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Swedish journalist Caroline Salzinger (sv) described her visit to the department store as a tourist: Upon arrival, the store was closed. One of the tour guides accompanying her tried to distract her, while the other one rushed in to get the doors opened. When opened, the guide had to scramble passers-by to occupy the store as "shoppers". The moment they step in, the escalator is started. The shoppers appear clueless as to how to act in a department store. When after great pains Salzinger managed to purchase the goods she wanted, the cashier is confused and will not hand her a plastic bag for her items: "We look at each other in the eyes. She knows that something is wrong, and that not everything is like it should, but she does not know what it is." According to Salzinger, a Western diplomat monitored the department store for one hour and saw no one come out with purchased items.
wiki  northkorea  shopping  business 
3 days ago by mikael
RT : This should be trending number one on Twitter. Imagine if passed this on to and they decided to…
China  NorthKorea  from twitter
5 days ago by sjenkins
RT : Trump Romance Comics: The love story gets more complicated!
NorthKorea  Trump  KimJongUn  from twitter
18 days ago by edelagrave
Rob Rogers | Trump Romance
RT : Trump Romance Comics: The love story gets more complicated!
NorthKorea  Trump  KimJongUn  from twitter
18 days ago by edelagrave
FireEye unmasks a new North Korean threat group • Cyberscoop
Sean Lyngaas:
<p>There is a distinct and aggressive group of hackers bent on financing the North Korean regime and responsible for millions of dollars in bank heists in recent years, according to research from cybersecurity company FireEye.

The group, dubbed APT38, is distinct from other Pyongyang-linked hackers because of its overriding financial motivation — as opposed to pure espionage — and persistent targeting of banks worldwide, FireEye researchers said.

“This is an active … threat against financial institutions all around the world,” Sandra Joyce, FireEye’s vice president of global intelligence, said at a press briefing.

The group was responsible for some of the more high-profile attacks on financial institutions in the last few years, the researchers said, including the $81m heist of the Bangladesh’s central bank in February 2016, and <a href="">an attack on a Taiwanese bank</a> in October 2017.</p>

The Bangladesh bank one was widely known, but not the Taiwanese one. North Korea's GDP is so tiny, and its foreign exchange reserves so tiny that this was a smart move.
northkorea  hacking 
19 days ago by charlesarthur
North Korea Will Give up the Bomb and Normalize
Several factors contribute to the elusiveness of North Korea’s denuclearization.

- No agreement on what denuclearization means
- No guarantee of North Korea’s security nor enough of a willingness to take it seriously
- A regional challenge that requires multilateral cooperation but at this point, the parties aren’t moving in tandem
- an underestimation of Kim Jong-un’s commitment to economic development. This viewpoint is based ont he idea that Kim is _not_ the same as his predecessors

Finally, Korean nationalism has to be recognized as a powerful force for denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula. The image of Moon and Kim holding hands at the top of the sacred [Baekdu Mountain ]is highly symbolic of Korean unity. The Koreans desire peace and want to formally end the Korean War. China and Russia have supported the idea, but the United States remains [wary ]. Hardliners like U.S. ambassador to Seoul [Harry Harris ]continue to disregard reconciliation of the two Koreas and instead shift all the burdens on North Korea.

President Moon’s vigorous mediation efforts are remarkable. A supporter and practitioner of the “ [Sunshine Policy ],” Moon—whose parents fled from the North to the South in 1950—has a historic mission to see the Korean people living in peace and unity. Kim seems to share that vision. With a conducive international environment, it is hopeful that the Korean Peninsula will not only be nuclear-free but become a peaceful, prosperous, and unified nation in the not too distant future.
22 days ago by toddmundt
The Pyongyang Declaration: Implications for U.S.-ROK Coordination on North Korea - The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
The traditional pattern of triangular interaction among the United States, South Korea, and North Korea has involved North Korean efforts to play one ally against the other by warming to one while spurning the other. But this time there appears to be a different dynamic at play in which North Korea attempts to use South Korea as a bridge to improve relations with the United States, while also using South Korea as a shield against the most strident U.S. demands. This dynamic is one in which collective U.S.-ROK efforts to achieve denuclearization—backed by the promise of sanctions relaxation and the lure of co-prosperity—might achieve more than an approach based strictly on coercion. But that will only be the case if the United States and South Korea are able to stick together and maintain a united front, while ensuring that Kim Jong-un understands that the benefits of economic integration and co-prosperity are truly attainable if, and only if, he moves toward denuclearization.
25 days ago by toddmundt
Opinion | Kim Jong-un Has a Dream. The U.S. Should Help Him Realize It. - The New York Times
The skeptics are skeptical because they tend to assume that Mr. Kim’s views are in keeping with those of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, who hoped to forcibly reunify the Korean Peninsula, or his father, Kim Jong-il, who used negotiations to stall for time, desperate just to survive.

In fact, Mr. Kim’s strategy and tactics belong to another archetype, one familiar here in East Asia: the strongman who sets his country on the path of economic development. Mr. Kim’s ideological lineage can be traced back to Japan’s postwar prime minister Yoshida Shigeru, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, South Korea’s military dictator Park Chung-hee, Taiwan’s dynastic heir Chiang Ching-kuo and, above all, Deng Xiaoping in China.

Mr. Kim wants to be a great economic reformer. And the United States should help him, because that’s the best way to sustain progress toward denuclearization and eventually eliminate the threat posed by North Korea.

From the moment Mr. Kim took power almost seven years ago, he signaled a shift in the regime’s focus, from security to prosperity. In an early speech as leader in 2012, he promised North Koreans that they would no longer have to “tighten their belts.” He decentralized decision-making, giving farmers greater freedom to sell their crops and factory managers more control over wages and production. He lifted curbs on informal grass-roots markets and small private businesses.

Mr. Kim announced a “new strategic line” at a high-level party meeting in March 2013, calling for “dual progress” (byungjin) on developing a nuclear deterrent and the civilian economy at the same time. It was a marked step away from his father’s line of “military-first politics” and its priority on defense.
28 days ago by toddmundt
RT : and agree to make a joint bid for the - time to think about the…
2032  SouthKorea  NorthKorea  Olympics  from twitter
4 weeks ago by dgmcgillivray
RT : President Moon Jae-in & his delegation have just boarded their special flight to . They should land in…
NorthKorea  from twitter
5 weeks ago by edelagrave
Tech’s new problem: North Korea • WSJ
Wenxin Fan, Tom Wright and Alastair Gale:
<p>“It never crossed my mind” that North Koreans operated an IT business online, said Donald Ward, an Australian entrepreneur, when shown that a programmer he hired to redesign a website, who he thought was Japanese, was actually part of a North Korean crew operating in northeastern China, near the city of Shenyang.

The Journal discovered the Shenyang business after reviewing computers and other devices belonging to a North Korean operative arrested in Malaysia for suspected involvement in last year’s murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother. A car that ferried the alleged killers away from the Kuala Lumpur airport was registered to the North Korean operative, according to Malaysian investigators. The operative, who denied wrongdoing, was deported.

The operative’s electronic devices showed he had communicated with the Shenyang group about money-making ventures for North Korea, using vocabulary found only in the north’s dialect of the Korean language.

For North Korea, finding new business ventures has been crucial since the United Nations last year tightened sanctions and banned the country’s coal exports in a bid to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons and missile programs. The U.S. Treasury Department warned in July that North Koreans working abroad were selling IT services and hiding behind front companies and the anonymity provided by freelancing websites. The report offered few specifics. The Treasury on Thursday sanctioned two Russian and Chinese technology firms as revenue-generating fronts for North Korea.

Interviews with clients, plus records on, help detail at least tens of thousands of dollars earned by the Shenyang group. In total, North Korea may be pulling in millions from software development with numerous fake social-media profiles, say experts who track North Korean activity. The group took payment from clients and subcontracted the jobs to programmers world-wide who say they were cut out without compensation.

“It’s a big chunk of change” for North Korea, said Andrea Berger, a North Korea specialist at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif.</p>

Given how miniscule North Korea's economy is (smaller than Samsung Electronics's quarterly revenues, according to some estimates), Berger's not exaggerating at all.
northkorea  cyber 
5 weeks ago by charlesarthur

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