38 North’s DPRK Digital Atlas

January 28th, 2013

I have worked with 38 North to publish the DPRK Digital Atlas. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of administrative boundaries in the DPRK that is publicly available:

Here is some information on the project:

The DPRK Digital Atlas is a resource developed by 38 North, working with Curtis Melvin (North Korean Economy Watch) and a talented team of programmers. It is part of 38 North’s on-going effort to provide various information and analysis resources to help policymakers, researchers, and the general public better understand the DPRK. The data for this project has been culled and vetted through a number of sources to provide users with the most accurate geographic information available at this time.

The atlas was created in Google Earth and then converted to a browser-based application to allow users to search the map either by name (English and Korean), coordinates, or simply by browsing through the drop down menus. Because it is built on the Google Earth platform, users can see the latest publicly available satellite imagery of any specific point or area as they are searching.

In this first iteration of the atlas, users can browse through the provinces, cities, counties, districts, towns and villages throughout the DPRK. Although it is the most comprehensive satellite mapping project of the DPRK, this remains an on-going GIS project, and future iterations will provide even greater detail and a wider variety of localities and features.

We are in debt to the following people and organizations for their contribution of key resources for the completion of this project: Jonathan Ung, Tam Nguyen, “Hank,” Stephen Mercado, Michael Rank, PSCORE, and the George Washington University Gelman Library’s Asia Reading Room.

The web page is fairly intuitive, but there is a separate page containing instructions. Data sources are listed on the atlas “About” page.

An older version of my infrastructure mapping project, North Korea Uncovered, can be found here. Although it was published in 2009, I have been working on it for nearly every day since. I am not someone who tends to exaggeration, but it is the most authoritative map of the DPRK’s infrastructure that will be made publicly available. I hope to publish it soon…

In closing, there is no golf course on Yanggak Island. And this is interesting.

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ROK arrests 25 DPRK spies in last five years

January 27th, 2013

According to the Korea Herald (Yonhap):

More than two dozen North Korean spies have been arrested in the past five years of South Korea’s outgoing government of President Lee Myung-bak, officials said Sunday, a nearly 40 percent rise from the previous administration.

A total of 25 spies have been arrested in South Korea since the Lee government was launched in early 2008, officials said. That represented a 39 percent increase from 18 spies caught in the previous government of President Roh Moo-hyun.

By year, two of the 25 were caught in 2009, 10 in 2010, five in 2011, and eight between 2012 and January this year. In particular, 14 of the spies came to South Korea posing as defectors, officials said.

Last week, intelligence sources said they arrested an official of the Seoul city government for spying charges. The 33-year-old came to South Korea in 2004, disguising himself as a North Korean defector. In 2011, he was hired by the Seoul city government as a two-year contract official.

Yoo’s job at the city government was helping North Korean defectors, and he has been charged with passing to Pyongyang sensitive information about thousands of North Korean defectors living in Seoul.

Read the full story here:
25 N. Korean spies arrested in past 5 years
Korean Herald (Yonahp)
2013-1-27

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A review of the last five years of people-to-people exchanges and inter-Korean economic cooperation under the Lee Myung-bak government

January 23rd, 2013

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
2013-1-23

The Ministry of Unification’s recent monthly report on ‘Trends on Inter-Korean Exchanges” included an examination of the last five years of the Lee Myung-bak administration’s (January 2008 to November 2012) people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between North and South Korea.

Over the past five years, total inter-Korean trade reached 8.94 billion USD, a growth of 58 percent against the previous Roh Moo-hyun administration’s 5.62 billion USD. This increase can be attributed to the steady growth of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). The KIC recorded a total trade volume of 6.695 billion USD under the incumbent administration, which is nearly a seven-fold increase compared to the previous Roh administration’s record of 957 million USD. Considering its importance, the KIC was exempt from South Korea’s May 24 (2010) sanctions imposed against the North.

During the Lee government, 108 companies were authorized for inter-Korean cooperation projects (including the Kaesong Industrial Complex). This represents a drastic drop from the previous government’s 370 companies. Under Lee, the number of cultural exchanges and related businesses that were approved were a mere 5, compared to the former administration’s record of 121.

Combined government and private sector assistance to North Korea totaled 256.3 billion KRW, only one fifth of what was recorded during the Roh administration (i.e., 1.27 trillion KRW). While the current government had more private sector support, the previous government showed more government support.

Over the 5 years of the Lee Myung-bak administration, 664,000 people traveled across the North-South border, which is significantly higher than the number (i.e., 390,002 people) recorded during the Roh administration. However, the majority were government officials, mainly those involved with the KIC.

The number of North Korean defectors that entered South Korea during the Lee administration’s term in office was 724 people, a significant drop from the 4,571 people during the 5-year term of the previous administration. Last year, no defectors entered South Korea — the first “zero-entry” in 14 years (that is, since 1998.

In terms of cross-border vehicle traffic, vehicles traveled across the border 840,009 times, an increase from the previous administration’s 490,000 visits. However, the quantity of goods transported dropped 40 percent from the previous, at 1.39 million tons.

In particular, after the ROKS Cheonan incident on March 2010, people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation were completely halted due to the May 24 (2010) measures. The amount of goods transported was also largely reduced.

As far as cross-border rail is concerned, the Gyeongui Line (connecting South Korea to the KIC) and the Donghae Line (connecting the South to Mount Kumgang) were actively utilized during the Roh administration; but under the incumbent administration, only the Gyeongui Line was utilized.

During the Roh administration, the air traffic recorded 589 trips (42,495 people), but during the Lee government reached only 77 (3,812 people).

The number of separated families members reunited during the last five years was 1,774 (888 people in 2009 and 886 people in 2010). This is only a tenth of the 14,600 family members reunited during the former Roh Moo-hyun government.

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UNSC sanctions on the DPRK

January 22nd, 2013

On January 22, 2013, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2087–new sanctions on the DPRK. Here is the press release:

The Security Council, condemning the launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 12 December 2012, which used ballistic missile technology in violation of the sanctions imposed on it, today demanded that the country not proceed with any further such activities and expressed its “determination to take significant action” in the event it did so.

In that connection, the Council demanded, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2087 (2013), immediate compliance by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with its obligations under resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), including that it abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programmes completely, verifiably and irreversibly.

It deplored the country’s violations of the measures imposed on it in 2006, and strengthened in 2009, including the use of bulk cash to evade sanctions, and underscored its concern over the supply, sale or transfer to or from that country or through States’ territories of any item that could contribute to the activities banned by those resolutions.

The Council recalled that States may seize and dispose of items consistent with its previous resolutions, and clarified that the methods for disposal included, but were not limited to, destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to another States other than the originating or destination States for disposal.

It further clarified that the sanctions banned the transfer of any items if a State involved in the transaction has reasonable grounds to believe that a designated individual or entity, under the previous resolutions, is the originator, intended recipient or facilitator of the item’s transfer.

In a related provision, the Council called for enhanced vigilance by Member States and directed the relevant sanctions Committee to issue an Implementation Assistance Notice in the event a vessel refused to allow an inspection authorized by its Flag State or if any vessel flagged by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea refused to be inspected, in line with its obligations.

Reaffirming its support for the six-party talks, the Council called for their resumption and urged all participants to intensify efforts to fully and expeditiously implement the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement issued by China.

The meeting was called to order at 3:08 p.m. and adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

You can see the full resolution here (PDF).

Here is the response from the US State Department:

Designation Of DPRK Entities Pursuant To Executive Order 13382 In Response To UN Security Council Resolution 2087

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 24, 2013

The United States welcomes the UN Security Council’s unanimous adoption on January 22 of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2087, condemning North Korea’s launch of December 12, 2012, which used ballistic missile technology in violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874. Once again, the international community has sent a clear, united signal that North Korean provocations that undermine international security and the global nonproliferation regime, like the December 2012 launch, will not be tolerated.

To implement our obligations pursuant to UNSCR 2087 and to impede the DPRK’s illicit WMD and ballistic missile programs, the Departments of State and the Treasury on January 24, 2013, designated several entities and individuals directly tied to North Korea’s proliferation activities. The Department of State designated one entity and two individuals pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters. These include the Korean Committee for Space Technology (KCST), KCST senior official Paek Chang-Ho, and General Manager of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station Chang Myong-Chin.

Information on the Department of the Treasury’s concurrent actions may be viewed at:

http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/default.aspx

The Korean Committee for Space Technology orchestrated the launches of the Taepo-Dong 2 via the satellite control center and Sohae launch area. The technology used to launch a satellite is virtually identical to and interchangeable with that used in an intercontinental ballistic missile. KCST has contributed directly to the DPRK’s long-range ballistic missile development efforts.

Paek Chang-Ho is a senior official and head of the satellite control center of KCST.

Chang Myong-Chin is the head of the launch center at which the launches took place.

These actions aim to disrupt North Korea’s continued WMD proliferation and procurement efforts that are in flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions. North Korea will continue to face isolation if it refuses to take concrete steps to address the concerns of the international community over its nuclear and missile programs.

More: Marcus Noland’s comments hereSlate.

UPDATE (2013-1-28): According to Yonhap, the DPRK regime is using the sanctions to unite public opinion behind leadership:

North Korea is using U.N. sanctions to unify public opinion behind the leadership and strengthen allegiance to the state, observers said Monday.

Observers in Seoul said Pyongyang places the utmost importance on the solidarity of the people whether it is in the pursuit of its “songun” or military-first politics or to build up the economy. They said recent media reports of foreign threats and the need to defend the sovereignty and dignity of the country is a move in this direction.
Incumbent leader Kim Jong-un has emphasized the importance of economic growth, while his late father placed greater emphasis on the military. North Korea’s current leader took power after the sudden death of Kim Jong-in in late 2011.

“The sudden flood of articles and stories highlighting external threats can be construed as a sign that Pyongyang wants to prop up Kim Jong-un’s weak public support base as well as the overall leadership,” a North Korean watcher said.

Others said that a spike in media reports calling on the people to defend North Korea’s independence may be a tell-tale sign that Kim Jong-un’s hold on power may not be strong as some predicted.

Reflecting these views, media outlets such as the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Radio Pyongyang and Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), all claimed that the people are reacting strongly to calls by the powerful National Defense Commission last Thursday. The commission said future nuclear and rocket tests will have the United States in mind.

Rodong Sinmun said in an article in its Monday edition that the U.N. sanctions have fueled the firm conviction and will of the armed forces and the general public to defend the country.

The newspaper said that the all-out confrontation that can occur is a holy nationalist war.

Similar views were expressed by Radio Pyongyang on Sunday, which pointed out that the only way to deal with the United States and other outside hostile forces is to follow the military first policy.

KCNA said Saturday that foreign forces have hindered efforts to divert more attention to economic development and warned that as long as adversaries try to weaken the country, Pyongyang has no choice but to focus on the military.

The media reports come as the North’s foreign ministry, the defense commission and the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland all issued statements last week denouncing the U.N. sanctions and emphasizing the country’s resolve to build up its capability to defend itself.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials have warned the North not to detonate another nuclear device. If they do detonate a nuclear device, it will be difficult to engage in inter-Korean dialogue and economic exchange, they said.

Seoul military and diplomatic sources have speculated that the communist country can conduct a nuclear test if the leadership gives its approval. Pyongyang detonated two nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, in the face of international condemnation.

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Pyongyang awards “citizenship” to Korean-American

January 22nd, 2013

UPDATE 1: Hat tip to a reader in the commentsection…Mr. Park was given honorary citizenship to the city of Pyongyang, not to the DPRK. This is the DPRK equivalent of getting the “key to the city”.

ORIGINAL POST: Here is the certificate of authenticity (as reported by Yonhap):

DPRK-citizenship

This award was given to the head of Pyonghwa Motors (now for sale).

Here is more information from Yonhap:

The head of inter-Korean automaker Pyeonghwa Motors said Tuesday that he was made an honorary citizen of Pyongyang late last year to reflect his contribution to North Korea’s development.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, Park Sang-kwon said he received the citizenship at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in the North Korean capital on Dec. 18.

Park has led the carmaker that started off as a joint venture between South Korea’s Tongil Group, run by the Unification Church, and North Korea. Production began in 2002, with the company producing about 2,000 vehicles every year.

He said his citizenship has a serial number of 002 and has an inscription saying that the honor is being bestowed because of his contribution to the fatherland and the Korean people. He is the first foreign national to have received the honor under the communist country’s new leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim Chin-kyung, the Korean-American president of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology was the first to receive an honorary citizenship in Aug. 2011 by late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

“The reason why they gave me the citizenship reflects recognition for the trust I have shown them and may be a sign that they want me to more freely engage in business activities,” he said. Park claimed that the citizenship can be seen as a sign that the North will allow him to start a new business in the country.

He then said that the reason why Tongil decided to turn over management of the carmaker last November was so it could focus on a wholly-owned business operation in the country. Last year, the business group created by late Rev. Moon Sun-myung also agreed to hand over control of the Pothonggang Hotel in Pyongyang.

The executive said he had asked the North to approve such a step.

“Pyeonghwa Motors has been generating profit for the past five years,” Park said. The businessman said that in the future, he wants to engage in the distribution of household necessities in North Korea, and in particular to Pyongyang.

He said there is a need to show that a wholly-owned (outside-invested) company that is not tied to a joint venture project with a North Korean partner can succeed in the country, which can act as an incentive for other foreign companies to invest.

He pointed out that Chinese companies that invested in the North are generally those that have not done well at home. He said that successful South Korean, Japanese and U.S. companies need to engage in business activities in the North.

“If 200 competitive South Korean companies operate in the North, there would be no reason for inter-Korean tensions, and it can actually help push forward the unification process,” he said.

Park, meanwhile, said the North is looking into the option of developing a ski resort near the 768 meter high Masik pass near the city of Wonsan on the east coast.

He said that United Front Department of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea mentioned the development plan in December and claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave the order personally. Kim has been running the country since the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in Dec. 2011.

“The North seems to want to develop a small ski resort first and build this up depending on demand,” he said.

The businessman added that Pyongyang wanted to transform Wonsan into a special tourist zone and is interested in using a military airfield near the city to accept civilian flights carrying tourists. Wonsan is famous for its beaches and if a ski resort is opened on Masik pass, it could attract tourists year round.

Park claimed Kim Jong-un has gained confidence in managing the country in the last year and may move to increase investments into the tourism sector.

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DPRK imports of grain / food from China drop

January 22nd, 2013

According to Yonhap:

North Korea imported significantly less grain and fertilizers from China last year, mainly due to improvements in overall food conditions in the country, local sources said Tuesday.

Kwon Tae-jin, a research fellow at the Seoul-based Korea Rural Community Corp., said data compiled from January through November showed North Korea’s grain imports from its neighboring country reaching 257,931 tons.

This represents a 26.8 percent decrease from 352,282 tons tallied for the same 11 month period in 2011.

“There was a noticeable drop in various grain imports last year,” the researcher said, adding that imports of corn and rice fell 19.2 percent and 16.7 percent vis-a-vis the year before, with wheat and bean purchases declining 56.2 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

The latest data also showed Pyongyang importing 252,780 tons of chemical fertilizers from China up till November, down 28.8 percent from 355,023 tons reported from the year before.

Experts in the South said the decrease reflected improvements in overall food supply in the communist country brought on by the new leadership paying more attention to the economy.

Read the full story here:
N. Korea’s grain, fertilizer imports from China fall sharply
Yonhap
2013-1-22

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Foreigners now allowed mobile phones in the DPRK

January 22nd, 2013

UPDATE 1 (2013-1-28): The Koryo Tours Facebook Page has an image of the KoryoLink poster at Sunan Airport:

Koryo-link-for-foreigners

ORIGINAL POST (2013-1-22): According to NK News:

According to Richie Fenner, a tour manager at China based Young Pioneer Tours who reported the news today, explained that GPS enabled devices are allowed in the country. He told us:

“When we were coming in on the train, they asked us to show us our phones. The customs official asked if the first one he looked at had GPS, which it didn’t, so he handed it back. But then with the iPhones and other modern phones when we told them they had GPS, he just handed them back and gestured that we just put them in our bag.”

Thinking that the phones might just be sealed upon the group’s arrival to Pyongyang, Fenner explained that to his surprise the local guides explained a new policy meant that foreigners can now keep their cell phones in their possession. But that didn’t mean they could be used. Fenner explained, “Wthout a North Korean sim card, the phones are useless. I asked if we could get North Korean SIM cards and our guide said that it might be possible in the future”.

American tourist Sato Shi who joined the tour group by plane (U.S. citizens may not take the train) confirmed that the policy has been applied to the airport, too. “When we went to the customs they were checking our bags, saw my cellphone and then just gave it back to me and said “Hey, just keep it with you”.

Smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are a rare commodity in North Korea. Fenner explained that his North Korean colleagues were very interested in trying them and playing games throughout the tour. “It’s all very new for them, I don’t think they’ve seen iPhones and Smartphones before”.

Given the lack of SIM cards and network access, the Young Pioneer tour group explained they could only really use their phones to take photos, play games, and use as an alarm. Young Pioneers today explained on their website that the news shows North Korea’s intent to “make tourism easier and a larger part of the economy”.

Xinhua reports some additional details:

“Just fill a registration form at the Customs with your phone’ s IMEI number, you can bring your own phones to DPRK,” said a unnamed Egyptian technician.

“If you want to make international calls, the WCDMA 3G mobile phone owners can purchase our Koryolink SIM card, which costs 50 euro,” the technician said.

For decades before, foreigners visiting the DPRK must leave their cellphones at the Customs and can pick them up on departure.

“We have tried hard to negotiate with the Korean security side, and got the approval recently,” said the Egyptian, noting that “it has nothing to do with the Google trip.”

In fact, foreigners still can not really use the Koryolink 3G network, with no internet access allowed yet. The Koryolink staff said that the mobile internet service for foreigners will be opened soon. “It is not a technical problem, we just wait for the DPRK authority’ s approval.”

There are 1.8 million Koreans using 3G cellphones across the country since 2008, which supports MMS and video call. But their mobile phones can neither make international calls nor connect to the Internet. Furthermore, Koreans and Foreigners can not make calls between each other due to their SIM cards set by different segments.

Kyodo offers video of people purchasing the KoryoLink SIM cards:

NK News reports the new price structure:

1. Purchase: These cards will be valid indefinitely and can be used for repeat visits. The cost for these will be 50 euro with a nominal amount of prepaid call money included.

2. Two Week SIM Card “rental”: Costing 50 euros, these cards can be used for two weeks before becoming invalid. They include 30 euro of prepaid service.

3. One month rentals: These cost 75 euro and include 55 euro of prepaid service.

Call rates:

– China and South East Asia- 1.43 Euro a minute

– Russia- 0.68 Euro a minute

– France and Switzerland- 0.38 Euro a minute

– UK and Germany- 1.58 Euro a minute

Other rates including the U.S have yet to be confirmed

UPDATE: A friend sent in a picture of the rates (2014). the rates do not appear to have changed:

Koryolink-intl-rates-2014

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Google Earth and the DPRK: Pyongyang Mosque, Kobangsan, and new hospital

January 20th, 2013

Pyongyang has a mosque:

Pyongyang-mosque

Pyongyang-mosyue-google-earth

Top: A reader allowed me to post this image (thank you) of a mosque in Pyongyang. Bottom: The Google Earth image of the mosque.

The mosque is located inside the Iranian embassy compound.  This would make it a Shia mosque.  There is not a mosque at either the Egyptian embassy or the Pakistani embassy. I am unsure of the location of the Libyan embassy (do any readers know?) or whether it has a mosque. In the meantime, the DPRK might be the only country with a Shia mosque but not a Sunni mosque.

If the embassy staff are good Muslims, they should allow you to enter the compound to visit the mosque. Just be sure to bring modest clothes, and women, please cover your heads.

UPDATE 2015: Jakaparker has posted images of the interior of the mosque to his instagram account. You can see them here, here, here, here, and here.

Dear Sophie Schmidt:

I just read your web page on travel in the DPRK. I thought I would help you out a bit. Here is the picture you posted of your guesthouse:

Kobansan-guesthouse

This is the Kobangsan (고방산) Guest House and it is located in the eastern suburbs of Pyongyang. Here is a Google Earth satellite image of the place:

Kobansan-google-earth

Here are the Google Earth coordinates:  39.054577°, 125.879205°

Also, you should check out this digital atlas I published of the DPRK. The data is better than Google’s. :)

Taesongsan General Hospital

taesongsan-hospital

This weekend KCNA/KCTV reported on Kim Jong-un’s visit to the newly built Taesongsan General Hospital (대성산종합병원). Pictured above is the Google Earth satellite image of the place. Google Earth coordinates:  39.109678°, 125.911093°. NK Leadership Watch has more information on the Hospital.

Here is the video that appeared on KCTV:

Learn more about the visit here.

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Speculation time: A new kwan-li-so or expansion of Camp 14?

January 18th, 2013

UPDATE: Thanks to the Daily NK and Wall Street Journal for helping to reach out to others who may know about this facility. Here is an interview I did for NPR.

ORIGINAL POST: Today (Friday) Google Earth was updated with new satellite imagery (dated 2011-9-21) of the area around Camps 14 and 18 (Kwan-li-so 14). Camp 18 is said to have been closed for a few years and the area has even been featured on North Korean television (See Pongchang District Coal Mine, 봉창지구탄광, here and here).

While updating my Google Earth file to match the new satellite imagery, however, I noticed the addition of a new area that bears striking similarity to other known “kwan-li-so (관리소)” or prison camps. This area was built sometime between 2006-12-17 and 2011-9-21. It is surrounded by a very visible security perimeter. It is also placed right next to Camp 14– even sharing 3kms of border.

Camp14-logo

New-camp-logo

Pictured Above (Google Earth): The location of interest next to Camp 14 in Kaechon County

Let’s look at this new area more closely. The security perimeter is approximately 20km in circumference  There are two entrances on the northwestern edge of the fence:

new-camp-entrance-2006-12-17 new-camp-entrance-2011-9-21-logo

Pictured above is the northern most entrance. The picture on the left is dated 2006-12-17. The picture on the right is dated 2011-9-21.

new-camp-entrance-2-2006 new-camp-entrance-2-2011-logo

Pictured above is the southern entrance.  This appears to more of a staff or auxiliary entrance.

There appear to be six new buildings constructed around the perimeter that could serve as guard posts/facilities. Three of them are identical:

new-camp-guard-posts

There has been some new residential and administrative units added to the interior as well:

new-camp-interior-2006 new-camp-interiot-2011-logo

Pictured above (Google Earth): Residential and administrative construction within the perimeter fence. This village does not appear on any North Korean atlas that I have seen.

There is an old coal mine inside the perimeter fence, but it does not appear to be operational.  Comparisons of debris show that coal piles have become overgrown with trees since 2004. In addition, the electrical substation that was located here to power the mine (before the fence was built)  has been removed:

new-camp-substation-2004 GoogleEarth_Image

So I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but this facility certainly raises flags.  I look forward to hearing opinions and information/criticism from the wider North Korea-watching community.

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DPRK visitors to China in 2012

January 18th, 2013

UPDATE 1 (2013-1-18): According to the Daily NK:

The number of North Koreans visiting China legally reached a record high of 180,600 in 2012, an 18% increase over the 2011 figure of 152,300.

Radio Free Asia released the news today, citing Chinese statistics. According to the report, the most common reason for the visits was ‘employment’ (79,600, 44%) followed by ‘business’ (55,200, 31%).

The number visiting China for ‘business’ increased by roughly 10,900 over the 2011 figure, while the number of those visiting for ‘employment’ increased by 4,300.

According to RFA, “This is because of the greater number of exchanges and joint ventures going on between North Korea and China in the economic sector.”

Elsewhere in the statistics, 4,500 (2.5%) North Koreans also visited China last year for purposes of tourism and leisure, and 200 (0.1%) went to visit friends and relatives.

Read the full story here:
Legal North Korean Visitor Numbers Rise
Daily NK
Jeong Dae Sung
2013-1-18

ORIGINAL POST (2012-4-24): Number of visitors up in first quarter of 2012. According to Yonhap (via Korea Times):

The number of North Koreans visiting China in the first three months of the year surged more than 40 percent from a year ago, with the majority arriving for employment or business purposes, a report said Tuesday.

A total of 40,200 North Koreans visited the neighboring country in the first quarter, up 40.5 percent on-year, according to the Voice of America, which quoted data from the China National Tourism Administration.

About half, or 19,300 visitors, were seeking work in China’s manufacturing and dining industries, while another 10,800 visitors arrived for business purposes, the report said. Only 1,100 North Koreans toured China for sightseeing.

By age group, 19,100 visitors were aged between 45 and 64, followed by 17,200 people who were aged between 25 and 44.

Ferries transported the highest number of passengers at 17,400, while 9,300 people traveled by automobile.

The number of male visitors came to 33,200, or 83 percent of the total, far exceeding the number of females.

The data did not include defectors or other North Korean visitors who arrived by unofficial means, the report said.

See a report of North Korean visitors to China in 2011 here.

Read the full story here:
NK visitors to China swell in first quarter
Yonhap (via Korea Times)
2012-4-24

 

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