DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.3

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 out the full text of the April 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly April 2012

Huichon power station in Jagang Province, DPRK, has started operations on 6 April 2012 to help ease electricity shortages in the capital, protect cultivated land and residential areas along the Chongchon River from flooding, and ensure an ample supply of water to the industrial establishments in Huichon and Namhung areas, according to official media reports. (Photo by KCNA)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • Rajin-Khassan Freight Train Service to Open in October
  • More NK Citizens Visit China
  • A Question of Leadership
  • Huichon Power Station Operational
  • Future High-tech Farming for NK?
  • Department Store for Scientists and Technicians
  • NK, China Seeking Investors for Rajin Port

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

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

There have been several significant signs this month that North Korea’s new leadership is sincere about enhancing transparency. For one thing, NK invited news media from around the world to observe its satellite launch, knowing full well that if it failed (It did), the whole world would know, and there could be no cover-up. Not only that, the official DPRK media reported the disaster with no holds barred. That’s got to be a first. Another first was the reporting of two speeches made by the new leader, Kim Jong Un, on the front page of the North’s leading Workers Daily. His father, the late Kim Jong Il, does not seem to have made any public speeches at all during his 17-year tenure, and any private ones were not reported.

At the same time, the NK media has gone out of its way to quote Western press comments on events in the DPRK — only the positive ones, of course. It cited CNN as saying that Kim Jong Un’s speech to the nation on the April 15th centennial of the birth of his grandfather Kim Il Sung was reminiscent of Kim Il Sung’s victory speech of October 14, 1945. “The New York Times declared that leader Kim Jong Eun’s nature and gestures reminded them of President Kim Il Sung.” This new flurry of openness (comparatively speaking) alarmed the US State Department, which warned the Western press against “being manipulated by Pyongyang.” Soon afterwards, a group of private radio stations in South Korea formed the Association of Broadcasters for North Korea. Open Radio for North Korea, North Korea Reform Radio, Free North Korea Radio and Radio Free Chosun — the very names of which speak volumes about their sponsors whoever they are — vowed to “prompt change in North Korea by providing greater freedom of information for the ordinary North Korean people.”

Meanwhile, Associated Press of the US has come under fire in some quarters for setting up a bureau in Pyongyang. AP’s detractors don’t mention that the news agency has long had a bureau in Seoul, and now can check stories floated by both sides against the other. More such balanced reporting is needed.

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No. 3  April 2012

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