DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.4

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  current May 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.4

Kim Yong Nam, head of the DPRK's Southeast Asia delegation [Photo:KCNA]

Kim Yong Nam, head of the DPRK’s Southeast Asia delegation [Photo:KCNA]

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • Can Singapore Be Economic Model for NK?
  • China’s Jilin Province Speeding Up Border Projects
  • Various NK Bodies Competing for Investments
  • Change is Around the Corner for the DPRK
  • Will NK’s Plans for Foreign Investment Make it a Prosperous Nation?
  • Pyongyang Holds 13th Spring Trade Fair
  • Tanchon Port Completed
  • Rason to Host Second Int’l Trade Exhibition

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

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

May has been a good month for debunking misconceptions about the DPRK. First of all, the story that during the “sunshine” years of ROK presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun the South delivered “handouts” of free food to the North and got nothing in return has turned out to be untrue. The fact is that the North received a low interest loan from South Korea’s state-owned Export-Import Bank to buy the food.

The loan was worth a total of US$720 million, to cover 2.6 million tons of rice and corn sent in six tranches shipped from 2000 through 2007. The interest rate was 1% and the North promised to redeem it over 20 years following a ten-year grace period. The first payment, a combination of principal and interest worth US$5.83 million, falls due in early June, according to the Export-Import Bank.

An official with the South’s Unification Ministry said that while the North is being asked to pay in cash, payment could potentially be made in commodities if an agreement can be reached.

In fact, the North has already paid off part of the loan with a delivery of zinc, which the ROK totally lacks, in 2007.

So much for the “handout” story.

The second myth to be shattered is that of North Korea killing disabled babies at birth and shunting other disabled people away from the major cities to remote villages where visitors will not see them. It must have been a particularly sick mind that thought that one up — and particularly irresponsible journalists who spread the rumors. Now we learn that North Korea has won provisional membership in the International Paralympic Committee, and will send teams to take part in the swimming, table-tennis and athletics competitions at this year’s London Paralympics.

Quite a feat if you don’t have any disabled people!

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.4

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