Daily NK: Members of the National Security Agency and People’s Safety Ministry in Musan County, North Hamkyong Province, are engaged in a power struggle, each accusing members of the opposing agency of transgressions, marking a contrast from previous times when agents largely overlooked illegal activities among their ranks.
Daily NK: Authorities are reportedly cracking down on the enforcement of state-designated prices, confiscating illegally priced goods, transferring them to state stores, and banning offenders from trading for a month.
Dong-a Ilbo has reported on organized fruit exports from Dandong, China to NK; an estimated 16m USD worth, for consumption by the nation’s elite.
An addition of 449 NK workers to the Kaesong Industrial Complex has brought the total to 50,315. 20,000+ workers needed to cover an existing shortfall are likely to be bussed in from increasingly further afield as the available labour in surrounding areas have largely been tapped. 72% of the workers are female.
The NK govt issued conditions that SK must meet before there can be improved ties between the nations. WSJ answers on Seoul’s behalf.]
SK Minister of Unification: “To continue alleviating the difficulties of the North Korean people, we will continue with exchanges and cooperation for humanitarian support.”; “If North Korea tries to recover its people’s economy and takes the road of mutual coexistence, then we are more than willing to prepare to help.” SK senior nuclear negotiator: “The prospects of the normalization of the relationship between Pyongyang and the international community, and eventually a lifting of sanctions, all those benefits will be a strong incentive for the new leadership.”
The SK govt has banned political activists, South Side Committee, from meeting their NK counterparts in China, but the group has said it plans to push ahead regardless.
A SK military source has stated that NK is developing unmanned attack drones based on U.S. technology, purchased from a Middle Eastern nation.
A bipartisan group of SK lawmakers are to visit Kaesong Industrial Complex on February 10 with the “hope that the representatives of the SK people and both governments will cooperate to develop relations.”
A SK lawmaker has claimed that much of the methamphetamine coming into SK originates from state and private sources within NK, and encouraged better SK/China coordination to stop the flow.
Representatives of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization are reportedly planning to call for NK to repay 1.89b USD for the termination of collaborated on light-water reactor project.