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The respected General continues to enact humble miracles

HEAVEN'S COUNTRYLAND: your 8-bit animated guide to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Sep 11, 2014 - 7 comments

Five Things You Learn Growing Up In (And Escaping) North Korea

Cracked interviews a NK escapee, an ambassador to NK's grandson, and a journalist covering NK. Want more, without any humor (Cracked is pretty restrained for their piece)? BBC on the people smuggling industry, Yeonmi Park on growing up in North Korea, the Guardian on an ordinary day in Pyongyang, Al-jazeera explains how the Kims rule with an iron fist and some recent photographs of ordinary people in North Korea.
posted by viggorlijah on Jul 30, 2014 - 11 comments

Hoop Nightmares

There's some confusion surrounding Dennis Rodman's most recent visit to North Korea and his espoused 'Basketball Diplomacy' mission. He sung Happy Birthday (potential auto-play sound) and bowed deeply to 'Dear Leader', before his team of ex-NBA players scored 39 points to 47 against the NK team. Rodman played only in the first half and then sat next to Kim during the second half. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Jan 9, 2014 - 85 comments

The Big Picture

This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 10, 2013 - 6 comments

Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse

The RAND Corporation's National Security Research Division has released a 297-page report on the likely consequences of a collapse of the North Korean regime, within the Korean Peninsula, as well as to China, Japan, the US and others (PDF).
posted by acb on Sep 30, 2013 - 62 comments

North Korea Sets April 10th Deadline

North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
posted by Artw on Apr 5, 2013 - 239 comments

"China sends people back to this place"

"Q: What kind of comparisons can be drawn between Asia’s underground railroad and the one in pre-Civil War America? A: The way it’s set up is similar. The safe houses and transit routes are kept secret and vary a lot. There is another similarity in that many of the people who operate on the underground railroad are ethnically Korean, just as many of the operators on the original underground railroad were free blacks." -- an interview with Melanie Kirkpatrick, author of Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad
posted by bardic on Dec 13, 2012 - 10 comments

An Interview with Kim Jong Il's Grandson

Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam, who is the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, the recently deceased North Korean dictator. In this English interview for Finnish TV with former United Nations Under-Secretary General Elisabeth Rehn, he talks about his life, refers to his uncle and current DPRK Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Eun, as a 'dictator,' and says he never met his grandfather. [Part 1 (interview begins at 1:35)] [Part 2]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Oct 18, 2012 - 22 comments

In a day or twooooooo

North Korean Accordion quintet covers "Take On Me." (SLYT) Part of a project by Morten Traavik, a Norwegian theatre and film director, (previously featured on Metafilter). [more inside]
posted by dismas on Feb 3, 2012 - 51 comments

The best photoshopping deals are always found after the holidays

The New York Times once again shows how not to doctor photographs (previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 28, 2011 - 39 comments

A new view of North Korea

Earlier this year, David Guttenfelder, chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, along with Jean H. Lee, AP bureau chief in Seoul, were granted unprecedented access to parts of North Korea as part of the AP's efforts to expand coverage of the isolated communist nation. A new look at North Korea. WARNING: Fascinating.
posted by DoctorFedora on Aug 4, 2011 - 61 comments

Pyongyang Style – North Korean Haircut

Filming in North Korea is a bit of an iffy task, and you never know when a minder may decide to confiscate your memory cards or camera. That was a risk I didn’t want to take, so I decided not to reveal to them the fact that my 5D was capable of shooting video. I taped up the back screen with black electrical tape. Pyongyang Style – North Korean Haircut
posted by finite on Mar 14, 2011 - 57 comments

The Director, the Actress, the Dictator, and the Monster who was Hungry for Iron

Shin Sang-ok (1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2010 - 14 comments

The Future of Border Defense: Robot Sentries

The Korean DMZ (pdf) / PLZ has been a hot tourist attraction for years, featuring must-see sites like the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, the Dora Mountain Train Station, the Freedom Bridge and the Imjingak Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth, -- will be patrolled by killer robots. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 15, 2010 - 50 comments

'The younger Kim is only 27 years old and is apparently fond of shooting things, having majored artillery in Kim Il-Sung University.'

On March 26, 2010, the ROKS Cheonan, a South Korean navy ship, exploded and sunk, killing at least forty sailors. On May 19, an international investigation team concluded that a North Korean torpedo sunk the Cheonan. What does this mean for the Koreas and the world? It's not clear, but Ask a Korean provides a brief, yet historically contextualized dossier on this issue. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on May 25, 2010 - 86 comments

Hundred-to-won

Last December, the government of North Korea unexpectedly revalued its internal currency, the North Korean won, at a rate of 100-to-1 and capped the amounts that residents could exchange old currency at 300,000 won (approx. $90 U.S. on the black market). This effectively wiped out many peoples' savings and killed the nascent market economy that had begun to emerge after a series of economic reforms starting in July, 2002. Professor Rüdiger Frank of the University of Vienna argues that while it represents a temporary victory for the North Korean government, this move may ultimately lead to the end of North Korean socialism. [Recently here]
posted by albrecht on Feb 3, 2010 - 23 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Just another 100 days, hero!

North Korea's "150 Day Battle" has been extended for another 100 days. The initiative was ostensibly aimed at ramping up internal production in the face of growing external trade reductions. Some analysts think it's a ploy, combined with recent missile launches , to solidify the base for the next regime.
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 14, 2009 - 5 comments

Freshly Squeezed Juche

North Korea’s Dollar Store - Office 39, North Korea’s billion-dollar crime syndicate, pays for Kim Jong Il’s missiles and cognac. Why did the Bush White House choose not to shut it down? [via] [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 12, 2009 - 27 comments

Bill Clinton to the rescue

Bill Clinton makes secret trip to North Korea, wins pardon and apparent release of two captive US journalists. Jailed reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee, employees of Al Gore's Current TV, were arrested for spying in March and had recently been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp. The remarkable development is likely to boost to Clinton's battered image. [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist on Aug 4, 2009 - 175 comments

Kim Jong Il picks a successor

Kim Jong Il has reportedly chosen an heir to his throne. And like a lot of stories involving North Korea, there's a mix of world-ending gloom and mad-cap hilarity. Meet the mysterious Kim Jong-un [more inside]
posted by GilloD on Jun 3, 2009 - 71 comments

mapping snoops annotate North Korea

North Korea has a reputation as one of the most secretive, authoritarian, repressive countries in the world. But that doesn't stop Curtis Melvin, a PhD student at George Mason University, from trying to shine some light into the country's dark corners l His North Korea Economy Watch site, which includes The most authoritative map of North Korea on Google Earth l Gulags, Nukes and a Water Slide: Citizen Spies Lift North Korea's Veil.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 2, 2009 - 39 comments

The Forbidden Railway - a train trip to Pyongyang

In September of 2008, two Austrians traveled 13,000km by rail from Vienna to Pyongyang - without asking permission and going through the official Koran travel agency. [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc on Apr 5, 2009 - 36 comments

...sorry...

Kim Jong Ill.
posted by Artw on Sep 9, 2008 - 86 comments

Make Benefit Glorious Nation of North Korea

Feeling nostalgic for those old school Soviet shindigs? Westerners are welcome to North Korea's Arirang Mass Games. Tickets are on sale now. Will tourist dollars/euros be the undoing of North Korea?
posted by oneirodynia on Apr 12, 2007 - 24 comments

China may back coup against Kim

Newsfilter: North Korea's response to a toothless UN resolution may be a second nuclear test. With military solutions pretty much off the table, it may be up to rival factions within the DPRK to topple the regime. NK coups have been discussed here before, and the end result may not be as pretty as one would hope, but maybe this time the Chinese have had enough.
posted by ernie on Oct 17, 2006 - 57 comments

All boom, no alpha

Air samples over North Korea show no radiation "It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives."
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2006 - 57 comments

N. Korea's government begins its collapse?

The beginning of the end for Dear Leader? This Times (of London) report is filled with telling details.
posted by Tlogmer on Feb 1, 2005 - 44 comments

South Korean government bans Kim Sun-Il execution video.

South Korean government bans Kim Sun-Il execution video. Activates government emergency internet monitoring system. Orders web sites and ISPs to comply. "Web sites that fail to follow through the instructions will be subject to shut-down or police investigation". Several South Korean web sites have already been shut down, while other sites, such as Yahoo! Korea, are assisting the government by blocking and censoring their user's email. Meanwhile, a general strike, massive antiwar protests, and a refusal by airline unions may prevent the deployment and supply of 3,000 South Korean soldiers to Iraq, as well as the rule of the current South Korean government. Numerous U.S. websites are being blocked, and one of the sites, Ogrish.com, is under attack from hackers for carrying the execution video. (warning: tragic and traumatic. Windows Media.)
posted by insomnia_lj on Jun 25, 2004 - 47 comments

Devastation

Pre- and post- explosion satellite images of the Ryongchon train station in North Korea.
posted by PenDevil on Apr 30, 2004 - 37 comments

North Korea Tour

North Korea Tour.
posted by hama7 on Mar 13, 2004 - 9 comments

Cunnilingus In North Korea

Cunnilingus In North Korea - Young-Hae Chang. [flash]
posted by hama7 on Nov 6, 2003 - 42 comments

North Korea

Northern Exposure: A North Korean Travelogue
posted by hama7 on May 9, 2003 - 6 comments

That gentle piano is the peace of the grave

Young-hae Chang's latest, Operation Nukorea, is shattering, unflinching, and beautifully executed. It's a little tale about consequences, and what happens downstream from decisions not sufficiently considered.

It probably would have brought tears to my eyes even if I did not have family in Seoul. Watch it through to the end.
posted by adamgreenfield on Apr 18, 2003 - 56 comments

Visiting the DMZ

An American Visits the DMZ. With the rising tensions on the Korean border, it seems like a good time to get a first hand account on the situation. Insightful observations like, so I went into North Korea. It was a lot like South Korea, maybe colder. And there were more fat Canadians than I expected, especially just after a famine. While you're at his site, don't miss Tim Hoo is a Genius and Ask not for whom The Bell™ tolls.
posted by jonah on Mar 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Yankee go home!

Another reason why we can't win. If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse. The only winning move is not to play. I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.
posted by mrmanley on Jan 9, 2003 - 32 comments

Korea DMZ

korea-dmz.com is a site devoted to not only the history of the DMZ, but also some unexpected treats.
posted by hama7 on Dec 19, 2002 - 20 comments

North Korea is working on a nuclear weapon?? Maybe that whole Axis Of Evil thing wasn't too far fetched.
posted by Degaz on Oct 16, 2002 - 99 comments

A blip on the radar, or a sign of shifting opinions?

A blip on the radar, or a sign of shifting opinions? Can recent events in the Republic of Korea be taken as an indication that the special relationship between the US and South Korea is changing, and that public sentiment amongst Koreans is turning against America? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Sep 19, 2002 - 43 comments

Did you know that two to three million people (1 in 10) have died from starvation in North Korea since 1995? I didn't. Is branding them a part of the "Axis of Evil" making it worse?
posted by queequeg on Aug 6, 2002 - 31 comments

Bush decides he doesn't want peace.

Bush decides he doesn't want peace. resident bush has made it clear to the president of south korea that he will be reversing the previous administration's policy toward north korea. so the strides of peace that have been made can easily be wiped away now. i especially like the reversal of colin powell's comments from the day before.
posted by bliss322 on Mar 8, 2001 - 34 comments

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