Archive for May, 2014

DPRK leases ROK waters to Chinese fishermen

Friday, May 30th, 2014



Pictured Above: Areas where the fishermen are allegedly crossing the NLL

According to the Joongang Ilbo:

North Korea signed a contract with Chinese fishermen allowing them to fish in waters near the disputed maritime border including South Korea’s waters, sources told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.

The contract allows Chinese fishermen to work near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea, including South Korean waters below the boundary, Seoul officials said. In return for giving the Chinese fishermen the right to work in South Korean waters, particularly during crab and squid seasons, North Korea is paid a certain amount of money annually, officials said.

“As North Korea has expanded its joint fishery area with China [to the southern waters below the NLL], some Chinese vessels are moving southward more than they did before,” a South Korean government official said. “We are thinking of more active measures to keep them from violating the NLL.”

Officials confirmed that the South Korean waters allegedly being rented out to the Chinese fishermen were three areas north and east of Baengnyeong Island and north of Yeonpyeong Island. Under the alleged contract, several North Korean and Chinese vessels have recently worked together, officials said. Some North Korean fishermen were allegedly hired by the Chinese vessels’ owners as well.

“Last year, most Chinese vessels worked north of the NLL, but recently they worked very close to the NLL and some crossed the line,” a Korean Coast Guard official said. “So we dispatched additional patrol ships and special Coast Guard forces to the areas.”

Starting in April, the Chinese ships gradually approached the NLL, officials said, and from mid-May, several large vessels crossed the border frequently, apparently for crab fishing.

The Korean Coast Guard seized a total of six Chinese boats that violated the NLL since May 19, including three 10-ton vessels on Tuesday. They said they also spotted about 100 vessels, assumed to be Chinese, near Yeonpyeong Island, and 170 near Baengnyeong Island, fishing in South Korean waters.

The South Korean government notified Beijing of the illegal fishing and called for them to stop, officials said.

“The Foreign Ministry and the Coast Guard told the Chinese Coast Guard officials about the contract that included our waters,” another South Korean official said. “We demanded the Chinese government warn the vessels not to cross the NLL.”

Military officials in Seoul raised concerns about the purpose of the contract. They say that the regime appears to be attempting to nullify the effectiveness of the boundary as well as to earn foreign currency.

“In the name of controlling the Chinese vessels, some North Korean patrol ships could cross the border or seize our fishing boats as well,” a military official said.

Read the full story here:
North rents out waters near NLL
Joongang Ilbo
Jeong Yong-soo


Japan and DPRK announce agreement on santions/abductions

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Here is the official statement published by KCNA (and KCNA Watch):

Substance of Agreement at DPRK-Japan Inter-Governmental Talks

Pyongyang, May 30 (KCNA) — Substance of the agreement reached at the DPRK-Japan inter-governmental talks held in Stockholm, Sweden on May 26-28, 2014 is as follows:

Both sides had an in-depth discussion on the issues of settling the inglorious past, settling pending issues and normalizing the bilateral relations according to the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration.

The Japanese side requested the DPRK side to conduct a survey of all Japanese including the remains and graves of the Japanese who died in the territory of the DPRK before and after the year 1945 and the remaining Japanese, Japanese spouses, victims of abduction and missing Japanese.

The DPRK side appreciated the Japanese side’s recognition of the efforts made by the DPRK to settle the abduction issue in the past and expressed the willingness to conduct a comprehensive and full-scale survey for all the Japanese for the final settlement of all issues related to Japanese though there is its previous stand.

According to this, the Japanese side voiced its intent to finally lift the measures against the DPRK (sanctions) which it is slapping on its own at present. (The measures taken as regards resolutions of the UNSC are not included.)

The action measures to be taken by both sides are as follows:

Both sides decided to implement the following specific measures at an early date and have a close consultation to do so:

-Japanese side

First, the Japanese side re-clarified its will to settle its inglorious past, solve the pending issues and normalize the relations together with the DPRK side according to the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration and agreed to take a sincere approach towards building confidence between the two countries and settling issues of improving the bilateral relations.

Second, it agreed to lift restrictions on visits of persons, special measure of restrictions taken against the DPRK regarding money remittance and money carried by visitors and the embargo on the entry of the DPRK-flagged ships with a humanitarian mission into the Japanese ports once the DPRK side sets up a “special investigation committee” for the comprehensive survey and starts it.

Third, it highly appreciated the cooperation rendered by the DPRK side in realizing the visits to ancestral graves in the DPRK by bereaved families of Japan as regards the issue of the remains of Japanese and agreed to take necessary measures, furthering the consultation with the DPRK side in connection with the handling of the remains of Japanese and their graves left uncared in the territory of the DPRK and the visits to the ancestral graves.

Fourth, the Japanese side agreed to continue the survey of the Koreans who went missing in the past as requested by the DPRK side and take relevant steps through discussion with the DPRK side.

Fifth, it agreed to have a sincere discussion on the issue of the status of the Koreans in Japan according to the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration.

Sixth, in order to confirm issues arising in the comprehensive and full-scale survey, it agreed to take appropriate measures including the meeting with personnel concerned from the Japanese side and sharing of relevant information about the issues, raised by the DPRK side.

Seventh, it agreed to examine humanitarian aid to the DPRK at an appropriate time from a humanitarian stand.

-DPRK side

First, the DPRK side agreed to conduct a comprehensive and full-scale survey of all Japanese including the remains and graves of those who died in the territory of the DPRK before and after the year 1945, remaining Japanese, Japanese spouses, victims of abduction and missing Japanese.

Second, it agreed to conduct a simultaneous survey of all matters raised, not just giving priority to some of them.

Third, it agreed to set up the “special investigation committee” invested with special mandate (mandate to survey all organs) with a view to conducting specific and in-depth survey of all matters.

Fourth, it agreed to inform the Japanese side of the survey and confirmation of Japanese when necessary including the issues of the remains of Japanese and their graves, remaining Japanese and Japanese spouses. It agreed to have an appropriate discussion with the Japanese side on the issue of handling the remains unearthed in the course of work and the issue of course of action concerning the survivors including their repatriation.

Fifth, as for the abduction issue it agreed to inform the Japanese side of the survey of the abductees and missing Japanese when necessary. When survivors are found in the course of survey, it agreed to inform the Japanese side of it and discuss the issue of the course of action and take measures in the direction of sending them back to Japan.

Sixth, in order to ensure the confirmation of the issues raised by the Japanese side as the survey progresses, it agreed to take appropriate measures for stay in the DPRK of the Japanese personnel concerned and meet with persons concerned and visits to the places concerned while sharing relevant information with the Japanese side.

Seventh, it agreed to make a prompt survey, further consultation of issues arising in this course in various forms and methods and take appropriate measures.

Unverified reports claim there are some minor discrepancies between the Japanese and Korean understandings of the statements. Reportedly the Japanese side has agreed to remove the restrictions at a point of time when the “special investigation committee” has been established and investigations have been initiated, not simply when a committee was established. Secondly the Mangyongbong-92 will remain unauthorized to enter Japan. Finally, the Japanese will do nothing to intervene in the sale of the Chongryun (Shosen Soren) headquarters.

Here is additional coverage:

1. 38 North

2. Yonhap

3. The Diplomat

4. Associated Press

5. Stephan Haggard

6. Japan Times

7. NK News


China eases import procedures for goods from DPRK

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

According to the Daily NK:

China has taken steps to simplify customs procedures in a bid to enhance revenue accrued from toll processing with North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported on the 29th. Northeastern Jilin Province is said to be benefiting substantially thanks to toll processing of items contracted out by Chinese companies for manufacture in North Korea.

According to the report, a customs office in Hunchun now serves as the hub of toll processing for clothing. It is believed that the average time for customs processing has been shortened by 57% for imported products in the last year alone. The province calls it a “tailor-made development strategy” and, they assess, the scale of the textile industry has expanded as a result.

Last year saw China import US$500m worth of clothing from North Korea, a 34% increase from 2012, Radio Free Asia further conveyed.

Some analysts attribute the spike in toll processing between the two countries to North Korea’s enhanced efforts to attract foreign capital from China amid suspended inter-Korean trade relations. The North Korean authorities have also made moves to boost the domestic textile sector by increasing wages at state-run mills.

Read the full story here:
Toll Processing Proving Lucrative for Jilin
Daily NK
Lee Sang-yong


Austria claims it is owed $200m by DPRK

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

According to the Korea Times:

North Korea currently is $200 million (2.5 billion won) in debt to Austria, Voice of America (VOA) reported Wednesday.

Austria’s annual financial report indicates unpaid debt from foreign countries had reached approximately $1.26 billion (1.2 trillion won). Among them, North Korea has not paid anything back for 20 years, said Die Presse, an Austrian daily.

After a debt settlement between two countries in 1987, in which Austria received $7.6 million from the North, all payments stopped in 1992, the VOA said.

Die Presse added it is uncertain if the rest will be redeemed after inactive efforts for 20 years. It also explained the North took out loans from 30 western European countries in the late 1960s and inefficient management resulted in the indebted situation.

A source familiar with the issue speculated North Korea owes $18 billion (18.4 trillion won) in external debt.

Russia waived 90 percent of a $10.1 billion debt owed by the North, while the rest could be repaid over 20 years and be reinvested in North Korea.

Read the full story here:
NK owes Austria $200 million
Korea Times


Chinese tourists take day-long bus tour of Hoeryong

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

According to China Daily:

A one-day bus tour from the northeast China border city of Longjing to Hoeryong in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was launched on Tuesday.

The opening of the route will enable Chinese tourists to arrive in Hoeryong directly, without transferring to a DPRK vehicle at the port, according to Wang Jing, a government worker from Longjing in Jilin Province.

“This will save tourists a lot of time and facilitate the whole journey,” Wang said.

A total of 134 tourists joined the tour on the first day of the route opening.

The trip costs 580 yuan (94 US dollars) per tourist. Tourists can visit historical sites on the DPRK side, taste Korean delicacies and enjoy performances by DPRK artists.

China and the DPRK have in recent years witnessed booming border tourism on the back of multiple travel schemes aimed at boosting the regional economy.

The DPRK has opened several cities for group tours from China, including Rason, Namyang, Chongjin and Mount Kumgang. About 10,000 tourists from Yanbian, also in Jilin, visit the DPRK annually.

The process for for preparing Hoeryong for Chinese tourists has been underway for several years. Hoeryong’s “Food Avenue” was completed in 2010. Chinese tourists started showing up in 2012. Western tourists started showing up in 2013.

Just a few days ago, the Chinese and DPRK launched day-long bicycle tours of Namyang. Previously, Chinese tourists could only take day tours of Sinuiju (an experience that is now available to western tourists) and Rason.

UPDATE: Here is coverage in KCNA (2014-6-4):

One-day Bus Tour of Hoeryong by Chinese People

Pyongyang, June 3 (KCNA) — Chinese people made the first one-day bus tour of Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province, the DPRK.

After the tour, the Chinese tourists told that they were deeply impressed by their visit to the DPRK.
Jin Bo (male: 55), deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office in Yanbian Korean Nationality Autonomous

Prefecture, told as follows:

The one-day tour from Longjin to Hoeryong, China by Chinese bus helped the tourists deepen their friendly feelings towards the DPRK.

The tourism course was very excellent. Many tourists said that they felt as if they were in Pyongyang.

I think one-day tour of Hoeryong will be one of major attractions for Chinese in the near future.

Sha Chunxia (female: 44), a staff of Yanbian News, said:

I was deeply moved to see an art performance given by kindergarteners.

It was hardly believable that the five-or six-year old children could give such an excellent performance.

I have never thought of giving art education to my daughter.

The educational system in the DPRK is very admirable.

I want my daughter to be educated under such excellent system.

Later, I will come together with my daughter to see the performance.

Read the full story here:
China, DPRK border cities open one-day bus tour
China Daily


DPRK imports digital televisions

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

According to the Korea Times:

North Korea’s imports of digital television sets from China have more than quadrupled this year, a South Korean trade group said Sunday, amid reports that the country is moving to introduce digital TV broadcasting.

In the first four months of the year, China shipped digital TVs amounting to some US$17.66 million to North Korea, up 338 percent from $4.02 million during the same period last year, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

The figure is the fifth-largest amount for any single item shipped from China to North Korea in the January-April period. Gasoline topped the list.

The North earlier said on a state-run website that it was moving to introduce digital TV broadcasting. The country also asked the U.N. International Telecommunication Union in 2011 for assistance in switching from an analog to a digital broadcasting system.

“The move by the North Korean government to switch to a digital broadcasting system appears to be an effort to win greater public support by showing that the people’s lives are improving,” said Cho Bong-hyun, an analyst at the IBK Economic Research Institute.

Read the full story here:
Trade report says N. Korea importing large number of digital TVs
Korea Times


Tumen – Namyang bridge renovation

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Pictured above (Google Earth): (L) The original bridge, (R) The new bridge under construction

UPDATE 3 (2018-3-13): New Google Earth satellite image from January 2018 shows little has changed from October 2017.

UPDATE 2 (2017-10-20): NK News captures ground level photos showing progress on bridge construction.

UPDATE 1 (2017-3-24): NK News reports progress on the bridge appears stalled.

ORIGINAL POST (2014-5-23): According to the China Daily:

Construction on a new bridge over a river separating China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has started, authorities of northeast China’s Jilin Province said on Tuesday.

With a total investment of 137 million yuan (21.93 million US dollars), the 804.7-meter new Tumen River bridge is expected to open in 2015 or 2016 as a new route for bilateral trade, authorities said.

The old Tumen River bridge has not been repaired for many years and is facing safety risks. However, the old bridge will not be dismantled and will be kept as a scenic spot.

Tumen City is linked to the DPRK by both highway and railway.

According to Yonhap:

China will begin constructing a new major bridge to North Korea over the Tumen river, China’s state media reported Friday, in the latest sign that economic relations between the two nations remain stable despite the North’s nuclear ambition.

The 804-meter-long, 23-meter-wide bridge will link the Chinese border town of Tumen to North Korea’s northeastern coastal city of Chongjin, the Yanbian Daily newspaper reported, citing the city government of Tumen.

China’s central government recently gave a final approval to build the bridge, which is entirely funded by China at a cost of 137 million yuan (US$21.9 million), the report said.

The newspaper did not specify when the construction would start but that it would “soon be implemented.”

China has been building another major bridge connecting its border city of Dandong to the North Korean city of Sinuiju across the Amnok river, called as the Yalu River in China.

North Korea’s series of provocations, including last year’s third nuclear test, have strained political ties with its last-remaining ally, China. Still, many analysts believe that Beijing will not put strong pressure on Pyongyang due to the risk of aggravating the current situation.

According to AFP:

The bridge will replace an older structure, built in 1938, which will be turned into a tourist attraction, Xinhua said. There are several other rail and road bridges linking the two countries.

Chinese tourists recently started crossing into Namyang for day trips on bicycles.

Read the full stories here:
China to build new cross-border bridge to N. Korea: report

New bridge to link China, DPRK
China Daily


“Miraewon” Electronic Libraries to be constructed across North Korea

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

North Korea has been working to construct “Miraewon” – electronic libraries packed with cutting edge equipment and the latest information technology – in all counties and provinces across the country.

The Rodong Sinmun introduced the recently completed Jonchon County Miraewon in a May 12, 2014 article saying, “Many workers, students, and young people are already visiting the Miraewon, which has been magnificently renovated into an electronic library to meet the demands of the information-economy age.” The article praised the Miraewon, noting that “In just a short period of two months, the entire interior and exterior has completely changed; the library has been updated with dozens of the newest computers, audio-visual equipment, networks, lighting and various other amenities.”

Prior to this, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on May 9th, “There have been many new businesses sprouting up all over the nation’s various counties and provinces with the goal of constructing these modern Miraewon.” It has also been revealed that each center is equipped with “e-libraries, computer study rooms, rooms for scientific and technical knowledge, tele-education rooms, etc.” According to the KCNA, the Miraewon will act as a “base” for scientific technology and information, contributing directly to the nation’s economic development and the “cultural and emotional life of the people.”

Specifically, the KCNA emphasized the establishment of a “data service system” at the Miraewon, which “allows readers to access modern scientific and technological data and [the] latest achievements in various fields [at] any time.” It appears that the name “Miraewon” was created by the First Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Jong Un.

This was first seen in a Korean Central Broadcasting Committee (KCBC) report from February 2014: “Marshal Kim Jong Un has extended his love and graciousness by bestowing the name ‘Changsong County Miraewon’ unto a newly renovated library (in North Phyongan Province).”

First Chairman Kim Jong Un stressed the importance of scientific technology in his New Year’s Address, saying that it is the “impetus that drives the construction of a great nation.” He also emphasized the need for all executives and workers alike to strive to master modern scientific technology, calling on the nation to have a “science and technology-focused spirit” and setting the goal for all citizens to become technologically capable.

Meanwhile, North Korea is also concentrating efforts on developing energy-saving technology which will ultimately lead to the end of the nation’s chronic energy shortage. North Korean state media emphasized the need to address the energy problem, saying, “The most important thing in creating a great Socialist nation is the urgent demand of electricity and energy. In a Socialist economy, saving ten percent more energy would have a much larger effect than increasing production by ten percent, and would also drastically cut costs.”

In other articles, the Rodong Sinmun introduced several examples of newly developed energy-saving technology in detail. Such technology includes the “High Performance Far-Infrared Radiator (FIR),” which reduces energy consumption in heating, and the “High Frequency Impulse Electroseparator,” which increases the efficiency of the electricity used in extracting minerals. Furthermore, the Rodong Sinmun introduced “Distributed Power Systems,” which focuses on the construction of several smaller power plants compared to having just a few large-scale plants. According to the Rodong Sinmun, this method is not only more efficient, but more eco-friendly as well.

First Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim Jong Un spoke in his 2014 New Year’s Address, “All members of society must strive to save each watt of electricity, each gram of coal, and each drop of water,” emphasizing North Korea’s devotion to reducing consumption of energy and natural resources. This movement to develop energy saving technology and increase energy efficiency is related to the national pursuit of economic “self-rehabilitation” in the midst of sanctions imposed by the international community.


DPRK – China Trade 2012-2013 comparison

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

UPDATE: Here is the original KOTRA report.

ORIGINAL POST: According to Yonhap:

Despite years of international sanctions, North Korea’s overall trade volume reached a new annual high in 2013 due largely to growing shipments to and from its closest ally, China, a South Korean trade agency said Thursday.

The North’s overall trade volume came to US$7.34 billion in 2013, up 7.8 percent from the previous year, according to the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

“It is the highest amount since KOTRA began compiling data on North Korea’s annual trade volumes in 1990,” it said in a press release.

The country’s exports jumped 11.7 percent on-year to $3.22 billion, with imports growing 5 percent to $4.12 billion.

Bilateral trade volume between North Korea and China came to $6.54 billion, accounting for 89.1 percent of the North’s overall trade in 2013.

“North Korea’s dependence on China for trade has been increasing steadily since 2005 when its trade volume with China exceeded 50 percent of its overall trade,” KOTRA said.

“In addition, it shows China’s pledge to tighten its customs check on shipments to and from North Korea, in protest of North Korea’s missile launch in December 2012 and a nuclear test in February 2013, did not have any significant effect on North Korea-China trade,” it added.

The large increase in North Korea’s overall exports was attributed to growing shipments of fuel, such as coal, which surged 14.9 percent on-year to $1.43 billion, accounting for 44.4 percent of the country’s total exports.

Out of all energy exports, 97.2 percent were shipped to China.

Russia, another North Korean ally, was the country’s second-largest trading partner in 2013, with bilateral trade volume spiking 37.3 percent to $104 million.

Note, this does not contain South Korea data, which for purely political reasons is counted as inter-Korean (domestic) trade. According to a KIEP presentation by Yoon Deok-ryong, DPRK-ROK trade in 2013 amounted to $1.14b.

Here is what the Institute for Far Eastern Studies had to say:

North Korean Foreign Trade Volume Posts Record High of USD 7.3 Billion in 2013

According to a recent report by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), foreign trade in North Korea (excluding inter-Korean trade) reached a record high of USD 7.3 billion in 2013, up 7.8 percent from the previous year. The report, released on May 22, 2014, marks the fourth year since South Korea enacted the “May 24 Measures,” suspending all inter-Korean trade and economic cooperation outside of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. KOTRA, a South Korean state-run agency which analyzes North Korea’s foreign trade volume, noted that last year’s figures were the highest ever since they began recording data in 1990.

The report shows that North Korean exports and imports in 2013 both increased compared to the previous year, up 11.7 percent (totaling USD 3.2 billion) and 5 percent (totaling USD 4.1 billion), respectively. KOTRA’s data analysis says that North Korean exports consist mostly of “mineral resources such as coal, iron ore, copper and aluminum,” and noted that “the recent boom of contract manufacturing (toll processing) businesses has led to an increase in textile and clothing exports.” Imports, such as electricity, transport vehicles and grains also saw increases, but North Korea was still able to cut their trade deficit by about USD 20 million, from 1 billion (2012) to 980 million (2013).

North Korea’s largest trading partner is China. The trade volume between the two allies reached a total of USD 6.5 billion in 2013, up 8.9 percent from the previous year. This accounts for 89.1 percent of all of North Korea’s foreign trade, showing increasing dependence on China. Despite Beijing’s partaking in international sanctions against North Korea, it appears to have had a little effect on the bilateral trade between the two nations.

North Korea’s other top trading partners behind China include Russia, India, Thailand and Singapore (in that order). In particular, foreign trade with Russia increased by 37.3 percent last year and totaled over USD 100 million (7 million in exports, 97 million in imports). KOTRA explained the sharp increase in Russian imports in the second half of 2013 was due to import of transport vehicles and machineries for the railway construction between the areas of Rajin and Hassan.

KOTRA’s research shows that while the trade with Japan has been nonexistent since 2009, the two nations recently have begun to engage in talks at the bureau-chief level. As expected, due to the economic sanctions imposed on North Korea, foreign trade with the United States remains limited to food, basic necessities, and humanitarian aid.

Coal, lignite and other mineral fuels are North Korea’s largest export products, accounting for 44.4 percent of total foreign exports. This figure increased by nearly 15 percent in 2013, reaching USD 1.4 billion. A staggering 97.2 percent of these mineral exports are sent to China. Other exports such as clothing and textiles saw a 33.5 percent increase from the previous year, totaling USD 520 million. Meanwhile, imports of crude and refined oil – North Korea’s largest import commodities – were recorded at USD 780 million in 2013, a 3.8 percent decrease compared to 2012. North Korea’s oil is imported almost exclusively from China at 94.5 percent.

Despite recent economic sanctions imposed by the international community, North Korea’s foreign trade volume has continued to rise over the last four years thanks to increases in coal, iron and other mineral exports to China. Furthermore, in order to diversify its foreign trade and reduce its trade dependence on China, North Korea likely will continue to further promote bilateral ties with Russia.

Here is coverage in Business Korea.

Aidan Foster-Carter offers this update in the Wall Street Journal’s Korea Real Time.

Nicholas Eberstadt offers analysis here.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s overall trade volume grows to record high in 2013


North East Asia Bank

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The North East Asia Bank has received a new headquarters building in downtown Pyongyang, next to the Changgwang Hotel:


 Pictured Above (Google Earth, 2013-12-1): Pyongyang’s North East Asia Bank

The Ministry of Unification offers some details on the bank. I translated and altered their information to provide this information:

The ING-East Asia Bank was founded as a joint venture in December 1995 by Korean International Insurance Company(조선국제보험회사) [A subsidiary of the Korea National Insurance Corporation (조선민족보험총회사)] and ING of the Netherlands. The bank was established to to facilitate various financial transactions for foreign investors in the Rason SEZ. Disappointed in the North’s underdeveloped financial system, ING stepped out in 1999.  Korean International Insurance Company acquired  ING’s share and changed the Bank’s name to the North East Asia Bank (동북아시아은행).

According to Kim Kwang-jin, “Change in Foreign Currency System in North Korea and it’s Increasing Dependency on Hard Currency” (2008, p. 27):

 In June 11, 2000, Kim Jong il has personally gave his command to give the [North East Asia] Bank the power to manage funds of the Organization and Guidance Department’s administrative organs. 

The bank has not been featured in the North Korean media.