Category: Politics

North Korea’s newest multiple rocket launcher …

North Korea’s newest multiple rocket launcher system, the KN-09. Introduced in 2016, its 300 mm rockets boast an indigenously developed imagery guidance system which allows its rockets to accurately hit targets up to 200 km (120 mi) away, putting South Korea’s military HQ in Daejeon within range.

“We would never give up our nuclear program,” …

“Hoping that North Korea will abandon its nuclear program is more foolish than waiting for the sea to dry up,” according to North Korea’s media mouthpiece, Rodong Sinmun.

While North Korea watchers debate the possibility of negotiation and dialogue taking place between North Korea and the United States, Rodong Sinmun made it clear in an op-ed commentary that Pyongyang has no intention to give up its nuclear weapons. “Neither sanctions nor provocations nor threats can ever undermine North Korea’s position as a nuclear weapons state,” it asserted. “It would be a wise option to take the stand to peacefully coexist with North Korea, which has quickly emerged as a nation with a strategic nuclear capability,” the news agency reiterated.

North Korea has long asked for peaceful coexistence with the international community, once the latter recognizes it as a nuclear power. In particular, it has underlined that the United States should abandon its hostile policies toward Pyongyang.

On the same day, in a commentary titled “The Strong Sword of Justice to Tame the Nuclear Weapons of Oppression,” Rodong Sinmun asserted that North Korea’s nuclear force is “the powerful sword for defending peace as it can decisively tackle the nuclear threats and blackmail from the United States.” The state-run newspaper stressed that North Korea is “fully prepared to make the deadliest nuclear strike on the United States as it pleases at any random time and space.”

Claiming that North Korea has “intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, along with a hydrogen bomb known as the ‘Tsar-Bomba (or the King of Bombs)’, which it has succeeded in loading onto an ICBM,” the newspaper said that North Korea has “demonstrated its powerful nuclear strike capability to the world, not in words, but in reality.”

“The United States and other hostile forces that have denied and disparaged North Korea’s nuclear deterrent in the past became no longer able to make much ado about nothing,” it added.

Rodong Sinmun insisted that North Korea has developed its nuclear deterrent to “ultimately overwhelm and crush the violent and flagitious nuclear threats of the United States… . The nuclear weapons are our most reliable means of deterrence to prevent the United States from playing perilously with fire in the Korean peninsula,” it asserted.

It furthermore stated that because the United States would “never give up its malicious ambition to conquer the world by virtue of its superior nuclear power,” North Korea is “entirely just … to bolster up its strength with a much stronger determination.“

– The Institute For Far Eastern Studies

A photocopy of Kim Jong Un’s fraudulently obta…

A photocopy of Kim Jong Un’s fraudulently obtained Brazilian passport which lists his name as Josef Pwag. According to Western security officials, the passports were used to apply for visas in at least two Western countries and may have also been used to travel to Brazil, Japan, and Hong Kong.

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.

The central control room of the State Hydro-Me…

The central control room of the State Hydro-Meteorological Administration. The administration’s headquarters were renovated in 2015 and they recently developed a smartphone app “Agricultural Weather” which provides weather forecasts, soil temperature, frost ranges, and other information helpful to farmers. They have also established a real-time flood prediction system for the Taedong River.

Kim Jong Un inspecting a new model of trolley …

Kim Jong Un inspecting a new model of trolley bus produced by the Pyongyang Trolley Bus Factory. The processing, electric motor, and assembly workshops of the factory were recently modernized and Kim Jong Un ordered the second-phase of the modernization effort to start upon his visit to the factory. 

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!”.

Hyon Song-Wol, the leader of the Moranbong Ban…

Hyon Song-Wol, the leader of the Moranbong Band, arrived in South Korea to inspect facilities for the art performances that the Samjiyon Orchestra will give during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Her arrival and elegant fashion caused a stir in South Korean media.

Satellite photo of Pyongyang at night.

Satellite photo of Pyongyang at night.

Major local cities introduce call taxis, on th…

As they were in Pyongyang, call taxis are now popular in other major North Korean cities. According to a source from North Pyongan Province, “Nowadays there are new taxis in Sinuiju that rush to you on one phone call,” the Seoul-Pyongyang News reported on January 3.

“They are known to arrive at the point of departure within ten minutes of call, day or night,” the same source told the South Korea-based online newspaper Daily NK. “The call taxi charges one US dollar for the basic fare, while the ordinary taxi specialized in short-distance service within the city of Sinuiju charges a basic fare of 3,000 North Korean won,” it added.

At the present exchange rate in North Korea, one US dollar is equivalent to 8,000 North Korean won, making the call taxis about three times more expensive than the ordinary taxis. Nevertheless, demand for call taxi is constantly on the increase.

In the meantime, an inside source from South Pyongan Province said that call taxis were first introduced in Pyongsong as early as a few years ago, and became widespread now. According to the source, on a national holiday or family’s birthday, well-to-do North Korean families use a call-taxi service even to family restaurants. The competition between taxi companies is so fierce that individual taxi drivers are trying to attract the customers by handing out a slip of paper with their phone number.

In addition, the call taxi service first appeared in Pyongyang in 2014. In an article introducing the Taedonggang Passenger Transportation Company in Pyongyang at the time, The Choson Sinbo, a newspaper published by the pro-North Korean General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, reported that the company was equipped with a “prompt dispatch system” that receives customers’ calls and sends the taxi to the require location.

The taxi cabs in Pyongyang are formally known as “Taedonggang,” but often called by their nickname “Alagi” because their body is splashed with patches of light green and yellow. Passengers may dial 186 on their cellular or landline phone to call a Taedonggang taxi. The dispatcher then contacts the taxi nearest the location and sends it to the customer.

In fact, the introduction and expansion of the call taxi service may reflect a rise in the level of consumption in the North Korean society. It may also suggest that competition among taxi companies is growing fiercer.

– The Institute for Far Eastern Studies