January 27, 2014 |
YANJI, China - After the North Korean coal mine where she worked stopped paying salaries, Park Kyung Ok tried her hand at business. Buttons and zippers, candy and dried squid, fabric, plastic tarpaulins, men's suits and cigarettes. "I sold just about everything," said Park, 44. But it wasn't until she started hawking methamphetamine in 2007, she said, that she was able to earn a living. Methamphetamine, known as orum, or "ice," is a rare commodity manufactured and sold in North Korea, where most factories sit idle, the equipment rusted or looted.
April 3, 2013
Re "Reaching out to Pyongyang," Opinion, April 1 I am not a trained diplomat or a politician, but as one who is preparing for his fourth invited visit to Pyongyang since 2009, I have come to appreciate the value of one-on-one discussions with the North Koreans that Donald Gregg is advocating. Each time I leave, I am told: "We are aware of the tensions between your country and ours, and yet you dare to come. You are always welcome here. " In 2012 I was able to take to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea a delegation of American magicians as the first step in a hoped-for people-to-people exchange.
April 10, 2010
World Cup 2010: NORTH KOREA FIFA ranking: 105 Overall World Cup record: 1-2-1 Coach: Kim Jong-Hun Best performance: Quarterfinals, 1966 Overview: Making their first appearance in the World Cup finals in 44 years, the North Koreans face long odds in South Africa, where they are included with Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast in the so-called "group of death" in the first round. Although the North Koreans are big and fast, they are painfully short on international experience, fielding a roster made up almost entirely of players from domestic leagues.
April 6, 2013
Re "North Korea raises global alarm," April 3 The United States, in its role as world policeman, is constantly on the brink of conflict. Now we face the possibility of another war - this one nuclear. It's argued that nuclear arsenals act only as a deterrent; in other words, nukes will never be used. But with a belligerent North Korea potentially facing the U.S., the only nation to have ever dropped an atomic bomb in a war, nuclear conflict looms as ominously as ever. We have a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize and in his 2008 campaign expressed willingness to talk to our enemies.
April 22, 2012
North Korea is threatening "retaliatory measures" for a decision by the United States to withhold 240,000 metric tons of food promised as part of an agreement announced less than two months ago. Never mind that the cancellation followed Pyongyang's failed launching of a missile designed to put a satellite into space, an operation the U.S. considered a violation of that same agreement, not to mention U.N. Security Council resolutions. The regime's chutzpah and hypocrisy know no bounds.
November 15, 2009
If you go About 300 U.S. tourists travel to North Korea annually between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, the period coinciding with the Arirang Festival (commonly called "mass games") in the capital city of Pyongyang. This is the only time American tourists are allowed, according to Walter Keats, president of Asia-Pacific Travel in Kenilworth, Ill. Truly independent travel is not permitted; visitors are required to have government "escorts," who are with you whenever you leave your hotel.