎬/Lee, Hee-Ho) will be visiting North Korea on August 5-8.
…This however is being threatened by the fact that South Korea has rescued some North Korean fisherman. You’d think the North Korean government would be grateful for that, but of the five fisherman saved, only two wanted to return. The North Korean government says the South is holding the others out of their own will, and are saying they might cancel the former First Lady’s trip if these people are not returned.
…North Korea has demanded that South Korea return ALL the fishermen, but South Korea says it will not go against the will of those that want to stay behind.
박승원, a high-ranking North Korean, and possibly one of the people responsible for buildings at the 마식령 스키장 (馬息嶺 스키場/Masikryong Ski Resort), has defected to South Korea. In fact, aside from his defections, there has been a recent surge in coverage on mid and high-level defections in the South Korean media. Some believe this is a result of the execution of 현영철(玄永哲/Hyon, Yong-Chol).
…The South Korean government is denying allegations that he specifically defected, but have not denied claims that 10 mid-ranking North Koreans defected to the South. North Korean media says that the South Korean media are spreading lies.
…South Korea’s Foreign Minister 윤병세 (尹炳世/Yun, Byung-Se), has said since taking power, 김정은 has executed more than 70 people, and is a 7-fold increase compared to his father’s first three years in office, and says that overseas laborers are worried about the current administration.
This is our final segment. A hodgepodge of stories we didn’t know where to put, like this one:
North Korea Tech spotted a picture from PyongYang 360, that actually features the intranet IP address numbers that connect North Korean citizens to specific websites.
For €2,890 ($3,184 USD), Koryo Tours will offer you an 11-day tour of North Korea via train.
On July 8th, the New York Stock Exchange was halted for several hours. No one at the time could explain why, but then a parody North Korean Twitter account, believed to be the real-deal by Fox News, was quoted, and people started attributing this to a North Korean hack. Unfortunately, the NYSE came out and admitted that the glitch was due to new software they had implemented the night before, and was not a target of a deliberate attack.
정대세 (鄭大世/チョン・テセ/Chong, Tae-Se), the Japanese-born ethnic Korean, who played for the North Koreans in the 2010 World Cup, and later for South Korea, will now be heading back to Japan to play for one of their local teams.