US Korea Institute

Monday September 1st 2014
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Domestic Affairs

From politics to economics, from leadership succession to the introduction of fast food restaurants, there is a lot going on inside North Korea.

North Korea’s Push for Special Enterprise Zones: Fantasy or Opportunity?

North Korea’s Push for Special Enterprise Zones: Fantasy or Opportunity?

In recent weeks North Korea has actively publicized in domestic and foreign news media its determination to pursue an aggressive strategy to develop special enterprise zones (SEZs) throughout the country. This follows and complements the agreement reached between the two Koreas in September to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC)—which [...]

North Korea: The Dramatic Fall of Jang Song Thaek

North Korea: The Dramatic Fall of Jang Song Thaek

The downfall of Jang Song Thaek is the most significant political event in the history of post-Kim Jong Il North Korea. The removal of “Jang and his group” for “the anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts” is the second major adjustment in North Korea’s power configuration under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, eclipsing in [...]

A Closer Look at the ‘Explosion of Cell Phone Subscribers’ in North Korea

A Closer Look at the ‘Explosion of Cell Phone Subscribers’ in North Korea

The North Korean mobile telecommunications market has seen dramatic subscriber growth over the past five years contrary to initial speculations that mobile service would be limited to the elite. The 3G service, Koryolink, was launched in December 2008 by CHEO Technology JV Company, a joint venture between the Egyptian telecommunications firm [...]

The North Korean Tablet Computer Samjiyon: Hardware, Software and Resources

The North Korean Tablet Computer Samjiyon: Hardware, Software and Resources

A 38 North Product Review by Ruediger Frank A few months ago the ever-growing community of those interested in the DPRK learned that there is now something like a local version of the iPad—the Samjiyon tablet computer (p’anhyŏng k’omp’yut’ŏ samjiyŏn). After having had a chance to test it briefly during a visit in May 2013, I could [...]

Sports!

Sports!

This month, the front covers of two of my favorite magazines, Korea and Korea Today, both feature athletics. One shows a sort of mass participatory event, perhaps a youth camp. The other shows the elite table tennis players who defeated their southern kin in the finals of the world championships a couple months ago. These magazines generally exist [...]

Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Shuffle

Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Shuffle

Kim Jong Un’s efforts to consolidate power continue 15 months after formally assuming the supreme leadership of North Korea. Evidence of his personal stamp can be seen in a series of senior personnel appointments made at the recent plenary session of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) Central Committee held on March 31, 2013, and the 7th session [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.