DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea ko Thu, 14 Dec 17 17:21:59 +0900 dailynk logo http://www.dailynk.com/english/img/mark.jpg Resident impersonates officer to extort foreign media consumers http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14884 A North Korean resident has recently been arrested for impersonating a Group 109 officer. Personnel in this unit are responsible for cracking down on the consumption of foreign media such as South Korean movies and televisions shows. The accused was allegedly extorting money from victims after entering their homes without a warrant and demanding money in exchange for not reporting their transgressions. The same tactic is frequently employed by Group 109.“A person posing as a Group 109 officer was going around South Pyongan..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Wed, 13 Dec 17 11:33:29 +0900 5 A single-government system or a North-South Korean alliance? http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=14881 Unification under a single government After the fall of East Germany, West Germany absorbed the territory of the East and formed a new system under a single government. In the case of the two Koreas, a single government would likely lead to an improvement of political rights for citizens in the Northern territory. While it would be unlikely that the movement of citizens across the country would be restricted under a long-term plan, the new system may implement initial temporary restrictions on movement. Under a s..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Daily NK Wed, 13 Dec 17 10:50:47 +0900 5 Young defector inspires audience at British Embassy http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14883 North Korean defector Choi Jeong was invited by the British Embassy to tell his story. November 27, 2017. Image: Seol Song Ah, Daily NKA North Korean defector named Choi Jeong (alias), who is now studying in South Korea, recently told his story during a talk at the British Embassy in Seoul. Choi graduated from Hanawon (South Korea’s Settlement Support Center for North Korean Refugees) in 2015, and confesses he was immediately faced with a personal conflict about how to live his life. Choi described the immense differe..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Wed, 13 Dec 17 10:36:33 +0900 5 Plainclothes officers patrol areas around traveling Kim Jong Un http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14882 Kim Jong Un visits a newly-built potato flour factory in Ryanggang Province, Samjiyon County, as reported in an article published on December 6 by the Party-run publication Rodong Sinmun. It has been reported that at least one local North Korean resident in Samjiyon County was arrested for making a telephone call to South Korea while Kim Jong Un was in the area to conduct on-the-spot guidance at a factory. The individual appears to have been unaware of the fact that the leader’s visit to any area means stricter c..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Tue, 12 Dec 17 17:31:54 +0900 5 Parasitic infections induced by NK's failing public health http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14880 Unification Media Group: Reports have emerged describing the parasitic infection found in the North Korean soldier who defected by running across the Joint Security Area recently. The soldier’s health has renewed interest in the North’s general hygiene conditions. NGOs have reported that North Koreans have above average infection rates for such parasites. Today, we will speak with reporter Seol Song Ah to learn more about health conditions in the reclusive state of North Korea. Seol Song Ah (Seol): South Koreans have ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Mon, 11 Dec 17 11:54:53 +0900 5 North Koreans prepare for the new year by planning purchases and making resolutions http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01502&num=14879 Unification Media Group (UMG): Although it seems like just yesterday that we were all making our New Year's resolutions for 2017, December is upon us once again. Now we are all reflecting back on the year and our successes and disappointments. We are also curious about how our neighbors to the north are spending their time. Special correspondent Kang Mi Jin joins us again to discuss how North Koreans will spend the New Year and what kinds of resolutions they will be making. Kang Mi Jin (Kang): As we know, people in So..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Mon, 11 Dec 17 11:40:56 +0900 5 [Video] Female North Korean workers dispatched to summer resorts in China http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk03200&num=14878 ▲ A group of North Korean workers dance and sing at a resort in China. Footage has been pixelated to protect the identities of the innocent. Video: Unification Media Group (English subtitles available by clicking CC)Unification Media Group has been sent a video of a group of dispatched female North Korean workers dancing and singing at a resort outside Yanji in China’s Jilin Province.According to the source who sent the video to UMG, most of the women were originally dispatched to China to work in restaurants, but were als..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Mon, 11 Dec 17 10:56:15 +0900 5 Berlin Human Rights Congress 2017: Dialogue with North Korea needed http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk02501&num=14875 Pic1: (Front, l. to r.): Kwon Eun Kyoung (ICNK), Chang Hye Young (North Korean refugee), Kim Seung Chul (North Korea Reform Radio); (Back, l. to r.): Kang Shin Sam (ISFINK), Nicolai Sprekels (Saram)Image: Christian KochThe Institute for Cultural Diplomacy hosted The Berlin Human Rights Congress 2017 on November 24-25. Together with topics including equality issues, international law and crimes against humanity, human rights violations in North Korea were also covered. The opening speech was given by Nicolai Sprek..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Christian Koch Fri, 08 Dec 17 11:19:54 +0900 5 Authorities fail to provide food for soldiers prior to December drills http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14877 The North Korean authorities have ramped up ideological and military training since the beginning of the month, but reports have emerged that they are not distributing the necessary food or supplies for soldiers involved in the exercises, causing morale to plummet.  "The 12th Army Corps began exercises on the first of the month, but the leading commander said during opening inspections that he had merely received orders to carry out the drills, but had not received any accompanying provisions - quite the disconce..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Fri, 08 Dec 17 11:04:37 +0900 5 Military members investigated for ties to defectors http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14876 The North Korean military authorities are reportedly expelling members of the armed services with relatives who have defected or disappeared. The military has begun stepping up background checks and investigations to determine whether any members have ties to defectors. “Investigations have recently begun in the Ninth Corps, and some members have already been called before prosecutors. A common saying now is that 'no matter how well you do, everything can be brought down by the actions of a family member,’” a source i..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kang Mi Jin Fri, 08 Dec 17 10:58:47 +0900 5 Patients in South Pyongan Province treatment facility subjected to shock therapy http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14873 Unification Media Group (UMG): Temporary psychiatric facilities have reportedly been established in South Pyongan Province due to a recent rise in schizophrenia cases in the region. The temporary facilities have been built to quarantine and treat patients, who during tough economic times have become addicted to recreational drugs, and are doing things like setting fire to their own homes and damaging public property. Reporter Seol is here to tell us more about these developments. Seol Song Ah (Seol): The rise of marketizat..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Thu, 07 Dec 17 19:48:46 +0900 5 Defectors working hard to find work: NGO lends a hand http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk02501&num=14870 Togetherness Foundation Chairman Jang Hyeong-ok delivers a speech to mark the tenth anniversary of the organization¡¯s employment assistance center. Image: Togetherness FoundationUnification Media Group (UMG): The most important asset to provide North Korean defectors with as they settle into their new lives in South Korea is self-reliance. The Togetherness Foundation has been operating a Re-settler Employment Assistance Center in Omokgyo, Seoul, for the past ten years. The organization celebrated its milestone annive..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ji Seung Thu, 07 Dec 17 17:29:12 +0900 5 South Korean drinking culture creeps north http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14871 As North Koreans prepare for end-of-year festivities, the influence of South Korea’s cultural wave, known as "Hallyu," has led to one particularly striking linguistic change. During gatherings of family and friends, North Koreans can now commonly be heard saying "geonbae!" - the South Korean version of "cheers" used to toast each other's health. "It’s now common to hear groups of North Koreans across the country loudly exclaiming 'geonbae!' during gatherings, apparently due to the influence of South Korean media. The ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kang Mi Jin Wed, 06 Dec 17 17:32:32 +0900 5 Extortion with an axe http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=14872 Unification Media Group (UMG): In 2015, the UN established a human rights office in Seoul to monitor human rights in North Korea and record the testimonies of victims of human rights violations. The South Korean government has also taken up the responsibility of recording defector testimonies since late 2016. These records will serve as decisive legal evidence when punishing the perpetrators of human rights violations after unification. Today we will hear first hand accounts from the victims themselves, and discuss the ext..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Wed, 06 Dec 17 17:24:04 +0900 5 Wedding items available year-round as markets respond to shifting wedding culture http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01502&num=14869 Makeup manufactured in Kaesong is gaining popularity throughout North Korea. Image: Daily NKUnification Media Group (UMG): North Korean merchants and traders have in recent times begun promoting wedding-related products and services throughout the year as the country moves away from seasonal wedding traditions. Instead of working with wedding planners, people in the North typically put together their own preparations, which involves going to the market to purchase items themselves. Special correspondent Kang Mi Jin joins u..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Tue, 05 Dec 17 20:57:01 +0900 5 Chongjin MPS captain accused of frequent abuse of citizens http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14864 Unification Media Group (UMG): Human rights violations continue to increase in North Korea, as the regime seeks to maintain its authority. This series of reports aims to expose these systematic human rights violations as shared by the victims themselves. Today Reporter Yeom Seung Cheol returns to discuss repeated accusations against a police captain in Chongjin. YSC: I was recently told of an incident in the Pohang district of Chongjin involving a young police captain in his 30s. The captain, Choi Myeong Hyeok, is all..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Yeom Seung Cheol Tue, 05 Dec 17 18:16:35 +0900 5 MSS agents, in need of bribes, becoming less fierce http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14868 In a recent incident that reportedly occurred in North Korea’s border city of Hoeryong, officials from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security apprehended a local resident for making a telephone call to South Korea and demanded a bribe. While such events are routine, after receiving the money, the officials in this incident took the unusual step of driving the resident back to their home. “In the middle of October, a resident in Hoeryong was arrested by the Ministry of State Security (MSS) for making a call to South Korea..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Mon, 04 Dec 17 17:41:27 +0900 5 [Photos] Bridge linking North Korea with China temproraily closed for repairs http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14867 The dilapidated Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge connects North Korea's border city of Sinuiju with Dandong in China. Image: Daily NKThe Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge was temporarily shut this month, and reports are coming in that the North Korean authorities are using the closure to repair the railroad tracks. The bridge connects China’s Dandong City in Liaoning Province to North Korea’s Sinuiju City in North Pyongan Province. “The Chinese side shut down the Sino-Korean friendship bridge first, and then the North Korean..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Sung Il Mon, 04 Dec 17 17:25:41 +0900 5 Chinese smugglers ramp up marine trade with North Korea despite sanctions enforcement claims http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14866 Chinese smuggling vessels have been discovered skirting recent UN sanctions that ban trade in marine products with North Korea. Container cars have been sighted making their way from other North Korean port cities to the city of Yongchon in North Pyongan Province adjacent to the West Sea, where North Korean companies are loading Chinese smuggling vessels with the sanctioned products.  “Despite Chinese border agencies stepping up enforcement of sanctions and blocking trade with North Korea, trade in marine product..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Fri, 01 Dec 17 17:00:37 +0900 5 Pressure mounts on South Korea to confirm position on nuclear North Korea http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00300&num=14865 Over the past few years, the North Korean regime has accelerated its push to be recognized as a nuclear power, conducting its 4th and 5th nuclear tests in 2016 and it's 6th in 2017. The regime has also continued to improve its long-range missile capabilities, and a peaceful end to the crisis appears to be a distant prospect. In the predawn hours of November 29, North Korea launched yet another ballistic missile from near Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province. This marks the 16th ballistic missile test conducted by the cou..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Lee Kwang Baek, President, Unification Media Group Fri, 01 Dec 17 15:50:14 +0900 5 People's Unit leaders take advantage of census period to demand bribes http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14863 The North Korean authorities have reportedly begun pilot surveys in anticipation of a planned national census in October next year. A source in Pyongyang informed Daily NK on November 28 that "the authorities suddenly began carrying out a population survey in certain districts of Pyongyang." Daily NK has received similar reports from South Pyongan Province.   The Vice Director of North Korea's Central Bureau of Statistics previously stated in an interview with the Party-run publication Rodong Sinmun las..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Thu, 30 Nov 17 16:38:51 +0900 5 Moldy cornmeal blamed for soldiers’ diarrhea http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14862 On November 13, a North Korean soldier was shot while defecting to the South through the Joint Security Area. Through this incident, the world learned more about the reality of the North Korean military. It has been widely reported that North Korean soldiers are suffering from malnutrition and disease from inadequate food supplies and poor living conditions, but the situation appears to have grown worse under the Kim Jong Un regime. “During the Kim Jong Il era, ‘military-first politics’ made food and supplies for..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Thu, 30 Nov 17 16:07:48 +0900 5 Pyongsong-Hyesan minibus service 7x faster than state railway http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14859 Transport to northern provincial cities is receiving a boost with a growing number of minibus taxi services available to residents in North Korea. People are now able to travel between Pyongsong in South Pyongan Province and Hyesan in Ryanggang Province within 24 hours using these services. While the distance is approximately 300 km as the crow flies, the mountainous terrain makes for a longer journey. A source in South Pyongan Province informed Daily NK on November 24 that short and long distance taxi services have s..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Wed, 29 Nov 17 15:31:42 +0900 5 'One country, two systems' on the Korean Peninsula http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=14860 One Country, Two Systems On July 1, 1997, the British territory of Hong Kong was officially handed over to China, marking the unification of two systems with vastly different laws and social traditions. China's plan for the smooth transition of such a challenging unification was to provide Hong Kong with a continuing level of autonomy under what it calls the 'one country, two systems' idea. This serves as a relevant example to refer to when considering the possibility of a similar two-system government after the unifi..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Daily NK Wed, 29 Nov 17 15:10:40 +0900 5 Loan sharks resorting to violence to collect debts http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14861 North Korean loan sharks typically lend out bundles of 10,000 Chinese yuan notes to borrowers. Image: Daily NKReports of violence are increasing in North Korea as loan sharks turn to drastic measures to collect their debts. Many are reportedly finding it difficult to repay their personal money lenders as recent sanctions and other factors have led to economic difficulties. Heated disputes are expected to rise as the end of the year approaches.  A source in North Hamgyong Province informed Daily NK on Novembe..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kang Mi Jin Wed, 29 Nov 17 15:03:52 +0900 5 Kim Jong Un's orders reach remote areas late, received poorly http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14856 Residents living in North Korea’s mountainous regions usually receive orders from Pyongyang a week later than other regions, causing some residents to perceive a disconnect and mock the old-fashioned method of circulating orders by paper. Unlike illegal foreign media like the South Korean dramas that are smuggled over the border and quickly distributed throughout the country, orders from the authorities tend to take a long time to reach the people. This is due to the fact that the orders are distributed by old fashion..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kang Mi Jin Tue, 28 Nov 17 17:47:21 +0900 5 To prep for unification, empathy is key http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk03600&num=14857 After reports surfaced in the South Korean media about a story involving a female defector who decided to return to the North, more and more defectors in the South are hearing this question.These types of questions cause significant discomfort for the 30,000 plus defectors trying to resettle and readjust to life in the South, and shows that people born in the North and the South still need to invest in understanding one another. When North Korea engages in military provocations, defectors often bear the brunt of negat..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Han Yoon Seok, Hana Foundation Public Relations Manager Tue, 28 Nov 17 17:29:47 +0900 5 Winter boot trend popular among students in North Korea http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01502&num=14858 Residents showing off a variety of footwear, including boots, as they walk past Junggu Station in PyongyangUnification Media Group (UMG): An early snow in November marked the arrival of an early winter in North Korea. Merchants across the country are preparing as residents scramble to buy the necessary items to survive the winter, which is known for being harsher than in the South. Today we speak with special correspondent Kang Mi Jin to find out what items are in demand in the markets these days.Kang Mi Jin (Kang): A..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Tue, 28 Nov 17 17:05:49 +0900 5 North Korean cyber attacks becoming more brazen, sophisticated http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=14855 A screenshot showing a North Korean hacking attempt via a South Korean messenger app called KakaoTalk. The hacker made contact on November 22. Image: Daily NK. Cyber attacks targeting journalists who cover North Korea and non-governmental organizations dealing with North Korean human rights have become more brazen and sophisticated. In the past, hackers sent emails to random targets with attached files containing malicious code. A new “targeted strike” strategy has been observed, which uses the phone number of the person ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ga Young Mon, 27 Nov 17 15:35:48 +0900 5 After enduring worst of North Korean injustice, mother and daughter's narrow escape http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14854 Jo Yuri (32, from Rason) escaped from North Korea with her daughter in February 2014 and entered South Korea to start a new life five months later. In a short space of time, she has risen to new heights and now manages a cosmetics case company with nearly 40 employees, and has had appearances on television shows including KBS’ Window between North and South and TV Chosun’s MoranBong Club. Jo Yuri was the eldest daughter in a family that also had twin brothers. She was involved in trade in the North before her defectio..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Ha Ju Won Mon, 27 Nov 17 15:16:12 +0900 5 Decree seeks to hamper political talk by restricting alcohol consumption http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14853 North Korea’s Ministry of People’s Security has been ramping up restrictions on the consumption and sale of alcohol at restaurants in Pyongyang. Local sources are describing the efforts as an attempt to hamper political conversations from occurring amid the country’s increasing international isolation due to its nuclear and missile programs.“Starting from the beginning of November, the Ministry of People’s Security (MPS) has been plastering decrees on restaurants in Pyongyang and those outside the city on collective farms ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Mon, 27 Nov 17 15:06:33 +0900 5 [Photo] Loophole allows truckers to purchase Chinese oil for resale in North Korea http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14852 Trucks at a warehouse in Dandong (across the border from Sinuiju) being loaded with food and other items to be taken back to North Korea. Image: Daily NKDelivery trucks owned by North Korean trading companies have been seen repeatedly filling their tanks with fuel oil in China and returning across the border. Despite restrictions placed on oil imports in accordance with international sanctions, traders have found a way to purchase fuel in China for resale in the markets in Sinuiju, albeit on a much smaller scale."Form..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Fri, 24 Nov 17 17:22:40 +0900 5 Rental market gives ordinary citizens access to wedding ceremony luxuries http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14851 Unification Media Group (UMG): As fall wedding season winds down, we take a look at North Korea's surging rental market, which offers a rare chance for ordinary citizens to access relatively affordable table setting luxuries, hanbok, and other items. Reporter Seol Song Ah joins us to discuss the rental market and how it has affected wedding culture in North Korea. Seol Song Ah (Seol): Just as in the South, fall is a very popular time for weddings in North Korea, which normally continue through to next spring. The rent..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Fri, 24 Nov 17 14:08:58 +0900 5 Starting a new life in South Korea as a fortune teller http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14850 Min Ah Shin is a 47-year-old defector from Pyongyang who arrived in South Korea in 2014. She now works as a clairvoyant offering fortune-telling services and consultations. A common form of divination in Korea purports to look at a person’s fate by taking into consideration the month, date, and time of birth. Shin uses the method to offer life advice to her clients and feels that it’s the job perfect for her.   Her defection from North Korea was exceptionally difficult. After marrying her military officer husban..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Ha Ju Won Fri, 24 Nov 17 12:39:27 +0900 5 Party reasserts power over military with inspection of General Political Bureau http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=14849 North Korea's General Political Bureau Chief Hwang Pyong So, First Deputy Kim Won Hong, and other officials in the department have recently been punished, as revealed in a presentation to lawmakers by South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS). The latest intelligence report has raised the prospect of another possible purge of high-ranking officials in North Korea.  The NIS informed lawmakers that "Choe Ryong Hae, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), led an inspection of ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ji Seung Thu, 23 Nov 17 21:09:15 +0900 5 A better way: a defector's journey from hardship to happiness http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14848 Contentedness does not always come quickly to defectors resettling in the South. That’s the hard lesson that 50-year-old Kim In-sil has learned over her ten years in South Korea. Mrs. Kim escaped from the North and arrived in the South in 2004. She now works as a team manager at a cafe called “Dutch Forest,” and has found success and happiness by rising to a series of new challenges at the ripe old age of 50. To run a cafe that serves beverages like coffee, a barista’s certificate is required. Mrs. Kim learned her coffee-m..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ji Seung Thu, 23 Nov 17 15:44:57 +0900 5 North Korea's free medical system works, if you can pay the bribe http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01502&num=14847 Unification Media Group (UMG): In most modern nations, tending to a cold is a relatively straightforward matter. But in North Korea, where the healthcare sector struggles to cope with simple ailments, the situation is quite different. In fact, the ability to access care in North Korea’s “free universal medical system” is directly connected to the status of the patient’s profession and the size of the bribe they are able to pay. So when most residents get sick, they have no choice but to turn to the markets. Today, we speak..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Thu, 23 Nov 17 15:29:39 +0900 5 Authorities push tax on electricity generated by household solar panels http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14846 Reports are emerging of resistance across North Korea to the regime's recent directive ordering citizens to purchase new home electricity meters. Multiple sources are reporting that people are seeing the move as an unfair attempt to extract electricity taxes. One source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK on November 20 that "as early as this past spring, the authorities began handing down orders through neighborhood people's units to purchase the electricity meters, but people are not responding positively."The s..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kang Mi Jin Wed, 22 Nov 17 17:24:27 +0900 5 Singer Choi Sa Rang describes how music helped her overcome difficulties of new life in South Korea http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14845 Choi Sa Rang (45, defected in 2008 from South Hwanghae Province) is an active singer in the trot music community in South Korea. Choi's first album was more representative of the North Korean vocal style, but she has since changed over to a trot sound more familiar to South Koreans, hoping to attract a larger audience.But the transition has been more difficult than she originally expected. Choi had to approach the new style despite being unfamiliar with popular songs in the genre, and it was difficult for her to find a com..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ji Seung Wed, 22 Nov 17 16:11:58 +0900 5 Defector father obtains more than 20 certifications 'to stay ahead of the game' http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14842 In 2007, Soo-hyun Kim arrived in South Korea from Musan, North Hamgyong Province. Since his arrival, he has obtained more than 20 qualifications under the Human Resources Development Service of Korea’s qualification categories, from “electrical craftsman,” to “electrical engineer,” and “fire protection systems engineer.” These certifications have a reputation for being difficult to achieve. With all of them under his belt, he now has a job maintaining buildings and teaching certificate-related courses at an academy. F..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Lee Sang Ho, intern Tue, 21 Nov 17 17:25:20 +0900 5 Regime threatened by popularity of S. Korean media among security personnel http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14841 North Koreans secretly watching foreign media in their home. This is a screenshot of inside footage taken in May 2016, North Hamgyong Province. Image:Unification Media GroupIn the midst of stronger sanctions levied against the country for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the inflow of outside information continues to influence North Korean society. "Hallyu"-- South Korean movies, dramas, and music - remains at the top of the country’s wish list for illegal foreign media. The residents’ enterprisin..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Chae Hwan Tue, 21 Nov 17 17:20:39 +0900 5 Housekeeper from Pyongyang arrested in China and repatriated http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14840 A North Korean worker in her 50s was recently arrested in Yanji (China) and repatriated after allegedly overstaying her visa. The Chinese authorities are currently in the midst of a crackdown on illegal North Korean workers and those overstaying their work contracts. "A woman from Pyongyang who was working as a housekeeper in Yanji for the past 5 years was arrested at the end of October and sent back to North Korea. The authorities are trying to track down workers who are staying too long in China," reported a source ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Tue, 21 Nov 17 16:56:17 +0900 5 Mother's Day 'thank you' ribbons banned, deemed threat to cult of personality http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14839 Pyongyang residents shop for flower bouquets - a popular Mother's Day gift. Image: North Korean state television KCTVThis year’s November 16 marked the sixth year of the new Mother's Day holiday in North Korea, first instituted by Kim Jong Un after he came to power in 2011. The holiday is intended to highlight the role of mothers as the "amazing teachers and guides" of the nation. But the authorities have banned people from attaching any special messages of thanks to bouquets of flowers sent to mothers for the occasio..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Mon, 20 Nov 17 15:30:06 +0900 5 Sexual abuse of workers by local party leader goes unchecked http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14838 Unification Media Group (UMG): Human rights violations continue to increase in North Korea, as the regime seeks to maintain its authority. This series of reports aims to expose these systematic human rights violations as shared by the victims themselves. Reporter Yeom Seung Cheol recently learned from sources in North Korea about an incident involving the abuse of power by a local official.Yeom Seung Cheol (Yeom): I spoke with sources in Hoeryong (North Hamgyong Province), who revealed revelations relating to Primary ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Yeom Seung Cheol Mon, 20 Nov 17 13:35:00 +0900 5 Defector achieves dream of becoming social worker http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14837 Choo Na Rae, a defector from North Korea’s North Hamgyeong Province, says she could never have imagined leaving her country as a child. After constant indoctrination telling her that North Korea was the greatest nation on earth, the thought of leaving simply did not occur to her. But when it became difficult to survive in the North, Choo decided that she had to find her relatives in China, where she was greeted by a shocking new world quite different from the one she was used to. "I was surprised to see that rice was ..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Lee Sang Ho, intern Mon, 20 Nov 17 11:35:16 +0900 5 Pyongyang resident describes effects of recent sanctions http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=14835 Analysts have commented on North Korea’s ability to withstand the effects of sanctions over the last year, which has seen intensified efforts by both the US and China. The following interview was conducted with a Pyongyang resident, who recently visited Jilin Province (China), where he sat down with Daily NK. His comments shed light on the effects of the international sanctions and how ordinary citizens have adapted to the changes.Daily NK (DNK): Many in the international community are saying that the recent round of sanct..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Sung Il Fri, 17 Nov 17 17:38:44 +0900 5 North Korean writer hopes to spread the truth about his country http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14834 Lim Il is a 49-year-old professional writer who first came to South Korea from Pyongyang in 2005. Over the last twelve years, Lim has participated in international writing competitions, written for magazines and newspapers, and authored 9 books of his own. Though he sometimes has to make sacrifices as many so-called starving artists do, Lim feels his work is too important to ignore.Lim Il is fighting for the basic rights of the millions of people living in North Korea, where access to information about the outside world is..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Kim Ji Seung Fri, 17 Nov 17 13:33:14 +0900 5 Prison camps stopped recording deaths of prisoners under Kim Jong Un http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk02500&num=14833 As market activity declines due to increased economic sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs, residents are turning to more clandestine economic activity, leading to a rise in arrests and incarceration in the nation's prison camps. The situation is deteriorating as reports of human rights violations show no signs of abating. In the North’s correctional labor camps (kyohwaso) and labor education centers (kyoyangso), it is common for prisoners to be beaten until almost dead, and they are ofte..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seol Song Ah Fri, 17 Nov 17 13:02:37 +0900 5 Growing cellphone use sign of North Koreans thirst to access and spread information http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01502&num=14828 The cellphone on the left is the Pyongyang 2418 model, and the cellphone on the right is the Arirang 151, a smartphone with a slide out design. Image: Kang Mijin, Daily NK. Unification Media Group (UMG): Talk of increasing cellphone purchases is swirling around North Korea. Today, we will take a look at the models that are available to North Koreans, and how cellphone use is transforming the daily lives of people in the country. For more, we turn to special economic reporter Kang Mijin. Kang Mi Jin (Kang): Cellph..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Unification Media Group Thu, 16 Nov 17 17:53:19 +0900 5 Defectors with professional experience deserve better support programs http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01300&num=14830 The past year has seen a number of milestones for the North Korean defector community in South Korea. Events are being held regularly to increase awareness of women’s rights and to share defector stories. Hanawon, a facility that assists defectors in settling into South Korea after their arrival, recently celebrated its 235th graduating class. However, for those who graduate from the Hanawon program, the years that follow can be a challenging time filled with successes and failures.Despite the fact that many in South Korea..]]> DailyNK - Brightening the future of Korea Seo Jae Pyong, Secretary-General, Association of the North Korean Defectors Thu, 16 Nov 17 16:51:55 +0900 5