I was cruising around YouTube for some video clips on North Korea and Ahn Myong Chol, a former prison guard who later defected, for a North Korea story I’m putting together for Gadling. Chol has made his name as a journalist by sneaking back into the country and recording all kinds of footage that would be impossible to secure otherwise. Well, I couldn’t find the videos he shot of an open market where human flesh was (allegedly) being sold, but I did stumble upon something very strange: a video trailer promoting a musical about Yodok, one of the most notorious prison camps in North Korea.
That’s how strange it is to cover North Korea. You really never do know what you’ll encounter. A musical on Yodok? Crazy. Fortunately, I hate musicals.
The reclusive Communist state wants to talk – but only to the United States. After a year of silence, it’s willing to revisit the issue of nuclear disarmament, but it wants one-on-one time instead of the usual six-party format.
A DPRK official visited the United States last week, a rarity, in what has been called a “’charm’ offensive” by Reuters. The country is desperate for money and aid.
Reuters reports that a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said to the Korea Central News Agency, “The conclusion we have reached is that the direct parties, which are the North and the United States, must first sit down and find a rational solution.”
Hu Jintao Invites Kim Jong Il to Visit: Where else in the world does an invitation become major news? It’s like “Migrant Blogger invited to get 20% off any bestseller (paperback only) at Barnes & Noble.” Yeah, KJI and I are among the elite.
I’m not normally into pulling entire stories from other news outlets, but this one was just too much. I encourage you to click over to give the Korea Central News Agency the pageview it’s earned … and to see that I’m not making this up.
While we’ve been worried about missile launches and “satellite” attempts, North Korea’s real action has been closer to Earth. The DPRK regime is accused of initiating high-profile cyber-attacks, causing internet outages in the United States and South Korea. The IP address, better than a fingerprint in this case, points back to North Korea’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, according to the chief of South Korea’s top spy agency. China leases the IP address to the DPRK military, according to JoongAng Ilbo and Yonhap news agency, both media outlets in South Korea.