Posts tagged ‘Kim Jong-il’

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Obituary: Sin Un-ho, 1941 – 2020

Sin Un-ho (Korean: 김정은, Chinese: 申云浩), a North Korean lyricist, died on Monday, according to a Korean Workers’ Party central committee communiqué, published by Uriminzokkiri, a website apparently based in Shenyang, Liaoning province. According to the communiqué (and Google Translate), he “tragically died” from heart failure.

Not known for funny stuff: Sin Un-ho

Sin was born in Pongchon County, now North Korea, on January 17, 1941, also according to the a/m online sources. He is described as a prolific librettist of “Juche music”, and probably best known for the text to the “Song of General Kim Jong-il”.

The country’s official news agency KCNA, in a newslet on Wednesday, referred to him as

a talented soldier writer loved by the people under the care of the Party. He held firm the writing pen of the revolution for years and created lots of noted lyric lines and poems of high ideological and artistic value. They included immortal revolutionary hymn “Song of General Kim Jong Il” reflecting the demand of the times and the desire of the people, which made great contributions to the development of Juche-oriented literature and art. [No permalink.]



Thoroughly into Factories & Countryside, Sept 28, 2012
金正日将军之歌(Chinese subtitles), 1997
Supreme commander (Moranbong Band)
雪白的霜花 (Korean subtitles), attributed to Sin

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Heroes’ Hero – a newsitem and a background story


1. KCNA News

English Chinese
Pyongyang, July 3 (KCNA) — A delegation of the China Dongfangyi Tuozhan Association led by Chairman Guo Yi arrived here on Tuesday. -0- 朝中社平壤7月3日电 中国东方毅拓展文化协会会长向朝鲜最高领导人金正恩赠送了礼物。正在率团访问的中国东方毅拓展文化协会会长过毅3日向有关部门干部转达了礼物。(完)
Source: KCNA, July 3, 2018


2. Baidu/Baike online encyclopedia

Baike-Baidu – click picture for source

Main Link: Dong Fangyi Introduction, Baidu/Baike, accessed July 4. 2018

Dong Fangyi, originally named Guo Yi, non-governmental strategist, Tuozhan Cultural Association’s president, and actually in control of FGC Group. Main writing is “Hero Master and Expansion”. Born in He County, Anhui Province, in 1962. He County is situated in central Anhui Province, the place where Xiang Yu of Western Chu committed suicide.

1962 出生于安徽省和县。和县位于安徽省中部,西楚霸王项羽自刎之地。

His father is/was a Resist US Help North Korea soldier.  After demobilization, he stayed in the Great Northern Wilderness. Growing up with his father in Raohe County, Heilongjiang Province (the county where Zhenbao Island is located), the land reclamation of the Great Northern Wilderness, the military and forest environment, military people, and the iron will of demobilized servicemen had a profound influence on him. Under the influence of his parents’ generation, he acquired a belief that loved the party and the country.


In 1982, after graduating from the Changchun Institute of Geology, he went to northern Shaanxi to work there for many years. He has deep feelings for the motherland’s north-western region. Since childhood, Dong Fangyi has loved learning, diligently thinking, he has become good at strategy, continuously learned the Mao Zedong Thought, and studied Chinese history, especially the Spring and Autumn and Warring States history, the history of the CCP, as well as the Resist US Help North Korea and the Resist US Help Vietnam records. His process of thinking has been influenced by Mao Zedong Thought and China’s outstanding traditional culture, notably legalism.


The Baidu/Baike article drops a number of names: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Kim Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Jong Il, Castro, Che Guevara, Li Kenong, Jiang Zhuyu, Huang Jiguang, Qiu Shaoyun, Wang Wei (马克思、恩格斯、列宁、斯大林、毛泽东、周恩来、金日成、胡志明、金正日、卡斯特罗、切·格瓦拉、李克农、江竹筠、黄继光、邱少云、王伟), and then moves on to Dong’s current status and activities, i. e. to the expansion of cultural thought (拓展文化思想), and his determination to disseminate and internationalize the expansion of Chinese culture (自此立志传播中华拓展文化并使其国际化), his dedication to the cause of Chinese great unification (立志献身中华大一统事业), to striking back at new cultural imperialism (反击新文化帝国主义), with never-ending persistence (literally: no remorse after going through nine deaths, 九死不悔).


If it hasn’t come to the reader’s mind so far that the personality himself, or his fans, have built a encyclopedic monument here, this is where the idea occurs to this blogger.

Expansionism is a wonderful integration of Marxism-Lenism, Mao Zedong Thought and Chinese culture. An expanding spirit is a powerful spiritual force for rescue in a chaotic international world, making people re-establish three beliefs: in the goal of Great Unity, trust in our central authorities, and trust in our country. Regaining confidence in the future.


To disseminate and to implement the China expansion cultural thought, Dong Fangyi has, since 80s of the past century, established the Future Group [FGC Group, see first para of this Baidu translation] and the Dong Fangyi Tuozhan Cultural Company (东方毅拓展文化公司), to broadly enforce talented people in society, and to lead them to strive untiringly for the cause of Chinese expansion!


Expanding culture is a forceful undertaking for the powerful Chinese traditional culture, with power philosophy as its foundation, with the core values of breaking new ground, development, forging ahead, and going on the offensive. Its spirit is about four words: power, expansion. Confidence in expansion, belief, conviction that promotes martial spirits, sublime literature, and peace.


Dong Fangyi believes that the masses create history by the medium of heroes. Heroes are extremely important, with the hero master being the heroes’ hero. The hero master must master the masses and military force. The hero master is the king of military force, financial resources and of intellect. He believes only in power. Everything of the hero master is achieved in huge battles. Big war is comprehensive and taking place in many fields, including political, military, economic, cultural, psychological and other fields. The hero master formulates his grand strategy from the perspective of big war, the core principle of which is national great security, the nation’s great development, and the world’s great integration.


Expansionism emphasizes human identity and is [a/the] main impartial [or objective] interactive philosophy. Subjectivity leads objectivity, the process of practice transforms the objective world, and also the subjective world. What expanding culture strives for is the huge transformational force of theory versus reality. These theories are symbolized in Dong Fangyi’s expansion thoughts by “Hero Master and Expansion”. In this book, there are thorough, detailed and comprehensive elaborations, and since its publication, “Hero Master and Expansion” has received broad support from the circles of the party, government, military, and academics.




Left for home, Rodong Sinmun, May 21, 2018
University of Fine Arts, DPRK Today, May 18
Chinese Personage, naenara, May 18
Ryu Mi-yong, 1921 – 2016


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Obituary: Ryu Mi-yong, 1921 – 2016

Ryu Mi-yong, chairwoman of the North Korean “Chondoist Chongu Party”, died of lung cancer on Wednesday, November 23, aged 95, according to North Korean newsagency KCNA (no permalink).

Thanks to the profound trust and love of the great leaders she could make a dramatic U turn in her life and enjoyed a worthwhile life after permanently settling in the DPRK together with her husband Choe Tok Sin,

writes KCNA, referring to the couple’s defection from South to North Korea in 1986. Reportedly, they had moved to the United States, or fled there, ten years prior to their defection. Her husband, late Choe Duck-shin (or Choe Deok-sin, or Choi Duk Shin), had been the Park regime’s foreign minister from 1961 to 1963. From 1963 to 1967, he served as South Korea’s Ambassador to West Germany.

And if KCNA portrays her correctly, like many converts, Ryu Mi-yong was tougher than the rest:

She revered Marshal Kim Jong Un as God of the nation and the sun of salvation of the world and the people and worked heart and soul to bring earlier a new day of unity of all Koreans and country’s reunification till the last moments of her life.


The “party” she chaired apparently draws on a Korean religious movement called Cheondoism.

According to Yonhap Newsagency, South Korea’s reunification ministry, on November 19 granted Ryu’s second son a travel permit to the North, for humanitarian reasons, given that his mother had been terminally ill.



“Chondoism, translated into reality”, Pyongyang Times, Sept 29, 2016


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jang Sung-taek never been North Korea’s “Number Two”, says Researcher

The following is a translation from a rendition of Central People’s Broadcasting Service (CPBS/China National Radio) coverage on North Korea. Links within blockquote added during translation.

CPBS news online, Beijing, December 17, via According to CPBS channel “Voice of China”, North Koreans from all walks of life commemorated the country’s previous leaders at Mansudae platform at the city center of Pyongyang, in front of the bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. As today is the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il, the grand celebrations will continue today.

央广网北京12月17日消息 据中国之声《全球华语广播网》报道,昨天在朝鲜平壤市中心万寿台,朝鲜各界群众16日在金日成、金正日铜像前默哀,悼念已故领导人。而今天,才是朝鲜已故最高领导人金正日逝世两周年的正日子,盛大的纪念活动将继续进行。

Journalists saw people clothed in quiet colors at the scene of mourning, holding flowers and looking sad, coming in to Mansudae from all directions, bowing deeply to the bronze statues, and putting the flowers in front of the statues, expressing their grief about Kim Jong-il’s death. An oath-taking ralleye will be held today for the North Korean People’s Army. So will North Korea still hold commemorations today? Xinhua’s correspondent Du Baiyu explains the latest situation:


North Korea’s People’s Army held a swearing-in ceremony on the square of Kumsusan Palace of the Sun yesterday, pleding to defend Kim Jong-un to their death, with ceremonies for the land forces, the navy, and the airforce respectively. People in charge of North Korea’s military force, troops of different ranks and cadres and students from military schools and others took part in the ceremony. Today, as the passing of previous leader Kim Jong-il is marked, the North Korean masses as well as some international organizations and consular staff etc. will go to Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, and North Korean masses will also put flowers to older bronze statues and portraits in North Korea to lay down flowers there.

在昨天,朝鲜人民军在平壤的锦绣山太阳宫广场举行了一场规模盛大的誓师大会,决心誓死保卫金正恩,在誓师大会上进行了人民军陆海空三军分列式行进。朝鲜的 人民武力部负责人、各级部队和军事学校的干部和学生等都参加了誓师大会。在今天,也就是朝鲜的前最高领导人金正日逝世两周年的日子里,朝鲜的群众和包括驻 朝的一些国际机构以及使馆等等都会去太阳宫,并且朝鲜的群众在这两天都会到朝鲜的旧的铜像以及画像前去献花。

Some foreign  media speculate that after the demise of Jang Sung-taek, within the coverage of the commemorations, a new “Number Two” [behind Kim Jong-un] could be announced. However, [the Xinhua] journalist explains that there is no such talk about a “Number Two” personality, and that the North Korean people are simply united as one around their leader, loyal to the leader, which means loyalty to Kim Jong-un. As for the new political structure in North Korea, we may expect a report to the North Korean [Workers Party] Central Committee [or central authorities] today, and the seating order there deserves attention, as it may provide clues about the structures.

有外媒猜测说,张成泽被拿下后,在金正日逝世两周年的报告大会上,所谓新的”二号人物”可能揭晓。然而,记者介绍道,其实在朝鲜国内没有所谓的二号人物一 说,朝鲜人民只是对领袖的一心团结,忠诚于领袖也就是只忠诚金正恩。关于朝鲜的新的政治架构,在今天我们预计会有一场朝鲜的中央报告大会,大会上的座次是 值得关注的,从中或许可以看出朝鲜政治架构的端倪。

There have been many media analysts who said that the participation of the highest DPRK officials at the mourning activities today would provide the outside world with the best possible window to observe North Korea’s trends. However, Yang Xiyu, Northeast Asia issues expert at the China Institute of International Studies, sees it differently. In his view, the media misread the so-called “Number Two personality”:


Yang Xiyu: Rumours in the media, including foreign media, that Jang Song-taek was the “number two” are definitely not accurate. No matter if actually or nominally, his position wasn’t that of a number two. He was only promoted from candidate status to full membership of the politburo to full membership during Kim Jong-uns era. North Korea’s real Number-Two personality is Choe Ryong-hae, who was exceptionally promoted to permanent membership status at the politburo, while the two others are 84 and 85 years old, and their membership is of honorary nature. The only two real full members are Kim Jong-un and Choe Ryong-hae. No matter what the line-up will be like during the commemoration activities, I believe that the director of the general political bureau of the People’s Army, Choe Ryong-hae, remains North Korea’s number-two personality.

杨希雨:其实我们媒体包括外媒的传言“张成泽是二号”这个肯定是不对的,张成泽无论从实际地位还是从名义地位都没有坐过二号,而且恰恰是金正恩时代才把他 从政治局候补地位提拔为政治局委员。现在朝鲜实际上的二号人物是崔龙海,他是被破格提到政治局常委的位置,而另外两位常委分别是84、85岁,已经是一个 名誉性的,真正两位常委就是金正恩跟崔龙海。所以不管今天的正式的纪念活动是怎么样的阵容,会出现什么样的新面孔,我想人民军总政治局局长崔龙海依然是朝 鲜的二号人物。

At the swearing-in ceremony, director of the general political bureau of the People’s Army, Choe Ryong-hae, read out the words: “Korea’s gunbarrels will defend Kim Jong-un, and will only accept Kim Jong-un’s arms.” And another North Korean high official said that Jang Sung-taek hadn’t been the decisionmaker about North Korea’s economy. So, has the case of Jang Sung-taek changed the economic direction of North Korea?


Yang Xiyu: North Korea’s economic policies, and economic management and optimization in particular, will not change just because of a high-ranking official’s downfall. But given that Jang Sung-taek has indeed been responsible for handling cases of economic cooperation with China, which were also contained in the official conviction of Jang, and some specifically pointed to. Therefore, the major direction of North Korea’s economic policies, including economic cooperation with China, will not change because of this downfall. But the fact that some projects of Sino-North Korean cooperation were mentioned in the conviction will at least add a lot to the political uncertainties. But these are only some individual cases, and as for the general direction, I believe that North Korea has no better choices, other than to continuously improve its systems, continuously entering market mechanisms, expanding the opening-up to the outside world. There are no better policies than these to choose from, and therefore I believe there will be no general changes in the direction of North Korean economic policies.

杨希雨:朝鲜的经济政策特别是关于经济管理与改善的这种调整不会因为某一个高官的落马而改变,但是因为张成泽在负责经济工作的时候确实亲手办理了几个朝鲜 与中国经济合作的案子,而在给张成泽定罪的官方文件当中,也专门点到了某些案例。所以总的讲,朝鲜的经济政策包括朝鲜同中国的经济合作的关系,这个大的方 向大的政策不会改变,不会因为某个人落马而改变。但是在张成泽的定罪书里涉及到一些中朝合作的项目,这个恐怕难免要至少增加了很多的政治上的不确定性。但 这只是一些个别的案子,从大的方向上,我认为朝鲜没有别的更好的选择,除了更好的进一步改善和调整自己的体制,进一步引入市场机制,进一步地扩大对外开 放,没有比这个更好的政策选择,所以我相信总的经济政策的方向没有什么改变。

This year, from January to September, Chinese-North Korean trade amounted to 4.69 billion US dollars – an increase of 200 million US dollars. From August, China resumed oil supplies to North Korea. Before that, from February to July this year, Chinese oil exports to North Korea amounted to zero. Where should future relations between China and North Korea go?


Yang Xiyu: Sino-North Korean relations won’t be affected by the stepping-down or by the promotion of some individual. The development of Sino-North Korean relations follow their own rules. To be frank, China is simply too important for North Korea, so North Korea will continue to make efforts to protect the relations with China, and this won’t be affected. The biggest obstacle and negative impact on relations now is North Korea’s wrong policy of continued development of nuclear arms. We all know China’s two main strategic goals on the Korean peninsula: the first is to maintain peace and stability on the Korean pensinsula, and the second is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. These two goals are the two sides of one coin. One won’t be achieved without achieving the other, because the possession of nuclear weapons by any party on the peninsula will make it impossible to ever usher in peace and stability. Or, conversely, we want to solve the issue of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, for the goal of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

杨希雨:中朝关系不会因为某一个人的下台,或者某一个人的提拔而受影响,因为他的中朝关系有它自己发展规律,说实话中国对于朝鲜来说太重要了,所以朝鲜它 也会继续的努力维护好同中国的关系,这条不会受影响。中朝关系目前最大的障碍、最大的影响是朝鲜坚持发展核武器这个错误政策,我们都知道中国在朝鲜半岛是 两大战略目标,第一是要维护朝鲜半岛的和平与稳定,第二是要坚决实现朝鲜半岛无核化。这两大目标就有如一枚硬币的两个面,二者缺一不可,因为只要朝鲜半岛 南北任何一方拥有核武器,这个半岛就永远不会迎来真正的和平与稳定。反过来说我们要解决朝鲜半岛无核化问题,其实也是为了朝鲜半岛真正的和平稳定。

(Original headline: Expert says actual No. 2 of North Korea is [and was] Choe Ryong-hae, not Jang Sung-taek.)

(原标题:专家称朝鲜真正“二号人物”系崔龙海 并非张成泽)



» China forscht, Dec 17, 2013
» Punitive expedition, April 1, 2013
» Hearts and Minds, Feb 5, 2013


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Collector’s Items: Kimjongilia on Display in Shenyang

The man who will forever be remembered for inventing computer simulation as a gift to the North Korean military, thus sparing the world a nuclear war.

The dear leader who will forever be remembered for replacing nuclar wars with intelligent technology (click picture).

1) Voice of Korea, German Service, February 9, 2012

On the Day of the Shining Star – the birthday of Kim Jong-il -, the General Association of Koreans in China held a Kim-Jong-ilia exhibition in the Chinese city of Shenyang on February 4. The General Association of Koreans in China chairwoman Choe Un Bok and her coworkers, the Korean compatriots in China, the Consul-General of the DPRK in Shenyang and his co-workers, the members of the branches of Korean companies in Shenyang as well as cadres of Chinese Liaoning Province took part in the exhibition. The participants abided silent commemoration of Kim Jong-il.

Zum Tag des Leuchtenden Sterns – Geburtstag von Kim Jong-il – veranstaltete der Generalverband der Koreaner in China am 4. Februar in der chinesischen Stadt Shenyang eine Kim-Jongilia-Ausstellung. Die Vorsitzende des Generalverbandes der Koreaner in China, Choe Un Bok, und ihre Mitarbeiter, die koreanischen Landsleute in China, der Generalkonsul der DVRK in Shenyang und seine Mitarbeiter, die Angehörigen der Filialen der koreanischen Firmen in Shenyang sowie die Funktionäre der chinesischen Provinz Liaoning nahmen an der Ausstellung teil. Die Teilnehmer verharrten in schweigendem Gedenken an Kim Jong-il.

The speakers emphasized that the merits of Kim Jong-il, who had made a great contribution to deepening and developing [DVJK]-Chinese friendship, would live forever. They emphasized that the Kim-Jongilia, the flower for the praise of Kim Jong-il, would bloom forever in full blossom as a world-famous flower in the hearts of progressive people of the world and among the Korean compatriots in China.

Die Redner hoben hervor, die Verdienste Kim Jong-ils, der durch die energische auswärtige Tätigkeit einen großen Beitrag zur Vertiefung und Entwicklung der DVJK-China-Freundschaft geleistet habe, werden ewig fortleben. Sie betonten, Kim-Jongilia, Blume zur Lobpreisung Kim Jong-ils, werde als weltbekannte und als berühmte Blume in den Herzen der fortschrittlichen Menschen der Welt und der koreanischen Landsleute in China ewig in voller Blüte stehen.

Voice of Korea (Stimme Koreas), 09.02.2013


2) KCNA: Kimjongilia Show Held in Shenyang

Pyongyang, February 8 (KCNA) — A Kimjongilia show for celebrating the birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il (the Day of the Shining Star) was held in Shenyang, China on Feb. 4 under the sponsorship of the General Association of Koreans in China.

Present there were officials of the General Association of Koreans in China including Chairwoman Choe Un Bok, Koreans in China, the consul general and members of the DPRK consulate-general in Shenyang and officials of Liaoning Province, China.

Speeches were made at the show.

The speakers said that immortal are the feats of Kim Jong Il, who made great contributions to strengthening the DPRK-China friendship with his energetic foreign activities.

Kimjongilia, flower praising the great man, will shine as the famous flower in the world and bloom in the minds of world progressives and Koreans in China, they noted.

They expressed belief that the Korean people will achieve greater success in the building of a thriving nation under the leadership of the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un this year.

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), February 8, 2013

An informal Chinese translation (or re-publication) of a KCNA news article:

朝中社平壤2月8日电 旅华朝鲜人总联合会4日在中国沈阳举办庆祝金正日总书记诞辰日(光明星节)金正日花展。


3) China News Service, February 8, 2013: Three Postal Stamps

North Korea issues postal stamps to commemorate Kim Jong-il’s birthday on the “Day of the Shining Star”.  This picture shows Kim Jong-il at his time as a student at Kim Il-sung University. According to KCNA on February 7, the North Korean Postal Stamps Publishing Office published new stamps to celebrate the “Day of the Shining Star”, Kim Jong-il’s birthday. They include two small and two individual stamps.


朝鲜发行邮票纪念金正日诞辰日“光明星节”。图为金日成综合大学时期的金正日。 据朝中社7日报道,为庆祝朝鲜已故领导人金正日的诞辰日“光明星节”,朝鲜国家邮票发行局推出了新邮票,包括2枚小型张和2枚个别邮票。 […..]

China News Service, February 8, 2013


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shortwave Log, Northern Germany, August 2012


Voice of Korea

The Voice of Korea (VoK), previously known as Radio Pyongyang, is the international broadcasting service of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. When I listened to the station in the 1980s, you got the national anthem at the beginning, and following that, some frequency announcements and the news. Since then, two not-so-collective leaderships, i. e. Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, have died, and all VoK programs begin with the national anthem, a song for Kim Il-sung, and another for Kim Jong-il (both military marches). But there’s still space for the news, readings from the works of Kim Il-sung, and a mixture of military marches and folk music (the latter of which is occasionally quite nice, but more frequently kitsch, sometimes with apparent Swiss characteristics).

Radio Pyongyang QSL, 1989

Radio Pyongyang – renamed Voice of Korea since -, QSL card, 1989.

There is currently no interference on 13760 kHz at 13:00 GMT (click here, or picture above, for a digital recording), but the Chinese program, although more silently than the scheduled English program, can be heard in the background, too. It is probably on the same feeder between the studios and the shortwave transmitters.


Recent Logs

Thanks to long vacations, it’s a pretty big list for August.

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:
AFS – South Africa; AIA – Anguilla; ARG – Argentina; ASC – Ascension Island; CHN – China; CLN – Sri Lanka; CUB – Cuba; IND – India; IRN – Iran; ISR – Israel; KRE – North Korea; MNG – Mongolia; PAK – Pakistan; RRW – Rwanda; RUS – Russia; SYR – Syria; THA – Thailand; TIB – Tibet; UAE – United Arab Emirates.

Languages (“L.”):
C – Chinese; E – English; Fa – Farsi; G – German; H – Hebrew; K – Korean; Pa – Pashto; Th – Thai; R – Russian; T – Tibetan.






Time GMT

5960 PBS Xinjiang CHN C Aug 2 23:00 3 4 3
7240 PBS Tibet TIB C Aug 2 23:13 3 4 3
9330 Radio Damascus SYR G Aug 3 18:00 2 3 2
15700 Voice of Russia RUS G Aug 4 09:30 4 5 4
9430 China Radio International CHN C Aug 4 14:21 4 5 4
6000 RHC Habana CUB E Aug 5 03:00 3 3 3
6090 Caribbean Beacon AIA E Aug 8 00:41 4 5 3
11540 VoA Radio Deewa CLN Pa Aug 8 01:36 3 5 3
15850 Galei Zahal ISR H Aug 8 02:55 3 5 2
6973 Galei Zahal ISR H Aug 8 03:05 3 3 3
13850 KOL Israel ISR Fa Aug 8 13:59 4 4 4
15760 KOL Israel ISR Fa Aug 8 14:35 4 4 4
4920 Tibetan Radio1) TIB T Aug 8 21:58 4 4 4
4800 CNR CHN C Aug 8 22:28 3 4 3
15235 Channel Africa AFS E Aug 9 17:00 3 4 3
11290 Royal Air Force Volmet2) ASC E Aug 9 19:18 4 4 4
9490 Deutsche Welle Kigali RRW E Aug 9 20:27 4 4 4
12010 Voice of Russia RUS G Aug 11 15:55 4 3 3
9855 Radio Australia UAE E Aug 12 23:20 3 4 3
17895 All India Radio IND E Aug 13 10:00 3 4 3
15180 Vo Korea KRE E Aug 14 10:00 3 4 3
17820 Radio Thailand THA Th Aug 14 10:31 4 5 4
15275 Radio Pakistan3) PAK E Aug 14 11:00 ? ? ?
9805 CNR CHN C Aug 14 23:00 4 5 4
11710 CNR CHN C Aug 14 23:05 4 5 4
9325 Vo Korea KRE K Aug 15 20:01 4 5 4
15345 RAE Buenos Aires ARG G Aug 15 20:55 4 3 3
9680 Radio Thailand4) THA G Aug 20 20:00 4 4 5
21590 IRIB Tehran 5) IRN E Aug 21 10:28 4 5 3
12085 Vo Mongolia MGL C Aug 23 10:00 2 4 2
9330 Radio Damascus 6) SYR R Aug 23 17:24 3 5 3



1) SIO 444 on parallel frequency 4905 kHz
2) probably Ascension Island
3) SIO = 3, but modulation as bad as usual.
4) Interference from 9675 kHz, probably Radio Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Turkish-language program.
5) SIO 454 on parallel frequency 21640 kHz
6) Modulation as bad as usual, but the better reception than later in the evening (as usual in August).



» Previous Logs, August 2, 2012


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Doing Business with North Korea

The following are excerpts from an unverified account by a Chinese national who manages (or more probably managed, in the past) food business with North Korean agencies. It doesn’t seem to be a very recent one and was probably written years ago, but the way it got into the forum where I read it more recently seems to suggest that it was originally only accessible on another website, and only by password. I therefore left most names and other circumstantial descriptions out.

I guess that this was written during the North Korean famine, i. e. during the 1990s.

I’ll provide the link to those readers of this blog who I seem to know well, be it from the blogosphere or from the real world, under the condition that the link remains between us (unless you convince me that there is no need for this kind of caution).

Sino-North Korean relations appear to be uneasy on the official level. The following excerpts from the – unverified, see above – account of personal experience seems to suggest that things aren’t any easier on the level of everyday routine and cross-border contacts.

So, every time I’m doing transports [into North Korea], I will bring some boxes of bread and biscuits, and before unloading, first give these to the women who do the work, so that they can eat their fill first. But they don’t eat; they put the bread into their clothes to take it home for their children. The bad thing is that the officials in charge there frequently search them, and then use the bread by themselves, or to allocate it in their own ways. When I became aware of that, I was really angry. These trade organization bosses are rich. We do business with them, give them many presents, and they get sales commission for every transaction, paid in U.S. dollars. But still, they won’t let the women off with the bread. Next time, I will have to bring more boxes of food, to give some to the bosses first, and to the women next, and then I’ll make sure that they eat first. After work, I will give them more boxes to take them home to their children. In the past, I suffered from hunger myself. I know how it feels. Although I will have to spend a few hundred yuan more each time [to buy food for the North Korean women], it will make me feel better.

The women in North Korea do heavy manual labor at work, and the chores at home. A man sees it as a joke that he should do chores. They do nothing once they are at home. Women carry their child on their back when they are cooking, or doing the laundry. Once the dishes are ready, she has to serve the men and children first, and may have some food next to the stove. Thousands of years of tradition have led to a situation where these women work without complaining. They never quarreled with their fate which is so unfair to them. Every day, they do their hard work.


On leaving a restaurant, the author sees a middle-aged man clutching food residues out of a gutter.

I went back inside [the restaurant] and got him two mantou. He took them with both hands [an expression of politeness, not of hastiness] and cried as he expressed his thanks. He walked backwards several meters, bowing towards me, then turned away and left. As I watched him walking away, my eyes were also full of tears.


Despite the hardhips, North Koreans don’t blame the government. They say that American imperialism is responsible. It’s the American blockade, they create these difficulties. The common people in North Korea know nothing about the outside world. They can only listen to their own broadcasting stations, and watch North Korean television. Once, in a conversation with an old man, I said that you live like this, and he said, our lives are just as in paradise, it’s all given to us by our kind fatherly leader… […]



» Nightmare Investment, Sino-NK, Aug 15, 2012


Monday, July 16, 2012

Ri Yong-ho’s Removal: too Early to Declare Victory

North Korean military chief, Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman and Worker’s Party Politbureau Presidium member Ri Yong-ho has been removed from all official posts “because of illness”, the BBC quotes North Korean media. A spokesman for the South Korean Unification Ministry called the move “very unusual”.

The CMC chairmanship has been held by Kim Jong-un since April 2012. Kim became North Korea’s supreme leader after his father’s death in December 2011.

An Associated-Press article interprets Ri’s removal as a step taken by Kim Jong-un. The article also emphasizes Kim Jong Un’s drive to build up the nation’s economy. The article also points out that Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, ruled under a “military first” policy.

Singapore’s Morning News (Lianhe Zaobao):

[North Korea’s] KCNA reported on July 16 that North Korean Workers Party Central Committee’s Politbureau held a meeting on July 15 and decided to relieve permanent Politbureau member and Chief of General Staff Ri Yong-ho [Chinese: Li Yinghao, 李英浩] of all his duties. According to reports, the meeting decided to relieve him of all duties, including his permanent Politbureau membership, Politbureau membership, and CMC vice-chairmanship, because of “suffering from illness”.

Chinese media reported Ri’s removal right away, but while Singapore’s Morning News quotes assumptions from South Korean institutions that the move may have been made for political reasons, China’s Xinhua News Agency simply quotes KCNA itself.

Huanqiu Shibao offers no interpretation beyond KCNA’s “health” explanations either, but adds a KCNA snapshot to spice things up a bit. Via an emoticon board, 311 readers (at the time of writing this post) express amazement or shock (震惊), 71 are bored, and 45 find the news ridiculous. But in the commenter thread, “linqinghu” finds the news very Chinese, very familiar (很中国,很熟悉), and “Xiaoyao Guoke” has a question: Whenever news about North Korea is reported, it’s is it always KCNA? Hard to believe that Xinhua has no reporters there!!?? (有一个问题搞不懂:但凡报道朝鲜的新闻,为什么总听韩联社的!?难道新华社在朝鲜就没有记者吗). There appears to be at least one reporter from Huanqiu Shibao itself in Pyongyang, actually.

Interpretation of the currently meager news is likely to follow in mainland Chinese media soon, and Beijing, if not informed about the backgrounds, will hope that the North Korean leadership’s economic priorities as alluded to by Associated Press (see above, third paragraph) will turn out to be the true driving motivation behind Ri Yong-ho’s removal.

Or, as Adam Cathcart interpreted some outspoken Chinese press coverage – as a message to then Kim Jong-il’s officialdom, in December 2010: just stop the nonsense and make some money (i. e., care about the economy). “Nonsense”, back then, wouldn’t refer directly to Kim Jong-il’s military-first policies, but to stand-offs with South Korea.

China’s propaganda department may find it a bit too early to declare victory on North Korea’s economic front just yet.

A source to watch this week should be Sino-NK, a website dedicated to background information (plus some gossip) on North Korean politics, and on North-Korean and Chinese interaction.

Update: Chasing the General Ri, SinoNK, July 19, 2012



» Very Mysterious, but…, WSJ, July 17, 2012


%d bloggers like this: