Archive for January, 2012

DPRK revises law on registration of foreign -invested enterprises

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

According to the Daily NK:

Choson Central News Agency (KCNA) announced on the 30th that North Korean authorities had enacted revisions regarding its Law on Registration of Foreign-invested Enterprise.

KCNA states “Chapter 8 Article 51 of the Law on Registration of Foreign-invested Enterprises protects the signing of labor contracts, labor and repose, labor protection, as well as the right of social insurance and social security.”

In addition, Chapter 10 Article 72 of the Foreign Investment Law and Chapter 4 Article 59 calls for the revision of foreign investment enterprise accounting, KCNA said. Specific changes, however, were not revealed.

North Korea’s Law on Registration of Foreign-invested Enterprise was established in May 1992 and has faced revision in 1999 and 2004. Laws applicable to foreign investment enterprises under the Law on Registration of Foreign-invested Enterprise are subject to change and amendment is scheduled in eight years.

This revision seems to be based on North Korea’s intent to secure foreign currency and foreign investment.

Such measures are expected to attract foreign exchange through assurance. Recently enacted laws have been introduced in the development of special economic zones. The Academy of Social Sciences at the North Korea National Research Institute stressed that an occasional audit of foreign companies may be reasonable.

In response, a representative of the Samsung Economic Research Institute stated in a phone call with Daily NK “At this time, Chinese companies seem to be primarily subject to revisions of the law.” He continued, “The intent seems to be to vanguard special economic zones.”

Following “sanctions on North Korea due to its nuclear policy and pattern of international relations, attraction of foreign investment may not be solved through a framework of law. Much remains unresolved.”

Read the full story here:
NK Enacts Foreign Investment Law
Daily NK
Kim Tae Hong


Kim Jong-un’s January 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

UPDATE 1: Luke Herman provides some additional infomration here.

ORIGINAL PSOT: January has been quite interesting for DPRK watchers as we are seeing the steps taken to establish the legitimacy of Kim Jong-un. Below I have cataloged some visible components of this process:

Kim Jong-un’s “on the spot guidance” (OSG):

Kim Jong-un began the year with a visit to Kumsusan palace to pay respects to president Kim Il-sung and leader Kim Jong-il. The political and cultural symbolism speaks for itself.

Kim Jong-un’s second guidance trip (reported on the same day) was reportedly to the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division. This visit is symbolically important because it was on a guidance trip to this very same division that (according to the North Korean narrative) Kim Jong-il began his “Songun” (Military First) leadership.  According to KCNA (2010-8-24):

An oath-taking meeting of servicepersons of the three services of the Korean People’s Army took place at the Ssangun-ri Revolutionary Site in Sukchon County, South Phyongan Province, on Tuesday on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il’s start of the Songun revolutionary leadership.

The reporter and speakers at the meeting recalled that Kim Jong Il started the Songun revolutionary leadership by providing field guidance, together with President Kim Il Sung, to the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division of the KPA on August 25, Juche 49 (1960) stationed in Ssangun-ri.

Here is a satellite image (Google Earth) of the Ssangun-ri Revolutionary Site (쌍운리 혁명사적지,  39°25’3.20″N, 125°44’30.74″E):

Joseph Bermudez wrote more about the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division here. Kim Jong-il last visited the unit on 2010-12-31.

The remainder of Kim’s guidance trips in January have been overwhelmingly military in nature:

KPA Air Force Unit 1017
Concert Given by Military Band of KPA
Flight Training of KPA Air Force Unit 378
Demonstration by Players of Western Area Aviation Club (KPA)
Mangyongdae Revolutionary School (KPA)
Lunar New Year Reception
Machine Plant managed by Ho Chol Yong (KPA)
Kim Jong Un Inspects Command of KPA Large Combined Unit 671
Kim Jong Un Inspects KPA Air Force Unit 354
Kim Jong Un Inspects KPA Unit 3870
KPA Unit 169 honored with the title of the O Jung Hup-led Seventh Regiment
Music and dance performace
Hero Street Meat Shop
Pyongyang Folk Village (KPA)

2012 New Year’s concert “The Cause of the Sun Will Be Immortal” given by the Unhasu Orchestra
Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division
Tribute to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il at (Kamsusan)

The media/propaganda campaign:

1. On Kim Jong-un’s birthday, KCTV ran a muchwrittenabout, hourlong documentary titled, Inheriting the Great Achievement of the Military First Revolution of (Mount) Baekdu, which highlights Kim Jong-un’s bona fides as a great military strategist (see full video here). It also allegedly mentions Jong-un’s mother, though not by name, who was born in Japan.

At this point I don’t have much to add on the film except a translation of Kim Jong-un’s quote in the film, which may be his first official one, provided by C. La Shure in the Korean Studies Digest:

“I am accustomed to working through the night and so am not bothered by it. The most joyous and happiest moments for me are when I can bring joy to the comrade supreme commander. Thus, though I have stayed up several nights, I have worked without knowing weariness. Even when I work through several nights, once I have brought joy to the comrade supreme commander, the weariness vanishes and a new strength courses through my whole body. This must be what revolutionaries live for.”

2. Kim Jong-un’s “motherly” or “nurturing” traits have also been emphasized — imitating not only Kim il-sung’s appearance but also his public mannerisms (a la Bryan Myers):


Pictured above:  (Top) The cover of B.R. Myers’ book, The Cleanest Race. (Bottom) Kim Jong-un’s visits to KPA Unit 354 (L) and the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School (R)

3. Kim Jong-un has issued several autographs which look remarkably like his father’s (and grandfather’s):


Pictured above: (L) Kim Jong-il’s signature taken from North Korean television. (R) Kim Jong-un’s signature as reported by KCNA on 2012-1-3. The Choson Ilbo also picked up on this.

4. The KCNA web page now has a special content filter built specifically to highlight Kim Jong-un’s activities.  They have also started printing his name in a larger type.

5. Kim Jong-un is now part of the DPRK’s infamous criticism sessions. According to the Daily NK:

“The Central Party is propagandizing the greatness of Kim Jong Eun through criticism sessions, and coming down hard on anybody who is reported to have said anything hinting at any doubt of his greatness,” the source said, adding, “all cadres are being careful not to get caught out by this, without exception.”

6. Kim Jong-un  is being called “father” in the official media.  According to the Daily NK:

Choson Central News Agency (KCNA) on the 25th reported that Kim Jong Eun made a visit to the Mangyondae Revolutionary School. During his visit, Kim Jong Eun was greeted by staff and students as “Dear Father,” a designation stressing loyalty.

Rodong Shinmun, a day before, ran an article entitled ‘The sun shines forever’. It stated “our people broken hearted at the loss of our nation’s Father (Kim Jong Il ) and out of love our father (Kim Jong Eun) warmly welcomed the return of our people from overseas.” This statement showed that Kim Jong Eun has succeeded being called ‘father’ following Kim Jong Il.

The newspaper went on to praise Kim Jong Eun, “our people are all one in our father and persist with single-minded unity and great heart.”

7. The Lunar New Year holiday was co-opted to celebrate the rise of Kim Jong-un. In addition to public ceremonies and performances in honor of one of the three leaders (Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un), the practice of distributing holiday rations in the name of the leader was resumed. In a sign of the “back to the future” economic policies which may be on the horizon, the DPRK is rumored to be interested in reviving nation-wide food distribution through the PDS.

8. KCNA announced an amnesty for convicts. Details were scarce.


How failed is the DPRK?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

James Pearson written an excellent article in The Diplomat on the DPRK’s position in the Failed State Index (FSI):

In recent years, North Korea has collected an impressive array of very unflattering superlatives. Whether it be the most “failed”, “corrupt” or “undemocratic” state in the world, it manages to frequently top (or bottom) such rankings and indexes.

It’s a pattern that emerges frequently, and often places North Korea just a few places below Somalia which, in the case of last year’s Failed States Index (FSI) seemed to confusingly suggest that the two states were almost as “failed” as each other. (A strange comparison to make when the absolute power Pyongyang manages to project across North Korea is the total antithesis of the complete anarchy that exists in Mogadishu).

The FSI uses 12 political, social and economic “indicators” to reach its conclusions. Politically, North Korea achieves an impressive 9.9/10 for “de-legitimization of the state” thanks to its “resistance of ruling elites to transparency, accountability and political representation.” Somalia is again a close second, which gains a rival 9.8/10 in the same group, presumably because it isn’t even clear who, or indeed where, the so-called “ruling elites” of Somalia actually are.

It’s therefore puzzling that we award the two states the same title. Somalia is widely recognized to have collapsed, yet while we’ve been talking about a North Korean collapse for over a decade, the regime has remained stable and resilient in the face of famine and economic decline.

Rearranging the FSI in descending order according to social indicators produces dramatically different results. By reorganizing the list by “human flight” (the term used to describe, among other things, the “growth of exile communities”), North Korea drops more than 90 places, landing only two places ahead of South Korea. It should go without saying why “human flight” is a fundamentally flawed method of measuring to what degree North Korea has “failed.”

Indeed, how the FSI managed to obtain any clear and reliable information from North Korea is a mystery. In the weeks following the death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of Kim Jong-un, analysts were quick to draw enormous conclusions derived largely from the memoirs of Kim Jong-il’s former sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto – a surreal twist in an already bizarre tale.

Read the full article here:
How Failed is North Korea?
The Diplomat
James Pearson


Mirim’s second Kim Il-sung Square

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

UPDATE 1: By coincidence NK Leadership Watch and I posted on a similar topic today.  See his post and analysis here.

ORIGINAL POST: Today the Daily NK reported that preparations were underway for another KPA military parade:

A high level government official revealed today, “North Korea has been mobilizing military personnel and equipment to practice for the military parade at Mirim Airfields near Pyongyang. This practice has been taking place since even before the death of Kim Jong Il.”

The official explained the reason for the ongoing parade practice as part of preparations to commemorate Kim Il Sung’s birthday (April 15) and the Mlitary Foundation Day (April 25).

The military parade practice has so far involved the Worker and Peasant Red Guard, which is made up of currently-serving soldiers and reservists, mobilized with the latest-model tanks, armored cars, as well as short and medium range KN-02 and Musudan missiles.

The official added, “North Korea conducts parades on anniversaries such as the Military Foundation Day and other national holidays. Looking at the speed and scale of preparations currently underway, it seems more likely that the parade will take place in April rather than on February 16, Kim Jong Il’s birthday.”

The logistics of these parades are enormous.  I learned a lot about them back in November at a meeting with Osamu Eya in Japan. Among the many things we discussed, I asked him where the North Korean military practices their parades through Kim Il-sung Square. He answered with a single word: “Mirim”.

Now I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I never saw the resemblance (because I thought of the Mirim area as a runway strip and because the two places are not geographically laid out in the same directions). Once you rotate the satellite images and set them next to each other, however, there is no denying that the KPA has a Kim Il-sung Square-sized practice area from which to rehearse its grand military parades.


Pictured above (Google Earth): (L) Kim Il-Sung Square, (R) Mirim parade practice area.

Looking at the most current Google Earth satellite imagery (2010-10-6) we can see vehicles already practicing for their next parade:

In this Google Earth image (2006-11-11) we can see people practicing in the area:

Going back to the oldest available satellite image on Google Earth (2000-6-12) the use of the facility as a practice area is a little more clear.  We can also see some of what remains of the original landing strip in this photo:

But Mirim is not just a practice filed.  It also contains facilities to house and feed the thousands of people who come to practice. Just to the left of the field is the April 25 Hotel:


According to KCNA (1998-9-30):

The April 25 Hotel has been built on the outskirts of Pyongyang as a monumental edifice in the era of the Workers’ Party. The hotel with a total floor space of more than 134,000 square metres and accommodation for 20,000 guests has bedrooms, cultural and welfare facilities and cook equipment on a highest level. It will serve servicemen and civilians who participate in national military and civic events. Soldier-builders successfully finished this gigantic project–erection of buildings, assembling of equipment and arrangement of the area–in a little more than one year. A ceremony for the completion of the hotel took place on Tuesday. Present at the ceremony were Jo Myong Rok, Kim Il Chol, Kye Ung Thae and others. A congratulatory message of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee was conveyed to the soldier-builders and helpers who had performed feats in the hotel construction. The message noted that the April 25 Hotel, a monumental edifice of the era, has been built in a short span of time under the present conditions that all the people have to overcome manifold trials and hardships in their advance. it could be done only by the revolutionary army of Korea who knows no impossibility, and it is a proud fruition produced by the might of the army and people rallied around the party as one in mind, it stressed. Highly praising the soldier-builders and helpers for demonstrating again the potentials and stamina of socialist Korea by completing the hotel, the message expressed the belief that they would make greater success in carrying out their revolutionary duties. Jo Myong Rok made a report at the ceremony. The reporter said that the heroic and proud feats performed by servicemen in the noble work to carry out the WPK’s grand plan for construction will be always remembered by the fatherland and handed down to posterity.


KCNA reported on 1998-10-8 that Kim Jong-il visited the hotel:

Pictured above: Kim Jong-il giving “on the spot guidance” at the 4.25 Hotel

[Kim Jong-il] then went to the April 25 Hotel which was newly built on Mirim plain. Looking round the interior and exterior of the hotel including a bedroom, a washroom, a dining hall and a kitchen, he learned how the hotel had been built. He highly praised soldiers and helpers for having built the hotel in a short span of time and contributed to demonstrating the potential and stamina of socialist Korea once again. He said the construction of the hotel in a short span of time is a miracle that can be worked only by the heroic Korean People’s Army (KPA) which is intensely loyal to the party. He added that the country will always remember the soldiers’ heroic feats and proud achievements in socialist construction. He called for equipping the hotel, an asset of eternal value for the army and people, with better facilities, planting many trees around the hotel, creating a pleasure park and providing those who stay in the hotel with good conditions for cultured life. As many servicemen and civilians will use the hotel, they should be given best services, he said, and gave the hotel important tasks for its management and operation. The Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission was accompanied by director of the General Political Department of the KPA Jo Myong Rok, chief of the general staff of the KPA Kim Yong Chun, Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Kim Il Chol and general officers of the KPA.

This hotel was built at the time the DPRK was experiencing the “Arduous March” (Forced March)–a famine which killed up to a million people. Despite the acute shortage of food and a breakdown of the DPRK’s revolutionary social contract, KCNA listed this hotel as one of the great accomplishments of the North Koreans during this time (1998-12-31):

This year proud successes have been reported from the DPRK in face of difficulties brought on by the combined effects of the never-ceasing campaign of the imperialists to stifle the DPRK and years of natural disasters. The most remarkable success gained in the forced march this year is artitifical satellite “Kwangmyongsong 1” which was launched into orbit on august 31. The scientists and technicians of Korea launched into orbit the first artificial satellite, a product of their own wisdom and technology, fully demonstrating the national power of Korea with a powerful scientific and technical force and the solid foundations of the independent national economy. Bulky April 25 Hotel and September 9 Street sprang up in Pyongyang to commemorate 50 years of the DPRK (September 9). The hotel with modern equipment and accommodation for 20,000 is on the east outskirts of the capital city. The street linking Pyongyang Airport to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the sacred temple of Juche, gave a major face-lifting to the northwest area of the capital city with bridges of special characteristics, flats for thousands of households, ornamental forests, scores of metres wide, on either side of the highway in good harmony with landscape. Thousands of minor power stations were built across the country this year. The locally-built minor power stations in Jagang Province meet the needs for the lighting of the flats for more than 100,000 households and the production of local-industry factories. Flats for 10,000 households in Chongjin, an industrial city, benefit from electric heating. A growing number of cities, counties and units are offsetting the demands for electricity with electric energy turned out at minor power stations. The Huichon General Machine Tool Plant produced hundreds of machine tools in a matter of a few months. In the railway transport diesel engine locomotives were converted into electric locomotives called “forced march.” 60 kilometre-odd-long railroad between Haeju and Ongjin, between singangryong and Pupho in the central area of the country was switched over to a broad-gauge one. The Pyongyang Integrated Circuits Factory, salt refineries and other industrial establishments were commissioned or completed throughout the country. As a result, a more solid economic foundation of the nation was laid.


Movements to Secure Fertilizer

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

According to the Daily NK:

The North Korean authorities since the beginning of this year have accelerated securing fertilizers under the slogan ‘agriculture focused line’. There have been orders ‘to keep good exporting of feces activities’ by the North Korean authorities to various regions of the Rural Management Committees of the People’s Unit.

The inside source which viewed this information told the Daily NK on the 26th, “There have been orders to proactively collect farm manure to export by mobilizing personnels to actively participate in this movement”.

The source said, “In conjunction with the farm fertilizer project there have been reports to send used agricultural tools to the farms to help production”, continued, “Apply pressure to reach 700 million tons of grain crops to successfully achieving the preparation for farming.”

North Korea annually following the New Year’s accomplishment address has secured goods and engaged in these fertilizer movements to increase agricultural production. This has been called the first battle of the New Year. The main objective every year was for the people to secure farm equipment, plastics and procuring half ton of feces per person.

And therefore there are competitions among the people to secure feces. The feces amount each person have to secure for agricultural support is limited, people are waiting around in their neighbor home’s bathrooms to secure these fertilizers.

North Korea’s manure checks are very strict. Organized by the city, the members weigh the manure that is collected and give to each resident a confirmed certificate that they did what they were told to do so.

A North Korean defector explained, “North Korea expects 500kg of manure per person” continued, “because there is not enough for everyone generally 200-300kg of feces are created mixed with Nittan found at mountains in a ratio of 1:3.”

The Sources said, “Because Comrade Kim Jong Eun has particular interest in agriculture production, there is an atmosphere to prompt enforcement”, “And because of this agriculture production might increase and some are also hoping that maybe food problems will become better this year”.

Read the full story here:
Movements to Secure Fertilizer
Daily NK
Choi Cheong Ho


Another Songun-era agriculture project launched in Haeju

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Pictured Above: The DPRK’s two most famous waterways are the Paekma-Cholsan Waterway (see here and here) and the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong Waterway. A third waterway in the Miru Plain is too recent to appear on Google Earth.

 According to KCNA (2012-1-26):

Waterway to Be Built in South Hwanghae Province, DPRK

Pyongyang, January 26 (KCNA) — A gravity-fed waterway will be built in South Hwanghae Province.

It is another gigantic nature-remaking project in the era of Songun as part of the far-sighted nature-harnessing plan of leader Kim Jong Il and the dear respected Kim Jong Un.

The completion of the waterway will help sufficiently irrigate tens of thousands of hectares of farmland and tideland-turned rice fields including those in Ongjin, Kangryong, Pyoksong and other several counties to ensure a safe and high yield of grain.

It will also help save tens of thousands of kilowatt of electricity and make a great contribution to the economic development and improvement of people’s living standard by preventing the damage by flood in the area along Jaeryong River.

A ground-breaking ceremony took place in Haeju City on Thursday.

Present there were Choe Yong Rim, Kim Ki Nam and other senior officials and officials of ministries and national institutions, builders and working people.

As the DPRK’s “rice bowl”, South Hwanghae Province is home to at least three additional large-scale agricultural projects at the moment: Pujiman Tideland Reclamation (Ongjin)Ryongmae Island (룡매도) land reclamation project, and the Sohae-ri-Nunggum Island Tedeland Reclamation.



Food distribution to resume for the first time in seven years

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

A month into Kim Jong-un’s ascension to power, it is reported that food distribution is likely to resume nationwide in North Korea.

Many experts evaluate this as a symbolic measure to propagate the construction of a powerful economy and improve the lives of the people. For the North Koreans, the most apparent and obvious economic accomplishment is the improvement of the food situation. Thus, North Korea is most likely to take action to normalize food rations as its top priority.

According to a statement made by a South Korean government official on January 20, “Kim Jong-un and his leadership will begin the food distribution as a way to prove to its people about changes forthcoming in the new regime.”He also added, “After years of propagation for the building of a strong and prosperous nation, they must demonstrate it to the people with noticeable results.”

The amount of rations to be provided is still unclear. However, the source emphasized that it was very likely for rice rations to resume, especially with the approaching national holidays, such as the Lunar New Year and Kim Jong-il’s birthday (February 16).

He also commented that “the food distribution will be a nationwide movement and the food ration system will go into effect based on the distribution network of available food supply.”

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), North Korea’s food production in 2011 compared to the previous year rose by 8.5 percent, sitting at about 5.48 million tons (of rough grains or 4.66 million tons of milled grains).

The minimum amount of food consumption in North Korea is 5.4 million tons, but a shortage of about 400,000 tons is expected, including the international food aid and industrial food imports. Among the recent years, this marks the largest deficiency in food supply.

However, such shortages can be overcome with additional food imports and distributing mainly rice reserves.

The last national food distribution in North Korea was in 2005, seven years ago.

North Korea is also likely to exert more effort in food processing production to improve the distribution of daily necessities. With relatively little dependence on raw material imports, North Korea is planning to improve the food situation through expanding the food processing production in agricultural, fishery, and livestock industries, with less competition with Chinese products.


KCNA: 20-day industrial output value increases over Jan 2011

Friday, January 27th, 2012

According to KCNA (2012-1-25):

The gross industrial output value grew 1.2 times for twenty days of January this year as against the same period last year.

This is the result of the high-pitched drive waged by all the workers of the country since the first day of this year after receiving with excitement the joint calls of the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the joint New Year editorial for this year and the letter of the working people in South Hamgyong Province.

In the period, the Ministry of Light Industry increased the production 1.4 times and the Ministry of Food and Daily Necessities sharply boosted the production.

Thermal and hydropower stations have increased the ratio of operating the generating equipment.

Much effort is being concentrated on supplying coal to the thermal power plants and chemical and metal plants and developing more coal beds.

The Ministry of Coal Industry produced 12,000 more tons of coal than planned for the 20 days.

Iron mills and steelworks also increased the production.

The freight transport volume increased by 12 percent from the same period last year.

Innovations were made in the production of vinalon and fertilizer by the industrial establishments in the field of chemical industry and in the production of custom built equipment and mining machines by the industrial enterprises of the field of machine industry.

The forestry stations and pit wood stations increased the timber production.

Progress has been reported on a daily basis from the important projects including the building of apartments in Mansudae areas and the Paektusan Songun Youth Power Station.

For the uninitiated, this is about as close as the DPRK gets to releasing economic statistics. Note there are no base numbers–only [some] % increases. Also, despite the measure being officially named “output value”, it is really just a claim of increased physical production.  There is no value (prices) or mention of “services” included in these measures.

Unfortunately without more solid numbers, and the proclivity to ascribe productivity gains to effective propaganda, these reports cannot be taken seriously.

Although we all talk about the DPRK’s GDP and per capita income as if the numbers are solid, the reality is quite the opposite.  In addition to the general lack of information, there are all sorts of methodological problems with assessing the value of the DPRK’s economy.  Here are some helpful sources if you want to learn more:

1. DPRK Economic Statistics Report

2. G. Warren Nutter papers:

– (JSTOR) “Soviet Industrial Growth”, Source: Science, New Series, Vol. 130, No. 3370 (Jul. 31, 1959), pp. 252-255

-(JSTOR) “Industrial Growth in the Soviet Union”, The American Economic Review , Vol. 48, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Seventieth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1958), pp. 398-411

-(JSTOR) Some Observations on Soviet Industrial Growth”, The American Economic Review , Vol. 47, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Sixty-eighth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1957), pp. 618-630

3. The North Korean Economy by Nicholas Eberstadt

4. Assessing the economic performance of North Korea, 1954–1989: Estimates and growth accounting analysis

5. Bank of Korea’s assessment fo the DPRK economy in 2010.

6. My North Korean Economic Statistics Page


Malicious email update

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I received another example of the malicious emails that appear in the mail boxes of North Korea researchers. Always be on the lookout for these attempts to hack into your computer:

From: Ben Watkins [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 26 January 2012 08:15
Subject: FW:NKorea,contacts with Iran related to nuclear program in secret

North Korea, contacts with Iran related to nuclear program in secret
January 26, 2011 5:29AM, EST

© 2012 Daily Cable News Network, LP, LLLP.
All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.

ATTACHMENTS: image001.jpg

The areas in bold link to a shady server: Xttp://  I changed the “h” in “http” to an “X” to prevent accidentally linking.

You can read more background on these attacks here, here, here, here, and here.


UNESCO to help DPRK’s pest control efforts at ancient tombs

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

According to Yonhap:

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Tuesday it will help North Korea eradicate pests at forests near ancient tombs.

The Complex of Koguryo tombs, located in the North’s cities of Pyongyang and Nampo, has some 30 individual tombs from the late period of the Koguryo Kingdom, which controlled the northern half of the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China for more than 700 years until 668 A.D.

Read more about the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the DPRK here.

Read the full story here:
UNESCO to help N. Korea’s pest control efforts at ancient tombs