Investors to Attend Basketball Party

The North Korean authorities have invited a select group of the state’s Chinese
economic partners to Pyongyang to help celebrate today’s birthday of Kim Jong
Eun, Daily NK has learned. The guests of the regime were expected to attend
a basketball friendly between an American side led by Dennis Rodman and a North
Korean side hand-picked by the former NBA superstar. 

A source in China informed Daily NK on the 8th, Some
Chinese traders who have given a great deal to projects in Pyongyang, including
the construction of department stores, shops and restaurants, have been invited
to go and celebrate Kim Jong Eun’s birthday. All accommodation, food and
travel while in the country is being covered by the Chosun side, and all other expenses are to be borne by the invitee.

Chosun [North Korea] has only invited a select group, and there will only be two or three officials
from the Chinese side, so the total number of people won’t have exceeded 30. Their
schedules for today are to attend the friendly basketball game and then inspect Pyongyang [Munsu]
Water Park. Later there will be a tour of Kaesong and Panmunjom, and I hear that a number of banquets have been prepared, the
source went on.  

By hosting the group in this way, Kim Jong Eun is following in the
footsteps of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, both of whom invited foreign business
people and dignitaries to partake of their birthday celebrations. The only
difference is the small number of invitees, the lack of publicity outside the
country thus far, and the fact that today is not actually a North Korean public

Jong Eun has not done much in terms of showing himself off as yet,” the source
posited, “and since he has a great many things to worry about at home right now, such
as the execution of Jang Song Taek, he cannot host a large spectacle for this
birthday this year. Nevertheless, it does appear that they want to convey their
gratitude to foreign investors, so hes invited them to
help him celebrate.”

Furthermore, These invitations have been extended
because there is a sense of urgency about attracting investment for special
economic zones and other projects that call for capital. After creating a
genial atmosphere via the tourist activities, they will actively work to
encourage the invitees to invest in things like the construction of water parks
in each major city.

Meanwhile, a second source has revealed that the North Korean
authorities have also summoned a select group of provincial cadres to Pyongyang
for the birthday celebrations. The source from North Hamkyung Province
reported to Daily NK, Some provincial cadres have gone up to
Pyongyang for the Marshals (Kim Jong Eun’s) birthday
celebrations on January 8th. This has not been officially reported to the
people, and cadres are the only ones being quietly called up.

Kang Mi Jin
Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to