A Couple of Notes on the North Korean Election

The elected body, the “Supreme People’s Assembly”, rarely meets and has very little actual power. So this entire March 9 election exercise and its lead-up became in part a vehicle for more regime-shaped symbolism (symbol as substance) about how pleased everyone is with Kim-family rule, and the benefits conferred by the socialist system. The fact that Kim Jong-un’s sister emerged for the first time as … Continue reading A Couple of Notes on the North Korean Election

DPRK Memes

South Korea Prosecutes a North Korean Agent Formerly Active in Yanbian The Daily NK reports: According to prosecutors in Seoul on Monday, a South Korean man who was trained as a spy in Pyongyang at the turn of the century has been arrested and charged with aiding in the forced repatriation of refugees escaping from North Korea and gathering information on people helping said refugees. … Continue reading DPRK Memes

Cross-Border Crackdowns

The latest Good Friends intelligence report contains an intriguing item: North Korean police and security forces are cracking down on DVDs of Chinese movies: Crackdown on Illegal Video Films in Pyongsung On September 20, Pyongsung city in South Pyongan Province began a crackdown on illegal video films. In No.24 Unit of Yonbong dong, the investigators raided on two households and confiscated CDs that contained American … Continue reading Cross-Border Crackdowns

News from North Korea / 北朝鲜新闻报告

Pyongyang’s Korea Central News Agency [KCNA] reports that the two American journalists seized along the Tumen River last March 17 will be tried on June 4. According to the North Korean penal code, their “anti-Choson activities” are supposed to net somewhere between five and ten years of imprisonment. (The creaky yet functional KCNA website, hosted in Japan, has yet to be updated with the news, … Continue reading News from North Korea / 北朝鲜新闻报告