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Category Archives: Korea

Kind of a history of North Korean diplomatic relations in a nutshell.

The reference to Cognac btw – apparently their largest customer is North Korea who according to the CIA spends $720,000 US Dollars a year on the substance. Some quick research shows: 650$ per bottle, .7 liters (depending on the year) per bottle = 1143 bottles a year which is roughly 800 liters which is 211 gallons of stuff.

Doesn’t seem like they are getting their money worth does it?


Yes I know she's from the Japanese military... Ever since I was a child I had a strange fascination of what made communist dictatorships tick. I’d listen to Radio Moscow (the shortwave version) when I could hear it, and read any article I could find in the library about the Eastern Bloc, China or North Korea. I especially enjoyed reading a story in QST about a ham radio operators experience in Moscow during the coup in 1991.

The good and bad news is there are still countries like this in our world – one of the most infamous is North Korea, and they sort of have a web presence. I say sort of because their website is located in Spain and run by the president of the KFA (Korean Friendship Association) named Alejandro Cao de Benos de Les y Pérez. The reason for this is North Korea doesn’t have any internet connectivity – at least officially they don’t (the South estimates that North Korean Intelligence is actively using it). Anyhow one of the best things on that site asides from the music and fun videos is the official forum which is relatively new. All of the threads have praise for various North Korean actions which I’ll list and refute in a second. The only reason I wouldn’t sign up on their forum and refute their claims in person is North Korea really does border religious fanaticism on a level I cannot begin to describe (every comment I’ve ever left on Youtube on a video related to North Korea has been met with some really interesting replies for example) and I suspect the forum is heavily moderated anyhow – just like the real North Korea.

Anyhow on to the list: Read More »

Long ago I toyed with the idea of going on a tour of North Korea. I read this account and others it sounded very old world. With headlines like this from the BBC it doesn’t sound like they will be around for much longer. I’d still like to go, but it doesn’t really sound possible anymore.

On Slashdot they were talking about the ICBM launch, and someone posted a link to this documentary made in North Korea illegally. A bit of a warning there is nothing wrong with the documentary, but some things on that site are not work safe.

So for those who are curious the way it works is once a year they have a lottery for a set amount of people who are allowed to enter the country. Once every year, no more no less (well sometimes less). You’re not allowed to bring anything 1st world with you except for a regular point and shoot camera – nothing fancy. Anyhow you fly to China and take a plane from there to North Korea and are put up in a hotel on an Island and taken around the country to pre-determined sites.

What I really fail to understand is most of country doesn’t have electricity, and even in Pyongyang electricity isn’t available everywhere and sometimes only partially (this is visible in the documentary above where they are riding around in the subway with the lights off), but they have plenty of resources to launch ICBM’s and do nuclear tests.