DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.6

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 August 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.6

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • Roadblock Removed—The Issue of NK Debt to Russia Settled
  • Breaking Down Barriers with Basketball
  • UN Hopes for N-S Teams for Universiade
  • Energy-short NK Promoting Wind Power
  • China Building Roads, Railways Near NK Border
  • ROK Kaesong Firms Start to Pay Taxes to NK

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

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

In an unusual move, last month Pyongyang presented to domestic and foreign media a woman who claimed to have defected from the DPRK to South Korea in 2006, and then, dismayed by the harshness of life for NK defectors there, fled back to her homeland. South Korea’s Ministry of Reunification confirmed the woman’s identity.

What is interesting about this episode is that it undermines the oft-repeated claims that defectors who return to North Korea — or who are returned by China — face imprisonment, torture and even death by firing squad.

A woman defector who led a hunger strike outside the Chinese Embassy in Seoul last year claimed to have escaped four times. Be that as it may, she obviously wasn’t shot, couldn’t have been jailed for very long if at all, and almost certainly wasn’t tortured. Who would risk getting caught again — and again and again — after being tortured the first time?

It makes sense for a government that has difficulty feeding its people wanting to turn a blind eye while a few hundred thousand mouths disappear and then sneak back quietly when things get better. In this connection Pyongyang has got Beijing to issue 40,000 work permits for North Koreans (See last month’s issue of the Monthly). This must have been a big blow to the human traffickers on the border, as Seoul reports that defector arrivals have plummeted 43% so far this year

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.6

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