Capitalism China & Korea Class Warfare Diplomacy Russia & Korea Sanctions

Kim Jong Un seeks friends and funds abroad as he isolates his people.

In the three years that he has been in power, His Porcine Majesty has found plenty of time for Dennis Rodman, but none for meetings with foreign leaders. Suddenly, in the last two months, he has flirted with (1) a summit with South Korean leader Park Geun-Hye, (2) inviting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Pyongyang, (3) and a …

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Border Control Capitalism Drugs & N Korea

N. Korea Perestroika Watch: Woman sent to firing squad for “gambling and drug use”

Did you hear the one about how Amerikkka’s prisons are filled with small-time drug offenders? Well, the workers’ paradise has solved that problem: In mid-November 2014 in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province, a woman in her 50s considered part of the donju [new affluent middle class] was publicly executed for “gambling and drug use,” Daily NK …

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Border Control Capitalism Censorship

N. Korea perestroika watch: corruption defeats information crackdown

I’ve previously reported on Kim Jong Un’s efforts to crack down on illegal cell phones, memory sticks, DVDs, and other subversive information flows, even as some wishful observers clung to sketchy evidence to argue that Kim Jong Un was a reformer. The good news is that after an initial period in which smuggled DVDs became hard to find, they …

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Capitalism Sanctions

Robert Potter’s “third way” is a good way, but it’s really a second way

Writing at The Diplomat, Potter takes on the futile task to navigating between pro-engagement extremists like Mike Bassett, Felix Abt, and someone named Joe Terwillager, on one hand, and anti-engagement extremists like me, on the other. Potter proposes this third way: Sanctions of the right kind can ensure that the Kim dynasty never becomes wealthy enough to …

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Border Control Capitalism

Crackdowns fail to reverse marketization of Peoples’ Economy

THE ELITES ARE DISGRUNTLED at Kim Jong Un’s impulsive temper and insensitivity, according to this Chosun Ilbo report. Separately, this report talks about endemic corruption and economic inequality in North Korea. Meanwhile, a third Chosun Ilbo survey of 100 North Koreans in China suggests that the marketization of the peoples’ economy has passed the point of no return. …

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