DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, 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 the  current April 2013 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.3

Josh Thomas and Ms Yu, one of the North Korean guides, enjoy draft beers at the bar of the Yanggakdo Hotel Microbrewery. (Photo by Joseph A Ferris III)

Josh Thomas and Ms Yu, one of the North Korean guides, enjoy draft beers at the bar of the Yanggakdo Hotel Microbrewery. (Photo by Joseph A Ferris III)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • The Travails of a Beer Joint Venture
  • North Korea’s Surprising Microbrewery Culture Explored
  • NK Ups Chinese Fertilizer Imports
  • North Korea Accepts ShelterBox Disaster Relief Equipment
  • Medical Aid from ROK Enters North
  • Pyongyang Gets First Artisan Coffee Shop
  • 3G Now Covers Two Million in NK
  • Science Reporter Probes NK Fight against Multidrug-resistant TB
  • Tanchon to Become New Industry-Export Center
  • Kaesong Sets Up Light Industry College
  • Koryo Tours guide to mobile & Internet services in the DPRK

…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 been a bad month for business in the DPRK, but the ROK might be the biggest sufferer from all the saber-rattling on and around the peninsula.

The Kaesong Joint Industrial Zone has been like the Temple of Janus in Rome, except in reverse. The temple’s doors were open when Rome was at war, and closed when it wasn’t. It has been speculated that Pyongyang wanted the complex closed to give more credence to its warnings of imminent war. The argument goes that so long as Kaesong is operating people feel that there’s little chance of war breaking out on the peninsula.

Maybe. Ironically, the dire warnings from the North have helped bolster the US position that Pyongyang is unpredictable and dangerous, and therefore the peninsula needs to be kept divided, with US troops safeguarding the region. Oh, and while you’re at it, why not sign up to our multi-billion-dollar missile defense shield?

Japan, too, needs US troops to defend it against North Korea, so the GIs must stay there too.

China has reminded the US that provocations in Beijing’s backyard might trigger off a nuclear confrontation with the DPRK, whose army it has no control over — so back off.

Seoul is the loser in all this. While it has cooperated to close down Kaesong, which was undermining the US economic embargo on the North, it now faces an angry lobby from its business community, which fears it may lose its only advantage in an increasingly-competitive world — North Korea’s minerals, workforce and land — and another angry lobby from the ROK’s rice farmers, who face disaster because they can no longer sell rice to the government to, in turn, sell to the North (with a ROK Eximbank loan).

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

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