Foreign currency creates private markets
May23

Foreign currency creates private markets

By Wei Yiyang Philip In the lobby of the Tower of the Juche Idea in Pyongyang, tourist Emily Liu buys a ticket to go to top of the 150-meter-high structure. It costs 300 North Korea won, however, since foreign tourists are not allowed to use North Korean currency, she pays the equivalent official value of 20 Chinese yuan. But Emily’s 20 yuan is actually worth far more than 300 won. Compared with the official rate of 15 won to one...

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School children prepare for war
May23

School children prepare for war

By Chow Wing Man Mari In the school on the model Chongsan-ri Cooperative Farm outside of Pyongyang, colourful paintings cover the walls.  If you look a little closer, you’ll notice that many of them are cartoon children killings soldiers with cartoon guns. Children in North Korea are by law supposed to receive 12 years of free education in a structure similar to many developed countries. The school on this model farm, where Kim...

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The reason for the dark
May23

The reason for the dark

By Joey Hung Sunrise to sunset: Natural light dictates the schedule of life in North Korea. Astronauts recently took a photo of the area from 200 miles up. North Korea, sandwiched between China and South Korea, looks like a black hole or a dark ocean between the two brightly lit countries North Korea has an energy shortage.           Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson...

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Foreign investment in North Korea on the rise
May22

Foreign investment in North Korea on the rise

By Hui Yue Lam Adelaide North Korea is attempting to attract foreign direct investment to aid in economic development in the sanction-hit country. And it seems to be working, a little. FDI in North Korea reached US$ 79 million in 2012, a 40 percent increase from the year before and more than double 2010, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development. The total invested in the country over the past few decades comes to US$...

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