Archive for the ‘Korea Business Consultants’ Category

Paul White published September 2010 DPRK Business Monthly

Monday, September 27th, 2010

You can download the PDF here.

Topics discussed include:
Kim Jong Il Praises China’s Economic Advance
“NK Keen on Investment in Mining”
DPRK Pavilion Day Marked at Shanghai Expo
NGO Initiatives in DPRK: Triangle Génération Humanitaire (France)
Choson Exchangers Train NK in Finance, Economics, Law
ROK Civic Bodies Seek to Help NK Flood Victims
Seoul’s NK Trade Ban Hits ROK Firms Hard
Can North Korea embrace Chinese-style reforms?
Pyongyang Night Life Buzzing
Hamhung Makes Economic Strides
Pomhyanggi Cosmetics Enjoy Popularity
P’yang Hosts International Film Festival
New Numerical-control Machine Tool
Climate Map to Aid Agriculture
New Rice Strain Suitable for Double Cropping
Online Medical Service Working Well
NK’s New Money-Making Venture: Video Games
Day-care Center Opens for Kaesong Complex Children
Seoul to Allow More of its Citizens to Work at Kaesong


July 2010 DPRK Business Monthly

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Long-time DPRK watcher Paul White has published his most recent collection of DPRK business sotries from July 2010.

You can download the PDF here.

Topics discussed include:

Trade with China Growing
“DPRK Leasing Squid Fishing Rights to PRC”
PRC Steel Firms Eye More NK Ore
Russian Diplomats Tour NK Cooperatives
NK to Boost Cooperation with UNPF
US Neurosurgeon Devotes Skills to North Korea
ROK Strengthens Port Barriers Against NK Goods
Credit Dries Up for Hyundai
DPRK Completes Biggest Tideland Reclamation
Details of GPI Consultancy Trade Mission to DPRK
“Kaesong Production Dropping”


June 2010 DPRK Business Monthly

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Long time DPRK watcher Paul White has published the latest issue of DPRK Business Monthly. 

You can download the PDF here.

Here are the topics covered:
Offshore NK Oil Probe On Track
China to Boost Cooperation with NK
DPRK Has IT Outsourcing Potential
Introduction to Nosotek
Choson Exchange Students to Visit DPRK
UNICEF Plans US$130 Million for NK
ROK Aid Groups Urge Seoul to Lift Ban
Inter-Korean Trade Shrinks in May
Some ROK Companies Allowed to Send Money to NK
NK Embracing CNC Machine Tool Era
DPRK Economy Contracts 0.9%: BOK
North Korea Moving Into Internet World
Environmental Protection High Priority: KCNA
More Efficient Sterilizer for Seeds
Pyongyang Has Over 150 Pubs
New Beverage Multiplies Brain Cells
NK Promoting Rice Wine Exports
NK Researchers Develop “Stone Paper”


April 2010 DPRK Business Monthly

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Paul White has published the latest version of DPRK Business Monthly.

You can download the PDF here.

In this issue, Mr. White discusses:

Russian Firm to Connect Rajin with Transiberian Line
Two More Hydro Dams for Yalu River
Foundation Spurs Academic Exchanges with NK
NK-China Trade Tops US$300 Million
Indian Steelmaker in P’yang Talks
“Europe May Drop Ban on Air Koryo”
NK to Seize 5 ROK Kumgang Properties
Why the Sunshine Policy Made Sense
“NK Fish Exports to ROK Uninterrupted”
“North Korea Needs Practical IT Training”
Buddhists Seek Niche in DPRK Contacts
P’yang: “Black Propaganda” Aims to Check Investment
“NK to Make Own Mobile Phones”
NK Invents New Bearing Material
Computers Speed Iron Ore Transport
“NK to Allow Foreign-owned Factories”
Koryo Tours


DPRK Business Monthly Vol. 1, No.2

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Long time DPRK-watcher Paul White has published the second issue of his “DPRK Business Monthly” newsletter.  This seems to be a successor to the Korea Business Consultants newsletter.

Here is a PDF of the issue.

Topics discussed include:
DPRK ready for Shanghai Expo
DPRK Default Bonds “good buy”: Exotix
Second bridge [Dandong-Sinuiju] to link DPRK, China
China Accelerating Investment in DPRK
Russia to export flour to DPRK
US team helps DPRK build TB lab
Chinese groups to tour DPRK
DPRK rice experts assist Malaysia
Huge DPRK demand for Chinese solar lamps
DPRK helping South Africa build stadiums
Inter-Korean trade up %52.1%
WHO health project brings North, South closer
ROK to cut imports of NK sand
Pyongyang may seize ROK Kumgang assets
ROK cuts DPRK agricultural product imports
South needs to use DPRK workers: ROK Thnk tank
New law to spur coal exploitation
Special foreign trade bank sets up
Taepung concentrating on foreign investment
Kim Jong il tours vinalon factory
DPRK has its own operating system
Kim Jong il backs “cutting edge” technology
DPRK relaxes Rason Zone rules
China to develop two of DPRK’s Yalu River islands
South Pyongan Province


Korea Business Consultants Newsletter

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Korea Business Consultants has published their October 2009 newsletter.  You can read it here.

Here is the newsletter table of contents:

– China eyes DPRK’s mineral wealth
– SinoMining acquires 51% of DPRK’s Hyesan Copper Mine
– Transformation and Modernization of North Korea
– DPRK sees peace pact with US as key to disarmament
– US “willing to engage DPRK directly”
– “DPRK Energy Sector Assistance to – Accompany Progress in… Discussions”
– Billy Graham’s son visits DPRK to deliver aid
– Lang visits Seoul

– DPRK vows to expand trade
– China poised to give substantial aid
– DPRK films looking for joint producers

– Buddhists from south, north call for reopening of Mount Kumgang tour
– Kaesong factory recognized for quality
– Frayed relations hindering development of mineral resources
– ROK aid to north falls
– Lawmakers call for use of rice surplus as DPRK aid
– Farmers demand rice price stabilization

– Kenya establishes diplomatic relations with DPRK

– Eriksson to coach DPRK?
– DPRK’s Hong battles for gold at World Gymnastic Championships
– DPRK begins preparations for World Cup

– Mangyongdae
– Korean Proverb


DPRK cancels Kaesong contracts

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

In what is certainly not good news for foreign investors, the North Korean government has announced that it is unilaterally canceling agreements with the South Koreans regarding the Kaesong Industrial Zone.

According to the Korea Times:

North Korea announced Friday the nullification of all contracts on rent, salaries and taxes at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, asking the South to empty the industrial estate unless it honors the North’s wishes to amend related laws and rules.

The notification came about five hours after the two Koreas were unable to set a date for talks due to their wrangling over the release of a Southern worker detained by the North.

The North continued, “We are nullifying contracts and benefits on rent, salaries and taxes that we have offered in the Gaeseong complex in accordance with the June 15 Joint Declaration.”

The report added that the North will begin to adjust laws and rules to meet with the current situation.

“South Korean companies and officials must accept the notification, if not, they can evacuate from the complex,” it said.

In the article, Andrei Lonkov makes the following comment:

“North Koreans are clearly looking for some leverage over the South, and it they come to see the park as a hostage project, they will it use to put forward escalating demands,” he said.

He predicted, “If the South Korean government bows to the pressure and makes concessions, there is no doubt that in weeks or months Pyongyang manipulators will make new demands, probably more outrageous.”

“One can hope that the project will survive. Nonetheless, it will become dangerous if Seoul, in trying to save this important project, starts to succumb to Pyongyang’s blackmail. So, the project should be supported, at a cost to South Korean taxpayers, but not at the cost of unprincipled political concessions,” he added.

This has been a rough year for the Kaesong Zone.  I have kept a running timeline of events in the zone which you can see here.


1. According to the Choson Ilbo: “North Korea earns some US$33.52 million a year from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, making the inter-Korean joint venture a significant cash cow for the impoverished country.”

2. According to Reuters:

News late on Friday that North Korea was cancelling all wage, rent and tax agreements with South Korea on the joint Kaesong factory park just north of their heavily armed border weighed on stocks in companies that have production units in the factory park, but had a limited impact on the broader market.

“Seoul market participants have become quite immune to North Korea-related news and tend not to react sensitively unless the development has a scale of impact that may affect South Korea’s sovereign rating,” Lee said.

3. NK pointman on South Korea, Choe Sung Chol, allegedly executed.  According to Bloomberg:

North Korea executed a former official in charge of inter-Korean relations, accusing him of allowing the population to develop a favorable image of South Korea, Yonhap News reported.

Choe Sung Chol, who was the point man on South Korea during the Roh Moo Hyun administration that ended in February 2008, was killed last year, the news agency reported last night, citing an unidentified person familiar with North Korean affairs.

While Choe was officially charged with bribery, he was executed for ignoring opponents and pressing ahead with closer ties with South Korea that threatened to make the communist state too dependant on its richer neighbor, Yonhap reported.  

4. The Choson Ilbo reports on the productivity of Kaesong’s Northern workers:

The basic monthly salary of North Korean workers at the complex is US$63.4, consisting of $55.1 in wages and $8.3 in social insurance. In addition, overtime work pay amounts to between $11 to 18.3 a month, and a welfare package subsidizing lunches, snacks and transport costs is provided at a range of between $36.6 and 47.9 per month. In total, the monthly salary of a North Korean worker ranges from $110 to 130, which, the companies argue, is comparable to that earned by workers in China and Vietnam.

A survey of some 40 firms operating at the complex was carried out after the first round of talks on April 25 to discover why these firms were having difficulty accepting North Korea’s demands. According to the survey, the productivity of an individual North Korean worker is just 33 percent that of a South Korean worker. In comparison, the productivity of Chinese and Vietnamese workers is 96 and 85 percent that of South Korean workers, respectively.

The companies also argue that it is difficult to accept North Korea’s demand to pay land use fees from next year, considering the fee they paid for building factories there. The fee for building factories in the Kaesong industrial park was $394 per one sq. m of land, compared to $122 in China and $65 in Vietnam.

5. According to the Korea Business Consultants newsletter (May/June 2009):

South Korea’s point man for North Korea said May 18 that the joint industrial enclave at Kaesong, just across the DMZ in the North, is “in turmoil” after the DPRK voided contracts governing the facility the same day, sending shares in firms that operate there tumbling. The KOSPI fell by 0.44 percent upon receipt of the news.

Read more below:
N. Korea Scraps Gaeseong Contracts
Korea Times
Kim Sue-young

N. Korea declares inter-Korean contracts on Kaesong venture invalid

N. Korea scraps contracts with South on joint venture amid tension
Kim Hyun

Cabinet reshuffle

N.Korean Kaesong Workers’ Productivity Lags Far Behind S.Korean Workers
Choson Ilbo


Korea Buiness Consultants Dec ’08 newsletter

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Korea Business Consultants published their December 2008 newsletter.  You can read it on line here, or download the PDF here.

The following topics are covered:
Orascom Launches DPRK Mobile Phone Service
Pyongyang Undergoing Facelift
Obama’s DPRK Options
US Brothers Light Up DPRK Hospitals
Kuwait to Lend DPRK US$21.7 Million
DPRK Finds More Natural Resources
DPRK Engineers to Study Russian Rail Operations
Swedes to Make Jeans in DPRK
KNIC Wins Insurance Case
DPRK, ROK Agree on Tokdo
DPRK to Strengthen China Ties
Russia’s House Speaker to visit DPRK
DPRK, Singapore Sign Investment Agreement
DPRK Praises Yemen’s Reunification Example
ROK Wave on the Wane in DPRK
DPRK Girls World Soccer Champions
New DPRK Destinations
Korean Cuisine


Korea Business Consultants Newsletter 11-2008

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Korea Business Consultants has published their latest newsletter.  You may download it here.

Topics include:
DPRK to Close DMZ Crossing Points
ROK Catholic Priest To Work In DPRK
South’s DLP to Send Team to Pyongyang
Inter-Korean chicken business booms despite chilly ties
”Unofficial DPRK Mission for US”
China Eyes Trade Zone for DPRK Business
Bicycles Becoming More Popular in Pyongyang
“DPRK, China to Up Water Cooperation”
“Kaesong Better that PRC Option”
ROK Business Leaders Visit Kaesong
ROK Charity Sends Flour to DPRK
ROK Eases DPRK-Related Business Rules
“Kaesong goods carried by road”
Kaesong’s Fall Scenery Lures ROK Visitors
DPRK Loses to Thailand 1-0
Names and Titles


Korea Business Consultants Newsletter

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Korea Business Consultants has published their latest newsletter.  You may download it here.

Topics covered include:
Six Party Talk progress
South Korea/Russia gas deal
More factories opening in the DPRK
UN survey of DPRK population
Summit pledges
Pyongynag hosts autumn trade fair
KEPCO to Abandon NK Reactor Gear
Trust Company Handling DPRK’s Overseas Business
DPRK-Russia Railway Work Begins
ROK Opposition Calls for Renewed Cooperation with DPRK
ROK Delegation Leaves for DPRK
ROK Aid Workers Leave for DPRK
“ROK Makes US$27.6 Billion from DPRK Trade”
“Kaesong Output Tops US$400 Million”
DPRK, Kenya Set Up Diplomatic Ties
Medvedev Hails DPRK Anniversary
Claim to North Korean rock fame
International Film Festival Opens