Japanese prosecutors have indicted two people over alleged exports of personal computers to North Korea, Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.
The two are accused of exporting 8.2 million yen (US$108,000) worth of computers from Japan in violation of the Japanese government’s trade sanctions. Japan has imposed a complete ban on exports to North Korea since June 2009.
The computers were allegedly sent to the Korea Computer Center, the Pyongyang-based computer research center.
An earlier report by Sankei Biz said the computers were shipped in July and December of 2010 under falsified papers that claimed they were heading to Shenyang, China, and Seoul. The shipment contained about More >
North Korea has again been ranked the second-worst country in the world for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based organization has consistently ranked the DPRK at the bottom of the world in terms of press freedom for the last decade.
“It is no surprise that the same trio of countries, Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea, absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties, again occupy the last three places in the index,” it said in the survey.
The news should come as no surprise to North Korea watchers. The government holds absolute control over the media, which delivers a centrally composed message through TV, radio and newspaper More >
China Central Television (CCTV) scored something of a scoop on Monday when it interviewed North Korea’s most influential news anchor woman, Ri Chun Hui, as part of its Lunar New Year programming.
The piece, which ran on the CCTV news channel, saw the station’s Pyongyang reporter go inside the Korea Central Television news studio to meet with Ri on the set of the national TV news.
She usually appears to read to most important news items – typically those involving Kim Jong Il or Kim Jong Un – and More >
The Associated Press has opened a news bureau in Pyongyang making it the first western news agency to have a reporter and photographer based in the North Korean capital.
The bureau represents a coup for the AP over the competition, but its close cooperation with the state-run Korean Central News Agency, necessitated to realize the deal, brings with it questions over editorial independence.
AP President Tom Curley and KCNA President Kim Pyong Ho officially opened the bureau in Pyongyang on Monday. It came six months after the two met in New York and signed a basic agreement towards the office.
The bureau will be More >
Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea and North Korea’s main national daily, has launched an English-language website.
The page appears to have come online in the last few days but has a small archive of stories stretching back to December 1. It’s the first foreign language to be offered by the newspaper and comes just under 11 months since the launch of a Korean site.
Those with an interest in North Korean affairs will welcome the site but a quick review of the content initially offered shows much of it consists of stories already available via the Korean More >
The sudden death of Kim Jong Il has North Korea’s propaganda machine scrambling to build stories about the life of Kim Jong Un.
The stories are a staple of the North Korean media and occupied hours of broadcast time and columns of newsprint during the era of Kim Jong Il.
Designed to build a personality cult around the leader, his tireless work for the people, warm heart, tough travel schedule or boundless knowledge were all regular features.
Some of the first such stories about Kim Jong Un appeared in the days shortly after Kim Jong Il’s death when state media reported on Kim More >
North Korea’s state news agency published a couple of images on January 4th that appear to show Pyongyang factory workers checking or testing laptop computers. But a closer look reveals something odd about the pictures.
The images were published with a brief caption that claimed: “Employees of the Electronics Corporation under the Ministry of Electronics Industry work hard to develop new varieties of products in response to the call of the joint New Year editorial.”
The New Year Editorial, a staple of North Korea and annual indicator of the state’s priorities in the coming year, called this year for the country to More >
South Korea’s attempts to keep North Korean material from the eyes and ears of its citizens is coming under the global media spotlight as the country launches a new sweep of domestic web sites and discussion forums.
Led by U.S. National Public Radio, the country’s arrests of citizens for the seemingly benign posting of North Korean songs or news clips was also covered by the Associated Press and most recently by The New York Times.
The coverage is likely unwelcome in Seoul.
NPR scored an interviewed with President Lee Myung Bak who defended the law as essential for maintaining South Korea’s way of More >
From my own monitoring, here are a couple of reports from Voice of Korea, North Korea’s shortwave radio service, on the event surrounding the funeral of Kim Jong Il.
December 29 broadcast (covering the events of the previous day)
Voice of Korea reports on the funeral procession of Kim Jong Il.
December 28 broadcast
Voice of Korea reports that Kim Jong Un visited the bier of Kim Jong Il