In Brief: an unprecedented appeal from Kim Jong-un

Kim appeals for speedy completion of ski grounds Kim Jong-un appealed publicly for the Masikryong Ski Grounds to be completed within the year, although it is a project difficult for others to complete “even in ten years”, Rodong Sinmun announced on the front page of its June 5th edition. In an appeal dated to June […]

In Brief: Rice, Rice and Planting Rice

“Rice is the ammunition for conquering the enemy” On May 30th, Rodong Sinmun published an article that likened rice to “ammunition for conquering the enemy.” Quoting Kim Jong-il as saying, “With guns and rice, there is no enemy to fear,” the piece stressed that “the attitude of the 1950s, with which we fought for an […]

[Feature] Chosun: North Korea’s Love-Hate Relationship with History

North Korea calls itself “Chosun”, but does not recognize the historical Chosun In Korean, North Korea does not call itself Korea or North Korea. The official title of the DPRK in Korean is “Democratic People’s Republic of Chosun.” In addition, North Koreans don’t refer to themselves as Koreans or North Koreans. Instead, they refer to […]

[Feature] The Bewildering Cult of Kim

The cult of Kim in North Korea often boggles the minds of outsiders. Here, North Korean refugees present some hand-picked examples, along with comments based on their experience living in the country. North Korean textbook or fake North Korean textbook? A photograph of what was allegedly a North Korean textbook began to appear on internet […]

[Feature] Exiled Opinion: Free speech in North Korea

Leave no suggestions in the suggestions box! In South Korea, every public and commercial building has a customer suggestions box. They are visible in all public spaces and in taxis, too. There are even TV programs that deal with customer complaints. A similar system exists in North Korea, or at least it appears to. North […]

Turning a Blind Eye to Petty Crime in North Korea

Like anywhere else in the world, there is crime in North Korea As the gap between rich and poor widens, illegal activities tend to surge as those in poverty become increasingly restless. South Korea’s ‘Jijonpa Incident’ would be a representative example from the Korean peninsula. In this incident, a group of people from a lower […]

Another DPRK Kidnapping Or Another Re-Defection?

Amid North Korea’s apparent efforts at preventing defections and orchestrating re-defections, we have learned that Moon Hyeok-Chul (aged 52) is the latest defector to have gone missing under suspicious circumstances. He left North Korea in 2005 and had been working as a bus driver in South Korea. Both Moon’s colleagues and members of the defector […]