Tag Archives: Kim Jong Il

North Korea Looking for an Ear

Copy of dprkThe 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.”

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Five Fun Headlines from North Korea

Copy of dprkI’ll do this every now and then — no real schedule. Here are some of my favorite stories from North Korea’s official news outlet, the Korea Central News Agency.

New Plant Discovered in DPRK: Yes, this refers to vegetation. It’s named the Hyangsan cuckooflower, or the less entertaining Cardamine hyangsanensis S.K.KO et J.O.Ri, Sp.nov.

Read the article on the KCNA website >>

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.

Read the article on the KCNA website >>

UN Day Observed: Observed, but as you’ll see from the article, not with much zeal. Best conclusion ever: “Speeches were made there.”

Read the article on the KCNA website >>

U.S. Urged to Drop Its Ridiculous Scenario to Stifle DPRK: This is just bizarre, especially at the end, where the United States is “advised to drop its foolish scenario to stifle the DPRK by force and swim with the trend of the times toward detente and peace [emphasis mine].”

Read the article on the KCNA website >>

Read all Migrant Blogger articles on North Korea >>

2008 Is the Year to Go to North Korea!

Hey, if you were thinking of heading to the last truly communist stronghold in the world, make up your mind fast. The “Mass Games” (also called “Arirang”), a spectacle of coordinated movements and groupthink, involving more than 100,000 performers, is not going to be held in 2009. That makes 2008 the last year to catch this event … possibly until 2012.

For Americans to go to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) is pretty damned expensive, but it may be worth it if you can afford the price of admission. Check out Koryo Tours if you are interested in the 2008 Mass Games. To get a feel for other reasons to check out the DPRK, read my article in DealmakerDaily.com’s travel section.

The “good” news is that the next Arirang is likely to be held in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, who, though dead, remains the eternal president of North Korea. While that promises to be an amazing event, I’m pretty sure the 2008 Arirang is worth seeing as well.

I would go, but it’s almost impossible for journalists to get into the country. So, I’ll have to report from the sidelines.

Koryo Tours writes:

Dear All,

We have just been told by our partners in the DPRK that there is a chance there will be no mass games next year – possibly not even until 2012 which is the next big anniversary (Juche 100 – the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung!!!). For Americans this year’s mass games may be the last opportunity to visit the country.

Nothing has been set in stone but we wanted to give you all pre-warning. This year there are 2 different performances – ARIRANG and PROSPER THE MOTHERLAND! – the latter has never been seen before so it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Very best wishes,

The Koryo Tours Team