North Korean Hardline Is Succession Related

first_img [imText1]A professor from the Korean National Defense University has raised the possibility that North Korea’s hardline domestic and international policies since the inauguration of the Lee Myung Bak administration in Seoul were based primarily on the need to firmly establish the succession system.Professor Kim Yeon Su asserted in his speech to a February 22nd expert policy forum, “Outcome of Two Years of the Lee Myung Bak Administration North Korea Policy, and the Way Ahead,” that, “The factor that decided North Korea’s domestic and South Korea policy was the politics of succession.”According to Professor Kim, “North Korea grew concerned by Kim Jong Il’s health problems, and sped up the political process of succession in order to establish the system earlier. As a result, North Korea took a firm political and military stance domestically, and adopted a two-faced policy toward South Korea.”Now, he pointed out, “North Korea’s hardline bases on the domestic and foreign frontiers have become obstacles to the establishment of succession legitimacy. The North Korean authorities are facing a severe ‘crisis of faith’ in both domestic and foreign policy.” Looking forward, Professor Kim predicted, “The successor to Kim Jong Il will continue to pursue the path of ‘nuclear capability-Military-first’ which is praised as Kim Jong Il’s premier accomplishment. The successor will adhere to socialist principles since Kim Jong Il has stated that ‘Reform and opening is the pathway to the country’s ruin.’” “North Korea will strengthen the process of settling public sentiment over the failure of the three generation hereditary succession. Also, they will continue to try and establish the legitimacy of the succession.”On the foreign policy front, he went on, “North Korea will induce fake nuclear negotiations and use conflict between the U.S. and China and also between the members of the Six-Party Talks to try and bring an end to UN sanctions. They will also try and get external economic support, including food supplies and cooperation.” Closer to home, “Based on its confidence in its nuclear capability, North Korea will induce domestic conflict using the security vulnerability of South Korea. It will also attempt to weaken the ability of the South Korean government to hold the high ground in Inter-Korean relations.” In Professor Kim’s conclusion, “The possibility of denuclearization is very low in a situation where Kim Jong Il and his successor continue to exist.” “Three generations of hereditary succession in North Korea is a source of historical shame and an unacceptable fact. However, the South Korean government must maintain a strategic North Korea policy stance, to increase the vulnerability of the succession system’s legitimacy.” SHARE By Kim So Yeol – 2010.02.22 4:41pm AvatarKim So Yeol North Korean Hardline Is Succession Related Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Facebook Twittercenter_img News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News News News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

North Presents 4 Defectors’ Families

first_img By Kang Mi Jin – 2011.03.09 5:08pm SHARE Facebook Twitter News News North Presents 4 Defectors’ Families Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] News center_img There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak [imText1]North Korea has released a propaganda video of interviews with the families of four people who are refusing to return to North Korea alongside another twenty seven, all of whom drifted by accident into South Korean waters early last month.In the interviews, released by Uriminzokkiri, a website run by North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the families say they cannot trust the words of the South Korean authorities, who say the four made the decision to defect of their own free will, and demand that all thirty one are returned at once. Also, they calmly read what appear to be prepared scripts denouncing the South Korean authorities.According to North Korea, the four are Hong (44), Ok (38), Pak (22) and Bong (21). The South has not revealed their identities for security reasons. In the video, the mother of 22-year old Pak says, “I strongly denounce the South Chosun puppet authorities, who detained my daughter by force and have worked their defection schemes for more than a month, and are now making these wild claims about it being her own will.” “I believe that my brother in law is not the kind of person who would defect, abandoning his children Cheong Song and Ok Geum and the Republic which raised him,” Ok’s sister-in-law, Rim Young Ok asserts. “I firmly denounce the defection maneuvers of the South Chosun authorities.” Kim Hyeon Suk, wife of Hong says, “Hearing the sound of the South Chosun puppets saying my husband defected makes my blood boil,” and adds, “My husband is not that kind of person; I trust in this because he is someone who got a scholarship from Han Deok Su Industrial University, studied, has the honor of being a Party member and became a cadre, always working faithfully for the fatherland, people, Party and Suryeong.” Kim continues, “Minister of Unification Hyun In Taek is a backstabber, and the South Chosun authorities must return all 31 people immediately.” Hong’s daughter Ji Hyang also appears in the video, saying, “I miss you daddy. Please come home quickly.”Elsewhere, Lee Jeong Hwa, the mother of Bong explains, “She grew up in a good system where she had no real worries and could enjoy learning, and her mother and father treasured her,” before noting, “Our daughter’s birthday was on the 6th, but our people were detained on the 5th.”Bong’s father, Bong Yeon Cheol then adds, “Her brother, who went into the Army, asked us to send him a family photo, so we were going to get pictures taken, but now we can’t keep that promise. However, your father believes that you will come back for sure.” News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

2014 Offers Challenging Outlook for Kim

first_img Analysis & Opinion 2014 Offers Challenging Outlook for Kim Kim Jong Eun, who recently marked the endof his second year in power, has a handful of accomplishments to point to as his own. These include the construction of leisure facilities, primarily in Pyongyang, and more than a dozen (as yet wholly unfulfilled) special economic development areas aroundthe country. 2014 looks set to offer the Kim regime a different spectrum of challenge. All the signs suggest that the next year will have to be spent establishing KimJong Il-style “monolithic rule” to shore up domestic cohesion in thewake of Jang Song Taek’s execution earlier this month. Of course, Kim-led construction projects will continue in 2014, but the post-purgeiron fist will also dominate.Along with purging Jang’s people ona significant scale, this will require Kim to generate personal loyalty in theelite. It is assumed that he will continue replacing Party, military andadministrative cadres as a way of achieving this goal. Over the last two years,Kim has appointed wave after wave of new military personnel. In the process,around half of North Korea’s core military officials have been reshuffled, removed and/or replaced.As a new dictator must, Kim Jong Eun has broughtin new people who owe their success to him personally. Among the eightelites who walked with Kim Jong Il’s hearse in December 2011, the majority hasbeen replaced. This includes all four of the military figures who walked on the left flank of the vehicle: Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Chun, Kim Jong Gak and Woo Dong Cheuk.Arguably most oddly, the Ministry of People’s Armed Forcesportfolio has been transferred no fewer than four times in those twoyears: from Kim Yong Chun to Kim Jong Gak to Kim Kyok Sik to Jang Jong Nam. Byway of comparison, during Kim Il Sung’s 46-year rule five people held the samepost. In Kim Jong Il’s 17 years there were just three. The process under KimJong Eun has seemed rather impromptu and reactive, though it also acts to stop factional formation. 44% of frontline military cadres have alsobeen reshuffled.In the security forces,Kim Won Hong has emerged atthe head of the Ministry of State Security, as has Kim Chang Sop inthe political section of the same agency. The leadership is no doubt awarethat it will need the unconditional and instant compliance of the securityforces if it is to maintain control over society in the coming year(s) of flux.Within the Party itself, it is noticeablethat persons affiliated with security matters, such as First-Vice Director of the Party Organization andGuidance Department Jo Yon Jun and Political Director of the Ministry of PublicSecurity Ri Pyong Sam, have also seen their status rise. These people are well positioned to transfer Jang Song Taek’s previous domain, the Party AdministrativeDepartment, back under the auspices of the Organization and Guidance Department, thusrecentralizing power and cementing Kim Jong Eun’s domain.This rapid fire reshuffling process showsthat while Kim Jong Eun may have ridden in on the coattails of Kim Il Sung and Kim JongIl, he is aware that he must construct his own security. Perhaps inevitably, in contrastwith Kim Jong Il, who seized power in a calm and orderly fashion over manyyears, Kim Jong Eun has worked quickly and without finesse, suggesting a measure of internal insecurity.While fear is an effective tool in regime consolidationover the short term, it isn’t going to improve Kim’s judgment whenfaced with the challenge of balancing competing cadres in 2014. In the wake of theexecution of Jang Song Taek, senior military and Party cadres have been explicitly incentivized to competitively idolize Kim. If the leader cannot restore orderto political affairs, this will have a negative impact on the durability of the regime.One North Korea expert commented to DailyNK, “The key questions for the security of the Kim regime in 2014 are itsability to seize power over the Party, military and Cabinet, and whether this systemcan be brought into being harmoniously. Kim Jong Eun will have to focus on thepolitics of fear to get complete control over North Korea’s power elite.”However, Yoo Dong Yeol of the Police ScienceInstitute warned, “The inducement of loyalty via a reign of terror gives theappearance of stability over the short term, but it also risks increasing internal dissatisfaction,and as this internal unrest stacks up over the longer term, his power can weaken.” By Daily NK – 2013.12.31 9:56pm SHARE Facebook Twitter Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinioncenter_img Analysis & Opinion Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

Nordkoreanischer Überläufer: Einsturz war nur eine „Frage der Zeit“

first_imgEin ehemaliger Bauarbeiterder oft auf Baustellen entlang der Kwangbok Street in Pjöngjang arbeiteteerklärte Daily NK: „Seit dem Zerfall des offiziellen Verteilungssystem in1990ern hat die Regierung  kein einzigesGebäude fachmännisch fertigstellen können. Es gibt Korruption auf jeder Stufe,von der Verteilung zur Beschaffung und von der Buchhaltung bis hin zurBaustelle selbst. Es ist schwer sich ein wirklich gut konstruiertes Gebäude inNordkorea vorzustellen.“ Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] News Auch als es 2004 eineExplosion mit vielen Toten in der Ryonchon Station gab, hat sich das Regimeruhig verhalten, um vor allem vom Versagen auf Seiten der Regierung abzulenken.Sollte ein Unfall auch Todesfälle herbeiführen, wird von der Bevölkerungerwartet keine „unbegründeten Gerüchte“ zu verbreiten, damit sich das Regimenicht in einer ungünstigen Position befindet. Laut des Überläuferssind billigere Alternativen sehr schnell zur Norm geworden angesichts der immerstärker werdenden Korruption. „Wir haben um die Wände zu machen oft heiße Kohleund Schlamm in den Zement gemischt. Ich weiß auch, dass es bisher bei diesen Gebäudennoch keine Unfälle gab, aber wir haben auch nur ein vier-stöckiges Gebäudegebaut. Nichtsdestotrotz ist es nur eine Frage der Zeit bis eines der anderenHochhäuser zusammenfallen wird. Denn diese wurden ebenfalls mit dieser billigenMethode gebaut.“ Nordkoreanischer Überläufer: Einsturz war nur eine „Frage der Zeit“ News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Diese Aussage stimmtsich auch mit Berichten aus Nordkorea selbst überein. Eine Quelle fügte dem hinzu:„Der Zusammensturz letzte Woche ist vergleichbar mit dem aus 2007 in der Nähevon Hyesan, wo ein sieben-stöckiges Gebäude zusammengestürzt ist. Das liegt vorallem auch daran das Menschen die vom Staat erbauten Gebäude nach eigenemBelieben  modifizieren. Auch wenn nichtwirklich klar ist wer dafür verantwortlich ist, könnten viele ihr Lebenverlieren, wenn sie vom Regime dafür als verantwortlicherklärt werden.“ Beamte werden oft vonBauarbeitern verspottet: „Parteikader machen es mit Überzeugung,Sicherheitsagenten machen es mit Stolz und Arbeiter machen es mit Geschick.“Ein anderen Überläufer fügt erklärend hinzu: „Kader (benutzen Korruption) deutlich,die Mächtigen benutzen ihre Macht und die Arbeiter nehmen etwas für sich selbstmit, aber nicht genug um erwischt zu werden.“ North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China SHAREcenter_img Facebook Twitter Überläufer die mitDaily NK gesprochen hatten, gehen davon aus, dass der Einsturz letzte Wocheauch durch unzureichende und minderwertige Baumaterialien entstand. Darüberhinaus fügten sie hinzu, dass Konstruktionsarbeiten in einer ad-hoc Weiseauslaufen, da Kadermitglieder oft Zement oder Stahlverstärkungen für eigeneZwecke nutzen. Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Nach dem Einsturzeines 23-stöckigen Wohnhauses letzte Woche in Pjöngjang, gibt es weiterhinverschiedene Spekulationen, vor allem nach dem sich die nordkoreanische  Behörden in einem eher sehr seltenem Manövervon dem Unfall in den Staatsmedien berichten lies. Noch immer gibt es keinebestätigten Angaben zu Verletzten oder Todesopfern. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News News By Kang Mi Jin – 2014.05.29 8:41am Er fügte hinzu: „Eswar normal nachlässig zu Arbeiten. Sogar Stahlverstärkungen oder Zement, diezum Bau von den Apartments benötigt wurden, wurden geklaut. Normalerweise istder hochqualitative Zement sofort verschwunden, während der billige Zement aufder Stelle verwendet wurde. Anstatt dicker Stahlstäben haben wir Dünnere undSchwächere verwendet.“ Überläufer sind sichdarüber hinaus einig, dass durch die vielen neuen Gebäude, die auch durchKorruption gebaut wurde, nun sehr viele Einwohner in ihren eigenen vier Wändenin ernsthafter Gefahr sind.last_img read more

Run-down residents turn to noodles for power food

first_img News Facebook Twitter By Daily NK – 2015.09.18 11:03am This is “NK Market Trends,” bringing youweekly updates on the North Korean economy. This week we sat down with reporterKang Mi Jin to discuss the latest trends; but first, let’s take a look at howthe jangmadang [market] has been doing. We’ll begin by providing a rundown on the priceof rice, the currency conversion rates, and the cost of other goods in NorthKorean markets. The price of 1 kg of rice was 6,000 KPW in Pyongyang, 6,000 KPWin Sinuiju, and 6,200 KPW in Hyesan. The USD was trading at 8,260 KPW inPyongyang, 8,200 KPW in Sinuiju, and 8,320 KPW in Hyesan. Moving along, thecost of 1 kg of corn kernels was 2,300 KPW in Pyongyang, 2,250 KPW in Sinuiju,and 2,300 KPW in Hyesan. One kg of pork was selling at 14,500 KPW in Pyongyangand 15,000 KPW in both Sinuiju and Hyesan. Gasoline was trading at 9,000 KPWper kg in Pyongyang and Sinuiju and at 7,000 KPW per kg in Hyesan. Finally, 1kg of diesel fuel was selling at 5,500 KPW in Pyongyang, 5,100 KPW in Sinuiju,and 5,000 KPW in Hyesan. This has been a rundown on North Korea’s latest marketprices.1. Up until now, we’ve heard the prices ofvarious goods throughout North Korea. Now, as we enter the beginning of fall,we’re heard reports that cheong-su gugsu is getting a lot of attention inYanggang Province. For more detail, we turn to special reporter Kang Mi Jin. Yes, I was also surprised to suddenly catchwind of the spreading word of a certain kind of noodle soup in North Korea. Butthe more I heard, the more it began to make sense. As Yanggang Province entersthe start of summer, potato harvest there is reaching its peak. As residentsget ready to pitch in extra hours for the Autumn Harvest Mobilization, they arealso frantically working on their own plots to ensure that they’ll have enoughfood. But Yanggang Province gets chilly early. Residents in that region arelikely to see white egrets fly by and frost on the ground. But the residentshave found a way to endure the mobilizations and make the necessarypreparations during this difficult time. Before they head out for the agriculturalmobilizations, they tend to their own plots, looking to extract an earlyharvest. Families gather together and help each other by rotating from one plotto the next until they have reaped everything they can. Of course, the houses receivingthe help make some delicious lunch, bread, and snacks for their volunteerhelpers. But when it comes time for dinner, most people go for noodles. There’s a couple reasons for this. Firstly,the noodles are a hearty and tasty meal. Second, they are on the cheaper side,so it’s less of a burden on the household finances. Cold noodle soup is also agreat way to cool off in a heat wave. It’s also good and parties. It’sconsidered a necessary stock for everyone’s kitchen. Plus, since it is soaffordable, it is also known as an affectionate gesture to share it with thefamily. 1-1. Cheong-su gugsu is also available here inSouth Korea. Does South Korean cheong-su gugsu ever make its way to the marketin the North? There are standing restrictions on SouthKorean products, so it is difficult to see that in the jangmadang (vendoroperated marketplace). Although there are some exceptions for food products,the majority of sources indicate that South Korean cheong-su gugsu is hard tofind. The available varieties come from China and from a noodle factory inYanggang Province called DaeHong Dan. DaeHong Dan’s noodles are made frompotato starch. I think that there will be a time soon when North Koreans willbe able to try South Korea’s version of cheong-su gugsu. Sources indicate thatmost of the cheong-su gugsu currently sold in Yanggang Province is manufacturedin China and includes noodles made from wheat and noodles made from corn. I’mtold the wheat variety is more popular. 2. Can you explain for us a little bitabout the pricing structure of the wheat vs. corn made noodles? I’d be happy to. The wheat and cornvarieties go for the same price: KPW 6,000 (about USD 0.73). I’ve thought aboutthe reasons why the residents enjoy cheong-su gugsu so much and one of thereasons I’ve come up with is that is is traditionally one of ethnic Koreansfavorite foods. But after thinking a bit more deeply, I came to a differentconclusion. The residents lead busy and difficult lives. Noodles offer them asimple and convenient, yet nutrient loaded, food solution to their constanttime shortage problems. When I was getting my house built in NorthKorea in 2007, I rented out some laborers and decided that noodles were a greatway to keep them fed and energized. Making a traditional meal requires priceyrice, boiling soup, and preparing various banchan side dishes. But with noodlesoup, all you need is one side dish or a bit of kimchi and you’re set. And it’sa crowd pleaser as well. At the present, 1kg of rice goes for KPW 6,200 inHyesan Agricultural Market, which is approximately enough for four adults. But1 kg of noodles can feed about 5~6 adults. It’s a more economical choice anyway you look at it. 3. We know that the soup sold well in thesummer and will continue this popularity throughout the fall. We also hear thatit isn’t just the residents scurrying to prepare for the autumn harvest whohave fallen head over toes for the noodles, other residents are also getting inon the trend. What can you tell us about that? Yes, this is another thing I was curiousabout, so I inquired. Right now in Yanggang Province’s Hyesan city, residentsare being mobilized to construct statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il andconstruction projects abutting the area around the statues. In order toencourage the residents to work harder, organizations like companies andinminban leaders are providing one bowl of cheong-su gugsu. Noodles are a popular food for events thatgather large amounts of people. As you mentioned before, North Koreans reallyenjoy noodles in the summer, but as soon as summer hits, there are a number ofoccasions that traditionally call for the consumption of noodles. Weddings and60th birthday parties are examples. And sometimes even when it’s not theirbirthday, women will invite their friends over to enjoy a bowl of noodles. As Isay this, memories of my life in North Korea are flooding into my imagination. 4. Sounds like cheong-su gugsu is perfectfuel for mobilized residents and farm workers alike. It’s easy to make and itdoesn’t require lots of banchan to accompany it, so it’s a natural selectionfor the busy North Korean residents. Outside of the jangmadang, is there anyway for the residents to get their hands on cheong-su gugsu? Yes. There are many different kinds ofnoodles just like cheong-su gugsu, including corn noodles, wheat noodles, etc.cheong-su gugsu noodles are smooth and pack a strong flavor. They’re a bit moretasty than wheat or corn noodles. Right now wheat and corn noodles are sellingfor about 5500 KPW per kg. This yields a slightly smaller amount of food than acomparative amount of cheong-su gugsu. Cheong-su gugsu costs about 500 KPW morethan the other brands, but it actually produces more final product when it’scooked and it tastes great, so the residents prefer it. You mentioned earlier that you perceivedthat the residents are looking for simplicity. I think you hit the nail on thehead. During the course of the year, there is basically no time when theresidents get to put their feet up and relax. That’s doubly true for the fallseason when agricultural and civil mobilizations are compounded by the need towork on one’s individual plot, and then there’s kimchi to make and vegetableharvests to tend to all while getting ready for a grisly winter. For such busypeople, noodles almost become a part of the family. They help save time andmoney and conserve precious resources. I think that’s why they have caught onas the go to food. 5. After hearing that, how could they notlike cheong-su gugsu?  Right now it is getting a bit chilly here in Seoulduring the morning and at night. I get the impression that it might be evencooler in North Korea. With that in mind; how do they prefer to eat thenoodles, cold or hot? As you just hinted at, North Korea has sortof passed the point of chilly mornings and nights and moved into the crisp fallweather period. When it gets a little chilly like this, I think the soup providerand the soup eater both benefit when it gets served warm. In the fall, mostresidents prefer warm soup. On North Korean menus, there’s even a dish called‘September Noodles,’ which is of course served hot. Another delicious option isto put the noodles in soy bean paste stew. When unification happens, let’s go togetherto my hometown in Yanggang Province and I’ll prepare for you ‘Farmer’s DelightNoodles,’ one of the specialties there. These days, I hear there’s anothervariety using potatoes as well. Today, on September 9th, North Korea celebratesthe founding of the country. Instead of eating gugsu to celebrate the meaningof that holiday, many residents will be deliciously slurping down noodles likethey do on just about any other day. 5-1. Haeb Nong-ma Gugsu is a noodle soupmade with potatoes, no? Absolutely correct. haeb nong-ma originallymeans to use this year’s produce before it goes bad. A certain percentage ofresidents like to use the potatoes from their own garden to make this kind ofnoodle soup. I also hired some workers for the potato harvest every year in aworker-exchange type situation. Nothing treats guests quite like noodles do. 6. If sales continue to do well like this,the vendors are going to be quite happy about that. But if cheong-su gugsusells extra well, doesn’t that come as a detriment to the sales of wheat andcorn noodle vendors?   That’s a complicated matter to dissect.We’ve heard from an inside source that while cheong-sy gugsu popularity isclimbing it hasn’t affected the sales of the competing varieties, which stillhold a spot in the marketplace. Some residents are so bent on saving everypenny possible that the 500 KPW difference actually adds up: it’s enough for1kg of salt. So there are plenty of people who still go to corn and wheatnoodles. Plus, as soon as autumn strikes, there are lots of wholesale ordersfor vendors in valley regions, so there’s enough demand to keep all the vendorsin the green. 7. Something I have been curious about thatI’d like to ask you. You mentioned that the mobilized workers are fed noodlesoup. But the mobilizations can sometimes be in remote areas. There likelyaren’t any restaurants nearby. I am curious how they transport and provide thesoup? I think it’s important to examinelogistical issues like this, so thanks for bringing this up.  Theygenerally eat it on site. A few of the mobilized workers will leave the site togo prepare the food. They separate into little parties to collect the bowls, soup,noodles, and banchan separately.  The noodles get dried up and put in abig circle. The banchan [side dishes] is placed in the middle. They say when itis prepared this way it tastes even better than homemade. For the agricultural mobilizations, they gooff to a nearby house to prepare it. We’ve gotten word that the noodles simplytaste better when consumed outside. I think some of our North Korean listenerswill know what I am talking about. I think we will also have some listeners inNorth Korea who prepare to make and serve noodles tomorrow. Next time we meet,I’ll talk about one of the market’s hot sellers: cigarettes. Be well everyone!Until then. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Run-down residents turn to noodles for power foodcenter_img News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store SHARElast_img read more

Surging demand drives up price of flood recovery tools

first_img By Daily NK – 2016.10.03 9:54am Facebook Twitter Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April SHARE In this session of “Market Trends” we look at skyrocketingdemand for a number of goods in the marketplace due to the massive floodingthat hit the northeast regions late August. As you may recall, back in August, severe flooding in theNorth Hamgyong Province swept away homes and key facilities, and has displacedtens of thousands of residents. We’re now hearing more details about the extentof damage to the area. One of the things we’ve also learned is that many peoplewho have lost their homes are relying on the markets to buy tools such asshovels, so that they can repair and rebuild their homes.Residents are buying these tools to clean up the debris andwaste that has piled up around their homes. Although prices have skyrocketeddue to the limited supply, residents have no choice but to make thesepurchases.One of the most conspicuous price jumps has been forshovels. Usually 5,000 KPW is considered expensive for those made in NorthKorea in factories or by a neighborhood blacksmith, but now it’s not evenpossible to buy them for 6,000 KPW. I’ve heard in the city of Hoeryong in NorthHamgyong, Chinese-made shovels have jumped to 32,000 KPW.Some of the soldiers mobilized for reconstruction work arerequesting leave in order to buy tools elsewhere, which suggests that they’refacing an overall shortage in the materials and equipment required. Sourcesreport that people are worried that the price of hoes may jump to 5,000 KPW –the price usually reached during the peak season for weeding or during toolexpos. The issue is that many residents in the areas hit by the worst floodingdon’t have enough money to buy these tools.Big or small, North Korea does see regular flooding eachyear. Does that mean tool prices usually jump around this time of the year?Since the mid-90s, there’s been a lot of flooding in theNorth and that’s because so many people have been cultivating small plots ofland to grow crops and sustain themselves. Due to the chronic lack of trees andnative vegetation, even a small amount of rain can lead to landslides andsevere flood damage. I haven’t looked into tool prices during past floods so Ican’t be entirely sure, but this year, they’re calling the flooding a majordisaster. I would imagine prices had risen slightly in the past, but this year,the expectation is that prices will continue to rise for quite some time, expect for certain goods subject to recent price regulations.A lot of people in that region have lost not only theirhomes, but all the crops that were ready for harvest as well. These losses haveinadvertently caused a windfall for some vendors in the markets, right?Right. A lot of people have had to set up temporary shelters on higher grounds,within public buildings and other open areas, using plastic sheets. So plasticrolls and other goods like boots are selling well.Currently, thin plastic sheeting is selling for about800-900 KPW per meter in the market, while the price of thicker plastic hasjumped by about 500-1,000 KPW from its original price. For those who have torebuild their lives from scratch, securing these rolls is an extra burdenweighing them down.Another thing people in the region will have to worry aboutis kimjang (making, sharing of kimchi) for next year, which they would usuallystart next month.Sources there tell me that a lot of people in places likeYonsa, Musan, Hoeryong, and Namyang don’t really know how they’re going to makea living, so more residents are giving up on the idea of kimjang, which theyrely heavily on as a staple source of food for at least half a year. Some ofthe people had saved up money during the summer in the hopes of buying rice andcorn in the fall (when they’re cheap), only to lose everything in the flood.These cases are not isolated incidents, so when you look at the overall damage,it’s hard to know how bad things really are for those thousands of householdsacross the region.When it comes to support for the victims, what does thestate do? Do people receive government aid of any kind?In theory, the government is supposed to provide assistanceto the flooded areas, but that’s no longer the case. What the leadership doesnow is force other residents to cough up money and tries to resolve theproblems that way. It’s the same with the recovery work. The regime mobilizespeople from other regions, but there are no good means of transportation andpeople in most areas are busy with their harvest, so it’s not an easy task.That’s why soldiers are being mass-mobilized. Just like last year, when theRason area was hit by floods, a large number of troops have been dispatched forrecovery work. But of course this all falls far short of what’s needed for thisyear’s floods, so that’s why we’ve seen Pyongyang ask for international aid. It’s likely the North’s fifth nuclear test has discouraged alot of outside parties from offering humanitarian aid, making things moredifficult for the flood victims. Thank you for sharing this with us today. News Surging demand drives up price of flood recovery tools News center_img News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only)last_img read more

BMO launches silver deposit program

Manager Monitor: Bullion’s bellwether IE Staff Sprott to launch two silver funds Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) is expanding its Canadian precious metals deposit service offering with the addition of the BMO Vaulted Physical Silver Deposit Program. BMO launched its Gold Deposit Program in September 2011. “Since the launch of our Gold Deposit Program, there has been an overwhelming amount of demand for real physical precious metals products in the Canadian marketplace,” says Simon Carling, managing director, BMO Capital Markets. “Physical silver offerings that completely avoid the use of derivatives, unallocated metal, or certificates are surprisingly difficult to find — which may explain why they are so highly sought after.” BMO’s vault-based programs are designed to take the guesswork out of a physical precious metal investment. All programs are backed on an ounce-for-ounce basis with real, physical bullion at all times. All bullion is separated and identifiable at a secure and approved vault facility in Canada. The bullion cannot be loaned, swapped or used for other purposes In addition, all bullion is unencumbered, and segregated from the assets of BMO Financial Group Although the service charges no annual storage fees or MER, withdrawal and delivery fees may apply. Physical delivery is available upon request. Related news Keywords Precious metalsCompanies Bank of Montreal LME, firms to launch LMEprecious Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Don’t underestimate U.S. economic resilience, says National Bank CEO

Ross Marowits Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May OECD raises outlook for Canadian economic growth this year Stagflation is U.S. economists’ biggest fear, SIFMA says Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Keywords Economic forecastsCompanies National Bank of Canada “(So) you can’t underestimate the American entrepreneurial culture and I think in the near- and medium-term it will be constructive.” National Bank’s (TSX:NA) CEO told the International Finance Club of Montreal that he foresee moderate economic growth in the United States over the next two years. He said the U.S. banking system has strongly recapitalized and the housing market has stabilized and is improving, which will boost Canada’s lumber industry. “I think the American economy in the second half of 2013 will give a good help to the Quebec and Ontario economies, where most of the manufacturing sector is based.” Vachon said he was not worried about the recent slowdown in the Canadian housing market brought on, in part, by tighter lending rules pushed by the federal government. Instead, the key to growth is investing to expand manufacturing production, he said. And while emerging countries are replacing the United States as the engine of global economic growth, he said large development projects that rely on these countries, including Quebec’s Plan Nord, should anticipate intense volatility. “Emerging countries for all kinds of reasons, whether they be social, demographic or other, are more volatile than the United States,” he said. As for Europe, the head of Canada’s sixth-largest bank said the Continent is doing much better because of a “tsunami of liquidity” by the European Central Bank that is also hiding some structural weaknesses. He said the long-term solution for Europe is to select a consistent political model and rewrite its social compact because the ratio of workers to retirees has plummeted by more than half. Meanwhile, Vachon said the bank has initiated a pilot project to transition its own older employees to retirement because many leave before they may be ready. In fact, about one-third of the 660 employees who have retired over the past four years continue to work. In the face of a shortage of skilled workers, the bank seeks to retain experienced older workers while they transfer their knowledge to younger workers by lightening their schedules through part-time hours. About 20 people are currently enrolled in the trial effort, which is slated for expansion. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, National Bank shares closed down nine cents at $79.29 in Thursday trading. Don’t underestimate the resilience of the U.S. entrepreneurial culture and its ability to propel an economic recovery that will benefit Canada’s manufacturing sector, the head of the National Bank of Canada said Thursday. “Essentially, all the products that have changed our lives over the last 10 to 20 years are American,” Louis Vachon said, citing Apple, Google and Twitter. read more

TSX faces mixed bag as U.S. earnings impress, dollar rises

S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors The Toronto stock market looked ready to go slightly higher early Friday as strength from the U.S. earnings weighed against the fast approaching deadline for Cyprus to deal with its debt troubles. The Canadian dollar rose 0.03 of a cent to 97.66 cents US. Related news Dow Jones industrial futures were up 39 points at 14,386, while the broader S&P futures added 3.8 points to 1,542.90 and the Nasdaq futures rose 7.5 points to 2,777.25. Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, beat Wall Street expectations on earnings for the quarter Friday, as did luxury retailer Tiffany. And Nike said late Thursday that third-quarter profits spiked 55%. In Europe, Cyprus has again delayed a meeting in which parliament is due to discuss how its banks and government can be recapitalized after earlier this week rejecting a plan — backed by European leaders — to tax depositors. Cyprus’s banks have now been closed for a week and the European Central Bank has threatened to cut off an emergency program supporting them if a solution is not found by Monday. Canadian financial stocks will also be in the spotlight after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unveiled tighter rules for mortgages in Thursday’s federal budget. The budget said the government will restrict banks’ ability to insure conventional mortgages, those with over 20% householder equity, to only those used in Canada Mortgage and Housing securitization programs. As well, it said it will prohibit the use of government-backed insurance — both on conventional and heavily leveraged mortgages — as collateral if they are not sponsored by CMHC. In commodities, the April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 40 cents to US$92.85 a barrel. The May copper contract gained 2.7 cents to US$3.45 a pound and April gold bullion fell $9.50 to US$1,604.30 an ounce. Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.1% at 6,381.66, Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% to 7,906.76 and France’s CAC-40 shed 0.6% to 3,752.79. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 plummeted 2.4% to close at 12,338.53, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5% to 22,115.30, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1% at 1,948.71. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia also fell. TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March David Friend Keywords Marketwatch Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Proposed U.S. money market reforms would lower AUM: Moody’s

first_img Research finds that diversity in asset management pays off U.S. action on climate benefits banks, asset managers: Moody’s Related news Keywords Asset management companies,  Money market funds Proposed regulatory reforms to the U.S. money market fund industry will likely lead to lower assets under management and higher operating costs for independent fund managers, says Moody’s Investors Service in a new report. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to finalize reforms to the US$2.6 trillion money market fund industry at some point this year, which Moody’s says will probably “result in loss of AUM and higher operating costs for MMF managers.” Share this article and your comments with peers on social mediacenter_img James Langton The SEC’s proposals call for institutional prime and tax-exempt money market funds to shift to a variable net asset value structure (VNAV); and, for a 2% liquidity fee and redemption gates to be imposed on investors in both institutional and retail non-government funds, in the event of high redemptions. A final rule could adopt either proposal or combine both, the rating agency says. And, it suggests that if either of them are enacted, the use of money market funds by institutional investors (the largest source of money market fund assets, and the constituency most negatively impacted) will decline. “Overall, we find that large bank-sponsored money managers are better positioned to adapt to new rules than independent managers, said Rory Callagy, a Moody’s senior analyst and the author of the report. “That’s because offering bank deposit products in addition to government [money market funds] as well as other liquidity products will help these firms recapture flow rates compared to their peers.” Looking at four leading independent managers in terms of money market AUM: Fidelity Management & Research, Federated Investors, BlackRock, Inc., and The Vanguard Group; Moody’s says that Federated’s overall business is most sensitive to either SEC proposal. Money market assets generate roughly 40% of the firm’s annual revenue and its brand image is intertwined with these funds, it says. BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity will be less affected, it suggests, as money market funds constitute only a small percentage of their total AUM. However, Moody’s also says that BlackRock is most vulnerable to the VNAV reform proposal, as 65% of its U.S. money market AUM would be affected. And, that Fidelity will feel a significant impact from the liquidity fee and redemption gate proposal, as 18% of its overall AUM would be affected. Even so, Moody’s says that the most aggressive reform scenario would not result in rating changes for either of the firms it rates, BlackRock and Fidelity. Money markets face reforms to address liquidity worries: Moody’s Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more