Archive for November, 2010

Myanmar election monitored by DPRK diplos

Monday, November 8th, 2010


Acording to Foreign Policy Magazine:

It’s not strictly accurate to say there was no international observation of Sunday’s Burmese election:

The newsreader said Myanmarese had voted “freely and happily,” noting the election had been witnessed by foreign diplomats, including some from North Korea, Vietnam and China, as well as the “Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Rangoon.”

Compared to those three countries, all of which have elections in which only the ruling Communist party participates, Burma, which at least has multiple military-backed parties disagreeing on small points of policy, may actually be the most democratic. Perhaps they were ensuring that international standards for rigging and suppression were met.

Additional information
1. I have actually visited all the countries mentioned in this article: the DPRK, China, Myanmar and Vietnam.  All fantastic trips, and I recommend you visit each of these countries.  Each country is unique and well worth the trip.  You will meet some fantastic people and gain memories that last a lifetime.

2. Several years ago a Myanmar military delegation visited the DPRK.  I mapped out the locations they visited on Google Earth.  You can see them here and here.

3. Thank you FP.


Rimjingang, Imjingang, and the Sunchon Vinalon Complex

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Evan Ramstad notes the following information about Rimjingang and Imjingang:

Japanese publisher Jiro Ishimaru has gotten a lot of attention over the past month for his new English-language book of articles from Rimjingang – the magazine about North Korea that’s written by North Koreans.

Over the past six years, he’s worked closely with a few dozen North Koreans to get insiders’ stories published.

Less well known is the North Korean defector in Seoul, Choi Jin-i, who worked closely with him until recently. She published a Korean version of the magazine while he handled Japanese.

They split earlier this year over funding differences. Mr. Ishimaru’s magazine is commercially-funded while Ms. Choi’s is supported by charitable contributions. Ms. Choi’s magazine now has a slightly different name. It’s called Imjingang.

Their writers are mainly North Koreans with the political and financial ability to visit China, where they can communicate freely.

For both Ms. Choi and Mr. Ishimaru, the biggest challenge is getting contributors to verify the information they report.

Mr. Ishimaru’s favorite scoop came last year. It was a video report that showed a 20-year-old textile factory in the North Korean city of Suncheon, long touted as a showplace industrial plant by North Korea’s state media, is actually unused and crumbling.

“The factory might have only run on opening day when the Great Leader (Kim Jong Il’s father Kim Il Sung) was there,” Mr. Ishimaru says. “There had been rumors inside the country that the factory never ran, but nobody outside the nation confirmed that. Our reporter went there and for the first time filmed the factory in ruins.”

Ms. Choi says her favorite article appeared in the magazine’s first issue in 2007. It was an analysis of North Korea’s economic situation by a high-ranking government official. She said she worked for more than a year to persuade the official to give an interview.

The quality of information in that interview surprised North Korea watchers. “Many South Korean scholars said they didn’t know there was an intellectual in North Korea,” Ms. Choi said.

And the surprise for me: The factory in Sunchon mentioned in the story is the Sunchon Vinalon Complex (not to be confused with the 2.8 Vinalon Complex in Hungnam).  I actually used the video mentioned in this story and matched it up with Google Earth Satellite imagery to confirm it was shot in the DPRK.  You can see the blog post and video here.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here:
North Korea by North Koreans; How the Magazines Work
Wall Street Journal
Evan Ramstad


ROK court rules against possessing DPRK music

Monday, November 8th, 2010

According to the AFP:

South Korea’s top court ruled Monday that possession of instrumental music with titles praising North Korea violates a tough national security law.

The supreme court upheld a two-year jail term, suspended for four years, given to a female activist identified only as Song.

Song was charged in 2008 with storing 14 MP3 music files with titles praising North Korea on a USB storage device.

State prosecutors accused her of violating the law banning distribution of pro-North Korean material.

A district court acquitted Song, saying the titles alone could not define the songs as praising the communist North.

But an appeal court ruled that the songs written by North Korea to praise its leadership contained “enemy-benefiting” expressions and threatened the South’s security — regardless of their lack of lyrics.

The supreme court supported the appeals court, saying it took into consideration “motivation” and various other circumstances.

South Korea bans distribution of publications or other material praising North Korea and unauthorised contact with its people. Offenders can face heavy jail terms.

As citizens of a modern open democracy, I would hope many South Koreans are embarrassed by this kind of silly censorship.   I have dozens of North Korean songs on my iPod and not once have they influenced my opinion of the DPRK.  They have made me laugh, however.

If you would like to hear the DPRKs song about “CNC”, which was introduced to South Korean factories back in the 1970s, click here.

Read the full story here:
S.Korea court rules pro-North music breaches law


North Korea said to have 500 house churches, 20,000 Bibles printed

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Michael Rank

North Korean officials have claimed that there are 500 “house churches” where Christians can worship in a country that has been widely accused of ruthlessly persecuting believers, sometimes to death.

Two British parliamentarians who visited North Korea late last month quote officials of the Korean Christian Federation as making the claim, although they note that “other sources question this and we were unable to verify these figures.”

At Bongsu Protestant church in Pyongyang (satellite image here) they were told that 20,000 Bibles and hymnals had been printed and that there were 13,000 Protestants in North Korea.

Lord Alton and Baroness Cox visited a new Protestant seminary in Pyongyang with 12 students and 10 teachers, as well as Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches in the capital.

In their report, Building Bridges, Not Walls they describe how seminary students “pursue a five-year course and are then admitted to the Korean Christian Fellowship as pastors upon graduation.”

“The Protestant church expressed a desire to establish links with Protestant, particularly Presbyterian, churches in the UK, and appears to receive support from Korean-American Christians in some parts of the United States.”

Alton and Cox, both devout Christians, said North Korean officials had reiterated an invitation for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to visit Pyongyang. The invitation was first extended by the speaker of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Choe Tae-bok, when he visited Williams at Lambeth Palace in London in 2004 and whom Alton and Cox met again last month.

The invitation seems to have caused some embarrassment to the archbishop. A spokeswoman for Dr Williams told NKEW she had no knowledge of it and failed to respond when asked to check further into the matter.

Alton and Cox, who were paying their third visit to Pyongyang, said Choe had accepted an invitation to visit Britain again next year.

The group also visited the Supreme Court, where “it was evident that the defendant in a trial is already deemed a suspect, as reflected in the structure of the courtroom in which the defendant is placed in small, wooden enclosure, seated on a small, very uncomfortable stool, in contrast to more comfortable chairs for others.

“The Senior Law Officer confirmed to us that the principle of innocent until proven guilty does not apply in the North Korean judicial system.

“‘Most defendants are those whose crime has already been revealed, before indictment, by investigation by the police. When a person comes to court, we do not think of them as innocent,’ he said.

“Furthermore, it appears that the legal defence available for the defendant would only become actively involved in the process once the ‘suspect’ is brought to trial and all the relevant evidence has been prepared.

“We would urge the DPRK authorities to ensure that the accused receives legal assistance before the trial stage,” Alton and Cox say in their report.

They frequently asked whether they, or any foreigners, could visit a prison, including the notorious Yodok prison camp, and were told emphatically “no”.

Alton and Cox also discussed security issues with North Korean officials, including Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kung Sok-ung.

who told them that his government’s position on peace and security “remains unchanged – to settle the issues through negotiation and dialogue, and to secure stability through peaceful means.”

There do seem to be signs of internal change, however. Senior North Korean officials told the group that the country is entering a period of “momentous change”, and the report notes that “It is also interesting that the emphasis in North Korea has changed, from a focus on its ‘Songun’ or ‘military first’ policy, to a new objective of establishing a ‘great, prosperous and powerful nation’ by 2012.

“This was set out in a communiqué by the Workers’ Party of Korea on 11 October, marking its sixty-fifth anniversary, in which it spoke of building a ‘dignified and prosperous’ nation.

“This change of emphasis is very welcome, and presents the international community with another important opportunity.”

“We believe the time has come for North and South Korea and the United States, with assistance from others in the international community including the United Kingdom (as a former combatant nation which saw 1,000 of its servicemen lose their lives in the Korean War), a neutral country such as Switzerland or Sweden (who were among the countries given responsibility in 1953 to oversee the armistice), and, above all, China, to work to find ways to turn the armistice into a permanent peace.

“A Beijing Peace Conference at which North and South could resolve their differences should be convened once the necessary preliminary brokering has been completed.

“We also believe grave human rights concerns should be discussed through a process of dialogue and constructive, critical engagement, in parallel with a resumption of the Six-Party Talks concerning security, in the same way as the Helsinki Process was established by President Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher with the Soviet Union. It is time for peace, and it is time for Helsinki with a Korean face”.

They add that “DPRK officials made it clear that a permanent peace, and reunification of Korea, is their priority, and they emphasised their commitment to negotiating a peaceful resolution through dialogue.”

For an interview with Baroness Cox after her previous visit to Pyongyang in 2009 click here.


Collapse unlikely in the near term

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Andre Lankov writes in the Korea Times:

Recently one cannot help but notice an important change in the mood of Pyongyang watchers ― well, some of them. Over last year one began to hear again talk which has not been heard for 15 years or so ― serious people, many of whom are potential or actual decision makers, once again are discussing the probability of North Korea’s collapse.

Back in the early 1990 such a collapse was widely ― almost universally ― expected. Indeed, the communist bloc was falling apart, so it seemed only logical that North Korea, arguably the least efficient of all communist states, would go the same way as East Germany or Rumania. To a large extent, in the early 1990s the U.S. policy towards North Korea was based on assumption that its days were numbered. However, the much anticipated collapse did not happen, and since then the idea of it was discredited, so among the experts talks of collapse came to be seen as a sign of non-professionalism. Only in recent years has this talk begun anew.

The reason seems to be clear: the botched 2009 currency reform produced a serious crisis. The irritated North Koreans began to express their dissatisfaction even when talking to foreigners ― an unprecedented development. For a while in February it seemed that the situation was getting out of control ― so, even the habitually cautious Chinese for a while privately expressed their concerns about North Korea’s future.

On one hand, this revival of collapse theory is good news. It seems that in the long run a regime collapse is indeed highly probable, almost unavoidable, and it is good that decisions makers at least discuss such a probability, since it will prompt them to do some useful contingency planning. However, the present author is afraid that these recent talks are, above all, another example of wishful thinking. An immediate collapse is not impossible, no doubt, but it does not look very likely.

There are seem to be two reasons which might trigger the regime’s sudden disintegration ― a popular uprising and an open power clash within the elite, and neither appears likely right now.

The North Korean elite understand perfectly well that unity is the major condition for their survival (“if we do not hang together, gentlemen, we would be hanged separately” seems to be their most favorite dictum). In the peculiar case of a divided Korea, a clash within the elite is likely to trigger the disintegration of the state. Of course, there must be powerful internal rivalries and feuds within the elite, but their shared fear of instability helps to keep these disagreements under control. It is possible that Kim Jong-il’s death will create a new situation, and some of the old feuds will surface, but as long as the “Dear Leader” remains in control, this is not likely.

An outbreak of a popular revolution is highly improbable, too. The North Koreans are poor, but people do not start revolutions simply because they are poor. Revolutions happen when people believe that there are better ways of living. Nowadays, thanks to the spread of information about the outside world, many North Koreans are beginning to suspect that life indeed might be better. However, the sheer dissatisfaction about the current system alone is not sufficient for a revolution. Two other conditions must be present in most cases: people should have some organization, even rudimentary, and they should believe that their efforts are not futile, that the resistance has at least some chance to succeed. Neither condition is met in North Korea so far.

To start with, the North Korean authorities are very good in breaking all horizontal connections between their subjects. Unlike other communist regimes, North Korea does not tolerate even the obviously non-political activities if such activities are not directly supervised by the authorities. So, people are isolated and very distrustful of one another.

The fear is great, too. People do not start rebellions if they are certain that their rebellion has no chance to succeed. But North Koreans still tend to believe that any resistance is futile, since the regime would crush it in no time. There are closet dissenters in North Korea, to be sure, but they have to keep their mouths shut, since any challenge to the regime means certain death.

Things are changing, no doubt. Kim Jong-il’s North Korea is more liberal and permissive than it was when Kim Il-sung ruled the place. The officials prefer to take bribes and are ready to overlook minor irregularities. The booming private markets create an environment where some interaction is possible and people began talking between themselves. However, it might take a long time before these changes will produce conditions suitable for a revolution. Talks of a coming collapse are not a complete fantasy but might be seriously premature.

Read the full story here:
Revival of ‘collapse’ theory
Korea Times


DPRK steps up reporting of KJU

Friday, November 5th, 2010

According to the Daily NK:

The North Korean state media has stepped up the level of its Kim Jong Eun propaganda in an attempt to stamp his identity in the minds of the North Korean people.

According to a report carried by Chosun Central News Agency, Rodong Shinmun was expanded to ten pages on November 4th to include a full-page spread about Kim Jong Il and Jong Eun’s onsite inspection of Heecheon Power Plant in South Pyongan Province.

Rodong Shinmun normally covers six pages, although important events regularly lead to it being expanded.

On the first and second pages of the Heechon Power Plant edition there were photos and commentary about the inspection; the remaining pages contained nothing but photos.

Chosun Central TV also reported the news of the onsite inspection at around 5:10P.M. on the same day, and, in a highly unusual move, simultaneously released 145 pages of related images.

Of them, 86 were of Kim Jong Il and/or Kim Jong Eun, and 59 were of power plant facilities; 13 of 45 showed father and son together; and 8 showed only Kim Jong Eun, who appeared in the same style and color of overcoat as his father.

This is the second time this year that Rodong Shinmun has been expanded to report one of Kim’s onsite inspections while completely excluding other news; his onsite inspection at Ryongseong Food Factory and Pyongyang Flour Factory was released over 12 pages on January 24th.

The newspaper has also been expanded to more than ten pages in order to report Kim Jong Il’s public activities in detail alongside other news on a number of further occasions during 2010: an onsite inspection at Kim Il Sung University electronic library on April 13 covered eight of ten pages; another at Ryongseong Machinery Factory in Hamheung on May 22 took up nine of ten; Goksan Factory in Pyongyang on August 26 required six of ten; and the Party Delegates’ Conference on September 29 took up eight of ten.

Heecheon Power Plant, which is designed to generate 300,000kW of power, is under construction in the upper reaches of the Cheongcheon River. It is scheduled to be completed in 2012 alongside other “Strong and Prosperous State” construction projects including that of 100,000 houses in Pyongyang.

In addition, the Daily NK reports that the DPRK media is using honorific words to describe KJU.

North Korea’s state media has begun to apply the highest form of honorific speech to Kim Jong Eun’s name and descriptions of his movements, according to a Radio Press report released yesterday.

According to Radio Press, while broadcasting the movements of Kim Jong Il on October 27th, a Chosun Central Television announcer explained that a Chinese delegation had “given a gift to Chosun Workers’ Party Central Military Commission Vice Chairman, Comrade Kim Jong Eun”, using both the highest form of “to” and “give” available in the Korean language.

In addition, on the 29th of last month both Chosun Central Television and Pyongyang Broadcast announced the fact that the international media had reported the presence of Kim Jong Eun and Kim Jong Il at a mass rally with the highest form of “to” and by amending the verb “to attend” to reflect the esteem with which the successor is officially held..

Hitherto, only three people in North Korea have been spoken of in this way; national founder Kim Il Sung, son Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Il’s mother, Kim Jong Suk.

This method of referring to Kim Jong Eun appears to represent an important part of ongoing attempts by the authorities to idolize and elevate the successor’s status, while seeming also to reflect the speed with which the succession process is being undertaken.

Read the full stories here:
Cover-to-Cover Kim in Rodong Shinmun
Daily NK

North Korean Media Speaking of Kim Jong Eun in Honorifics
Daily NK
Kim Tae Hong


Daily NK: New Zealand halts beef exports to DPRK

Friday, November 5th, 2010

According to the Daily NK:

It has been confirmed by The Daily NK that North Korea failed in a recent attempt to import beef from New Zealand for the purpose of providing special gifts to cadres on Kim Jong Eun’s birthday, January 8, after the plan ran afoul of the New Zealand government, which froze the funds.

According to a source from North Korea today, “$170,000 remitted by ‘Myohyang Bureau’ to a New Zealand bank in October to import parts for Japanese tourist buses and beef has been frozen by the New Zealand authorities.”

The source added, “The New Zealand authorities are investigating whether or not the money is related to (North Korea’s) drug dealing.”

The source explained, “The beef is for special distribution to cadres on the Youth Captain (Kim Jong Eun)’s birthday, while the parts of Japanese buses are to repair buses operated by the Tour Bureau,” adding, “Myohyang Bureau is alarmed that there might be a snag in Comrade Youth Captain’s birthday special distribution.”

In North Korea, workplaces have already started to prepare presents for Kim Jong Eun’s birthday. There are two types of presents: the first is from cadres to Kim Jong Eun; and the latter is special distribution to cadres in Kim Jong Eun’s name. However, even though the special distribution is like a gift handed out by a monarch, factories and Party organs have to prepare it. According to the source, the Myohyang Bureau’s duty this time is to supply beef.

The Myohyang Bureau is directly in charge of tour events including Arirang performance-related tours and Mt. Baekdu and Geumgang tours. It sends the profits from these businesses involving foreign tourists to the No. 39 Department of the Central Committee of the Party.

The source explained further, “Due to Japanese sanctions against North Korea, the Tour Bureau has not been able to obtain parts for Japanese buses, so the Myohyang Bureau asked a New Zealand business partner to obtain them for them. In doing that, they also asked for beef.”

“Since the Myohyang Bureau sent the money via a secret bank account held with a bank in Latvia to a bank in New Zealand, it incurred the suspicion of the New Zealand government. Money is still money, but the bigger problem is to expose the Latvian account.”

This is the first time that a Latvian account has been linked to North Korea, adding to known secret accounts in Switzerland, China, Macau and the Caribbean.

The source said, “The Myohyang Bureau opened the account in the name, ‘RUSKOR International Company Ltd’ in a bank of Latvia,” adding, “The account name is the connecting of the words Russia and Korea.”

“Gift rations” have been in the news a lot lately.  Links to previous posts about the DPRK’s “gift rations” can be found here.

Read the full story here:
North Korean Funds for Beef Frozen by New Zealand
Daily NK
Park In Ho


US Treasury adds rules on DPRK sanctions implementation

Friday, November 5th, 2010

According to KBS:

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced detailed rules concerning the implementation of U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

The Treasury listed additional regulations relating to the implementation of sanctions placed on the North in June 2009 for weapons testing and in August of this year in response to North Korea’s sinking of a South Korean warship.

The rules stipulate the definition and interpretation of terminology and procedures for implementing the sanctions by U.S. government agencies and financial institutes.

At present, there are two sets of sanctions effectuated by administrative orders in the U.S. that specifically target North Korea.

The sanctions have frozen assets of certain North Korean organizations and individuals and they also ban U.S. transactions with the designated entities.

The US Treasury Department has updated their North Korea page with all relevant information. You can see their web page here.

I have added this resource to my Economic Statistics Page and Business Resources Page.

Read the full story here:
US Treasury Adds Rules on NK Sanctions Implementation


DPRK presents vision of Rason

Friday, November 5th, 2010

According to the Choson Ilbo:

North Korea is pushing the implausible dream of turning the city of Rajin-Sonbong in North Hamgyong Province into an international freight brokerage, export processing and finance hub. A 3D video elaborating on a blueprint for the development of the city was made right after leader Kim Jong-il visited China in May.

The video, obtained by the Chosun Ilbo from a North Korean source in China, says the North worked out a plan in June to develop the city by giving distinctive roles to each of its six districts. “The video was made as material for reporting to Kim Jong-il,” the source said. “Discussion on the blueprint started right after Kim’s visit to the city in December last year and it was then hastily completed when people were talking about possible Chinese aid to the North after Kim’s visit to China in May.”

In December, Kim reportedly reprimanded senior officials there for making no progress in two decades since it was designated a development zone.

The regime upgraded Rajin-Sonbong to a special city in January. Rumor has it that Kim’s brother-in-law Jang Song-taek, the influential director of the Workers Party’s Administration Department, is pushing for development there.

The narrator in the video says, “In the future, Rajin-Sonbong will turn into a world-class economic and trade zone based on international freight brokerage, export processing and finance business and into a beautiful cultural port city in the era of the Songun (military-first) ideology.”

The narrator quotes regime founder Kim Il-sung as saying, “Rajin-Sonbong must become a better city than Singapore when you establish an economic and trade zone there.” Kim Jong-il is quoted as saying, “To build Rajin-Sonbong well, we must carry out the construction project according to an urban development plan.”

The video says the regime made a detailed plan to develop the city. A Kim Il-sung statue and public buildings such as an exhibition hall will be built in the Jungsim District. Changpyong District, which lies close to Rajin-Sonbong Port, will become a residential area. Anju District will become a finance center with hotels, banks and a department store will be built. High-risers including a 40-story office building will be built in Sosan and Dongmyong, and light industry will be built on both sides of Rajin Railway Station in Yokjon District.

Six design research centers in Pyongyang and Rajin-Sonbong were tasked with producing the blueprints.

But experts say chances that the project will come to fruition are near zero. “If Rajin-Sonbong is to be developed according to the blueprint in the video, the North would have to reform and open up. It can’t become an international trade and finance center without huge investment from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan,” a South Korean government official said.

So far, only a road linking the Chinese city of Hunchun with Rajin-Sonbong Port is being built in accordance with Chinese plans to ship goods from there.

Cho Bong-hyun, a researcher at the Industrial Bank of Korea’s economic research center, said an estimated 5 million tons a year of grain, coal and timber from northeastern China are being transported to southern China, and China can save up to US$10 per ton or $50 million a year in transport costs if it uses Rajin-Sonbong Port instead of railways.

The port could also be of help to China for exports. There are also rumors of a joint industrial complex in the area where North Korea would provide the labor for Chinese firms.

But a Chinese businessman operating in the North said the North and China have different ideas about the development plan, so nobody knows if and when development will get under way.

The video can be seen at the Choson Ilbo web page below.

Read the full story here:
N.Korea Pursues Dream of Int’l Business Hub
Choson Ilbo


Samsu Dam construction disrupts local electricity service

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

According to the Daily NK:

Although it is just 10 kilometers from Hyesan, the capital of Ryanggang Province, no electricity has been supplied to Nojoong-ri since construction began on the Samsu Power Plant in 2004. In fact, there are no longer any transmission cables connected to the village at all.

The North Korean authorities, in preparation for the construction of the power plant in 2002, put in place relocation plans for the residents of the Unchong River Basin in areas they designated as “probable watersheds” for the lake which would form behind the proposed dam. District Four of Nojoong-ri was one of those areas, and as a result had all of its power cables removed.

However, in a follow-up plan completed right before groundbreaking on the project in 2004, the water storage capacity of the Samsu Power Plant was reduced on account of analysis that cautioned against over-filling the reservoir. This resulted in District Four of Nojoong-ri being re-designated as outside the flood zone, but none of the services were resumed, including the provision of electricity

After a year of living without power, the residents, who were still waiting to be assigned new homes, eventually pleaded their case to have the village’s power lines restored to the “Standing Committee on Flooding”, a special organ of government in charge of the relocation of flood-area residents. However, the response was that they were ineligible for aid because their village was not in a flood zone. The villagers then filed petitions with the Party at Hyesan City and provincial level, but to no avail. They were only to hear the same repeated response, “We were not the ones who removed the power lines.”

If electricity were to be provided to the area, quite a few power lines would need to be installed. But the only place where electricity for the village could be obtained is “Military Supplies Factory No. 95”, located four kilometers from the village on the other side of a hill. The 50-megawatt Samsu Power Plant stands adjacent to the village, but the electricity generated there is supplied exclusively to “Kim Jong Il Birthplace Heritage”, otherwise known as the “Baekdu Hideout”, in Samjiyeon. At one point there was talk of the residents putting their money together to provide for their own power cables, but the plan was prohibitively expensive.

Thus, the residents of this part of Nojoong-ri have been living without electricity for nearly seven years. They depend entirely on candlelight and firewood as they scrape a living off potato farming and alluvial mining.

“It is hard to say that it is even a place where people should live. People from as far away as South Pyongan and North Hamkyung come here to mine alluvial gold, but are shocked to find the state that the village is in,” according to an anonymous Yangkang Province source.

Of course, with the original designation came many more changes, including work and schooling. The one-way commute that the village’s men take every morning is seven to eight kilometers, while the women cannot easily reach the market to sell their produce. Children are also suffering the consequences; having to walk 15 kilometers a day to attend Nojoong-ri Middle School has led to a rising number of student dropouts.

Here are previous posts about the Samsu Dam: here, here, here and here.

Read the full story here:
Seven Years of Blackness
Daily NK
Kang Mi Jin