North Korea has a policy of 선군, or “Military-First”, so we’re putting military-related stories first!
Reuters asks if North Korea’s missile launch, is really space junk.
…38North.org’s verdict: It’s definately not a missile capable of carrying warheads.
The nuclear test facility at 풍계리 (豊溪里/PungGye-Ri) is seeing some new activity, but analysis remains cautious, as to what this means.
…On the otherhand, the 서해 위성 발사장 (西海 衛星 發射場/West Coast Satellite Launch Facility) is showing signs of limited activity. While it’s possible a launch may be coming, it may not be coming in time for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the 조선로동당 (朝鮮勞動黨/ Korean Workers Party [KWP]) on October 10th.
DPRK Ambassador to the UK 현학봉, has said that the North Koreans are not afraid of further sanctions by the West, even if they decide to do so because of the feared missile launch.
“How’s the view from Room 39?” The economic performance sure looks different on the ground:
First there was the drought, then there wasn’t. Then the FAO says the drought may not be that bad, but it’ll still affect crop yields. Now recently, state media is touting the success of their agricultural reforms increasing crop yields. Uhm… Yeah!
North Korean and Chinese scholars debated North Korea’s business laws. The Chinese scholars mainly said that the North Korean laws are really subject to the whims of whatever the leadership feels like doing. Sounds like the kettle calling the pot black.
President of the World Bank 김용(金墉/Jim Yong Kim), not to be mistaken for the Hong Kong martial arts novel author who goes under the pen name, 金庸 (김용/Jin, Yong), says that if North Korea were to make any requests, the World Bank would step in and help with infrastructure and advice.
North Korea is implementing reforms for current colleges, and forming new ones that specialize in specific fields, so that the government can benefit from a work force that fits their needs.
Mr. Marcus Noland keeps a track of the North Korean laborers authorized to work overseas in horrible conditions. One such place is Qatar, where these workers have been subcontracted to work on the Olympics and World Cup stadiums.
Sino NK talks about an upcoming Trade fair in 丹東 (단동/DanDong), which will most likely involve the upcoming 國門灣 (국문만/GuomenWan) 自由貿易區(자유무역구/Free Trade Zone). However local party-shakeups (i.e. corruption crackdowns) of local officials in the area may stir things up even for PRC-DPRK trade.
The bridge between China’s Northeast and North Korea at China’s 丹東 and North Korea’s 신의주(新義州/SinUiJu), has partially collapsed, according to satellite imagery. On both sides of the border, the cars are waiting to ship their goods. DailyNK’s website has pictures from the scene, and shows the bridge with cracks and holes, that toppled a truck.
In the lead-up towards the celebrations of the 70th founding of the KWP, North Korea’s oil tanker fleet has been busy.
요! Here’s the 411 on North Korea’s propaganda and information flow!
Simon Fowler wrote an article for the BBC about the Americans who had left off for “Juche Paradise”, and became big stars there.
The Peninsula talks about outside information getting into North Korea, whether it’s Loudspeakers along the border blasting South Korean pop music, or if it’s from an illegal DVD with foreign media. Foreign media is the main reason many defectors start to doubt official propoganda.
Choson Exchange has pictures of people gathered around in different places to watch a cartoon called 소년장수 (The Boy General), which recently saw a new installation of episodes.
Do you know where the Supreme Leader might be? [(PAWStamp) “A CLUE! A CLUE!”]
김정은(金正恩/Kim, Jong-Un) toured a giant river cruiser, and he named it the 무지게 (“rainbow”). You can see pictures of the ship decked out in colorful lights.
And we end this section with a link to the Kim, Jong-Un Looks At Things Tumblr Blog. This time, looking at waterslides.
Now, we’ll get to North-South relations, reunification issues, life in North Korea, & refugee matters.
“For One single day, we’ve been suffering for an entire year.” These are some of the complaints DailyNK has been getting from their sources in the country. Specifically, they’re addressing the gold mining quotas that have been upped, causing miners to work much harder, only for the gold to go to cadres.
Anyone in Hawaii, you’re gonna’ wanna’ hear Mr. Marcus Noland talk at the 2015 Seiji Naya Asia-Pacific Lecture on October 13 at 6:30p.m. at the University of Hawaii: Manoa Campus. More details are on their website, the link is in our shownotes.
Joshua Stanton takes a few more jabs it to the women involved with the Women Cross DMZ for their failure to bring about womens’ issues in North Korea, while calling for world peace. Issues like the gulags, which perpetuate a lot of the violence towards women, and lets us know how Camp 12 has expanded.
김련희, a defector who says she accidentally defected to South Korea, was given a clip of her family begging her to return. Her silence has been up to interpretation. Human Rights people are divided: Should the South Korean government allow refugees to return to the North? Or to keep them safe, should the government forcibly keep them without their full consent?
A delegation of South Korean 천태 (天台/Cheon-dae) Buddhist monks have been approved to meet with the North Korean Buddhist Federation on Saturday, at North Korean-controlled 개성 (開城/Kaesong), where 령통사 (靈通寺/Ryong-tong Temple), a Buddhist Temple which holds significance to the 천태 (天台/Cheon-dae) Sect, has been reconstructed recently.
According to 연합뉴스 (聯合News/Yonhap News [YTN]), a South Korean official was cited over the upcoming 이산가족(離散家族/Korean war-separated families) meeting was hard-won, and that it seems like things will go as planned. However, they also noted their fears of a possible missile launch deterring the meeting from happening.
This is our final segment. A hodgepodge of stories we didn’t know where to put, like this one:
I really love James Church’s “Inspector O” entries at 38North.org. Check out the latest one, the link is in our shownotes.
Allegedly, shots were fired from North Korea across the PRC-DPRK border, injuring two Chinese residents.
Members of the 在日本朝鮮人總聯合會 (재일본 조선인 총련합회/ざいにほんちょうせんじんそうれんごうかい/General Association of Korean Residents in Japan), sometimes shortened as “朝鮮総連”(조선총련/ちょうせんそうれん/Korean General Association) or simply just “總聯” (총련/Chongryon) Youth, were reported to have made a field trip to North Korea. Wonder if they’ll be determined to stay in Japan from hereon forth.
US Deputy Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, will be in South Korea next week to meet with his South Korean counterpart, to prepare for an upcoming meeting between President Obama and 박근혜 (朴槿惠/Park, Geun-Hye).