north korea

The Obvious News and My Opinions on the Future

Well first and foremost apologies for my blogging absence. Besides the baby news, the new Year is also bringing me a new job, a new city, and many other changes that will be discussed once I have my head wrapped around things.

That out of the way, time to repeat the big and obvious news I am sure you have heard before coming here…

From the CNN front page

There’s Pyongyang and then there’s Everybody Else


They Just Can’t Stand the Sweet, Sweet Taste of Freedom…and marshmallow cream

Oozing with Capitalism...and marshmallow cream

The DMZ to become a protected wildlife zone… again

From the Ministry of Environment via Scientific American:

I guess the DMZ, the four kilometre wide and 250 kilometre long area between North and South Korea, appears in many ways to be an excellent place for the preservation of wildlife.  It is already home to many animals that are otherwise locally extinct and it is by definition a no-man’s land.

As the joke goes, there are a lot of three-legged animals there that are ‘protected’.  Hmm, I wonder if the local wildlife has evolved the ability to sniff out the landmines.

In the words of Rocky, “Now here’s something we hope you’ll really like”


And that’s Rocky the Squirrel, not Rocky Balboa


Quick Hits: There’s No Oil in Them Thar Hills and Some Interesting Photos.

Another week, another long blogging delay. It seems that there just plain isn’t anything interesting going on these days. Maybe just a hang-over from the Chuseok holiday but all is quiet on the eastern front, with no foreigners punching old people, missile launches or anything to get the bloggersphere going. Oh well, anyways in the spirit of putting words to paper (or screen) simply for the sake of doing it, here’s a couple of things which have caught my attention.

At least they got to see some of the beautiful Kurdish countryside (HT to

To Aid or not to Aid

That is the question. A belated Happy Chuseok to everyone in Korea, I hope the time was spent enjoying the holiday with friends and family rather than backed up in traffic. It seems to me that most everywhere in the world has some form or another of a “Thanksgiving” holiday and this tends to entail eating large quantities of food (which I most certainly did). One place this seems not to be the case (at least for most of the population) however, is North Korea.

Coming via CNN, with have this story and the accompanying video of the ever-present food problem in North Korea. Like almost all of the small amount of footage of lives outside of Pyongyang, it is saddening to watch:

What’s the Endgame? A Possible Future of North Korea

Sometimes when I stop and think about it, I realize how amazing it is that I live and go about my daily business undeterred and generally unaffected by living in a country within spitting distance of a neighbor who threatens relatively frequently to turn my adopted home into a “sea of fire” and whom it is (technically) still at war with. For those back in the States and others abroad in other countries, don’t worry about this fact as it’s nothing I am worried about, it’s all just something interesting to think about.

Is that an RPG launcher or are you just happy to see me?

Ten Korean Americans to exchange letters with family in North Korea

North Korea has agreed to allow ten Korean Americans to exchange letters with their family members in the community regime, with whom they were separated since the Korean War. This pilot agreement will be carried out by the Red Cross, and may be followed by actual reunions in the future, reports the Korea Times.

Korea: A Low Trust Society?

An interesting article in the Korea Herald recently caught my eye (HT to ROKDrop and William on KBC for posting about it previously). The article featured a lot of mixed themes between trust, lying, legal and cultural points but wading through it does make for an interesting societal discussion. The listed facts and figures can’t really tell the whole story in this situation and while raw numbers have increased, I would present it as evidence of Korea becoming a more litigious society with expanding impersonal ties leading to more accusations.

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