Category Archive: Uncategorized

Sep 04

Static content makeover + a change to the way this blog & Twitter feed will work henceforth…

As the post history of this site may suggest, I’d taken some time away from the aggregation of North Korea-related news to this blog. It really wasn’t turning into what I wanted it to be, I wasn’t enjoying doing it, it became more labour than love to regurgitate the same stories that much more articulate and educated people were already writing/reporting on. I didn’t want this site to become a "dumbed-down" version of the news, but that’s what it inevitably turned out to be.

Where do we go from there? Well, I certainly still want to share the news and stories coming out of the DPRK with everyone. And over the past 13 months of operating this site I have learned a lot, read a lot, learned the who’s who, the what’s what and the where’s where (?) of North Korean journalism on both sides of the hemisphere. I had accumulated a lot of resources. I needed to make it easier to share.

A new feature you’ll see in the menu at the top is the "Shared Articles" section. When I’m going through the hundreds of items that pop up in my Google Reader subscriptions each day, I’ll share the stories and they will show up on that page. I’ll be using my Twitter account as well to share a lot of these sources directly. So that’s one change.

I have greatly overhauled the Links section of this site. I think there are a lot of good resources there for both the newly interested and the seasoned watcher. I’ve updated the Books and Documentaries/Videos sections as well. These sections will always be works in progress.

For the main site, rather than share the daily news (unless it’s really blockbuster), I’m going to post interest stories.. whether they are mine or someone elses. Profiles of a featured blogger/Pyongyang watcher, information about specific DPRK topics such as the state of food aid, military assets, satellite imagery analysis, leadership profiles, offbeat articles, Youtube videos… these are the things you will see more of on the front page.

So, here is a video of two North Korean children executing a flawless drum duet:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/1019

Nov 09

Jo Myong-Rok, top North Korean official dead at 82

Jo Myong-Rok, Vice Marshal and #2 in the National Defense Commission under only Kim Jong-Il, died of heart complications at age 82. Jo was notable for being the highest ranking official to ever visit the United States, when he met with Bill Clinton and secretary of state Madeline Albright on an unprecedented “goodwill” mission in 2000. Kim Jong-Un, heir-apparent and rising star in North Korean politics, was listed second after his father on the Myong-Rok’s funeral committee, leading Yonhap News to speculate that the young General may inherit the key post.

Source: The Washington Post | Yonhap News

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/599

Aug 31

Japan loses NK monitoring spy satellite

Bad news from Japan – their single satellite used for gathering intelligence information on North Korea has failed and is unlikely to be repairable. A replacement is not expected to launch until late 2011. This severely hampers Japan’s ability to monitor North Korea military movement during a period where tensions in the area are at an all time high.

Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/333

Aug 23

North Korea’s Social Media strategy illuminated

North Korea’s charge into Web 2.0 territory seems primarily to orient around its online news service, Uriminzokkiri. Whether you’re following the new Twitter account, or the Facebook page, you’re pretty much getting the same feed available on their website. Look to their Youtube page for fresher video content, if you can understand Korean.

Yonhap reports that a note from the creator of the Facebook page seems to seal the deal on the authenticity question: “We are Chosun June 15 Pyonjipsa under the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland. We are operating in Pyongyang.” Pyonjipsa means publishing company. It’s worth noting that one of the new Facebook page’s interests is “Lactose free milk”.

Regarding the Facebook disappearance/reappearance from last weekend, it would appear the original page was deleted by Facebook for violating the “terms of service”. While not specifically noting what those violations might have been, PC World speculates that it is against TOS for countries embargoed by the US to represent themselves on Facebook. The account has since been recreated (and I am no longer a friend!)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/300

Aug 16

“Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master, and an apprentice.”

Jang Song Taek, the “2nd in command” of North Korea’s leadership has been announced to be the “caretaker” of Kim Jong-Eun. Jang has long been suspected as being a possible candidate for succession. The position of caretaker of the young son of Kim Jong-Il puts him in a position of great power and influence.

Source: Washington Post

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/247

Aug 16

North Korea threatens “severest punishment” for war games

As the South and US pair up for another 11 days of military exercises, the North has once again rattled its saber in response. The last retaliation from the DPRK involved firing 130 artillery shells into the sea and kidnapping a fishing vessel, so who knows what to make of these threats anymore.

Source: CNN

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/241

Jul 27

When is this site going to get started?


Tomorrow will be the “official” launch, if that’s what we want to call it. From that point I’ll be providing probably between 2-6 posts a day of North Korea news garnered from various news sources. There’ll be a brief summary written by me of the news, with links to the various sources. I’m also working on a few opinion articles so those will be up very soon. Hoping this becomes a very content rich site soon, though any real readership should be non-existent for some time.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/73

Jul 20

Welcome…

I’m just getting things started here, so excuse the lack of content. Once I’ve gotten things the way I like them, the news feed will be updated very often!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.openingupnorthkorea.com/archives/51