Category: news

The North and South Korean Winter Olympic Team…

The North and South Korean Winter Olympic Teams marched together under the Korean Unification flag at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The athletes were greeted by a thunderous applause when they joined hands and entered the stadium.

A dozen North Korean women’s hockey players jo…

A dozen North Korean women’s hockey players joined their South Korean counterparts to start preparing for next month’s Winter Olympics. The two sides will form their first-ever joint Olympic team.  The South Korean side presented their new teammates with flowers and the players later shouted “We are one!”.

Newly designed Jindallae (Azalea) smartphone m…

Newly designed Jindallae (Azalea) smartphone manufactured by Mangyongdae IT Corporation. The locally produced smartphone can access the national intranet “Kwangmyong” to shop online, access news, and download music and movies. The phone has a quad-core CPU, 8 mp camera, and runs Android 4.4.2 OS.

North Korean Adder Liquor. With a real snake…

North Korean Adder Liquor. With a real snake inside the bottle, it’s said to help men’s sexual stamina.

North Korea Optimistic About Its Five-year Str…

North Korea evaluated 2017 as one of the most important and meaningful years in which it has achieved the historical feat of completing its nuclear forces and making it a strong “rocket” power.

Looking back on the year in a December 12 editorial titled “The Socialist Korea, Which Is Advancing With the Power of Self-help, Is Invincible,” Rodong Sinmun (North Korea’s largest newspaper) declared that the country “has surged up high as one of the most powerful nuclear powers in the world, having the strongest mobile intercontinental ballistic rockets, super-strong thermonuclear weapons and strategic submarine-launched ballistic missiles, all of which are made 100 percent on its own and capable of striking all across the mainland United States, the evil empire, as it pleases.”

In addition, the state newspaper praised the state’s economic achievements: “Raising the banner of byungjin, North Korea has achieved a strong economic growth while taking a series of great victories in its national history amid the most severe sanctions and blockade.” The year 2017 is, it asserted, a year in which North Korea has “exhaustively showed off the strength of its self-reliant economy and its potential for unlimited development.”

According to the article, North Korea has further perfected the technological foundations of its self-sustaining economy and its self-sufficient economic structure and achieved a remarkable increase in production in every sector, based on its own strengths, technologies and resources. “Even in the midst of unscrupulous sanctions and devastating natural disasters, the number of units which have achieved their annual targets in the key sectors of the people’s economy has increased dramatically and a breakthrough was made in grain and fruit production.”

In relations to economic development, the state media boasted the “great strides” made in science and technology, in particular inventions and research achievements that can contribute to strengthening the self-reliance of the economy and facilitating production, including the introduction of high yield crops.

It added that the country’s capacity for self-help has grown stronger, noting that prospects have brightened in all sectors for the implementation of the five-year strategy of national economic development. “Our ability to self-rehabilitate is stronger than the sanctions pressure of hostile forces, and the last victory is for a socialist Korea led by the great party,” the newspaper asserted. Moreover, it encouraged the readers to make greater miracles in the New Year when the North Korean regime celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation.

This insinuates that, in 2018, North Korea will adhere to its economic development strategy led by science and technology and focus more on making economic accomplishments as its regime turns 70.

– The Institute for Far Eastern Studies

Dancing in front of Yi Seong Gye’s villa in Ha…

Dancing in front of Yi Seong Gye’s villa in Hamhung, North Korea. 

Yi Seong Gye was the founder of the Chosun Dynasty in the late 14th century and is credited with safeguarding Korean culture from rival Yuan and Ming Dynasties in China. 

A ceremony took place in Kim Il Sung Square to…

A ceremony took place in Kim Il Sung Square to launch a new batch of Sungni trucks, Chollima-804, and Chungsong-122

tractors. The design and serial manufacturing processes

of these new vehicles were finalized and set up earlier this year.

“For the party and for the fatherland! Launch …

“For the party and for the fatherland! Launch the missile bravely!”

Kim Jong Un signed the above document on November 28, 2017 ordering the test fire of the Hwasong-15 ICBM. The missile flew at dawn the next day and reached an altitude of 4,475 km over a distance of 950 km in 53 minutes.

Kim Jong Un provided field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor…

Kim Jong Un provided field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory which successfully produced the new Chollima-804 tractor. He personally drove one to learn in detail about its performance and technical specifications.

Amid International Sanctions, North Korea Says Economy is Booming

North Korea’s domestic economy is booming amid international sanctions, as reported on October 11 from Pyongyang by the Choson Sinbo, a Tokyo-based pro-North Korean newspaper.

According to Tongil News, a Seoul-based cable and pay television service, one example of the booming North Korean economy is the 13th Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair, which took place at the Three-Revolution Exhibition House between September 25 and 28.

The pro-Pyongyang newspaper said that the annual trade fair demonstrated “local companies’ high performance in constantly expanding the scale and scope of their businesses to meet the people’s ever-increasing demand for commodities.”

At the fair, many local companies, including the Bukchonggang Trading Company, the Chongkyechon Technology and Trading Company, the Rason Ryongson Joint Venture Company, and the Songchongang Trading Company, attracted people’s attention with their new products.

The Bukchonggang Trading Company, which participated in the fair for the first time, presented a high-quality food ingredient made with the essence of sea cucumbers. The product is advertised to be good for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. It is the first North Korean company to produce a health food using sea cucumber extract.

The Chongkyechon Technology and Trading Company introduced Korean ginseng tea, ginseng powder, ginseng coffee, and various other popular ginseng products developed by the ginseng research center in Kaesong.

In particular, it was said that many visitors to the trade fair showed interest in a variety of products, especially those with functional benefits. For example, the Kyongsubong Trading Company, which is known for its research and development as well as production and sales of toothpaste, introduced more than twenty different types of toothpaste fortified with vitamins, nanosilver, aloe vera, and common bamboo. The Oil Trading Company, a manufacturer of various foodstuffs, also captured visitors’ attention with its new ‘functional’ beverage, Susosu.

In the area of cosmetics, while brand products such as ‘Bomhyanggi’ (Spring Fragrance) – produced by the Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory – and ‘Unhasu’ (the Milky Way) – produced by the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory – had long been popular among North Korean women, the newly-introduced ‘Palsonnyo’ (Eight Heavenly Fairies) appeared a favorite at this year’s fair.

Overall, more than 250 companies from North Korea, Syria, China, Cuba, Iran, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Taiwan introduced electronic products, machinery, building materials, consumer products, foodstuffs, and other daily necessities at the trade fair. Over 20,000 people were said to have visited the Three Revolution Exhibition House every day to attend the fair.

Of note is that in recent years both the number of local North Korean companies participating in the fair and the number of their products on display have constantly increased.

As well, one noteworthy trend is that not only companies in Pyongyang but also those in provincial cities are beginning to exhibit their products at the international fair. Furthermore, as North Korean consumers’ concern for health seems to be rising, the introduction of new health products also seems to be increasing.

– The Institute for Far Eastern Studies