Open Sources, Jan. 29, 2013

GOOGLE HAS RELEASED A NEW ATLAS of North Korea, and Curtis, who has endured countless hours of the torture that is North Korean television for Queen and Country, is deservedly and prominently credited.  On a personally gratifying note, it also seems apparent that the mapping of the political prison camps derives in large part from the work of this humble blog.

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AIR KORYO’S AGEING Russian aircraft are banned from Chinese airports.

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THAT NORTH KOREAN DAM I blogged about yesterday doesn’t seem to have solved the severe electricity shortages around Hyesan, much less North Korea as a whole, apparently because of shoddy construction.

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RUMORS THAT KIM JONG UN HAD PLASTIC SURGERY may have angered the North Koreans, but personally, I find them difficult to credit.  I mean, wouldn’t they have started with liposuction?

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MARCUS NOLAND WRITES ABOUT HOW North Korea’s plans to create two island economic zones have stalled.  This is good, because those plans include forcibly relocating the people who live on them now.

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BRUCE KLINGNER OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION calls UNSCR 2087 (which I wrote about here the other day) a “timid squeak of U.N. indignation” and calls for tougher measures, both unilateral and multilateral.  In some respects, it may look somewhat like something you’ve read elsewhere.  Unlike me, Bruce hasn’t yet given up on the U.N., and calls for Chapter VII sanctions.  I’d say it’s useful to call for them, if only to illustrate what a failure the U.N. continues to be, and why.

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NEW REPORTS OF CANNIBALISM IN NORTH KOREA:  I can recall reading about half a dozen reports like this, so I find myself both desensitized to them, yet not quite over my disbelief that they could be true.  The report, though sensationalized in the style typical of a British tabloid, is sourced to Asia Press, the creators of Rimjingang, one of the more reliable guerrilla news services.

If these reports were all lies and rumors, you’d think North Korea would want foreign reporters crawling all over the country to show us the proof of that.  You might also think that the foreign reporters with the most access to North Korea would be asking for free reign to show us that.



  1. John Kerry has won Senate approval as Secretary of State. The Senate’s three greatest foreign policy thinkers, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Jim in Hofe, voted NO.

  2. If you search for “gulag” on Google maps, not only can you find the major ones, but they have dozens of reviews as well.

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