North Korea has a policy of 선군, or “Military-First”, so we’re putting military-related stories first!
There are no signs of an imminent launch at the 서해 위성 발사장 (西海 衛星 發射場/West Coast Satellite Launch Facility)
…However, the nuclear reactor over at 녕변 (寧邊/YongByon) might have resumed operations.
“How’s the view from Room 39?” The economic performance sure looks different on the ground:
NK News brings us a piece from KCNA that shows a new credit card service for North Koreans.
Polestar Trading Company, Ltd, based in China, and Ryon-ha 2, a trading company, are now on the US Sanctions’ list. Both companies are linked to North Korea.
요! Here’s the 411 on North Korea’s propaganda and information flow!
Remember that BBC plan to broadcast in Korean, so that North Korean refugees can tune in on their illegally-obtained radios that aren’t just set to that single station? Well, after having said that it will happen, there are some doubts as to how it will be funded.
홍문표(洪文杓/Hong, Moon-Pyo), a legislator of the conservative 새누리 (Saenuri “New Frontier”) Party, went after karaoke parlors that carry North Korean songs, saying that they can “poison” South Koreans. Technically, according to the strict interpretation of South Korea’s 국가보안법(國家保安法/National Security Law), it’s actually illegal. Under the military dictatorship, this could not have happened, and the people that own these places would have been put in prison.
Do you know where the Supreme Leader might be? [(PAWStamp) “A CLUE! A CLUE!”]
To mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, all the usual suspects were gathered, and speeches were made.
Chinese president 習近平 (습근평/Xi, jin-Ping) sent his congratulatory message to 김정은 (金正恩/Kim, Jong-un) in celebration of the anniversary, and urged for regional peace.
김정은 (金正恩/Kim, Jong-un) met with a Cuban delegation on Monday.
Sinu’iju Measuring Instrument Factory, that’s where the Supreme Leader was last Friday.
And we end this section with a link to the Kim, Jong-Un Looks at Things Tumblr blog. This time, looking at plans for a fish processing station.
Now, we’ll get to North-South relations, reunification issues, life in North Korea, & refugee matters.
라진 (羅津 — Rajin) was hit with a flood last month, that was last to have reported to displace 11,000 families. More accurate numbers are out: 6,473 families equalling 22,656 people have been affected. 10 people are still missing, with 89 dead. 1,420 families are now homeless, and 4,036 hectares (15.6sq miles) of land have been damaged. Premier 박봉주(朴奉珠 or 朴鳳柱/Pak, Pong-Ju) later came to inspect the damage at Farm #1116.
Although there’s not enough time for the 이산 가족 (divided families of the Korean War) to catch the 추석 (秋夕/Chuseok) holiday weekend, they will be able to meet with each other on 중양절(重陽節/Double-Ninth Festival), which marks the 9th month’s 9th day on the Traditional Korean Calendar. A traditional holiday, where the Chrysanthemums are in full bloom, and in Korea, they take the petals and sweet rice powder, pan-fry it, and make 국화전 (菊花煎/Chrysanthemum Pancakes).
…Earlier today on the Gregorian Calendar‘s 9th month, 9th day, the Red Cross chose its first group of 500 families who were allowed to go to the event next month.
Marzuki Darusman, U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, said “At the same time, we should not lose sight of the fact that both unification and accountability share a common goal — the improvement of the human rights situation on the Korean Peninsula,” meaning that if Korea was unified (under the south), then accountability over the human rights issues, and tracking down who is responsible could be openly investigated.
This is our final segment. A hodgepodge of stories we didn’t know where to put, like this one:
Dr. Kayla Iacovino talks to the Korean Kontext about her time in North Korea in 2013. What’s interesting is how despite the “equality” of the sexes is in North Korea, she noted how all female geologists there tended to stay in the labs, and it’s rare to find a female geologist doing field work.