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All Things North Korea Thread


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North Korea’s new rich love buying refrigerators, but not for what you’d think

 

The size of the appliances in a typical North Korean home says a lot about social standing. As such, the government uses refrigerators to reward loyal citizens, including its 2008 Olympic gold medalists. More of the country’s growing cadre of nouveau riche are buying refrigerators, and yet few outside the country’s capital are actually using the appliances to cool food. Why?

 

A small minority of elite officials and business people in North Korea, possibly totaling 3.5 million (p.45), are getting wealthier due to growing legal and illegal trade with China as well as other black market pursuits. And one of their first status buys tends to be a refrigerator, Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul, tells Quartz.

 

...

 

Based on accounts with defectors and his own research, Lankov estimates that one in 15 to 20 families, mostly in Pyongyang and northwestern parts of the country, now own a refrigerator. That’s compared to one in 100 households (p. 44) before 1999, an estimate also based on accounts of Korean defectors.

 

...

 

But using a fancy refrigerator isn’t easy in an entirely un-fancy country. Because of the frequency of power outages, few families actually keep food in their refrigerators, unless they have managed to connect their homes to a military or industrial power grid. What do the contraptions store instead? In some cases, books.

 

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http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/07/justice/libya-al-libi-u-s-trial/index.html?on.cnn=1

Did you know it's legal to smoke weed in North Korea? Dude, suddenly it all makes sense… 

 

North Korea might not be the freest country in the world, but one little bit of freedom it does allow might qualify it to be the grooviest. Apparently it's perfectly legal to smoke weed. Seriously, dude. Like, out in the open.

 

I'm late to the party on this one, but Vice ran a piece announcing this critical news a few months ago, telling us that in the People's Paradise, "marijuana is reportedly not considered a drug". It grows wild, is sold openly and the smell is everywhere. It's most popular among the lower classes because – get this, man – it's actually cheaper and nicer than the official state cigarettes. And it's rolled with the official organs of the state:

 

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But using a fancy refrigerator isn’t easy in an entirely un-fancy country. Because of the frequency of power outages, few families actually keep food in their refrigerators, unless they have managed to connect their homes to a military or industrial power grid. What do the contraptions store instead? In some cases, books.

 

haha, I was about to ask... "What exactly are these people putting in their fridges?"

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http://bigstory.ap.org/article/north-korea-replaces-hard-line-military-chief

North Korea replaces hard-line military chief

 

North Korean state media has confirmed that the nation's hard-line military chief was replaced only a few months after his appointment.

 

The personnel change was believed to have been made in August and came as North Korea was pushing to ease animosity and resume lucrative cooperation projects with South Korea after threatening nuclear war this past spring.

 

The name of new military chief, Ri Yong Gil, came in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch listing top officials who accompanied leader Kim Jong Un to a Pyongyang mausoleum on Thursday. Little is known about Ri.

 

Ri's predecessor, Kim Kyok Sik, is the former commander of battalions believed responsible for attacks on South Korea in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans. State media dispatches first identified Kim as military chief in May.

 

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http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nkorea-rejects-uss-non-aggression-pact-offer

NKorea rejects US's non-aggression pact offer

 

North Korea refused to sign a non-aggression pact that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered last week on condition of denuclearization.

 

In a statement carried by the North's official state media on Saturday, the National Defence Commission spokesman said the U.S. should stop sanctions meant to punish its February nuclear test and provocations including military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

 

Earlier this week, North Korea criticized joint two-day naval drills among the U.S., South Korea and Japan as preparations for attacking the North. The allies said these drills were defensive in nature.

 

During his trip to Japan, Kerry said the door for negotiation with North Korea is open if it abandons nuclear weapons and complies with international demands.

 

 

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Dennis Rodman describes '7-star party' lifestyle of Kim Jong-un

 

Dennis Rodman, the former US basketball star, has described the life of Kim Jong-un as a "seven-star" party with constant ****tails, jet-skis at the North Korean dictator's private island and luxury yachts.

 

Rodman, 52, paid a second visit to North Korea in September and described Kim as "a good friend."

 

In an interview with The Sun, the flamboyant former Chicago Bulls star said he spent seven days on Kim's private island.

 

"It's like going to Hawaii or Ibiza, but he's the only one that lives there," Rodman said. "He likes people to be happy around him.

 

"He's got 50 to 60 around him all the time - just normal people, drinking ****tails and laughing the whole time.

 

"If you drink a bottle of tequila, it's the best tequila," he added. "Everything you want, he has the best."

 

Kim's 200-foot yacht is a "cross between a ferry and a Disney boat," Rodman said.

 

Rodman was returning to North Korea seven months after he initially went to Pyongyang to make a documentary about basketball - of which Kim is a huge fan - and there have been suggestions that a basketball match might help to spur diplomatic discussions on reintegrating North Korea back into global society.

 

Human rights organisations, however, are demanding that more pressure be brought to bear on the regime, which spent $645.8 million on luxury goods in 2012.

 

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At the end of the day that's what all of these despot regimes are all about, just one guy wanting it all for himself. The means are always different- religion, political idealism, whatever else... it always boils down to some dude on an island taking baths in Dom Perignon and snorting cocaine off a strippers ass

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At the end of the day that's what all of these despot regimes are all about, just one guy wanting it all for himself. The means are always different- religion, political idealism, whatever else... it always boils down to some dude on an island taking baths in Dom Perignon and snorting cocaine off a strippers ass

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYplvwBvGA4

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At the end of the day that's what all of these despot regimes are all about, just one guy wanting it all for himself. The means are always different- religion, political idealism, whatever else... it always boils down to some dude on an island taking baths in Dom Perignon and snorting cocaine off a strippers ass

 

The amount of brainwashing that regime has done on the population is insane...

I've been watching a lot of documentaries on NK, and the people seem to actually believe the nonsense they're fed.

Although I suppose that's because they have no way of knowing otherwise, but still.

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Preoccupied Obama criticized over NKorea policy

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Preoccupied with domestic woes and high-stakes Mideast diplomacy, the Obama administration has little time these days to focus on the ominous signs that its enemy North Korea is advancing its nuclear weapons program.

 

Within the past two months the secretive nation has restarted a reactor that can produce plutonium for bombs. Recent satellite photos also appear to indicate new tunneling at its underground nuclear test site and major construction at its main missile launch site.

 

cbe36b2a591b8424410f6a7067008ebd.jpg

This Oct. 9, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows the Sohae site where North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space in December 2012. U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies said Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, North Korea is conducting major construction at its main missile launch site, apparently to accommodate larger rockets and new mobile missiles. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North) MANDATORY CREDIT

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Kim Jong-un executes uncle Jang-Song-thaek

Proving that he’s in total command, North Korea’s 30-year-old Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un purged his 67-year-old uncle Jang Song-Thaek of his government No. 2 leadership position. Dragged by force from a Communist Central Party Committee meeting Dec. 9, tried and executed for treason.

http://www.examiner.com/article/kim-jong-un-executes-uncle-jang-song-thaek

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How Dennis Rodman can help the North Korean people

 

Shin Dong-hyuk is a human rights activist and the only person born in a North Korean labor camp known to have escaped to the West.

 

Dear Mr. Rodman:

 

I have never met you, and until you visited North Korea in February I had never heard of you. Now I know very well that you are a famous, retired American basketball player with many tattoos. I also understand that you are returning this week to North Korea to coach basketball and perhaps visit for the third time with the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, who has become your friend.

 

I want to tell you about myself. I was born in 1982 in Camp 14, a political prison in the mountains of North Korea. For more than 50 years, Kim Jong Un, his father and his grandfather have used prisons such as Camp 14 to punish, starve and work to death people who the regime decides are a threat. Prisoners are sent to places like Camp 14 without trial and in secret. A prisoner’s “crime” can be his relation by blood to someone the regime believes is a wrongdoer or wrong-thinker. My crime was to be born as the son of a man whose brother fled to South Korea in the 1950s.

 

...

 

On orders of the guards in Camp 14, inmates are forced to marry and create children to be raised by guards to be disposable slaves. Until I escaped in 2005, I was one of those slaves. My body is covered with scars from torture I endured in the camp.

 

...

 

I happen to be about the same age as your friend Kim Jong Un. But if you ask him about me, he is likely to refer to me as “human scum.” That is how his state-controlled press refers to me and all other North Koreans who have risked death by fleeing the country. Your friend probably also will deny that Camp 14 exists, which is the official position of his government. If he does, you can show him pictures of it on your phone.

Mr. Rodman, I cannot presume to tell you to cancel your trip to North Korea. It is your right as an American to travel wherever you wish and to say whatever you want. It is your right to drink fancy wines and enjoy yourself in luxurious parties, as you reportedly did in your previous trips to Pyongyang. But as you have a fun time with the dictator, please try to think about what he and his family have done and continue to do. Just last week, Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle. Recent satellite pictures show that some of the North’s labor camps, including Camp 14, may be expanding. The U.N. World Food Programme says four out of five North Koreans are hungry. Severe malnutrition has stunted and cognitively impaired hundreds of thousands of children. Young North Korean women fleeing the country in search of food are often sold into human-trafficking rings in China and beyond.

 

I am writing to you, Mr. Rodman, because, more than anything else, I want Kim Jong Un to hear the cries of his people. Maybe you could use your friendship and your time together to help him understand that he has the power to close the camps and rebuild the country’s economy so everyone can afford to eat.

 

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In case you're wondering, Rodman's basketball camp plans:

 

Dennis Rodman holds basketball trials for allstar match in North Korea

 

Dennis Rodman, the former basketball star, held trials on Friday for a North Korean team to face a dozen NBA veterans in an exhibition game on leader Kim Jong Un's birthday next month.

 

The flamboyant Hall of Famer said plans for the January 8 game are moving ahead but some of the 12 Americans he wants are afraid to come.

 

Some foreign analysts say the dramatic purge and execution of Kim's once-powerful uncle less than a week ago has cast doubt on Kim's future. But officials here say there is no instability and Kim remains firmly in control.

 

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North Korea threatens to strike South 'without notice,' sends warning via fax.

 

North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea "without notice" in response to demonstrations held in the South to mark the anniversary of its former leader's death. The warning came after conservative activists and North Korean refugee groups held demonstrations in Seoul on the anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death. Some protesters reportedly burned pictures of current leader Kim Jong Un, according to The Telegraph. South Korea’s Defense Ministry said a letter from the North’s National Defense Commission was faxed early Thursday via a military communication link between the two sides, warning of a "merciless" attack on the South, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. 

 

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/20/north-korea-threatens-to-strike-south-without-notice-sends-warning-via-fax/

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