Korea in the Huanqiu Shibao

Today’s array of data on the Huanqiu Shibao/Global Times page is simply overwhelming; a brief selection of links with minimal commentary shall have to suffice:

On the North Korean Front

Probably the most explosive item being reported today in the Chinese press is the alleged execution of two officials in a Pyongyang stadium for botched currency reforms. The article is rather short, and voices things so that it’s clear the reports are coming from the South Korean sources like Chosun Ilbo and the website Daily NK:

环球网记者宋伟钢报道 据韩国《朝鲜日报》4月5日援引韩国专门对朝媒体daily NK网站报道称,因货币改革失败,朝鲜处决了包括前财政部长朴南基在内的两名高级官员,之前媒体报道称只有一位官员被处决,并且没有报道处决的时间和地点。

Daily NK报道称,两名朝鲜官员3月12日在平壤的西山体育场在一些经济官员和朝鲜中央党员面前被枪决。这两名被处决的官员是前朝鲜财政部长朴南基和另外一位未透露姓名的朝鲜国家计划委员会副委员长。
报道说,执行官在行刑前宣布朴南基的罪行称他是“推行货币改革,使人民生活困苦的稀世逆贼”。

Huanqiu is censoring a few comments, but letting netizens vent their skepticism at the news in the comments, censoring a share of presumed criticisms of Kim Jong Il, but the cat is out of the bag in any case.  I think that this news being reported in China is particularly interesting/important given the sensitive timing of Kim’s pending/non-visit to Beijing, and that China seems to have been somewhat transparently piqued at the abrupt currency reform in any case.

After an unexplained absence, the paper’s “border region news page,” wherein Sino-DPRK and Sino-India security news reigns, is back in full swing.

An extended article on investment in the areas around Hunchun-Rajin;

A long article, also a sleeper, via Chinese Financial Times, on travel in the border regions;

More breakdown on the contractual issues of the new Chinese 10-year lease on part of North Korea’s port of Rajin, featuring some analysis by Scott Snyder;

Huanqiu promotes “Radio Open Korea” reports on Pyongyang’s foreign-exchange gains in sending laborers abroad;

A very long feature on Yalu River development and how the special economic zone outside of Sinuiju is projected to operate, a piece which is nicely paired with this feel-good article promoting North Korean waitresses in Dandong.

Finally, there is this insouciant photo gallery of French first lady Carla Bruni on a Top Gun mission (she who has been far too long neglected on this blog) and a priceless look at a protest in South Korea whose demands are simple: keep our hanja education!

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