Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

DPRK ships fishing illegally in Antarctica

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

UPDATE 1: Some additional information from the New Zealand media:

The government will be lodging a complaint with the North Korean government after two fishing vessels were caught fishing illegally in the Ross Sea.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the North Korean vessels were intercepted by an Air Force Orion plane carrying out surveillance against illegal fishing in the area.

The vessels, Xiong Nu Baru 33 and Sima Qian Baru 22, were caught fishing in an area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The Xiong Nu Baru 33 was using deep-sea gillnets, which are banned in the CCAMLR Convention Area.

“Deep-sea gill netting and associated ghost-fishing by lost and discarded nets have serious detrimental effects on the marine environment and many marine species”, said Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley.

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a severe threat to the sustainability of valuable toothfish stocks and has caused considerable environmental damage in the Southern Ocean.”

McCully said the detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean was of grave concern to New Zealand.

He said New Zealand had reported its findings to the CCAMLR Commission and lodged its concerns with the North Korean government.

Noland reminds us of another similar case.

ORIGINAL POST (2011-4-7): According to the Dow Jones Newswire:

Two North Korean fishing vessels were recently caught illegally fishing in the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs said Thursday.

Minister Murray McCully said the Royal New Zealand Airforce in February detected two North Korean boats fishing to the east of the Ross Sea in an area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The boats weren’t supposed to be fishing in the area as they had been blacklisted under other names. One of the boats was also fishing using a banned deep-sea gill net.

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a severe threat to the sustainability of valuable toothfish stocks and has caused considerable environmental damage in the Southern Ocean,” McCully said.

New Zealand is concerned about unreported and unregulated fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean, the minister said, and would be lodging its concerns about these vessels with the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

New Zealand has reported these boats to the Commission and “this should ensure that the Commission’s 25 members (countries) do not allow these vessels to access their ports nor allow the import of any fish caught by them,” he said

You can read the full story here:
New Zealand Foreign Minister: North Korean Boats Caught Illegally Fishing In Southern Ocean
Dow Jones Newswire
Lucy Craymer


DPRK, NGO to film Paek Son Haeng film

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Pictured above: Paek Son Haeng Memorial Hall, Pyongyang (Google Earth)

According to the Daily NK:

North Korea has apparently agreed to accept foreign funding to produce a movie which shows Christians in a positive light. It will be the first movie made in North Korea to show the life story of a Christian.

An activist working in New Zealand for “Team and Team International”, a South Korean NGO working on international disaster relief, reported today, “A North Korean movie import-export company (Chosun Movie Company) has decided to produce a movie, ‘Paek Sun Haeng’, with the support of an organization from New Zealand,” and added, “They are at the last stage of working on the scenario and plan to start filming this coming September.” A budget production, it will cost a reported $1.5 million.

The activist said that the two sides have agreed to show the movie in movie theaters across the country and on Chosun Central TV. The purpose behind the investment is apparently to depict the positive side of Christianity and Christians to the North Korean people.

He explained, “Based on the idea that the figure, Baek Sun Haeng, has been defined as a good capitalist in North Korea, the organization has been negotiating production of a movie about her with North Korea since 2008.” Additionally, he said “They will describe fully the image of Baek as a philanthropist as well as a Christian in the movie.”

The scenario was reportedly written by the head of Chosun Movie Company, Choi Hyuk Woo, but there has been conflict over the degree of Christian content.

The source explained, “Problems when the North Koreans tried to change one line or scene have not been small.” However, “They were able to persuade the North Korean staff by sticking stubbornly to the fact that it would have been impossible to invest in the movie without Christian content.”

North Korea’s bad situation vis a vis foreign currency may have influenced the North’s decision-making, the source agreed, saying, “I am aware that North Korea’s internal capital situation is rather difficult. That economic difficulty may have influenced this contract somewhat.”

Chosun Movie Company oversees the export and import of movies under the Culture and Art Department of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, which is within the Central Committee of the Party.

The activist emphasized, “Aid activities for North Korea should give dreams and hope for new things to the North Korean people through diverse cultural approaches beyond food or essential aid.”

The movie’s main character, Baek Sun Haeng (1848-1933) is a well-known philanthropist in North Korea who has been mentioned in North Korean textbooks, in Kim Il Sung’s memoirs and elsewhere.

After her husband died when she was 16 years old, she is said to have accumulated wealth relentlessly. After that, she built both “Baek Sun Bridge” across the Daedong River and a three-story public meeting hall in Pyongyang. She also donated real-estate for Pyongyang Gwangsun School and Changdeok School.

Baek, as the deaconess of a church, also contributed to the education of Korean Christians by donating capital and land for Pyongyang Presbyterian Church School, which was built by Rev. Samuel Austin Moffett, the then-reverend at the First Church of Pyongyang, and Soongsil School, the forerunner to Soongsil University in Seoul, which was established by Dr. W. M. Baird, an American missionary, in Pyongyang on October 10th, 1887.

Additionally, she dedicated all of her property to an organization dedicated to the relief of poverty in 1925, so the Japanese government general tried to present her with a commendation, but she refused it. Therefore, she has been praised highly as a “people’s capitalist” in North Korea.

In 2006, the North Korea media reported that an existing monument to Baek had been restored and moved into “Baek Sun Haeng Memorial Hall” in Pyongyang on the instructions of Kim Jong Il.

Read the full story here:
Christian Movie Being Shot inside North Korea
Daily NK


Daily NK: New Zealand halts beef exports to DPRK

Friday, November 5th, 2010

According to the Daily NK:

It has been confirmed by The Daily NK that North Korea failed in a recent attempt to import beef from New Zealand for the purpose of providing special gifts to cadres on Kim Jong Eun’s birthday, January 8, after the plan ran afoul of the New Zealand government, which froze the funds.

According to a source from North Korea today, “$170,000 remitted by ‘Myohyang Bureau’ to a New Zealand bank in October to import parts for Japanese tourist buses and beef has been frozen by the New Zealand authorities.”

The source added, “The New Zealand authorities are investigating whether or not the money is related to (North Korea’s) drug dealing.”

The source explained, “The beef is for special distribution to cadres on the Youth Captain (Kim Jong Eun)’s birthday, while the parts of Japanese buses are to repair buses operated by the Tour Bureau,” adding, “Myohyang Bureau is alarmed that there might be a snag in Comrade Youth Captain’s birthday special distribution.”

In North Korea, workplaces have already started to prepare presents for Kim Jong Eun’s birthday. There are two types of presents: the first is from cadres to Kim Jong Eun; and the latter is special distribution to cadres in Kim Jong Eun’s name. However, even though the special distribution is like a gift handed out by a monarch, factories and Party organs have to prepare it. According to the source, the Myohyang Bureau’s duty this time is to supply beef.

The Myohyang Bureau is directly in charge of tour events including Arirang performance-related tours and Mt. Baekdu and Geumgang tours. It sends the profits from these businesses involving foreign tourists to the No. 39 Department of the Central Committee of the Party.

The source explained further, “Due to Japanese sanctions against North Korea, the Tour Bureau has not been able to obtain parts for Japanese buses, so the Myohyang Bureau asked a New Zealand business partner to obtain them for them. In doing that, they also asked for beef.”

“Since the Myohyang Bureau sent the money via a secret bank account held with a bank in Latvia to a bank in New Zealand, it incurred the suspicion of the New Zealand government. Money is still money, but the bigger problem is to expose the Latvian account.”

This is the first time that a Latvian account has been linked to North Korea, adding to known secret accounts in Switzerland, China, Macau and the Caribbean.

The source said, “The Myohyang Bureau opened the account in the name, ‘RUSKOR International Company Ltd’ in a bank of Latvia,” adding, “The account name is the connecting of the words Russia and Korea.”

“Gift rations” have been in the news a lot lately.  Links to previous posts about the DPRK’s “gift rations” can be found here.

Read the full story here:
North Korean Funds for Beef Frozen by New Zealand
Daily NK
Park In Ho