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As ASEAN forum begins, Pompeo says still “ways to go” on denuclearization, By Colin Zwirko
No meeting yet scheduled with DPRK foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho
The U.S. believes there remains “ways to go” before North Korea meets Washington’s standards for denuclearization, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters ahead of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Friday.
Speaking in Singapore this afternoon, Pompeo insisted that North Korea must live up to the demands of the global community as laid out in various United Nations resolutions, and stressed that “Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearize.”
North Korean behavior inconsistent with this commitment indicates “they are in violation of one or both the UN Security Council resolutions” and that “we can see we still have a ways to go to achieve the ultimate outcome we’re looking for,” he added.
Previewing his trip to the event – sometimes referred to as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) – a State Department official told a special briefing that denuclearization would be a topic of discussion, but played down the suggestion that it would be Pompeo’s top priority.
“Our goal vis-a-vis North Korea remains the same, and that is to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore just a short few weeks back,” the official said.
“We too remain concerned about the scale of North Korea’s illicit procurement, in particular of refined petroleum products via UN-prohibited ship-to-ship transfers. And we use these meetings as opportunities to remind all countries of their obligations and adherence of UN Security Council resolutions.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also reiterated similar talking points in a briefing on Thursday, suggesting President Donald Trump and Secretary Pompeo are, at least outwardly, seeking to keep the pressure on North Korea, despite the week’s positive developments in the relationship.
ROK government agency to investigate potential for North Korean SEZ development, By Dagyum Ji
Korea Land and Housing Corporation seeking contractors for USD$177,257 research project
South Korea’s government-run land development agency plans to conduct a research project investigating the potential for special economic zones (SEZ) and industrial complexes in North Korea, a proposal seen by NK News reveals.
The Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) previously invested KRW110.3 billion (around USD$97.7 million) into a first-stage research project on now-shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) and parcelled out the right to use the land to South Korean companies.
The LH now plans to commission the SEZ-focused research project with the view that Pyongyang will soon promote an open-door policy, including the designation of a new special economic zone (SEZ), to attract foreign capital.
The Moon Jae-in administration’s “New Economic Map Initiative of the Korean peninsula” is also cited as demonstrating the timeliness of the project.
The LH seeks to develop an industrial strategy that can be applied to SEZs in North Korea, saying that Seoul will likely play a leading role in developing new SEZs or KIC-style economic cooperations project.
“It is necessary to establish strategies by each special zone (region), based on a review of the direction of North Korean industrial development and the reform of industrial structure,” the proposal, which was opened to potential subcontractors on Thursday night, reads.
Seoul should prepare for Pyongyang opening new SEZs or industrial development zones “on a full-fledged scale,” it says.
In the proposal, the LH said the aim of the research is to “take the initiative in inter-Korean economic projects and the development of [special] economic zone ([industrial] development zone).”
“We will utilize this research in decision making on setting the direction on the development of special economic zones… and the role of LH and plans for its participation.”
Researchers are being asked to analyze the condition and characteristics of each industrial location, along with the current status of roads, railways, ports, airports, and electricity adjacent to each province or SEZ.
The current status of the local economy, such as major industries and the present condition of factories including production capacity, technology level, and plan for expansion, will also be included.
Life in “Little Pyongyang”: a North Korean in New Malden, By Hamish Macdonald
A new documentary explores the nuances of life as a defector in Britain
New Malden, less than ten miles from the DPRK’s London embassy in Acton Town, has historically had a large ethnic Korean population and boasts one of the largest resettled populations of North Koreans outside of South Korea.
Since 2014, British filmmaker Roxy Rezvany has been seeking to document the lives of North Koreans who have left the DPRK and resettled in the small town in south-west London.
The resulting documentary, “Little Pyongyang”, is the culmination of conversations with one of these refugees and a resident of New Malden, Joong-wha Choi.
The film provides the viewer with an opportunity not presented often enough for most people: the chance to hear directly from a North Korean about their life, their hopes, their memories, their plans for the future and their experiences in the present.
Apart from being visually stunning, the documentary also presents certain simple truths that should be apparent, but very often aren’t, when it comes to the general public’s consumption of defector stories.
One of these truths is that despite similarities in experiences, “one defector is not all defectors”, as Michael Glendinning – founder of Connect North Korea – put it during the post-film screening panel.
Another of these truths is that while it is such a significant element of their lives, defectors are not defined in perpetuity by the human rights abuses they faced.
What comes next? Six upcoming North Korea events to watch out for, By Mintaro Oba
From the Asia Games to the UN General Assembly, there’s plenty to keep an eye on
When the late British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was asked how he would describe the greatest challenge facing a statesman, he had a pithy response: “events, dear boy, events.” Did Macmillan actually say this? Probably not, historians conclude. But the quote has made its way into countless commentaries because it is a constant friend to reporters.
Sanctioned North Korean tankers loiter near the Chinese coast, By Leo Byrne
Their appearance indicates a recent uptick in the number of sanctioned vessels broadcasting their locations
Two sanctioned North Korean oil tankers were loitering very near the Chinese coast during the week, while another appeared to be heading back towards the DPRK from an unknown location. Their appearance marks a sudden uptick in the number of North Korean oil tankers broadcasting their locations to international tracking systems, after a long period.
North Korean Miniso store rebranding process continuing, photos show, By Robin Brehm
Miniso-brand items now appear to be minority of stock on offer at Pyongyang store
A rebranding process at what was once North Korea’s only foreign brand chain outlet appears to be continuing at the site of the Pyongyang Miniso store, July-dated photos analyzed by NK Pro show. Miniso representatives sought to distance themselves from the store after it opened under the Miniso name in June 2017, amid concerns surrounding at Pyongyang store.