- A diplomat based in Pyongyang says the capital is facing its worst electricity shortage in years.
- NK state media described KJU’s youth as an asset to the nation.
- 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.
- NK authorities have reportedly called on the citizenry to provide plastic sheeting to improve greenhouses cultivating Kimjongilia.
- 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.
- Orascom Telecom revealed that NK now has more than 1 million cell phone subscribers.
- A NK economic quarterly advocated the use of commercials to promote exports.
- Arirang performances are reportedly being held in locations outside of Pyongyang, following a policy attributed to KJI in 2010.
- The Love North Korean Children charity, an organization funding bakeries to feed starving NK children, is aiming to open a home for stateless children in China.
- The Canadian Embassy in Seoul is to launch a program teaching Canadian English, values, and concepts such as multiculturalism and parliamentary democracy to North Korean defectors.
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS & SECURITY
- 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.
- The Russian Ambassador to NK claimed that KJU supports the building of a natural-gas pipeline stretching from Russia to SK through NK.
- 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.
ANALYSIS & OPINION
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