DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.7

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.7

China-made machinery on display at the Second Rason International Trade Fair [Photo: AP]

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • Rason Holds 2nd International Trade Fair
  • Vatican Body Delivers Food Aid to NK
  • Pyongyang University Wants ROK Teachers
  • Rare Earths Bankroll North Korea’s Future
  • Kaesong Industrial Park’s Output Up 23%
  • Rason to Get International Trade Center
  • Special Supplement – Inside the Hermit Kingdom: IT and Outsourcing in North Korea

…plus a number of other items, including a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.5

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 June 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.5

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

In Chiba in 1991 Hyun Jung-hwa of the ROK (right) and Li Bun Hui of the DPRK formed a

In Chiba in 1991 Hyun Jung-hwa of the ROK (right) and Li Bun Hui of the DPRK formed a joint Korean team. The pair won the female finals by defeating China.

  • China Offers Work Visas for 40,000 N.Koreans
  • UN Report Highlights Plight of NK Children
  • Politics Hampering UN Aid Efforts
  • Female Participation in North Korea’s Business Sector
  • Table Tennis Player Sees Opportunity for Unity
  • NK Could Be Major Carbon Credit Player
  • Visa-free Access to Yalu River Zone

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

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

China’s issuance of 40,000 work visas, and perhaps more in the pipeline, to North Koreans is a step in the right direction. It is well attested that the vast majority of North Koreans who have fled their homeland since the famine of the 1990s (the “Arduous March”) have been economic migrants seeking a better life, not political refugees, of whom only a handful were recorded in the previous four decades. The deal apparently came about as a result of a request by the DPRK’s new leader Kim Jong Un. Now, those who wish to do so will be able to legally work in China — as many already do in Russia — and send money (the Renminbi yuan is regarded as a hard currency in NK) and food home, avoiding falling into the hands of human traffickers and being smuggled into South Korea, where their lot is not a happy one. This will reduce the profits of this evil trade, and help the Chinese police crack down on the gangsters and rescue their victims.

It will also take the wind out of the sails of those who claim that North Koreans flee and fall prey to the traffickers because Pyongyang doesn’t allow them to leave.

Please feel free to consult the full issue by clicking on this link: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.5

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottawa Round Table Part 2 – Opening Remarks by Erich Weingartner

Finding the Right Balance to Aid North Korean People

Ottawa Round Table on Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context, 5 March 2012

Origin of this Round Table

In February 2011 a number of agencies received messages from DPRK authorities urgently requesting food aid. These requests unleashed a vibrant discussion within the humanitarian and policy communities as to whether the need is great enough to warrant emergency aid, and if so, whether monitoring can be sufficiently guaranteed to prevent diversion to the military or the elite at the expense of those most in need.

Assessment missions were sent by the FAO/WFP, the EU, the USA, as well as a consortium of US-based NGOs. All concluded that the food deficit is real, although there was considerable disagreement about the capacity of aid agencies to mount a robust monitoring regime. The EU and a number of countries decided to deliver modest quantities of aid. Canada contributed 2.5 million dollars to the WFP for eventual use in North Korea. The USA continued bilateral negotiations that resulted in a positive decision in December 2011. An announcement was to be made the week that Kim Jong Il died.

In early summer 2011 CanKor initiated discussions among Canadian NGOs as to whether the situation merited a Canadian initiative. Only a very small number of Canadian agencies still delivered modest amounts of targeted food aid to the DPRK. Continuing questions surrounding monitoring standards in the DPRK discouraged other NGOs from initiating any significant new food aid activities.

On the other hand, there were still a number of NGOs interested in convening a round table to engage in discussion about North Korean humanitarian dilemmas. Some were concerned that the food aid debate had become increasingly politicized. What was the basis of decisions surrounding food aid, for example? Were food aid decisions made for humanitarian purposes, or has food become an additional tool in the exercise of coercive diplomacy to further aims such as rolling back DPRK nuclear weapons development, promoting human rights, or encouraging democratic development and/or regime change? Read the rest of this entry »

Ottawa Round Table Part 1 – Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context

Canadian Humanitarians at Round Table in Ottawa

Ottawa Round Table on Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context, 5 March 2012

During the two-week glimmer of hope between the US-DPRK “Leap Day Deal” and the subsequent announcement of North Korea’s satellite launch, a small but persistent group of Canadian humanitarians met in Canada’s capital on Monday, 5 March 2012, to discuss “Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context”.

The representatives of organizations still actively engaged in assistance to the people of North Korea harbored no illusions that the current transition in the DPRK leadership would melt away the difficulties involved in the provision of humanitarian aid. There was, however, a consensus that whatever the international climate may be at any particular time, engagement is a key to projecting Canadian values into the situation, whether by the government or by civil society. When Canadian government policy is engagement, this tends to support the work of Canadian NGOs, who in turn embody the best of Canada’s reputation for peace and human security. When government policy is non-engagement, the activities of NGOs nonetheless continue to further Canadian values, thus laying the groundwork for future engagement policies.

During the past several years, strategic, military and human rights issues in relation to North Korea have received a considerable amount of attention by Canada and the international community. By and large, humanitarian issues have taken the back seat. The humanitarian group assembled in Ottawa hoped that the plight of the North Korean people would not fall through the cracks. The long-term goal of peace and human security on the entire Korean Peninsula should remain the central focus of Canadian policies. Although the recent leadership change has not yet provided sufficient indicators of change, participants felt that this is an opportune time for Canadian re-engagement to benefit the North Korean people. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.2

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 the March 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.2

The Unhasu Orchestra tunes up in Paris. [Photo: Reuters]

The Unhasu Orchestra tunes up in Paris. (Photo by Reuters)

Titles of articles found in this issue include

  • N-S Opening Could Be Economic Lifeline for ROK
  • Unification Starting in Kaesong
  • DPRK Encourages Foreign Investment
  • Internet Access at PUST for NK Students
  • The Constitution of the DPRK
  • North and South Train Cambodian Olympic Hopefuls
  • Pyongyang Orchestra Plays in Paris
  • Korean Care Friendship Network

…plus a number of other items, including a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, 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  third volume of the February 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly February 2012.

A bus carrying eight south Korean parliamentarians crosses the DMZ at Paju. (Photo by AP)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • NK Amends Law on Foreign-funded Banks
  • NK Hires US Firm to Restart Kumgang Tours
  • US Ties Hamstring SK Businesses’ NK Prospects
  • Items Most in Demand in NK in 2011
  • Daewoo to Pioneer NK-China New Zone Advance
  • China to Lease 3 Rason Piers for 50 years
  • ROK Lawmakers Cross DMZ to Investigate Kaesong
  • Rising Demand for Workers at Kaesong
  • Seoul to Allow Upgrading of Kaesong Facilities

…plus a number of other items, including a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume II, No.12

The DPRK Business Monthly, an international business report edited in Beijing, has been made available to CanKor readers by its editor, Paul White. Check the January 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly January 2012.

Potential investors tour a North Korean garment workshop. (Photo:KCNA)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • AP Opens Pyongyang’s First Full International News Bureau
  • Right and Christian to Build Bridges with NK
  • PRC Likely to Provide Food Aid Soon
  • NGO Initiatives in DPRK
  • NK Like China 30 Years Ago
  • Rodong Sinmun Launches English-language Site
  • A Private Citizen in North Korea by Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress and of the American Council for World Jewry
  • Kwangbok Area Supermarket Opens
  • NK’s Mobile Phone Imports Soaring
  • Pyongyang’s Urban Future
  • Corporate Law Clue to Policy Under Kim Jong Un

…plus a number of articles about the Kaesong Industrial Park, and a selection of North Korean tours by various tour operators.

Comment by the Business Monthly Editor:

The huge leap in mobile phone penetration into the DPRK shows that the government appreciates the value of modern communications in streamlining economic growth.  Read the rest of this entry »

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