DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.1


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 February 2013 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.1

Solar-powered streetlamps in Pyongyang

Solar-powered streetlamps in Pyongyang

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • PRC Firm to Invest in NK Gold Mine, Hotel
  • Russia to Go Ahead with Pipeline
  • Phoenix regains Sinji brand name
  • Short-sighted Sanctions Hurt Ordinary People
  • NGO Initiatives in the DPRK: Waves 4 Water
  • Most ROK Firms Interested in Inter-Korean Economic Ties
  • Inter-Korean Trade Hits Record High in 2012
  • Internet Access for Visitors
  • Pyongyang Stores Selling More NK-made Goods
  • Pyongyang Gets Solar Street Lamps
  • NK’s Intranet Increases Cyber Courses
  • JV Pharmacy Open 24 Hours in Pyongyang
  • DPRK Eyes “World-class Tourism Resorts”
  • China to Start Electricity Supply to Rason

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

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

The DPRK is attempting to open up to outside sources of information and investment as rapidly as its limited financial and technical sources allow, witness the latest developments in mobile and Internet access for foreign visitors, including business people. Sadly, however, it seems that there are people who are determined to make their paranoid vision of an “isolated,” “secretive,” “hermit” state a self-fulfilling prophecy by sabotaging these efforts.

Businessman Felix Abt comments that “Western and some East Asian states and private activists (some most likely sponsored by states) do their best to ‘punish’ North Korea for developing its nuclear weapons programs. They are also hacking websites of legitimate businesses such as Nosotek’s. Also, my website Pyongyang Painters has been hacked repeatedly. I have not uploaded it again as I can’t compete with hackers that may have deep pockets as they are possibly sponsored by states. It wouldn’t be surprising if within the ongoing psychological warfare foreign businesses are now becoming targets to dissuade them and others from dealing with North Koreans.”

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.1

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4 Responses to “DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.1”

  1. Martin Alexander Says:

    The notion that the DPRK regime is earnestly trying to engage with the West in order to improve conditions for its people is misguided. This is a sad but verifiable truth. There are countries across the world dominated by gangsters whose only aim is personal gain, but the DPRK regime is sui generis in this regard. The operations of the ironically named Office 101 focus on such a tired – but extraordinarily successful – game of cat-and-mouse that its hard to believe that more people haven’t cottoned on to it. Escalating threats, demands for aid, promises made and broken in exchange for that aid: and the cycle begins again.

    In 1945, the Nuremberg Tribunal gave notice to ‘dictators and gangsters masquerading as a state.’ Little has changed. The regime is not a group of well-meaning reformers trying to do their best for a beleaguered country. It is very clever and sophisticated however, in using the psychological warfare department to give this impression. The evidence shows that they are holding on for as long as possible to get the most they can. Reform? They realise perfectly clearly that even tiny steps in that direction would spell doom.

    When people point this out, the nay-sayers respond with accusations of demonisation and calls for another round of compromise and ‘engagement’. Sadly, this has never worked. I sincerely wish that I were wrong in what I’ve said, but the evidence indicates otherwise.

    To do business with the gangsters lines their own pockets and provides little or no trickle-down to the people. Remember Chamberlain and appeasement.

    It is universally acknowledged that the DPRK contains some 200,000 in the gulag. Most of the population is denied the right to information, and dissent, were it to occur, would mean imprisonment for three generations of the family of the accused. There are no human rights, there is no rule of law. Escape from the country is forbidden and even within the state, movement. Is restricted. Access to privilege is exclusively reserved for the inner circle. The rest are outcast.

    To engage with the ‘state’ is to engage with the elite. Their demonstrated purpose is to line their own pockets. To think that the system operates like a nation rather than a slave-labour camp is a delusion.

    Finally, my pessimism is not the rant of just another troll – it comes directly from the informed and measured experience of a man who was once in the top ranks of Office 101.

  2. Felix Abt (@felixabt) Says:

    To engage with the ‘state’ is to engage with North Korea’s elite and they’re all criminals, claims ideologue Martin Alexander. My question: Is this farmer I was collaborating with just another member of the “criminal” elite? Here’s the answer: http://northkoreacapitalist.tumblr.com/post/91120168022/is-this-farmer-in-a-remote-north-korean-province-a

    Felix Abt,
    Author of ‘A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom”
    http://www.a-capitalist-in-north-korea.com

  3. Felix Abt Says:

    Here’s how I interacted with North Koreans at all levels, thereby helping to change minds and behavior patterns. Engagement works, policies of coercion and sanctions do not.
    http://www.nknews.org/2015/11/north-korea-stuck-in-the-past-or-poised-for-the-future/

  4. Felix Abt Says:

    “Business as Reform in North Korea”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-stine/business-as-reform-in-nor_b_9849500.html


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