Smartphone Border Run Shamaness North Korea Remittance China Friendly Kim’s New Family KCNA Pastiche

KCNA, the North Korean “news” agency, has a fascinating piece on problems caused by smartphones in US prisons (thus simultaneously bashing America and reminding readers that mobile technology is potentially criminal), reminds us that Japan is on the warpath to imperial expansion in Asia (even as Japan still has, in a rare admission from KCNA, a peace constitution), that cadre and everyone else is bucking … Continue reading Smartphone Border Run Shamaness North Korea Remittance China Friendly Kim’s New Family KCNA Pastiche

News from Within North Korea

The Buddhist organization Good Friends has finally released what appears to be their final two reports (here and here) for the month of Febuary based on defector and cell-phone testimonies.  Suffice it to say, the information is somewhat more alarming than usual. February 16, Kim Jong-il’s birthday, lacked special rations for most of the country, including the model Kim Chaek Steel Mill in Chongjin, where … Continue reading News from Within North Korea

Asia’s Ahab: North Korea, Japan, and Environmental Geopolitics in NE Asia

People who fish, who brave the ocean, who create seriographie of fish, who take pictures of fish, who quantify fish populations — all of these people have a special place in my consciousness these days.   The recent wetness in Seattle, along with a return to the cello/axe in a downtown performance backed by giant Jules-Verne style organ pipes, has me thinking watery thoughts. And … Continue reading Asia’s Ahab: North Korea, Japan, and Environmental Geopolitics in NE Asia

Verdant Parks and Skimpy Harvests from North Korea

Yesterday, Xinhua graciously carried a photogallery of autumn scenery in Pyongyang.  If this counts as propaganda, call me aware of my own complicity; but also be content just to enjoy the pictures for once: Of course, Xinhua follows up these exquisite gems with unadorned accounts of Kim Jong-il’s visit to a chicken farm in restive North Pyong’an province (are you even aware, much less concerned, … Continue reading Verdant Parks and Skimpy Harvests from North Korea