north korea

December 19, 2011

In the interval between when BBC aired reports of Kim Jong Il's death and when CCTV and other Chinese state media got around to making their own reports on Monday, the Chinese Internet was already abuzz with news and commentary on the North Korean leader's passing, from famous and unknown Weibo users alike.

South Korea had given North Korea $29.5 million in aid through Unicef from 1996 until it halted amid tensions over the sinking of warship last year. Seoul's latest move signals the easing of tensions through nongovernmental aid shipments and exchanges, by resuming donation through Unicef programs for medicines, vaccines and nutrients for malnourished North Korean children.

There's more to South Korea than K-Pop and Kim Yu-Na, and Lee Bae-Yong's mission in life is to stress that point worldwide.... [she] heads a unique body trying to burnish the image of a country which frets that its economic "hard power" far outweighs its "soft power" in the eyes of the global community.

The 24-member delegation belongs to the Korean Conference of Religion for Peace. They are heading to Pyongyang on a four-day visit that will include talks and joint prayer meetings with their North Korean counterparts.

Extensive Googling has not revealed a single mention of North Korea as evil or awful, however when examining US-North Korean relations, I cannot help but think of a masterful piece of cultural diplomacy – one of my favourite films – Team America.

Although the North Korean media shield most of the country’s 24 milliion people from news about the Middle East, word of rebellion seeps through via clandestine radios and word of mouth from people on illicit trading expeditions. It’s because of the fear of revolutionary fervor spreading tthat Kim is anxious to convince Russian leaders that his third son, Kim Jong-eun, is strong enough to be able to rule.

“The Sunshine Policy had been the most effective tool that influenced North Korea. All the changes in North Korea we see now are the results of the Sunshine Policy, including marketization, consumerism and increased dependency on external input,”...

July is typically the time of year when North Korea makes peace overtures toward the United States...Last week, Pyongyang's chief nuclear negotiator arrived in New York...As if on cue, one day later, the Korean Central News Agency... called for a "peace agreement" with the U.S.

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