DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.2

The DPRK Business Monthly, an international business report edited in Beijing, has been made available to CanKor readers by its editor, Paul White. Please check the the March 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.2

The Unhasu Orchestra tunes up in Paris. [Photo: Reuters]

The Unhasu Orchestra tunes up in Paris. (Photo by Reuters)

Titles of articles found in this issue include

  • N-S Opening Could Be Economic Lifeline for ROK
  • Unification Starting in Kaesong
  • DPRK Encourages Foreign Investment
  • Internet Access at PUST for NK Students
  • The Constitution of the DPRK
  • North and South Train Cambodian Olympic Hopefuls
  • Pyongyang Orchestra Plays in Paris
  • Korean Care Friendship Network

…plus a number of other items, including a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators.

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

It’s a pity that politics has once more trumped humanitarianism on the Korean peninsula, leading to more tension in the region, not to mention prolongation of the suffering of the food-short people of the North. The “Leap Year” agreement seemed to be a new breakthrough in US-DPRK relations, with the North pledging to freeze its nuclear program and the US promising to supply food aid. That agreement is now in tatters, following the North’s announcement of a satellite launch.

The US side denies that it uses food aid as a political weapon, but State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stated, “We made absolutely clear to the North Koreans during the negotiations that we would consider anything that moved using ballistic missile technology to be covered.”

If that’s not linking food aid to politics I don’t know what is.

Another US government spokesperson said, “We stopped the food aid because the satellite launch shows that we can’t trust the DPRK government to live up to the agreement.”

But if Pyongyang had intended to double-cross the US on this matter it would have waited for the food to arrive first, and THEN double-crossed it — not announced bad behavior in advance.

Meanwhile, in Seoul politics again is being leveraged to cause friction between the South and the North. The conservatives in Seoul, almost certain to lose power in the National Assembly elections in April, are staging rallies outside the Chinese embassy protesting the repatriation of illegal North Korean immigrants. They are calling on the opposition parties to join them. If the latter don’t, they can be called pro-NK stooges, thereby lessening their appeal at the polls; if they do, they will find it hard to restart the “Sunshine Policy” of economic and people-to-people ties with the North, which the opposition parties have pledged to do.

“There are no opposition lawmakers or liberal activists here to encourage us,” Kim Chun-seong, a North Korean defector and missionary, said. “This issue could have a negative impact on the opposition parties’ victory in the upcoming general election.”

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.2

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