DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, 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 2013 edition (which this month comes in two files) here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.5 Part 1 and  DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.5 Part 2

The nearly deserted Kaesong Industrial Complex (Photo by Arirang News)

The nearly deserted Kaesong Industrial Complex (Photo by Arirang News)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • “Stunned Disbelief” at Cancellation of Talks
  • Mongolian Firm Buys Stake in NK Refinery

  • NK to Import Chinese Smartphones
  • North Korea Building “World-class” Ski Resort
  • N-S Trade Virtually Zero in May
  • P’yang Hosts International Organic Agriculture Workshop
  • NK’s Android-based Achim Tablet on Video
  • Visible Progress Toward Economic Reform
  • Invitation for International Public Tender
  • Work Going Ahead on NK-China Economic Zone
  • New Law on Economic Development Zones
  • N.K. Plans New US$200 m International Airport Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, 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 2013 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.4

Manpho Yonha Power Station (Photo by KCNA)

Manpho Yonha Power Station (Photo by KCNA)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • Sanctions on NK’s Foreign Trade Bank Could Affect Millions
  • UNFPA Provides Medical Aid to NK mothers
  • Sanctions Hit Humanitarian Funding
  • Inter-Korean Business at a Standstill
  • Manpho Yonha Power Station Opened
  • June 28th New Management Methods in Force
  • Rason Could Be NK’s Shenzhen
  • Sinuiju Open to Western Tourists

…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 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. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, 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  current March 2013 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Volume IV, No.2

Rural DPRK community with Red Cross kits (Photo by IFRC)

Rural DPRK community with Red Cross kits (Photo by IFRC)

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • P’yang Sues Taiwan Over Nuclear Waste Disposal Deal
  • NK Seafood Exports Thriving
  • China’s First Offshore Processing Pact Inked with NK
  • NGO Initiatives: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Handicap International is looking for a consultant to work with deaf people in the DPRK
  • ROK Green Light for TB Work Aid to North
  • New Reunification Group Formed in ROK
  • New Tax Rules for Mount Kumgang Tourism Zone
  • High-Tech Way Forward for NK Agriculture
  • North Korean scientists publish record number of research papers in international journals
  • China to Upgrade Rail Links to Rason
  • 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Confrontation Over Korea: Memorandum to US President Obama by Jonathan D. Pollack

[For the inauguration of US President Barack Obama’s second term of office, a number of Foreign Policy scholars at the Brookings Institution prepared a “Presidential Briefing Book” entitled “Big Bets & Black Swans”, published on 17 January 2013. The “big bets,” according to the introduction, are places where the Foreign Policy scholars believe the President should consider investing his power, time and prestige in major efforts that can have a transformational impact on America and the world, as well as on his legacy. The “black swans” are those low probability but high impact events that can trip the President up and divert him from his higher purposes; events so dramatically negative that he will need to take steps in advance to avoid them. Predictably, the black swans include the DPRK. In his Memorandum to the President, Jonathan Pollack posits an impending severe internal crisis in North Korea, which will engender a serious risk of an acute US-China confrontation or even a direct military conflict over Korea. Pollack is convinced that neither China nor the USA desire such a confrontation, and offers a four-part recommendation to begin a process of US-China understanding that would serve to avoid such a worst-case scenario. Jonathan D. Pollack is Acting Director of the John L. Thornton China Center, and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, at Brookings. –CanKor]

Jonathan D. Pollack (video capture from World News Inc.)

Jonathan D. Pollack (video capture from World News Inc.)

M E M O R A N D U M

To: President Obama

From: Jonathan Pollack

DATE: January 17, 2013

BLACK SWAN: Confrontation Over Korea

There is a serious risk of an acute U.S.-China confrontation or even a direct military conflict over Korea. Neither Washington nor Beijing seek this kind of conflict, but North Korea’s severe internal crisis has impelled the United States and China to prepare to intervene in the North, both to protect their respective vital interests and to forestall larger risks to the peace. Pyongyang has a long record of lashing out at neighboring states (especially our South Korean ally) to warn outside powers against any possible intervention in its internal affairs. But this threat now encompasses the potential use of nuclear weapons. Any possible nuclear use by North Korea, even if undertaken within its own borders, represents an acute danger to the region as a whole. If Washington and Beijing fail to coordinate and communicate, we could face the possibility of a U.S.-China confrontation almost unimaginable in its consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Business Monthly Volume III, No.9

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 October 2012 edition here: DPRK Business Monthly Vol III, No.9

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

South and North Korean Buddhist monks at a ceremony to mark the fifth
anniversary of the rebuilding of the Shingye Temple on Mount Kumgang in the
DPRK [Photo: Jogye Order]

  • DPRK Trade Delegation Visits Sweden
  • NK Reaching Out for China Investment
  • North Korea Agricultural Program
  • N-S Buddhist Monks “Work to Ease Tension”
  • Two ROK Groups to Deliver NK Children Aid
  • Seoul Warns Trade Agency Against North Contacts
  • Breast Cancer Institute Completed
  • Consumer Ads Appear in DPRK Press

…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.8

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.8

Chongjin Port [Photo: KCNA]

Titles of articles found in this issue include:

  • First Pacific Nation Opens Office in Pyongyang
  • ROK Firms Get Foothold on NK’s Doorstep
  • China Gets Access to NK East Sea Port
  • DPRK Military Trade Unit In Joint Ventures with China
  • ROK Bars Firms in China Hiring N. Koreans
  • For Outsourcing IT, Have You Considered North Korea?
  • Hwanggumpyong Management Building Initiated

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

Did Kim Jong Un’s uncle prepare his first state visit to China?

[The following two news items strike us as being related. First a high-level visit to China by the assumed power behind the throne, Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek. The first article is by Didi Tang for The Associated Press, published 17 August 2012. The second is the widely expected but unconfirmed request for the first external state visit and first official visit to China by Kim Jong Un, in his capacity as DPRK leader. The Reuters article appeared in guardian.co.uk on 24 August 2012. –CanKor]

Wen Jiabao, right, meets Jang Song-thaek, uncle of North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un, on Aug. 17. (Photo/Xinhua)

Senior North Korean holds talks with China’s leaders in sign allies’ relations back on track

Associated Press, BEIJING, China – The powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met both China’s president and premier on Friday in a sign that relations between the two countries are back on track after Kim irked Beijing with a rocket launch soon after taking power.

State media have said the six-day visit to China by Jang Song Thaek, the chief of the central administrative department of the Workers’ Party of Korea, is a possible prelude to a visit by Kim himself. China remains North Korea’s most important ally.

The top-level meetings came after Beijing earlier this week agreed to help Pyongyang revamp two trade zones near the Chinese border. 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 »

Results of USA-DPRK Talks as Announced by the US Department of State

[This is the text of a Press Statement delivered by, Victoria Nuland, US State Department Spokesperson, in Washington, DC, 29 February 2012. It is obvious that announcement of the  agreements had been synchronized by the two sides to be issued at the same time. The exact wording and emphasis differ in the two versions. For example, the DPRK nuclear moratorium and inspections by the IAEA, take priority in the US statement, whereas in the DPRK statement they are mentioned as an afterthought, specifying that the US side had asked for them. Note also that the wording of the DPRK announcement speaks of “promises and agreements” on the part of the USA, whereas the US statement reserves the word “agree” to concessions by the DPRK, with the USA agreeing only to meet again. The specifics are listed as “points flowing from the discussions”. Nevertheless, the main features of the agreements are virtually the same. –CanKor]

US scientist Siegfried Hecker examines machining lathes at the disabled Yongbyon nuclear facility, 2008 (Photo by W. Keith Luse)

A U.S. delegation has just returned from Beijing following a third exploratory round of U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks. To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities. The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities.

The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these. We have agreed to meet with the DPRK to finalize administrative details necessary to move forward with our proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance. Read the rest of this entry »

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