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By James Pearson
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has warned foreigners living in Pyongyang not to share outside media on memory sticks with its citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a note, cracking down on what the isolated country called “undesirable content”.
The vast majority of North Koreans have no access to outside Internet or foreign media, but people regularly share films, music and literature on easily-concealed USB sticks that are passed from person to person.
Hana Electronics, one of North Korea’s best-known and only electronics companies, is profiled in the latest edition of “Foreign Trade” magazine.
The company was established in May 2003 as a joint venture between the U.K.’s Phoenix Commercial Ventures and the trading department of North Korea’s Ministry of Culture.
It’s been making, or at least assembling, DVD and Video CD players for many years. The actual level of production that goes on at the factory is unknown. The only pictures that have been issued are of what appear to be quality control stations, where finished products are checked. It’s likely the company’s products or major components like circuit boards are made overseas and imported.
A Taiwanese businessman has been sentenced to 3 years probation and a $250 fine for his part in an attempt to export sanctioned equipment from the U.S. to North Korea.
Yueh Hsun “Gary” Tsai was sentenced on Friday at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago after pleading guilty to creating a fake bill of landing.
His sentencing came several weeks after this father, Hsien Tai “Alex” Tsai, was sentenced to two years for conspiring to defraud the U.S. in its enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. More >
A visit by Kim Jong Un to inspect KPA Air Force Unit 1016 has provided a closer look at a new solar power plant built alongside an existing wind power plant.
KCNA carried a handful of images of the visited, but more were broadcast by Korean Central TV during its evening news program. Here’s one of the KCNA images.
The current issue of Foreign Trade has a profile of Taedonggang TV factory, which sits on the outskirts of Pyongyang and makes a number of TV sets carrying several North Korean brand names, according to the magazine.
“The factory has several workshops for magnetic substances, metal processing, plating of printed circuit, moulding and coiling and a branch factory for assembly of color TVs,” the magazine reports. “Its daily output is thousand of sets.”
The magazine said it produces TV sets with screens between 15- and 29-inches under the “Samilpho,” “Tabaksol” and “Osongsan” brands and with screens between 15- and 42-inches under the “Samilpho,” “Unbangul” and “Haebaragi” brands. More >
When he wasn’t taking stunning panorama photographs around Pyongyang, Singapore-based photographer Aram Pan had time to visit this year’s Pyongyang Spring International Trade Fair (평양봄철국제상품전람회).
The fair was twice as big this year as it had been in 2013 according to state media, and it’s easy to see why when you watch a 3-minute video shot by Pan.
The place is bustling with people browsing and buying all manner of products.
As Pan notes in the opening of the video, all transactions that take place at the event are settled in Chinese Yuan, Euros or U.S. Dollars. In fact, a booth worker can be seen handling U.S. currency in one scene in the video. This isn’t perhaps surprising when many retailers and products have come from overseas.
Imports of digital TV sets to North Korea are sharply higher in the first few months of this year compared to last year, according to Yonhap News.
Citing data from the Korea International Trade Association, Yonhap said China shipped just under $18 million worth of digital TVs to North Korea in the first four months of 2014, up 338 percent from the $4 million in the same period of 2013.
Yonhap tied the rise to earlier reports than North Korea is planning to introduce digital TV broadcasting.
In March 2013, a report on the Naenara website said trial broadcasting had begun in 2012.
“On the basis of the trial introduction of digital TV broadcasting last year the ministry is working to lay the material and technical foundation for applying it stage by stage while developing programs and introducing facilities,” it said.
North Korea got what might have been its first look at Google Glass in April.
That’s when Kenny Zhu went on a four-day trip and recorded various video and photo scenes with the high-tech pair of glasses. Zhu later supplied some of the pictures and video to CNN through its iReport website.
CNN said Zhu visited the DPRK for work, although he seems to have taken in many of the major tourist attractions, including a trip to Kaesong and Panmunjon. More >