‘Perceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy in East Asia’

first_img Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke” Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion WASHINGTON—22 June 2005. The Brookings Institute and the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) put on a joint discussion this afternoon to discuss broadly the successes and failures of U.S. foreign policy. Featuring a panel of five scholars, currently in the middle of 10-month fellowships at CNAPS, representing various government and nongovernmental academic groups from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, the panel successfully created a forum for this group of experts and leaders to present their Eastern perspectives on the development of foreign policy in the West. At a time when U.S. foreign policy has been getting deconstructed and accused of having imperialistic intentions for its motives in invading Iraq, it seems contradictory to find a panel of foreign discussants assembled to present their opinions and viewpoints on U.S. policies in an environment where they are encouraged to be critical. Perhaps beyond anything that was discussed in detail during the panel, the openness of the forum and the fact that it was assembled in the first place is a positive indicator that the health of the U.S. democratic system is still functioning.The moderator of the discussion did well to keep the diverse background of the panelists in mind. His opening question asked, “What do you see as the positive aspects of U.S. foreign policy? And, what aspects do you see as negative?” Each panelist was given a chance to respond to the first question before offering any critical remarks. The panel commended the U.S. on its dedication to the promotion of democracy in the Middle East and for the underlying belief in a people’s capacity to change for the better in accepting democracy, shown by the vigilance of the U.S. in fighting oppositional forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Korean Professor of International Relations at the Catholic University of Korea Dr. Park Kun Young complemented the U.S.’s generous response to the tsunami earlier this year. Ms. Shyh-Fang Liu of the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party and a former senior official in the Taiwanese government said that she has long admired the U.S. system for its commitment to bipartisan debate. Hong Kong Polytechnic Economics Professor Dr. Whenhui Zhu enthusiastically agreed with Ms. Fang that the U.S. system does well in its pursuit of checks and balances through bipartisan politicking to maintain flexibility and continuity in its policymaking; however, Dr. Zhu was quick to say that he commends the U.S. on these accomplishments relative to other systems of governance and that while bipartisanship is one of the best indicators of a healthy democracy in the U.S., it is also the source of problematic domestic confusion and that the tendency to export the American conception of civic freedom while natural and empathetic is neither practical or constructive.Dr. Zhu’s observation opened up a line of critical analysis that each panelist seemed prepared to give an opinion on. Mr. Quan Jing, a career diplomat with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs presently working on analyzing the crisis management issues in the Sino-U.S. relations and the potential for the North Korea situation to create a crisis in the relationship, in agreement with Dr. Zhu’s assessment that the U.S. has inappropriately taken it upon itself to export the institution of democracy to non-democratic governments, specifically Iraq. Mr. Jing stated that he believes that all people are naturally inclined to embrace political freedom as their most basic human right and that democracy is capable of spreading freedom throughout the world. Democracy, however, Mr. Jing continued, is not so much an institution as it is a set of ideals and to be able to function in any society it must be indoctrinated in the confidence of its constituents. Establishing the mandatory self-confidence in the ideals of democracy is a process that—even on the level of individuals—takes many years if not decades, which begets several criticisms of U.S. foreign policy.First, the unilateralism employed in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 will not stand as an acceptable framework for democracy promotion, Mr. Jing said. The consequence of going ahead with invading Iraq, the professor continued, has been a loss of credibility in the eyes of the international community in terms of the U.S.’s commitment to diplomatic negotiating process. The U.S. must now be committed to staying in Iraq for as long as it takes to foster a self-sustaining democratic environment. Given the fact that democracy cannot be installed overnight, Mr. Jing said, the Bush Administration made a fatal error in not waiting for more comprehensive multilateral support before going into Iraq.Dr. Park, in agreement with Mr. Jing, posed the question, “If the U.S. was prepared to invade Iraq on the basis that Saddam may have had nuclear weapons and because the citizens of Iraq were suffering inhumane conditions, then why has the Bush Administration not taken action in the cases of Pakistan, North Korea and Burma?” Dr. Park continued saying, the U.S. has not seemed prepared to attack these nations for the sake of human rights. A matter of consensus emerged throughout the panelists’ viewpoints that the U.S. created a rift in negotiating procedure and framework by invading Iraq without pursuing further noncombatant negotiations that has now become a roadblock to negotiations with North Korea and the East Asian countries involved in the Six-Party talks. With the North Korea human rights and nuclear arms situation as the subject of the discussion, the moderator opened the forum to field questions from the audience. Several members of the audience, which constituted a comprehensive representation of Washington’s NGOs, embassies, universities, various U.S. officials, and representatives of Asian political parties and businesses, seemed to have prepared questions for the panelists regarding the Six-Party negotiations over the North Korea issue. The panelists alternated responding to the audiences’ questions addressing various aspects of the negotiations procedures and continuously asserting that there is no chance of negotiating with North Korea successfully without a unification of voices among the parties behind the directives of U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Taniguchi, a highly respected political and economic commentator in Japan, asserted that the U.S. has made such an alignment of voices extremely difficult by its use of unilateralism in Iraq. For this exact reason, Mr. Taniguchi then stated, that negotiations with North Korea have become infinitely more complex as a result of the Iraq invasion, the U.S. cannot excuse unilateral action in any region, at any time, by citing dedication to spreading democracy as an excuse. Dr. Zhu, becoming the panel’s voice of optimism, followed Mr. Taniguchi’s analyses, adding his view that much of Chinese and other Asian culture’s hesitance to trust the U.S. is derivative of a lack of experience with America and Americans themselves. Dr. Zhu told the audience of his affection for the U.S. and Americans and how he and his family have had warm and constructive experiences here. But, he says, democracy means different things for different people, and it must be accepted on people’s own terms. North Korea, said Dr. Zhu, wants above all else to achieve normalization of regional relations—it is a matter of distrust of Western institutions that continues to prevent this. Mr. Taniguchi added, a ‘saturation point’ has been reached in his home Japan for citizens’ toleration of North Korean human rights violations—the Japanese citizens yearn for liberalization and reform in North Korea. Mr. Jing, followed Dr. Zhu’s analyses and brought some closure to the afternoon’s event. Stating that the nations of the Western hemisphere are dependent on U.S. for stability economically and in terms of security, while in the East, he continued, U.S. relationships with Japan, China, and especially South Korea, have done more to foster democracy, freedom, and open-trade polices in the region than any other force. What the U.S. now needs, Mr. Jing concluded, is not a completely new foreign policy, but rather one that is better representative of U.S. interests and values on a globally consistent front. In his statement, Mr. Jing imbued the U.S. as a nation of people who embrace democracy in their heart of hearts but are lacking a government who can empower policies that do the same. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center center_img Facebook Twitter By Daily NK – 2005.06.27 10:17am Analysis & Opinion Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? SHARE ‘Perceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy in East Asia’last_img read more

North Korea’s Golf Course, 100 Members of the Elite

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News North Korea’s Golf Course, 100 Members of the Elite [imText1]While golf equipment was amongst the list of banned luxury goods the U.S. government announced recently, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on the 6th that golf is a symbol of luxurious pleasure that only the elite in North Korea can experience.Citing from a Pyongyang report by an Agence France-Presse correspondent, RFA revealed “The main golf course in North Korea is “Pyongyang Golf Course” with about 100 members, which in reality are all officials of Chosun Workers’ Party” and “Annual membership paid by the member amounts to $10,000.”The correspondent said “This is a figure the average North Korean citizen could not even dream as an expense” and “The golf course in North Korea is a symbol of luxurious pleasure only experienced by authority officials or the elite.”In the vicinity of Lake Taesung in Yongkang-gun, Nampo 38km from Pyongyang is “Pyongyang Golf Course,” equipped with a complete 18 hole course and ample enough to host an international golf tournament. The course was established in ’87 in celebration of Kim Il Song’s 75th birthday, sponsored by the Jochongnyeon, the pro-North Korean residents’ league in Japan.Although it is said that a golf course exists within the grounds of Kim Il Sung’s Mountain Myohang villa and Ryongsung resort, the only golf course open to the public is ‘Pyongyang Golf Course.’ Mountain Myohang golf course is located in a valley 1.5km from Hyangsan Hotel, whereas Ryongsung golf course is situated 20 min by car from Pyongyang. There are also mini courses, such as Yangkakdo golf course and Pyongyang golf practice range, Nampo Wawoodo golf course (9 holes). With investments by South Korean business, more golf courses are being constructed in areas such as Mt. Geumgang.However, these golf courses are mainly accommodated to foreigners and excluding the elitist class, common people in possession of foreign currency such as Korean born Japanese or foreigners with blood-relatives are also using the courses. Golf is one of Kim Jong Il’s favorite pastimes. In a book written by Fujimoto Kenji, once Kim Jong Il’s personal cook, Fujimoto wrote of his times at a golf course with Kim Jong Il at his villa. At the golf course Fujimoto visited with Kim Jong Il, Kim asked Fujimoto ‘Compared to all the other places in the world, what do you think about the golf courses in North Korea?’ That day, when Kim Jong Il visited the golf course was October 6th and categorized a public holiday as a ‘The day Kim Jong Il visited.’ One time, North Korean mass media announced that at Kim Jong Il’s first time round of golf in `94, he scored an “eagle” followed by five “hold in ones,” recording a total score of 34. This only incited laughter from the international community.If he had made 34 hit shots in a round of 18 holes, based on a game of par 72, this would mean he is 38 under. Even if a golf angel happened to come from the heavens, this would be impossible. While deifying Kim Jong Il and having no knowledge of golfing rules, media officials only made the situation into a laughing comedy.In response, the New York Times sarcastically commented, that if the reports by North Korean media was true, Kim Jong Il should be selected as the “World’s number one golfer” as even professional golf competitors find it difficult to claim a hole a one in a lifetime. NewsEconomy SHARE News Facebook Twittercenter_img AvatarYang Jung A There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) By Yang Jung A – 2006.12.08 4:16pm News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once againlast_img

Watch Escort Bureau, Learn of Kim’s Successor

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Watch Escort Bureau, Learn of Kim’s Successor By Daily NK – 2008.09.16 6:21pm With the news of Kim Jong Il’s illness becoming an established fact, whether the North Korean leadership system will turn into a third-generation hereditary system or a military based-collective leadership system is generating interest.Discussing the possibility of a collective leadership system begins with acknowledging North Korea as a “normal country.” However, in actuality, North Korea is closer to Kim Il Sung’s and Kim Jong Il’s private property. From such a perspective, one can probably arrive at the correct answer to questions regarding the post-Kim Jong Il leadership system.In North Korea, Kim Jong Il has used the land and everything on it to their heart’s content–the factories, enterprises, public buildings, all facilities, the political and economic system, and even the citizens. In North Korea, all property is considered to be “national property” or the “possessions of the people,” but in reality the only people who can truly deal with these properties are Kim Jong Il and his family. From the Marxist historical materialism perspective, North Korea is on a par with an ancient slavery society and relations between Kim’s family and the average citizens can be thought of in terms of a ruling class of slave owners and a class of slaves. Spontaneous markets have risen up and have slightly changed the landscape, but since the 1970s, North Korea has essentially become the “property” of Kim Il Sung and his son. Consequently, the possibility of a father-son succession, as in the dynastic age, seems highly likely. That is, it is difficult to imagine Kim Jong Il handing over North Korea to a military group or another group as long as he is alive. ◆ Can the military really overcome the Workers’ Party? Some believe a military-dominated collective leadership is possible because they recognize the fact that the military elite can seize power relatively easily in extreme situations with their forces. “Military-first politics” is a key foundation supporting such logic. However, the problem with this analysis is that the military is merely Kim Jong Il’s “means of governing” and is not the main player that drives the regime. The real core of North Korea’s politics is clearly the “Workers’ Party.” One who is not a member of the Party cannot rise as an official, and no matter how powerful one is, s/he is strictly monitored by Secretaries of the Party.The fact that the National Defense Commission or the Defense Security Command of the Korean People’s Army could not even receive permission to inspect organizations of the Provincial Committees of the Party also hints at how much more powerful the Party is than the military. Furthermore, since last year when Jang Sung Taek took over the operations of the Ministry of Administration of the Workers’ Party, the authority of the People’s Safety Agency (PSA) has been strengthened further and the officers belonging to the PSA can directly inspect the vehicles of soldiers or their possessions. They can even inspect the homes of army officials.With Kim Jong Il reigning as the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, some view the National Defense Commission as an organization with power on par with the Chosun (North Korea) Workers’ Party. However, that only signifies that the status of the Commission has been raised by Kim’s leadership of it, and does not mean that it has assumed power at the summit of the decision-making apparatus. A National Defense Commission without Kim Jong Il merely amounts to being an accessory of the Party. The final reason which could account for difficulty in establishing a group-based leadership system is that the leading figures in the Party do not hold positions of power within the National Defense Commission. So, the concept of the army mobilizing military power to reign over the Party is unimaginable. If the National Defense Commission were to mobilize the army and try to launch a coup, there would almost certainly be no officers or soldiers that would attack Kim Jong Il’s family or the Party big-wigs.◆ In order to acquire information on a successor, raise an antennae in the Escort Bureau However, the media has zealously watched the North Korean military authorities, but has ignored Kim Jong Il’s private guard unit, the “Escort Bureau.”The Escort Bureau, which has camps near Kim Jong Il’s special villas scattered all around the country and especially in Pyongyang, has been strictly monitoring key figures in the army for Kim Jong Il’s safety, along with the National Security Agency and the PSA. Thus, if army figures jump into a power struggle, or if the Escort Bureau senses that someone can muster a coup, then the individual as well as his/her family can be destroyed in a single swoop.Further to which, Kim Jong Il has not placed the Border Patrol Guard, the Anti-aircraft Battery of the Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Guard and the People’s Safety Troops in the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, but has established a system that is directly overseen by the Party and the PSA. Moreover, North Korea’s Civil Defense Corps is directly maintained by the Party’s Civil Defense Unit. This is partly because North Korea can more expediently mobilize and equip them for some emergencies in this way, but it is an important tactic for decentralizing military power. So while North Korea itself is an untouchable property of Kim Jong Il’s family, there is only the merest hint of possibility that the country can be turned into a military-based collective leadership system, and if we accept that such a possibility is close to zero, who will be Kim Jong Il’s successor? To obtain the answer, an antenna should be set up at the Escort Bureau. SHARE AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Facebook Twitter Analysis & Opinioncenter_img Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

North Korea Will Reset the Nuclear Negotiations with Obama

first_img Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center North Korea Will Reset the Nuclear Negotiations with Obama Analysis & Opinion Facebook Twitter By Jeong Jae Sung – 2008.11.17 5:34pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? AvatarJeong Jae Sung center_img SHARE Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion The disablement of the Yongbyon facilities may not be completed during President Bush’s term of office because economic and energy aid has been delayed. North Korea stated last week that one key point of the verification, “taking samples” from the nuclear facilities, can only be discussed in the abandonment phase, not the disablement phase. The Six Party Talks accordingly face a rocky road ahead. A Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, quoted on the 15th a U.S. high official who claimed that the North Korean disablement process in the second phase could not be completed by January of next year due to the delayed energy aid. Regarding Japan’s refusal to give energy aid until the Japanese abduction issue is solved, the official said that the U.S. and Russia are in discussions to take on responsibility for the Japanese allotment of energy aid. However, budgetary allocation is up to the next administration. The official implied that the energy aid could not be sent to North Korea until the Obama administration ends budgetary deliberations in February. North Korea stated in a Foreign Ministry’s statement on the 12th that, “The verification of the shut down of the facilities will start after the fulfillment of energy aid obligations.” Pro-North Korean newspaper the Chosun Shinbo also noted on the 15th that, “Sampling can be discussed not in the disablement phase, but in the abandonment phase.” According to Chosun Shinbo, the U.S. and North Korea agreed early in October that in this disablement phase only visiting the sites, confirming documents and interviewing engineers are possible, so sampling should be discussed after the relations between the U.S. and North Korea are improved. The North Korea position means that North Korea does not want to discuss the sampling issue as part of the verification protocol, which is supposed to be adopted at the upcoming Six Party Talks. It seems to stem from “Salami Tactics” wherein North Korea slices the process of nuclear abandonment as thinly as possible and then requires rewards after each sliced step in order to both maximize rewards and to lengthen the term for abandonment. The U.S. initially planned to wrap up the second phase of disablement before the inauguration of the next President. However, the plan struck a snag. President-elect Obama additionally refuses to concede on this sampling issue, so the process of the nuclear negotiations may not be accomplished in the short term, even after the launch of the next administration. Jeon Sung Hoon, researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification said, “From the North’s view, there is no reason at all to speed up the nuclear disablement. It has already been removed from the U.S. terrorism list, so there is nothing to discuss with the Bush administration. Therefore, the North will try to run out the clock until the next administration arrives.”Jeon wryly added that, “The nuclear negotiations are now caught in a vicious circle: North Korea eases down the disablement process; energy aid to North Korea by the five countries of the Six Party Talks is delayed; and lo-and-behold the North’s disablement progress is further slowed.”He finally concluded that, “North Korea’s position regarding its refusal to allow sampling is a kind of declaration that the North will not permit the verification. While the Bush administration stuck to political achievements, it was dragged along by the North’s salami tactics.” Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

North Korea Finally Accepts 27

first_imgNews North Korea Finally Accepts 27 Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak By Kim Yong Hun – 2011.03.15 5:36pm There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China After more than a month of wrangling, the South Korean administration has announced that 27 North Koreans will be repatriated across the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea tomorrow. This morning, North Korea apparently sent a telephone message to the South in which it stated, “With consideration for the feelings of the families whom are waiting for these detained people, send the 27 people first by sea.” In response, the Ministry of Unification apparently sent a telephone message to the Chosun Red Cross Society in which it agreed, saying, “Based on humanitarian considerations, we will repatriate the 27 North Korean citizens by sea.” Given the existence of a warning about high seas, the Ministry said it also stated that it would be prepared to repatriate the 27 via Panmunjeom on the morning of the 16th, if necessary. North Korea did not mention the other four members of the 31-man group who have said they wish to defect. On this, an official with the Ministry pointed out, “Since they made clear their intention to remain in South Korea of their own free will, there is no particular change in their treatment.”center_img AvatarKim Yong Hun RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Facebook Twitter News SHARElast_img read more

Food Loans Can Act as Card for Discussion

first_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China News Food Loans Can Act as Card for Discussion By Mok Yong Jae – 2012.05.01 3:40pm AvatarMok Yong Jae RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img News With just one month to go before North Korea is due to begin repaying food loans made to it between 2000 and 2007 by the governments of President Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun, lawyer Han Myung Seob today suggested that, “Repayment of food loans should be linked to abductees, separated families and humanitarian issues and then negotiated with North Korea.”Han, speaking at a seminar held by the Institute for Peace Affairs, said, “South Korea should pass the ball to North Korea by giving notice of the repayment date and reimbursement. After watching North Korea’s response we should use this situation positively.”He continued, “North Korea’s will to repay the food loan back is the most important in this situation, but it is highly unlikely that North Korea will keenly pay it back. If North Korea remains in default on payment, South Korea will hold a card able to put pressure on the default.”“If South Korea, on the verge of the repayment date, notifies North Korea of it and requests payment then they will be able to link family reunions, abduction problems and other humanitarian issues to it,” he went on. Meanwhile, Cho Bong Hyun of IBK Institute of Economic Research said, “South Korea does not need to exempt, remit or extend the food loans. North Korea’s debt needs to be left so that South Korea can use it as a card to negotiate with in the future.”Cho pointed out, “When a period of time has passed and if North Korea still has economic problems, they are likely to come back to economic cooperation. At that time South Korea can utilize the debt as a means to resume talks.” From 2000 to 2007, the South Korean government extended loans of 2.4 million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of corn to North Korea. Even excluding interest, the value of the loans is approximately 8.2 billion won. News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Facebook Twitter Newslast_img read more

Ambiance feutrée pour l’anniversaire du Parti.

first_img« Il se produit des choses durant cettejournée, mais il n’y a rien de festif » a indiqué vendredi à Daily NK unesource de la province du Hamgyŏng du Nord. « En ce jour anniversaire de lafondation du PTC, nous n’avons même pas reçu de ration alimentairespéciale ; on a simplement eu droit aux conférences et sessions d’études.Parce que ce congé est de nature politique, les gens sont tenus d’assister,mais ils redoutent les inévitables rassemblements d’endoctrinement. » Defaçon notable, il n’y a eu aucune conférence lors du rassemblement national laveille dudit congé. Facebook Twitter News Les commémorations organisées pour le 69èmeanniversaire de la fondation du Parti des Travailleurs de Corée (PTC), le 10octobre, viennent de prendre fin, mais contrairement aux années précédentes, iln’y a eu cette année aucun événement festif d’envergure. Mises à part lesperformances d’ampleur somme toute limitée, et les sessions d’étudesrévolutionnaires et les conférences organisées dans les usines et lesentreprises, cette journée chômée s’est déroulée de façon plutôt triste, selonplusieurs sources nord-coréennes. La source a poursuivi en ajoutant que le jouranniversaire de la fondation du PTC, ainsi que les espoirs de devenir membredudit parti pour les bénéfices que cette adhésion procure, n’ont plus le mêmepouvoir d’attraction que par le passé pour la plupart des habitants, dont lespréoccupations changent rapidement. Auparavant, cette journée était considéréecomme la plus important du pays, après les anniversaires de Kim Il Sung et KimJong Il. Désormais, et depuis ces dernières années, nombre de ceux qui se sontlancés dans les affaires n’expriment plus le désir de rejoindre le PTC enraison des contraintes et du temps que cela leur ferait passer hors de leursactivités commerciales. Ambiance feutrée pour l’anniversaire du Parti. Les perspectives des membres actuels du PTCsemblent également changer, selon la source. « Ces derniers temps, le PTC renforce les contrôles des cartes d’identifications de sesmembres car nombreux sont ceux qui les laissent à des étrangers, les utilisent entant que garantie pour faire des affaires, ou les perdent. » Ce changement d’ambiance par rapport auxannées précédentes a été confirmé par une autre source de la région, qui aindiqué que « le 6 octobre, les chefs des Inminban (les unités populaires)de chaque district sont venus donner des conférences dans lesquelles ils ontdéclaré que « nous dev[i]ons éveiller encore plus notre espritrévolutionnaire et écraser les activités de l’ennemi au bonmoment. » » Par le passé, ces déclarations étaient souvent suiviespar une distribution de rations alimentaires, mais cela n’a pas été le cascette année. « Nous avons attendu nos rations parce que c’est un jour decongé, mais vainement. Nous n’avons rien reçu » a ajouté la source.« Ce n’est pas une atmosphère de fête, mais plutôt un congésilencieux. » Percevant ce changement, le PTC a intensifiéses efforts pour encourager la fidélité des citoyens, notamment en lesbombardant de conférences sur le sujet. Malgré cela, beaucoup ont abandonné l’idéed’adhérer au PTC, affirmant qu’une telle adhésion entraîne plus de problèmesqu’elle ne procure d’avantages. News By Choi Song Min – 2014.10.14 9:55am News Certains habitants ont émis l’hypothèse que lecaractère limité des célébrations était lié aux supposés problèmes de santé deKim Jong Un et à l’impossibilité pour ce dernier d’apparaître en public durantlesdites célébrations, y compris pour la visite du Palais du Soleil deKumsusan, qui sert de mausolée à la famille Kim. North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China SHARE There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Les seuls événements organisés en dehors deces sessions furent des « performances artistiques de fidélité »accomplies par l’Union démocratique des femmes de Corée et diverses autresperformances réalisées par des organisations étudiantes et d’enfants, a indiquéla source. « Il n’y a même pas eu de représentations dans la rue. Lestravailleurs se sont contentés de déposer des couronnes de fleurs au pied desstatues de Kim Il Sung et Kim Jong Il. On a l’impression que cetteatmosphère solennelle et le manque d’événements sont quelque peu liés auxsoucis de santé de Kim Jong Un et à son incapacité d’apparaître enpublic. » AvatarChoi Song Min last_img read more

Despite higher prices, donju bathhouses trump state equivalents

first_img AvatarChoi Song Min By Choi Song Min – 2015.12.11 2:16pm North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) With winter in full swing, bath houses runby the new affluent middle class donju are gaining great popularity. Despite massive state-run baths known as ‘Eundeokwon,” which boast elegant decorinside and out, their poor hot water supply deters most people from stepping foot inside, DailyNK has learned. “Small cities have flashy Eundeokwon bathhouses that come with hair salons, and facilities for drinks and food, but noone really goes there,” a source from North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK onMonday. “Most people go to smaller baths run by donju instead.”Sources in Yanggang Province and South Hamgyong Province confirmed this to be the case in their regions as well.“At the state-run baths not only do you not get hot running water, you have towait shivering in the cold while the water is heated up in a 10 liter bucketset on a small coal burner,” she explained. “But the private (i.e. donju-run) baths comewith saunas and proper hot water bath areas, so there’s an endless stream ofcustomers.” Another factor that repels customers frompublic baths is the smoke and stench coming from the coal burner, which is whymost people do not go to Eundeokwon if they can help it. Private bath housesuse oak fireplaces instead, ensuring hot water is always ready. Thetemperatures are so high the heat can get “suffocating,” according to thesource. Despite the slight drop in wood prices recently, state-run and donju bath houses in the northeastern regions of North Korea both predominately rely on timber from the markets as fuel. To cover the fluctuating price of wood and transportation costs, state-operated bathhouses recently bumped prices up from 200 KPW to 500 KPW [0.02-0.06 USD] for communal baths and from 1,000 KPW to1,500 KPW [0.12-0.17 USD] for personal ones.  “Compared to Eundeokwon, the prices atdonju establishments are 1,000 to 1,500 KPW [0.12-0.17 USD] more expensive but you can enjoy amuch cleaner bath,” she asserted.These private baths are commonly frequentedby donju and cadre members who often come with their mistresses. This isbecause at public bath houses, customers are required to present their nationalIDs unlike at donju-operated facilities.“The private baths that are located inareas without a lot of people at night even hire one or two femalescrubbers usually around 17 or 18 years of age, which is why a lot of donju goat late hours,” the source said. “People pay for their baths, and if theyrequest skin scrubbing services, a scrub mistress will enter the personal bathafter about 20 minutes and provide this service.” This additional service comes with an extra20,000 KPW [2.3 USD] fee, and women scrubbers are often given a 10,000 KPW tip. “This isbecoming a new trend, so now many private bath houses are out to hire femaleworkers,” she concluded.  RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest NewsEconomy SHAREcenter_img News Despite higher prices, donju bathhouses trump state equivalents News Facebook Twitter News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once againlast_img read more

[Video] North Koreans watch foreign films in makeshift media rooms

first_img [Video] North Koreans watch foreign films in makeshift media rooms News By Daily NK – 2016.10.28 12:53pm At a recent event held by ISFINK (International Solidarity for Freedom of Information in North Korea) Daily NK released a video of exclusive footage recorded by a source in North Korea showing how residents in the country access foreign media. The recordings show a conversation between a North Korean man and a woman bargaining over prices to rent a North Korean-style video room (modified section of a private home). While there have been reports in the past of foreign films being rented on CDs and USBs, this marks the first time that video rooms operating within the country have been documented.In the footage, the man and woman talk about watching videos. A man, who appears to be a client, requests a video rental and the woman (presumed to be the vendor) asks for 500 KPW. Considering that the price of 1 kg of rice is between 5000~5300 KPW in North Hamgyong Province, the rental fee is relatively inexpensive and therefore relatively accessible to poorer demographics.It has been reported that 5000 KPW (worth 1 kg of rice) can be easily earned if one has a private house to rent out for such activities. An increasing number of citizens are finding business of this nature attractive, as they can quickly make enough money to feed a family of four. Another interesting aspect is the appearance of a notetel (portable multimedia player) in the media room. In the video footage, two North Korean residents who appear to be a mother and her son are watching a foreign movie on the notetel. Although it seems somewhat uncomfortable as they are required to sit in close proximity to the device due to the size of the screen, they seem to be making the most of the occasion and are eating snacks while watching the movie.The average North Korean citizen is strictly prohibited from viewing foreign media. To do so, they must avoid surveillance by the authorities and if caught, can expect to be sent to a re-education camp or receive other draconian forms of punishment. Daily NK’s source noted that in order to watch foreign movies in video rooms, people are required to show their identification cards. By examining such ID cards, the owners can distinguish law enforcement agents from ordinary people and determine whether it is safe to inform the client that there are foreign films on the premises.“The owners play a children’s movie instead if State Security Department or Ministry of People’s Security agents pay a visit, as they cannot be asked to leave,” the source explained.The video also features former Pyongyang resident Choi Seong Guk (currently a webtoon artist) who watched South Korean content through media devices including notetel while in North Korea. “When I first heard it, it gave me the chills from the head down. That’s how I felt. Outside information is not like any other information. It makes you ask questions about your life,” he said.The video also features a telephone conversation between a Daily NK reporter and a North Korean resident in South Pyongan Province, discussing South Korean radio broadcasts in the region. When asked, “How do you get outside news?” the source responds, “I usually listen to South Korean radio broadcasting. I believe almost everyone is doing the same.”Daily NK also recorded and released testimony detailing how a North Korean worker dispatched to a foreign country was able to acquire external information on the internet through his smartphone. According to his statement, which reflects separate information collated by Daily NK in its special coverage of North Korean laborers overseas, dispatched workers are known to be accessing South Korean radio broadcasts via smartphones, specifically seeking out news on North Korea from international sources. Although the North Korean authorities previously attempted to crack down on mobile phone usage due to their ability to access outside information, they are now implicitly permitting their usage.In the released video, the defector who was previously a dispatched worker says that for dispatched workers in foreign countries, every piece of information on our smartphones is new. It provides an opportunity to learn that South Korean society is not like what the regime’s propaganda tells them during the internal lectures.In the full interview with Daily NK, he added, “The more you listen to outside news, the more you become mistrustful. Now almost everyone knows what is true and what is false.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter News News center_img Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest SHARE AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

Film festival puts the lives of defectors in the spotlight

first_imgMadame B(left) and her Chinese husband. / Photo= film still Film festival puts the lives of defectors in the spotlight News The 6th North Korean Human Rights International Film Festival was held over three days from October 21. The festival aims to promote human rights in North Korea and the eventual reunification of the two Koreas. During the event, 15 films from 6 countries including South Korea, France, China, USA, Russia and Ireland were presented to the public. Of the films shown, a reviewer from Daily NK was in the audience for “Madame B” in the “Defectors·Settlement category,” the main segment of the festival, as well as “Open Recruitment,” a film produced with financial support from the festival.#1. Film ‘Madame B’ (Director Yun Jae Ho)Yun Jae Ho, the director of “Madame B,” creates a serene portrayal of the tragic life of a female North Korean defector lacking any form of basic support or protection. The film, taking the form of a documentary, deals with the complex process of defection for the woman, and by doing so, depicts the reality of life for defectors living in the ‘blind spot of human rights protection.’The main character, “Madame B,” originally plans to return to her husband and two sons back in North Korea after working for a year in China (to earn the money needed for her children to defect). But her plans take a turn for the worse when she gets cheated by a broker who sells her to a rural Chinese man. Yong Ho’s placement in Sales Team 2 causes resentment, as a previous intern in the team was expecting to get the job. Yong Ho faces backlash from other members of the team, making it difficult for him to adjust. Photo= film still The movie depicts the human longing for ‘protection’ in a scene where “Madame B” accepts her Chinese husband (over her original husband). Initially, she is married to him against her will, but eventually opens up to him after his continued care.The film also explores issues with the South Korea government’s defector settlement system. In the movie, she is thrilled upon finally entering South Korea owing to the efforts of her Chinese husband, only to be sorely disappointed when her application to receive settlement support benefits is rejected, as she is classified as an “unprotected defector,” implying suspicion that she was involved with crimes such as drug trafficking and espionage while living in China. After living in South Korea for 16 years, Yong Ho wants to be a model citizen. He has graduated from a prestigious university and entered a multinational company with good credentials through the open recruitment system. Photo= film still During the interview at the opening ceremony of the Film Festival, director Kim Tae Ung said, “I decided to make this film after speaking to some of my peers who are finding it really hard to get a job.” Regarding the storyline of preferring open recruitment over special employment, he said, “The story was written to show that some defectors feel they should not need to rely on special benefits.”A member of the audience, Huh Jun, who is a college student and also a defector said, “I spent the last summer vacation doing an internship, and I can really sympathize with Yong Ho’s feelings. The movie seems to have successfully illustrated the situations that defectors face at their workplace.”“I could also sense the prejudice shown towards defectors when Yong Ho becomes resented by his colleagues, even though he chose to enter the company fairly. I wish that people would be more understanding towards defectors and acknowledge the fact that we don’t feel entitled to unfair advantages,” he added.Meanwhile, several well-known actors decided to take roles in the movie as they wanted to support the objectives of the film. Yong Ho was played by the actor Jo Dong In, Yeon Ju was played by Ju Ga Yong, the assistant manager Mr.Oh was played by Lee Dong Hun, section chief Mr. Seo was played by Lee Chul Min, and deputy head of department Mr.Lee was played by Park Noe Shik. SHARE News “Mr. Yong Ho, you have applied via open employment instead of special employment.” “Yes, I also entered college under the regular admissions process instead of special admissions.”This is an excerpt of a conversation between Yong Ho, the protagonist, and the interviewers at a company during his job interview. The movie “Open Recruitment” tells the story of a defector who enters a company through the standard recruitment process. The status of “unprotected defector” is an actual classification for those North Korean defectors who are granted citizenship in South Korea but are not entitled to livelihood support. They are excluded from government services including subsidies for settlement and housing, job training subsidies, and employment subsidies, etc.According to the “Protection and Settlement Support for North Korean Defectors Act,” the following circumstances can lead to classification as an ‘unprotected defector’: ▲ An international criminal who was involved in crimes such as aircraft hijacking, drug trafficking, terrorism, or genocide, ▲ A non-political criminal who has committed serious crimes such as murder, ▲ A suspect of disguised defection, ▲ A person who has resided for more than 10 years in a third country, ▲ A person who is prescribed by Presidential Decree as unfit for recipience of state support, ▲ A person who applies for protection (support) more than one year after entry. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News The film deals with the system of classifying defectors into “protected” or “unprotected” status under the guidance of security needs such as preventing espionage, and points out that the system fails to protect those who are arrive in the South with more complex personal histories.Meanwhile, “Madame B” was invited for screening in the documentary short films section at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. It is scheduled to be released in French in February next year, and in Japan in the first half of 2017.#2. Film “Open Recruitment” (Director Kim Tae Ung) There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Facebook Twitter News After living in South Korea for 16 years, Yong Ho passes the open recruitment process and earns a job at a company solely through his own efforts, rather than relying on the special process that some defectors are entitled to. However, Yong Ho finds difficulty in adjusting to his team, Sales Team 2, as his employment comes with the firing of an intern who was expecting to take his place on the team. One day, Yong Ho’s life story is published in the company newsletter under the title of, “A North Korean defector enters our company through open recruitment.” Yong Ho’s colleagues, who were previously unaware of the fact that he was a defector, are startled by the revelation and begin to avoid him. Yong Ho’s  placement in Sales Team 2 causes resentment, as a previous intern in the team was expecting to get the job. Yong Ho faces backlash from other members of the team, making it difficult for him to adjust. / Photo= film still Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak By Daily NK – 2016.10.26 3:38pm North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Madame B is designated as an unprotected defector after settling in South Korea. She has to share a house with her two sons and North Korean husband (whom she left to be with her Chinese husband) who settled in South Korea before her. last_img read more