London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

North Korea’s silkworm technology

Bored with shelling South Korean islands, North Korea looks to invest in Vietnamese silk. FT blogs: # North Korea’s contribution to any silk venture will be its “silkworm expertise and technology”, Vietnam would, in exchange, provide labour and investment in production facilities. [Read More]

British cigarettes generate cash for DPRK

North Korea resells British cigarettes – BAT State Express 555s – to generate hard cash: BAT sold the so-called “NK555s”, made and packaged in Singapore for the US market, to a Singaporean distributor for shipment to Nampo … However at least 15,000 cases worth $6.3m rebounded out of Nampo to ports in Vietnam and the … [Read More]

North Korean jeans on sale in Sweden

North Korean jeans on sale in Sweden. A snip at $215! The brand name? "NoKo". # After being turned down by North Korea’s largest textile company, the group managed to secure a manufacturing deal with its largest mining company, Trade 4, which also happens to run a small textile operations on its site. Source: … [Read More]

North Korean labourers in Russia

North Koreans labouring in Russia's timber camps: the UK connection, on Newsnight tonight: # The full video can now be viewed here # Note the Hwang Byung-ki soundtrack. And another BBC report from Vladivostok, ten years later [Read More]

London lawyer smells a rat

A while back I posted about the various creative fund-raising techniques the DPRK is accused of using. Michael Payton, a senior partner in Clyde & Co’s insurance practice, is homing in on another one. The Korea Times reports on the smoking gun: The alleged fraud involves a wide variety of North Korean industrial and personal … [Read More]

The DPRK’s export economy

The (London) Times reminds us that in a country which is alleged to rely on illegitimate foreign exchange earnings, the effectiveness of sanctions against legitimate trade is not going to hurt much. The North Korean military and ruling elite have held off political collapse in the years since the end of the Cold War thanks … [Read More]

DPRK e-bulletin 21 April 2006: superdollars

The DPRK’s London embassy speaks on the subject of Western accusations of drug-smuggling and currency counterfeiting: Pyongyang, April 19 (KCNA) — The people’s security institution in the DPRK tasked to protect by law the socialist system, the life and soul of its people, tightly holding the arms for state security, is following with a high … [Read More]