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All Things North Korea Thread


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Seems like a bunch of reporters are in North Korea this week for the anniversary of the war ending.

 

 

Here are some tweets and pics by one of them:

https://twitter.com/Stone_SkyNews

On a lighter North Korean note: all the locals we have chatted to are friendly and they do a GREAT beer here: pic.twitter.com/QrzyG5eDJz
2:03 PM


A brief escape from minders in Pyongyang: I have just left hotel - marooned on an island in the city - for a jog. pic.twitter.com/3x28aZZjIH
12:06 AM


No one has stopped me which is good and a surprise. I guess I am being watched though. Heading back to hotel now.
12:07 AM


The locals are surprised to see me. They are not used to foreigners. Chinese aside, there are only about 200 foreigners in whole of N.Korea.
12:11 AM

 

https://twitter.com/Stone_SkyNews

Pyongyang - elderly lady: pic.twitter.com/kFQBiHEAXg
12:12 AM


Pyongyang - our hotel. On an island in the middle of the city. It has a revolving restaurant at the top. pic.twitter.com/c5SCoY2F7j
12:14 AM


Pyongyang - just met all this lot on bridge to hotel. In vivid Korean costume: pic.twitter.com/uyeUtrr1lL
12:17 AM


Pyongyang - I was expecting lots of grey here but in this city at least lots of vivid colour: pic.twitter.com/4Kx8B9mYi9
12:19 AM

 
Remember that Pyongyang is unrepresentative of rest of the county - it is a showcase capital. The loyal live here pic.twitter.com/8Q3YnQTSww
12:22 AM

 

 

 

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Another reporter:

https://twitter.com/IvanCNN

Pool hall in Pyongyang (the soldier stripped off his uniform to when he saw me taking pics) pic.twitter.com/24OS718Btr
12:35 AM

BQPAk_ACIAAMuXU.jpg

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https://twitter.com/IvanCNN

Female North Korean traffic cop battling heavy downpour. Yesterday was scorching hot in Pyongyang pic.twitter.com/LBcpvLrnYt
4:53 AM


North Koreans...shopping in the rain (photo taken from the government bus) Pyongyang pic.twitter.com/IaKrI1Ca0D
5:24 AM


My North Korean minder instructed me to stop taking pictures of people in the rain in Pyongyang, worried I would spread "vicious propaganda"
5:40 AM

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/10272953/Kim-Jong-uns-ex-lover-executed-by-firing-squad.html

Kim Jong-un's ex-lover 'executed by firing squad'

 

Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.

 

The reports in South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography.

 

All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea's most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime's assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.

 

“They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on,” said a Chinese source reported in the newspaper.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/03/us-korea-north-rodman-idUSBRE98200X20130903?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

Rodman returns to Pyongyang but says won't bring back jailed American

 

There had been speculation that Rodman, who met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in March, would secure the release of Kenneth Bae who was jailed for 15 years for trying to overthrow the North Korean government.

 

"I'm not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae," Rodman told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I'm just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour."

 

Kim, the third of his line to rule North Korea is a basketball fan and appeared to get on well with Rodman on the earlier visit, with the two of them pictured laughing, eating and drinking together and watching an all-star basketball match.

 

Rodman's latest trip is being sponsored by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

"I've come out here to see my friend (Kim) - and I want to talk about basketball," he added, speaking from Beijing, the usual transit point for flights into Pyongyang.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/09/us-korea-north-kim-idUSBRE98801920130909?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

North Korea's leader has a baby daughter: Rodman

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has a baby daughter, seemingly guaranteeing the future of a dynasty has ruled the isolated and impoverished state for three generations, according to U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman who met Kim last week.

 

Kim's wife Ri Sol had appeared to be pregnant in pictures issued last year by North Korea's state news agency, although no confirmation was available. She then disappeared from public view, returning last October.

 

Rodman, who has visited North Korea twice this year and describes Kim as his "friend", told Britain's Guardian newspaper that he had held the baby.

 

"I held their baby Ju-ae and spoke with Ms Ri (Sol-Ju, Kim's wife) as well. He's a good dad and has a beautiful family," Rodman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

 

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Russia warns of 'catastrophe' if N.Korea restarts reactor

 

Russia on Thursday warned of a potential "man-made catastrophe" if North Korea restarts an ageing plutonium reactor to boost its stockpile of nuclear weapons, after US experts spotted steam rising from the Yongbyon facility.

 

The reactor, which was completed in 1986, is outdated and North Korea could suffer a major disaster if it is restarted, a Russian diplomatic source told the Interfax news agency.

 

The warning came after researchers at the US-Korea Institute said Wednesday that satellite images taken on August 31 showed plumes of white steam rising from a building next to the reactor.

 

"Our main concern is linked to a very likely man-made disaster as a consequence. The reactor is in a nightmarish state, it is a design dating back to the 1950s," the Russian source said.

 

"For the Korean peninsula this could entail terrible consequences, if not a man-made catastrophe."

 

Click on the link for the full article

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http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/09/18/2644061/dprk-prisons-nazi-camps/

U.N. Investigator: North Korean Prisons Like Nothing Seen Since Nazi Atrocities

 

North Koreans forced into prison camps live out an existence unlike any seen since the killing fields of Cambodia or the horrors of World War II, according to the head of a U.N. panel assigned to investigate Pyongyang’s human rights violations.

 

In March, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to create an Independent Commission of Inquiry into North Korea’s human rights violations, the first of its kind designated to tackle the hermit kingdom’s abuses. Michael Kirby, a retired Australian judge, was named to lead the three-member panel, which North Korea immediately banned from entering the country’s borders, saying that it “totally and categorically rejects the Commission of Inquiry.”

 

Undaunted, the team began conducting interviews with refugees and defectors in South Korea and Japan earlier this year. One former camp inmate told investigators that he was lucky when a warden ordered the tip of his finger chopped off for damaging a piece of sewing equipment used to carry out forced labor — he could easily have been executed for the transgression.

 

“We heard from ordinary people who faced torture and imprisonment for doing nothing more than watching foreign soap operas or holding a religious belief,” Kirby told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday in an oral update on his team’s work. “Women and men who exercised their human right to leave the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and were forcibly repatriated spoke about their experiences of torture, sexual violence, inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention.”

 

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Why don't we just declare that North Korea has weapons of mass destruction, invade them, overthrow Kim and put someone else in power. I mean, isn't that what we did in Iraq? They had a terrible history of human rights also.

 

Because the North Koreans actually DO have weapons of mass destruction.  They have nukes.  And they have Seoul, a city of 20 million civilians, just 30 miles away from the border as their hostage.

 

There is no question we could defeat the North Korean military in a couple of weeks.   But millions of South Korean civilians would be dead.

Not sure how legit this story is and it's very speculative. But interesting regardless.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesliejo/was-an-american-college-student-kidnapped-by-north-korea

 

I read that whole story, and frankly, I came away completely unconvinced that the missing guy was abducted by the North Koreans.   No question that they do those sorts of things, but huge questions about whether it happened this particular time.  

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Are we sure they have nukes or is it just speculation? Most missiles that Kim Jong-Il launched barely made it into the Sea of Japan. They recently restarted a plant that is 40 or 50 years behind the times. Do we not have anything to knock their "nukes" down? Sorry, I can admit I just don't follow world news like I should so I have no idea what their capabilities are. Everyone thought we'd have trouble with Iraq's "imperial guard" and it was a joke. They surrendered in less than 3 days.

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Are we sure they have nukes or is it just speculation? Most missiles that Kim Jong-Il launched barely made it into the Sea of Japan. They recently restarted a plant that is 40 or 50 years behind the times. Do we not have anything to knock their "nukes" down? Sorry, I can admit I just don't follow world news like I should so I have no idea what their capabilities are. Everyone thought we'd have trouble with Iraq's "imperial guard" and it was a joke. They surrendered in less than 3 days.

 

We are pretty darn sure they have nukes, albeit primitive ones.  

 

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

 

We know thny can't put them on a long range missile at get them to the USA, but that isn't much help to the South Koreans.   North Korea could get it to the outskirts of Seoul on a freaking catapult - that's how close Seoul is to the border.  

 

In additiion, they have literally thousands of conventional artillery launchers and crappy but operative multiple launch missiles trained on Seoul as well.   Most of them are out of date and cannot be moved, and would be sitting ducks for counter attacks, but that doesn't mean that each of them couldn't get a few shots in before they were blown up, and it would take a long time to silence them all.   Even conservative estimates are that they could lob up to 20,000 shells per hour into downtown Seoul in the first few days.  

 

It is also thought that NK has have chemical weapons (which probably are not that effective) and biological weapons (which theoretically could be very deadly, if useless from a military strategy standpoint.)   

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  • 2 weeks later...

North Korea's luxury ski resort opens for business

 

The secretary general of North Korea's ski association views the sprawling alpine landscape before him with unabashed pride. Facing a strong, cold wind, he points to a dip in the rugged, tree-covered mountains and says the sunrise is a sight of unmatched beauty, worthy of the nation's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.

 

Masik-Pass-in-North-Korea-010.jpg

Hike to the top of that mountain and ski!  Chairlifts are for weak imperialist dogs!

 

This is the Masik Pass ski resort, North Korea's latest megaproject and the product of 10 months of furious labour intended to show that the country, so often derided for its poverty and isolation, is as civilised and culturally advanced as any other.

 

The complex of ski runs, resort chalets and sleigh rides will open formally on Thursday, though late last month the main hotels appeared to be little more than shells, potholes filled the access roads and foundations were still being dug for secondary buildings.

 

Who will ski here? Perhaps Kim Jong-un, who reportedly enjoyed the sport as a teenager studying in Switzerland. By the estimate of the ski official, Kim Tae-yong, there are only about 5,500 North Korean skiers in this country of 24 million – a skiing population of 0.02%.

 

Click on the link for the full article

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/07/north-korea-calls-switzerlands-refusal-to-sell-it-ski-lifts-a-serious-human-rights-abuse/

North Korea calls Switzerland’s refusal to sell it ski lifts a ‘serious human rights abuse’

 

North Korea, long pegged as perhaps the world's worst human rights abuser, accused Europe of committing  "serious human rights abuse" for refusing to sell ski lifts to the Hermit Kingdom. That's perhaps the most revealing little moment in its breakneck effort to build ski resorts – one with real implications for how the outside world deals with North Korea.

 

North Korea has been working feverishly on constructing its first-ever ski resort, a lavish project that young leader Kim Jong Un personally set as a top national priority. But it has hit a major snag: It can't get ski lifts because of sanctions.

 

 

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North Korea Puts Troops on War Footing and Warns of “Horrible Disaster”

 

Pyongyang has put its forces put on high alert after U.S. warships entered the South Korean port of Busan in preparation for a joint military exercise with Seoul and Tokyo.

 

On Monday Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Pyongyang regime, called the exercise a “bellicose attempt to escalate the situation on the Korean Peninsula […] by openly threatening it with nukes,” referring to the presence of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. (The U.S. has a policy of neither confirming nor denying whether its ships are equipped with nuclear armaments.)

 

A North Korean military spokesman said that the U.S. would be “wholly accountable for the unexpected horrible disaster” that faced its “imperialist aggression forces.”

 

Click on the link for the full article

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