kim jong un

The DMZ Tour

One of the places in Korea that I had wanted to visit more than any other attraction was the DMZ. Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.

It’s not an easy thing to see if you don’t live in Seoul because the tours that are allowed to take you there do not run on Sundays and Mondays, as well as holidays.

So hopping a train is not too easy, especially for me as I’m in Busan on the very opposite end of the country.

IMG 1504 1024x682 The DMZ Tour There are two different tour packages in general: the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel portion, and the Joint Security Area (JSA) portion.


North Korea Strikes Again; South Korea Fires Back

Last night, my husband and I were talking about what might happen to us if war breaks out between South Korea and North Korea. What sparked such conversation was theexchange of fire between the two Koreas on Monday, March 31, after several artillery shells launched by the North as part of its live-fire drills near the Western Sea Border landed in the South’s territorial waters. There were no casualties (thank God), but residents of nearby islands Baengnyong and Genpink were evacuated to temporary shelters.


North Korea Strikes Again; South Korea Fires Back

Last night, my husband and I were talking about what might happen to us if war breaks out between South Korea and North Korea. What sparked such conversation was theexchange of fire between the two Koreas on Monday, March 31, after several artillery shells launched by the North as part of its live-fire drills near the Western Sea Border landed in the South’s territorial waters. There were no casualties (thank God), but residents of nearby islands Baengnyong and Genpink were evacuated to temporary shelters.


Beyond the DMZ: You Too Can Visit North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: a socialist paradise guided by the hands of the eternal president Kim Il Sung… or an Orwellian state of impoverished people oppressed by the whims of the world’s only communist dynasty.

Well, it might surprise you to know that you don’t have to be an ex US president, a UN dignitary, or even Dennis Rodman to visit the world’s most isolated state. Quite the contrary actually, for just about anyone can on an officially guided tour.


Kim Jong Un Has a Smartphone!!

Will miracles never cease.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the other day that the infamous, fearless leader of the Hermit Kingdom is now equipped with a smartphone.  The article over at North Korea Tech (.org) explained how North Korea is now getting into handheld device game by introducing their own smartphone.

Named the "Arirang" after the popular Korean folk song which is, coincidentally, the de facto adopted national anthem of the ROK, it aims to please.  Or something along those lines.  It has a touchscreen.  And great "security".

This more than likely Chinese produced product is being billed as North Korean hailing from their May 11 factory.  Details surrounding this handheld are foggy, in line with all things DPRK.  With a "high pixel" camera and "Korean-style" applications, I wonder if we'll be able to follow Kim Jong Un on Twitter or catch up with him on Kakoa Talk.


Kim Jong Un Has a Smartphone!!

Smartphone Kim Jong Un Has a Smartphone!!Will miracles never cease.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the other day that the infamous, fearless leader of the Hermit Kingdom is now equipped with a smartphone.  The article over at North Korea Tech (.org) explained how North Korea is now getting into handheld device game by introducing their own smartphone.


When To Panic About North Korea

It really is all bluster. Both Choe Sang-hoon of the New York Times and Ask A Korean have reached the same conclusion: so long as the Kaesong Industrial Plant stays open, war would appear to be unlikely.


North Korea Launches Another MotherF***ing Missile

The news came on the tele in the lunch room, and after images of slow-motion rockets ascending into the blue sky switched to a conference with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, surrounded by his usual coterie of faceless besuited middle-aged technobureaucrats, their private discussion was mistakenly broadcast:

LMB: So, uh…
TB1: I know.
LMB: What do you guys think we should do?
TB1: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
TB2: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
LMB: Look busy and concerned.
TB1 & TB2: Okay!


Summitry for Politics’ Sake

It’s hard not to yawn.

North and South Korea have agreed to hold preliminary military talks on 8 February, in an attempt to defuse heightened tensions on the peninsula.

South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak urged the North to seize a “good chance” to improve relations.

The Koreas will discuss the two deadly attacks by Pyongyang against the South, which killed a total of 50 people, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

The talks may lead to a more senior meeting, possibly at ministerial level.


Again With the China Meme

Lee Byung-Chul argues that Beijing has a lot more to do with North Korea’s “peaceful” overtures to South Korea than previously thought.

One of the lessons of this episode is that despite professions of inability to control its client state, China appears now to have demonstrated unrivaled leverage on the North in terms of economic, political and military intervention. In addition to supplying substantial amounts of aid including 90 percent of the North’s oil at sharply lower “friendly prices,” China has co-opted and trained a pro-Chinese cadre of North Korean functionaries and elites in the hopes that they would become collaborators under the coming regime of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s son and presumptive heir. So Beijing is no longer hiding its solid hold over the North.


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