Archive for July, 2011

IISS Strategic Dossier on North Korean Security Challenges

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

On Monday, July 25, the International Institute for Strategic Studies will be releasing a dossier, North Korean Security Challenges: a net assessment. It presents a thorough analysis of the range of threats emanating from the DPRK. In addition to an assessment of military hardware and posture, the 216-page book looks at state criminality and behaviour relating to human security.  Written by a team of renown experts, the Strategic Dossier also assesses unification and other future scenarios.   It can be ordered through the IISS website.

A press release (PDF) can be found here.

A longer launch statement (PDF) can be found here.



Friday Fun: clearing out the inbox

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Ultimate Frisbee – Pyongyang

Pictured Above: Taesongsan Park where the games will be held.  Also the site of the DPRK’s first cricket match.

Time is running out to sign up for the DPRK’s first Ultimate Frisbee tournament.  Find more information here. This is a Facebook page, so you might not have access depending on where you are seeing this web page.  If you would like to know more, get in touch with Koryo Tours.


Choson Exchange Update

Choson Exchange posted a whole bunch of new photos to their Facebook page which were taken on their September 2010 visit to the DPRK .  See the photos here.


Kim Jong-il’s daughter on guidance trips?

A clever North Korea blogger in Poland (h/t Leonid Petrov) seems to have identified Kim Jong-il’s daughter in the entourage that accompanied the Great Leader on his recent visit to Pyongyang’s Department Store No. 1.


Synchronized Swimming

North Korea’s synchronized swimming team competed in the final of the free combination synchronized swimming competition in the FINA World Championships in Shanghai on July 21, 2011.  Lots of photos (as shown above) are at  Sorry ladies, I don’t think the DPRK (or anyone else) has a men’s synchronized swimming team.  A quick search on YouTube revealed only joke videos.


Lankov on the DPRK’s fiction
Andrei Lankov writes an interesting piece on the role of fiction in North Korean society…and how it reflects foreign policy!  Read the article here.


Sand Art Redux
Uriminzokkiri has posted another “Sand Art” piece to their YouTube account.  You can watch it here.  This one is very different from the first which surfaced a couple of weeks ago.


NPR’s Planet Money on the DPRK’s international trade
Listen to the podcast here.


Official activities of Kim Jong-il centered on economy while Kim Jong-un focused on military

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Institute for Far Eastern Sudies (IFES)

Kim Jong Il has made a total of 63 official activities in the first half of 2011, focusing mainly on providing field guidance at economic related facilities. On contrast, only one onsite inspection was given at a military base.

According to an official report from the Ministry of Unification, Kim Jong Il was witnessed to have made 63 official appearances this year thus far, already reaching 80 percent of total activities made last year, a record all-time high in the number of official activities for Kim

Specifically, he has made 28 economic related activities which encompassed 45 percent of the entire official activities. Only 14 military related activities were made, the lowest number ever recorded. Out of the 14 military activities, 9 consisted of attendance at military performances and only one trip was entirely associated with military inspection. Alongside these inspections, Kim also made 7 foreign-related activities.

The monthly breakdown of Kim’s official activities was 15 in January, 11 in February, 9 in March, 13 in April, 10 in May and lastly, 5 in June.

Since 2009, Kim made consistent official appearances and the reports of his official activities were found regularly on a bi-weekly basis, except for June when his activities were not reported for two weeks between 14th to 30th.

Kim is accompanied by several officials on his official activities, in which 54 officials were recorded to have accompanied this year. Kim Kyong Hui escorted Kim the most at 48 times. Following Kim Kyong Hui; Jang Song Taek, vice chairman of National Defence Commission (NDC) accompanied 45 times; Kim Ki Nam, secretary of Workers’ Party of Korea (WPRK) accompanied 43 times; Tae Jong Su, secretary of WPK made 43 trips; Ju Kyu Chang, Director of WPK 38 times; Kim Jong Un, vice chairman of Central Military Committee of WPK 35 times; Park Do Chun, secretary of WPK 29 times; Choi Tae Bok, secretary of WPK, 27 times; Hyun Chul Hae, director of Korean People’s Army 26 times; Moon Kyong Duk, Pyongyang, secretary of Pyongyang City Party Committee 25 times; and lastly, Lee Myong Su, director of People’s Safety Ministry made 25 trips.

After making his appearance at the KWP Convention on September 28, 2011, Kim Jong Un has made a total of 73 official activities, and 35 of these activities took place this year.

In detail, Kim Jong Un made 20 military, 18 economic, and 7 foreign-related activities. Monthly breakdown of activities are 2 times in September, 16 times in October, 11 times in November, 9 times in December, 5 times in January, 9 times in February, 8 times in March, 7 times in April, 4 times in May and 2 times in June.

Kim Jong Un’s activities were chiefly military related in which 86 percent comprised of accompanying senior Kim on his visits to political and military sectors. This is a natural outcome, considering his official position as the vice-chairman of Central Military Committee of WPK. The high number of military activities is in sharp contrast with his father, who began to focus mainly on economic activities since 2008.

The New Year’s Message delivered at the beginning of this year placed “improvement of North Korean people’s lives and development of light industry” as the top agenda for the nation. Correspondingly, Kim Jong Il official activities were mainly economic-related to light industry and agricultural sectors.

Kim Jong Il’s official activities are noteworthy indicator which exhibit the direction of leadership and the changes occurring amongst the main elites


South Korean companies sue for sanctions losses

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

According the Hankyoreh:

South Korean businesses engaged in economic cooperation with North Korea who have incurred major losses due to sanctions are showing signs of working together in response to their predicament, including suing the government for compensation. The South Korean government imposed the sanctions on North Korea in connection with the sinking of the Cheonan.

Around 10 heads of businesses investing in tourism at Mt. Kumgang, businesses planning to move in to Kaesong Industrial Complex, and businesses trading with other parts of North Korea are known to have gathered in central Seoul on July 19 and agreed to embark jointly on responsive measures, including taking legal action against the government.

“In a situation where there is no sign of an improvement in inter-Korean relations, businesses cooperating with North Korea are going beyond the limits of their tolerance,” said one official working in a field related to inter-Korean economic cooperation during a telephone interview with the Hankyoreh on July 20. “Those taking part in the meeting easily agreed to respond as a group, including by suing the Ministry of Unification for damages. They decided to meet once more some time around next week and decide upon a specific plan. Around ten businesses are currently preparing to sue.”

The affected businesses have decided to demand that the government withdraw the Cheonan sanctions while urging it to provide systematic guarantees that North-South economic cooperation can continue in a stable manner regardless of the political situation. They are also known to be considering plans such as one-man protests, returning their business licenses and issuing a statement.

Two materials processing companies, including CEO Kim Chan-ung’s NFN, have sued individually for damages, but this is the first time since the sanctions were imposed, on May 24 last year, that businesses dealing with North Korea have acted together against the government in an organized manner.

Read the full story here:
S.Korean businesses to sue for losses from sanctions
Kim Jong-cheol


Foreign clothing gaining popularity in DPRK

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

According to the Daily NK:

Young people in North Korea are emerging as proponents of Hallyu (the South Korean cultural wave) and as fashion leaders, showing themselves to be particularly keen on the South Korean music, movies, and fashion that are being smuggled into the country and traded.

On Wednesday, The Daily NK met with a Chinese merchant who conducts business in Pyongyang to find out about trends amongst young people in North Korea. He told us that, “Hooded sweatshirts are enjoying immense popularity with young people at the moment.” The reason, he explained, is that, “They want to emulate the fashion they see in South Korean dramas.”

He added, “At the jangmadang, hooded sweatshirts sell for about 200 Yuan (around US$31), so they’re not cheap, but so many people come looking for them that we almost run out of hooded sweatshirts to sell.”

The source explained that, in spite of this, South Korean brands and products with English lettering are prohibited from being sold.

“As the days get hotter, people are looking to get their hands on short-sleeve clothing. Light-colored clothing is most popular,” he noted, also mentioning that, “In general, new clothes sell for about 15,000 won and second-hand clothes for about 3,000 won.

One-piece dresses are in vogue with females as summer takes hold. These dresses tend to sell at the jangmadang for around 70,000 won. Additionally, the source said, “There are lots of young ladies looking for high-heel shoes, which go for about 25,000-30,000 won. Skinny jeans are as popular as ever, and you see lots of people walking around in three-quarter pants.”

He also mentioned that many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts to beat the humidity.

However, authorities have already cracked down on “inappropriate attire” for women, for example by banning skirts that do not go down past the knee. The sleeveless shirts, short skirts and pants that have become fashionable in recent times are difficult to wear out of the house because a person wearing them would become a target of the Union of Democratic Women’s community watch guards.

Regarding this, the source said, “People get punished for wearing shorts or skirts that don’t come down past the knee. The UDW’s community watch guards are in every lane and alleyway inspecting women (who break the law). Sleeveless clothes do sell, but nobody can wear them. So they just wear such items at home.”

Furthermore, he mentioned that, “Young ladies walk around wearing earrings and bracelets,” explaining that, “Bracelets, watches, rings and hairpins all tend to be popular itemsbecause people think they’re pretty.” North Korean authorities restricted the wearing of accessories in the past, but appear to have eased off on this policy in recent times.

He relayed that crackdowns on South Korean-made goods are as common as ever. According to him, those who get caught in the crackdowns have their goods confiscated on the spot. “The crackdowns on South Korean goods are still going strong,” he said. “At the outdoor market, the patrolling officers are checking practically every item tag now. That’s how serious it has got.”

“The intensity of crackdowns on South Korean movies and dramas on DVD that are coming into the country is always increasing,” he said, “but university students and young people in general are getting hold of South Korean and other foreign movies and selling them in secret.”

South Korean dramas and movies usually sell for 5,000 won (a normal DVD sells for 1,300 won), and at the moment IRIS, Assorted Gems, Slave Hunter, Queen of the Game and Smile, Mom are said to be the most popular.

Read the full story here:
Fashion Also Influenced by South Korean Culture
Daily NK
Choi Cheong Ho


Premier Choe Yong-rim is making unprecedented but vigorous economic inspections

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

Kim Jong Il’s field guidance visitations decreased significantly in recent weeks. In place of the North Korean leader, Premier Choe Yong-rim is known to be making solo economic inspection visitations.

According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, Premier Choe has made a total of 17 on-site inspections from February. Starting with Huichon Power Plant, four trips in March, two in April, six in May, and lastly, four visits in June were recorded. A high-level official to make on-site inspections unaccompanied by its leader is an unprecedented case. This suggests major change for North Korea in which the chief of Cabinet is now directly heading the economy.

Although these inspections were short day trips, sites visited concentrated mainly on factories, power plants, cooperative farms, and construction sites. While making inspection rounds, Choe’s main duty is to deliver the orders of Kim Jong Il, but he was also witnessed actively suggesting measures to resolve problems that were raised at the sites.

Premier Choe’s economic inspections correspond with the DPRK’s plan of building a strong and prosperous nation by 2012 and an effort to propagate the spirit of self-sufficiency and encourage Juche or self-reliance of the economy throughout the country.

The last report of Kim Jong Il’s official field guidance was on June 3, at the Kosan Fruit Farm located in the Kosan City of Gangwon Province. For more than a month, Kim Jong Il allegedly has not provided any onsite inspections.

There are numerous speculations on the cause of the reduced inspections but many are linking it to Premier Choe.

Many news outlets in North Korea have begun to report on Premier Choe’s economic inspection visits in isolation from Kim Jong Il and related news are on the rise. The details include visits to Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex, Nanam Coal Machine Mining Complex, and Chongjin Steel Mill from June 23 to 25 and Chollima Steel Complex on June 29.

On July 2, KCNA covered the news about Choe’s visits to Bukchang Thermalelectric Power Plant. There he presided over meetings discussing the issues of securing raw and building materials to improve facility and technological management as well as specific plans to increase energy production.

Choe’s frequent visits are interpreted to demonstrate the rise in power of the Cabinet compared to its relatively weak position of the past, compared to the Workers’ Party of Korea and National Defence Commission.

Others construe the developments as an effort to weaken any internal dissatisfaction or negative sentiments towards the regime by emphasizing the premier’s active involvement with the economic development to achieve the national goal of becoming powerful socialist state by 2012.

The decline in field inspections by Kim has raised suspicion about the health of North Korean leader. Some suggest that Kim is taking time off to recuperate from the tight schedule of his recent China visit in late May.

Recently, Japanese Kyodo News reported that Kim Jong Il cancelled plans to visit Russia on June 29 for health reasons.

Some speculate Kim is behind the scenes contemplating the changing foreign policies, deterioration of North-South relations, and food shortages.

I am not sure where the Ministry of Unification is getting their numbers. I just did a tabulation of Kim Jong-il’s and Choe Yong-rim’s economic guidance trips and public appearances from February 2011 — July 13 and get very different results than they are announcing: 36 visits for Kim Jong-il and 47 for Mr. Choe.  All the data, including links to the KCNA sources are here in an Excel Spreadsheet.

Also worth mentioning is that between June 3 and July 13 (contrary to the report) Kim Jong-il made 11 or 12 public appearances–four of which were guidance trips. See them here in an Excel Spreadsheet with links to the KCNA source.


DPRK’s import of luxury goods and estimated trade data

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

UPDATE 2 (2011-7-20): The Daily NK offers some more statistics:

It has been confirmed the North Korean authorities were concentrating on importing luxury items for privileged people, while international humanitarian organizations were worrying about North Korea’s chronic food shortage and the damage to the vulnerable classes.

According to statistics from the South Korean government and Chinese customs, from January to May this year, the cost of food import is only about 4% out of the total amount of imports, which translates to about 46 million dollars out of 1.148 billion dollars.

The total amount of trade with China was doubled as compared with the corresponding period from last year: exports were increased by 217% and imports by 58%. The export amount is 812 million dollars while the import is 1.148 billion dollars.

In comparison, around 10 million dollars were used to purchase high quality liquor, cigarettes and others for privileged classes. The amount of cigarette imports, such as Marlboro, Mild Seven and others, is 7.5 million dollars. 2.4 million dollars were used to buy Cognac or whisky like Chivas Regal, Hennessy X.O. and other kinds of alcohol.

The amount of alcohol imported was increased by 94 % compared to the same period of last year.

It was reported that other items, such as international designer brands clothes, watches, and other items and electronic goods from SONY and Samsung were also imported.

It also showed that North Korean authorities sold wheat it had received from the international community to other countries. 200,000 tons of phosphate rock, which is materials for fertilizer, provided by Middle Eastern countries for free in 2010, were sold to some countries in Europe.

In addition, since South Korean markets have been blocked due to May 24 Measures, North Korea tried to download agricultural products, which are disguised as Chinese products, onto South Korean vessels in international waters by secretly working with Chinese traders. The South Korean government reported that there were four cases last year and 11 cases so far this year.

So apparently everyone has seen the data source but me.

UPDATE 1 (2011-7-22): The Los Angeles Times picked up on the report and offered a few more details:

North Korea’s importing of luxury goods from China nearly doubled in the first five months of this year, compared with the same time period for 2010, according to a report by Beijing customs officials obtained by the South Korean Unification Ministry.

The communist regime spent $46 million on imported corn, rice and other food staples, but it also spent $10 million on luxury items from January through May of this year. Imported through China, the items reportedly include Marlboro cigarettes, Hennessy cognac, whiskey and Japanese beer, South Korean officials said this week, quoting the Chinese customs report.

The imports included about $500,000 worth of high-grade beef, apparently for luxury meals, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Il uses to maintain the support of the power elite, Seoul officials said.

This year, the regime again requested food aid, citing reduced crop yields. Though the European Union plans to send $14.5 million in food aid, the United States and South Korea have been reticent to supply such aid.

Some scholars believe that North Korea has exaggerated its need for food, alleging that the aid is turned over to the military or stored for future use, such as a planned celebration next year to mark the anniversary of the regime.

“I do not believe these claims about mass starvation,” said Andrei N. Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul and the author of several books on North Korean history and politics.

He called the move by Pyongyang “a deliberate campaign to get free food, which will then be distributed to the privileged groups as government gifts. This will allow them to increase their legitimacy and win some popular support at the expense of the Western and South Korean taxpayers.”

I still have not seen the original Chinese source.  If anyone has it, please send it my way.

ORIGINAL POST (2011-7-20): Yonhap cites an unnamed South Korean government official (anyone want to take credit for these statistics?) who claims that the DPRK is skirting UN sanctions and obtaining luxury goods.  According to the article:

Despite years of food shortages, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has engaged in the gift politics of showering his top aides and other elites with luxury goods to win their loyalty.

Some ruling elites also enjoyed McDonald’s hamburgers delivered from China via Air Koryo, North Korea’s flagship airline, the official said, without elaborating.

The North also spent about US$7.5 million in buying cigarettes such as Marlboro and Mild Seven in the first five months, a rise of 117 percent compared to the same period last year, according to figures by South Korea and China. It also showed that the North imported $2.4 million worth of Hennessy Cognac, whiskey and Japanese beer, up 94 percent compared to the same period last year.

The trade volume between North Korea and China stood at US$1.96 billion in the first five months, twice as much as in the same period last year, according to Lee.

Since the article does not name a source or provide any way to track down the numbers, take them with a grain of salt.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea imports luxury goods for ruling elites despite food shortages


DPRK defection numbers / trends update

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

(2011-7-14) The International Crisis Group published a report on DPRK defectors living in South Korea.  Here is the executive summary.  Here is the full report (PDF).  Below are some statistics that others might like to know for future reference (Footnotes can be found in the original document):

There were only 86 defectors from 1990 to 1994, and the numbers remained under 100 each year until 1999. North Korea’s deteriorating economy and a subsequent famine in the mid-1990s, along with an erosion of border controls that opened an escape route into China, began to push the numbers higher by 2000. In 2001, 583 North Koreans arrived in South Korea. The following year the figure nearly doubled to 1,138. By 2007, about 10,000 North Korean defectors had arrived in the South, and by December 2010, the number reached 20,360. The number is expected to remain steady at about 2,500-3,000 per year or even to increase, although slightly fewer defectors arrived in 2010 due to tightened restrictions in North Korea, including greater punishment for attempting to defect.

In 1998, only 12 per cent of the 947 defectors in the South were female. But they surpassed males in 2002, and in 2010 they accounted for 76 per cent of the 2,376 defectors who arrived in the South. By January 2011, the cumulative total of defectors nineteen years of age and younger was 3,174 – 15.4 per cent of all defectors in the South.

About 70 per cent of the defectors arriving recently have graduated from middle school or high school, about 9 per cent have graduated from junior colleges, and about 8 per cent are college graduates. About 50 per cent were unemployed or dependents before they left the North, and about 39 per cent were workers.

According to Pak Chŏn-ran [Park Jeon-ran], a specialist on defectors at Seoul National University’s Institute for Unification Studies, “the health status of defectors who left their families in the North is five times worse than that of defectors who escaped North Korea with relatives or friends”.107 She also found in a study that 20 per cent of ailments afflicting defectors were psychosomatic. The medical staff at a government reintegration centre reported that about 70 per cent of their patients exhibited symptoms of depression or other stress-related disorders.

In 2007, researchers from Seoul National University disclosed that in interviews conducted with over 200 defectors, 80 per cent indicated they had contracted at least one ailment since arriving in the South. In April of the same year, the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs released a study on the health of 6,500 defectors who had arrived in the South between 2000 and 2005. Some 1.8 per cent were infected with syphilis in 2004 and 2.1 per cent in 2005. About 20 per cent of 700 women aged twenty to 49 suffered from some type of gynaecological disorder.

The Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reports that the average height and weight of defectors is much lower than their South Korean counterparts. The average North Korean male defector is 164.4cm tall and weighs 60.2kg, compared to the average South Korean man, who stands 171.4cm tall and weighs 72kg. The figures for North Korean female defectors and South Korean women are: 154.2cm and 158.4cm; 52.8kg and 57.1kg. The average teenage male defector’s height is 155.7cm, 13.5cm less than the average South Korean counterpart; the average weight is 47.3kg, 13.5kg less than that of the South Korean. The average heights and weights for teenage female defectors and South Korean teenage females are: 151.1cm and 159.4cm; 46.9kg and 52.3kg.

In January 2011, only 50 per cent of defectors were employed (10,248 of 20,539), and most of these were in unskilled manual labour jobs (7,901, or 77 per cent of those employed). Only 439 defectors (4 per cent) were working in skilled jobs, and 381 were working in administrative positions.

Those who do find work earn on average W1.27 million (about $1,170) per month, which is just above the minimum subsistence level for a family of three.

These levels of unemployment persist despite subsidies for employers who hire defectors; the government provides up to W500,000 of monthly salaries for the first year and up to W700,000 of monthly salaries for the second year.

Many defectors reach the South with the help of people known as brokers. The journey can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000. Many brokers will defer payment until the government in Seoul has paid resettlement money. To prevent a developing business in bringing defectors to the South, in 2005 the government cut the payments from a W10 million (about $9,400) lump sum to W6 million (about $5,600) paid out over several years. This has left many defectors with considerable debts.

More posts on this topic below:



Defector claims DPRK manufactures steroids

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

This story is nearly impossible to verify, so take it with a grain of salt.

According to Choson Ilbo:

North Korea has been manufacturing banned substances on a state-wide level for years to help its athletes excel, according to a high-ranking defector from the communist state.

The shock announcement comes just days after five female North Korean athletes who competed in the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany tested positive for anabolic steroids.

“The Sports Science Research Institute under North Korea’s Physical Culture and Sports Ministry operates two plants in Pyongyang’s Potong and Sosong districts that produce drugs for athletes,” said the defector.

“They are disguised as tonics or nutritional supplements,” he said, adding that Pyongyang sent scientists to sympathetic communist countries decades ago to study up on the subject.

“North Korea sent Sports Ministry officials to East Germany during the late 1980s to learn about the latest drug manufacturing technology,” he said. “The drugs can make athletes strong, but they cannot be detected by most doping tests.”

“It is quite common for athletes in North Korea to take [performance-enhancing] drugs. When North and South Korea fielded a joint team during the 6th World Youth Soccer Championship [in Portugal] in 1991, Ri Myong-song, who headed the North’s sports delegation at the time, offered drugs to South Korean athletes but was turned down,” he said.

The North Korean military is also engaged in manufacturing such illegal drugs, he claimed. According to the defector, the regime’s armed forces began production in the 1970s at an army hospital in order to enhance the combat capabilities of its soldiers, but athletes in the military are now the main users.

The top officials tasked with overseeing the production of illegal substances are Physical Culture and Sports Minister Pak Myong-chol and First Vice Minister Jang Ung, he said.

Pak, the son-in-law of professional Korean-Japanese wrestling legend Rikidozan or Yok Do-san, is a childhood friend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. He is also a close confidante of Kim’s brother-in-law, Jang Song-taek, but found himself ousted in 2004 when Jang was accused of corruption. Both Jang and Pak were reassigned to their posts in 2006.

Jang Ung, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, handles the finances of the ministry in question. He apparently manages much of the valuable foreign currency wired from North Korean restaurants around the world that helps prop up the North’s cash-strapped regime. Those funds are then allegedly used to import the various ingredients needed to make performance-enhancing drugs and other illegal substances.

Regarding the latest doping scandal surrounding the women’s World Cup, North Korea has apparently claimed that its athletes accidentally ingested anabolic steroids while they were recovering from their injuries by taking oriental medicine containing musk.

The AP reported that the latest controversy is the biggest doping scandal in a major sports event since top soccer player Diego Maradona was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. after testing positive for banned substances.

Read the full story here:
N.Korea Manufacturing Banned Drugs for Athletes, Defector Claims
Choson Ilbo


UK to boots English education in the DPRK

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

According to KBS:

The British government is planning to expand its English education program in North Korea as the U.K. considers it having positive effects on bilateral relations.

Voice of America reported that U.K.’s Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell said Wednesday that the English programs will be expanded from three universities to six universities by the end of the year.

The minister also said the British government signed a memorandum of understanding with a North Korean educational committee last month on a new plan to operate English teaching programs for the next three years.

Read the full story here:
UK to Expand English Program in NK