Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
It has been a long time since I did a “fun” post. Since there are so many North Korea bloggers and writers these days, it is hard to find as much unique material to highlight, or by the time you get around to it, 15 other North Korea bloggers and news organizations have already posted it… This post has been in my draft folder for ages, however, so I should probably just get it out there…
Several photographers have been able to use a tilt-shift photograpy to create “miniature” pictures of the DPRK. I find them fascinating. Here are some of the pictures I have found online:
Here is a tilt-shift photo of the DMZ.
The Pyongyang Project is hosting an interesting conference in the DPRK. According to the organizers:
This mission seeks to develop educational contacts between foreign institutions and select DPRK universities, medical schools and hospitals. A visiting delegation of experts and academicians will provide interactive lectures for women’s health providers located at various sites in the DPRK. Delegate applications will also be considered from medical students and graduate students in the health professions. Themes for women’s health covered during this conference include:
• Reducing maternal mortality and neonatal death
• Improving GYN cancer screening and treatment (including breast cancer)
• Sharing new advances in treatment of miscarriage (and infertility)
• Updating community practice for routine wellness/health maintenance
Other themes, such as infectious disease, will also be covered if there is interest among delegates. While in the DPRK, delegates will interact with DPRK colleagues in a variety of contexts to discuss clinical questions concerning patient care. Evidence‐based research will be reviewed to discuss current best practice, as informed by international standards.
Program objectives are achieved across a range of settings inside the DPRK—either didactic lectures or less formal small group presentations. In addition, delegates will have opportunities to learn about women’s health issues in the DPRK, so the program facilitates a two‐way dialogue among all participants. This will be particularly beneficial to visiting doctors having questions regarding traditional Korean medicines, about which little is published outside the DPRK.
This program strongly encourages sustained academic partnerships between DPRK investigators and foreign colleagues on areas of shared research interest, and anticipates collaborative publications to follow in peerreview medical or scientific journals.
August 1st through August 10th, 2014.
There is a registration fee.
Rodong Sinmun has reported:
[Kim Jong-un] visited the operational airfield in the western region together with Ri Sol Ju to guide “the Combat Flight Contest among Air Commanding Officers of the Air and Anti-Air Force of the KPA – 2014″.
This air demonstration took place in Onchon, part of Nampho City.
Pictured above television and satellite images of the same AFB in Onchon.
Sunan Airport in Pyongyang is only about 32 miles (51km) from Onchon AFB, so if flown directly, the route would have just taken a few minutes.
Some of the aircraft used in the show are not normally stored along the AFB runway. They could have been flown in from other airfields or they are stored underground at a nearby underground AFB:
[Note: In an earlier version of this post I named it "Onsong" which was just a stupid mistake and pretty embarrassing. Never blog when you are in a hurry.]
A new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report is out on foreign assistance to North Korea. The authors are Mark Manyin and Mary Beth Nikitin.
Here is the summary:
Between 1995 and 2008, the United States provided North Korea with over $1.3 billion in assistance: slightly more than 50% for food aid and about 40% for energy assistance. Since early 2009, the United States has provided virtually no aid to North Korea, though episodically there have been discussions about resuming large-scale food aid. Additionally, the Obama Administration officials have said that they would be willing to consider other types of aid if North Korea takes steps indicating that it will dismantle its nuclear program, a prospect that most analysts view as increasingly remote. As of March 2014, barring an unexpected breakthrough, there appears little likelihood the Obama Administration will provide large-scale assistance of any type to North Korea in the near future. Members of Congress have a number of tools they could use to influence the development and implementation of aid programs with North Korea.
Food Aid. Large swathes of North Korea’s population have suffered from chronic malnutrition since the mid-1990s. Food aid—largely from China, South Korea, and the United States—has been essential in filling the gap between North Korea’s supply and demand, though since 2009 donations from all countries except China have dwindled to a minimal amount. Observers and activists attribute the North Korea’s malnutrition and occasional starvation problems to food shortages—which at times have been massive—and more fundamentally to the unequal distribution of food caused in large measure by the North Korean government’s deliberate decisions and policies. In 2013, an improved harvest appeared to reduce North Korea’s chronic grain shortfall to some of the lowest levels since the 1990s. Yet outside food groups reported continued malnutrition among vulnerable sectors of the population, especially children. In 2014, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry on North Korea’s human rights conditions found that the North Korean government’s “act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation” amounted to crimes against humanity.
Providing food to North Korea poses a number of dilemmas. Pyongyang has resisted reforms that would allow the equitable distribution of food and help pay for food imports. The North Korean government restricts the ability of donors to operate in the country. Additionally, multiple sources have asserted that some of the food assistance is routinely diverted for resale in private markets or other uses. However, it is likely that food aid has helped feed millions of North Koreans, at times possibly staving off a repeat of the famine conditions that existed in North Korea in the mid-late 1990s, when 5%-10% of the population died. South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s government has indicated that it would be willing to offer North Korea food aid as part of her plan to foster a “new era” in inter-Korean relations. In 2013, the South Korean government donated around $12 million to United Nations humanitarian organizations that supply humanitarian aid, including some food, in North Korea.
Energy Assistance. Between 1995 and 2009, the United States provided around $600 million in energy assistance to North Korea. The aid was given over two time periods—1995-2003 and 2007-2009—in exchange for North Korea freezing its plutonium-related nuclear facilities. In 2008 and 2009, North Korea also took steps to disable these facilities. However, no additional energy assistance has been provided since 2009, when Pyongyang withdrew from the Six-Party Talks—involving North Korea, the United States, China, Japan, and Russia—over North Korea’s nuclear program. The move followed condemnation and sanctions by the U.N. Security Council for North Korea’s April 2009 launch of a suspected long-range missile and May 2009 test of a nuclear device.
Denuclearization Assistance. In 2007 and 2008, the United States gave technical assistance to North Korea’s nuclear disablement process. In 2008, Congress took steps to legally enable the President to give expanded assistance for this purpose. However, following North Korea’s actions in the spring of 2009, Congress rejected the Obama Administration’s requests for supplemental funds to use in case of a return to denuclearization. Since then, Congress has not approved and the administration has not requested any funds for denuclearization since North Korea has not agreed to return to the nuclear disarmament process.
This site does not focus on human rights issues, but I want to point out that the commission of inquiry report is out.
1. Though not directly cited, my work at identifying the expansion of camp 14 and camp 25 and changes to camp 16 was used by other contributing groups and individuals (mostly HRNK)–some organizations are better at citations than others.
3. Following publication of the report Botswana cut diplomatic ties with the DPRK. Previous posts on this web page related to Botswana can be found here. I am unaware of any significant relationship between the two countries, though the North Koreans did build Gaborone’s Three Dikgosi (Chiefs) Monument. More in Xinhua here.
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I joined the NK News service as a reader and as a regular contributor. From May 1, 2013 most of my original work will appear there.
North Korean Economy Watch will continue to be updated with generally available public information so it will continue to serve as a useful resource to journalists, academics, policy makers, and the NGO community.
All of my contributions can be found here, but below are links to individual posts:
I have been very busy this autumn, so non-remunerative blogging has taken a back seat. As you are aware, more content than ever is published on the DPRK each day and going through it all is a major drain on time! It’s certainly not like the old days (2006-2010) when you could read everything about North Korea that day before lunch! So I will be slowly updating this web page (all posts will be back-dated) and I hope to be caught up by the end of the year.
In the meantime, I have published several articles at NK News.
The ever-innovative NK News is selling 2014 calendars featuring great photography of the DPRK. Order yours below.
I really enjoyed my 2013 calendar!