north korea

North Korean Pen Gun and Flash Light Gun

We’re glad it’s not a Flesh Light gun. Either way, no one is safe.


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Balloons from S Korea Takes Leaflets, Candy, and Socks to the North

That’s what the balloons look like, and they were launched by North Korea defectors. The article makes mention to say that if the military in South Korea really wanted them not to launch the balloons, they could have done better. (CSMonitor – Balloons)

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Kim Jong Il’s Grandson, Kim Han-sol Interview in English

His English is perfect, he’s young and sporting two earrings, and this is the most we’ve ever heard from him directly. He has dreams to go back and make life better in North Korea. His father is Kim Jong Nam who was to be the heir apparent but fell out of favor. The kid seems like a smart one and he’s just a freshman who has a Libyan roommate.


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Part 2


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Another Trip to North Korea

Not a complete new experience in North Korea and the geographical information doesn’t have enough meaning, but it’s a solid trip and nearly fun narrative about a trip to North Korea. It’s not filled with glamour or ridiculousness, it just tells a tale, which might make it more accurate.

(Huffpo – North Korea)

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Laura Ling on Gangnam Style and Changes in North Korea

Laura Ling related Gangnam Style to North Korea and the tiny, tiny changes that are happening. (LA Times – Laura Ling)

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Comrade Kim Goes Flying – A North Korean Tale

Two westerners make a film in North Korea called Comrade Kim Goes Flying. Is it important? Are restrictions loosening? The film has to be a piece of crap, since the film has to be positive in light about North Korea, but at the same time how did this happen? It’s approved by the State, and it has no distribution and not much information. (LA Times – Comrade Kim)

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North Korean Defector Shoots Squad Leaders Then Crosses Over

In a rare act of defiance, a North Korean border guard kills his superiors and then crosses 500 meters to South Korea. Hope his family stays alive in North Korea after this incident. (CNN – North Korean)

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Drunk North Korean Man Floats to Freedom

A 20s drunk North Korean floated on a board to South Korea. While so many want to supposedly defect, a drunk guy makes it in his underwear. Congrats! That’s not him below by the way. (Huffpo – Drunk North Korean)

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Paralympic Games Wrap Up in London

Today is the last day of the Paralympics in London. They come and go so quietly compared to the big summer games.

If you live in the UK, you had a chance to watch over 400 hours of Paralympics broadcasts on Channel 4. In contrast, in the United States NBC had four nights of an hour long highlight show to cover the 11 days of ceremony and games. In Mongolia we got a good 4-6 hours of daily coverage, even after all of the Mongolian athletes came back home without medals. It’s reported that 11 million people tuned in to the opening ceremonies, nearly three times the number of viewers of the 2008 games in Beijing. China can console itself through a massive stack of medals its athletes will be taking home this summer. They are up to 95 gold medals so far, kept company by 71 silvers, and 65 bronze. Not too shabby.

Pictured here are the “Sook Sisters” (they all have “sook” in their name and aren’t actually related), Korea’s archery heroes who came away with one gold medal a piece, and an extra silver for Hwa Sook. South Korea had a lot invested in its athletes this year. Most of its athletes trained and lived at the newly built Korean Sports Training Center d’ground, a beautiful facility South East of Seoul designed just for Paralympians . Leading up to the games, Korean TV broadcast touching documentaries about the lives of some the athletes, and the coaches and family members who support them in their training.

Back in June, GR blogged about Maya Nakanishi who was getting some flack for fund raising with a self-published calendar featuring some sexy shots with just her prosthetic. She did end up making it London this year, and she competed in three Athletic games, but didn’t get any medals. I hope she can make it again in 2016. (Calendars as Christmas gifts are a big seller, Maya…)

Fundraising is just one of the challenges facing paralympic athletes. There was a record breaking number of participating athletes this year, 4,200 from 164 countries. In contrast, more than 10,000 from 204 countries competed in the Olympic games. Even if a paralympic athlete can overcome cultural stigma in their country, their personal physical challenges, and train hard enough to dominate in their categorized sport, they still have to find a way to pay for it all and make it to the games. It’s depressing to think of all the individuals who are held back by financial resources when they’ve been able to take on everything else.

There’s a dark side to the Paralympics, just like there is for the Olympic games. Much has been written about the “supercrip” archetype that surfaces with the Paralympic games. It’s fascinating, provocative, and a conversation that should be continued to better understand the challenges faced by the differently-abled.

North Korea can enter into the supercrip conversation now. They debuted their first ever Paralympic athlete in London. At the very last minute, maybe high on their Olympic golds, they sent a 16 year old boy who lived in Beijing to frantically try to qualify for a spot in the games. In May, all that was left by the time he cleared to qualify, was swimming.  He learned how to swim, learned two strokes (required) and competed on September 4th. North Korea has hopes to expand its Paralympic athletics program, and build upon what it believes to be substantial services for the differently-abled. Not sure how it ranks in importance to sufficient food supply for the general population, and the maintenance of state run theme parks, but this could mean some hope for extra rations for a few.


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Japan and North Korea to Talk

First time in 4 years. Where will it lead? To a unified Japan and North Korea? Of course. BFF. (Washington Post – North Korea)

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Naughty North Korea Responds

You may have seen this throughout the net just a few days ago via an Australian newspaper. It’s pure net fodder, but at the same time, North Korea is winning medals in a world arena. Who knows what the athletes need to endure to get here, and it could very well be a great story behind the scenes, but then again, it could be horrible too.

The response by North Korea: (WSJ – Naughty Korea)

“bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and progress and politicizing sports.”

“cooked up the way of moneymaking, challenging the authority of a dignified state.”

“media are obliged to lead the public in today’s highly-civilized world where (the) mental and cultural level of mankind is being displayed at the highest level.”


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All Rook Same: Olympics Edition

This is what it feels like when your country gets the “all look same” diss on an international stage.  Moments before this photo was taken, this guy was on his feet, cheering for the North Korean women’s soccer teaming walking onto the pitch, next to a giant North Korean flag. That was before he looked at the massive screen introducing the players, portraits and names to the left of the SOUTH Korean flag!

Super bummer time. The North Korean team left the pitch for over an hour while North Korean officials reamed the Olympics organizers and demanded apologies, resolutions and gave them a reminder that “all look same” is no bueno for these feuding neighbors.

The blame is falling on the guy who produced the video for the match, but it seems like someone, at some point, should have caught the error. Doubtful it was some kind of political commentary on the unification of the Koreas… (BBC News)

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Let Your Daughters Out, Kim Jong Un is Married

The king of North Korea now has a queen. Now he can have the figure head wife to go along with his world wide collection of kidnapped mistresses. (LA Times – Kim Jong Un)

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Platform Shoes and Pants: North Korea’s Changing Trends

Fun article in ABC that tells about what’s popular. Burgers, amusement park rides, video game arcades, cellphones, platforms, earrings, cellphones, instant coffee, and Choco pies. (ABC – NK)

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Satellite Launch is a Japan and Korea Project

So, they don’t hate each other entirely. The rocket got launched by Japan, and now Korea has a strong satellite in the sky that can monitor their Northern Korean neighbors and just about anywhere in the world. It’s the first commercial space launch for Japan which means many more will come. Just because they can, should they? Eventually, when it gets into bad hands, our local space will be an amalgam of hell. (VOA -Space Japan and Korea)

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North Korea Readying for a Nuke Test

After the missile failure, why not take the easy route and blow something up underground? Dirt is being excavated to make space for a test that’ll not only pollute their land and what resources they don’t have, but shows their “power”. (Foxnews – North Korea)

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North Korea can Destroy the US in One Blow

Scary but they say that they can smash “anyone” (the US) in a single blow. Why they’d want to do that? Just ask everyone else. (VOA – North Korea Blow)

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North Korea’s Website in English $15 Spent!

It’s a template and discovered by a student! (Wired – North Korea Web)

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North Korean Launch Failed

Launch failed. It broke up before getting to the atmosphere. It’s a huge error and heads will roll. (CNN – N Korea Fail )

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Surface to Air in Japan

Strange Photograph. Amidst cherry blossoms the missiles await a North Korean rocket. (VOA – rocket)

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