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As ASEAN forum begins, Pompeo says still “ways to go” on denuclearization, By Colin Zwirko

As ASEAN forum begins, Pompeo says still “ways to go” on denuclearization

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.

ROK government agency to investigate potential for North Korean SEZ development

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

Life in “Little Pyongyang”: a North Korean in New Malden

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

What comes next? Six upcoming North Korea events to watch out for

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

Sanctioned North Korean tankers loiter near the Chinese coast

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

North Korean Miniso store rebranding process continuing, photos show

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.

Top MHI-NK Stories from around the web:

Thousands of North Korean Workers Enter Russia Despite U.N. Ban (Wall Street Journal)

Hasil gambar untuk Thousands of North Korean Workers Enter Russia Despite U.N. Ban

Russia is letting thousands of new North Korean laborers enter the country and issuing fresh work permits—actions U.S. officials say potentially violate United Nations sanctions aimed at cutting cash flows to Pyongyang and pressing it to give up nuclear weapons.

The U.N. Security Council in September barred governments from issuing new work permits to North Koreans, though some existing labor contracts were allowed to continue.


 

Trump touts second letter from Kim Jong-un (Associated Press)

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President Trump revealed Thursday he received another letter from Kim Jong-un as he thanked the North Korean leader for the “kind gesture” of returning the remains of fallen American soldiers.Mr. Trump touted his confidence in Mr. Kim in a tweet Thursday, thanking him for the “nice letter”…


Obstacle to new journey of north and south of Korea (Pyongyang Times)

The inter-Korean relationship has opened up a new chapter in history and is sailing towards improvement and development in the fair wind of peace, prosperity, reconciliation and unity which has been raised by the adoption of the historic Panmunjom Declaration…


N. Korean FM Leaves for Singapore to Attend ASEAN Regional Forum (KBS)

Hasil gambar untuk N. Korean FM Leaves for Singapore to Attend ASEAN Regional Forum

North Korea’s state media reported on Thursday that North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho has embarked on a back-to-back trip to Singapore and Iran.

While rubbing shoulders with her counterparts from various countries, Kang Kyung-hwa will discuss various issues, but a key subject of interest is the developments between the two Koreas. Kim Mok-yeon outlines what to expect during the FM’s visit to the island nation. South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha left Tuesday for Singapore, where she’ll spend six days attending this year’s regional forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. While there, Kang will engage in a series of talks with member states on regional security… and economic and cultural cooperation.

As of Tuesday, she’s scheduled to attend at least five sessions including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN plus three meeting with her Japanese and Chinese counterparts. But with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea’s foregin minister Ri Yong-ho also taking part in the forum,… the big question is whether the two Koreas might hold bilateral or even possibly trilateral talks together with Washington.

Speaking to reporters ahead of her departure, Kang pointed out that North Korea will be one of the main topics at the forum as a whole, and she hinted that her trip could yield fruitful developments. “I think a great deal of attention will be focused on the latest developments surrounding the denuclearization of North Korea. Regarding my bilateral meeting with the North’s foreign minister, nothing is set. But I’m hoping it will happen.”

Pundits are hoping that the tripartite meeting happens as well… because of the possibility it could pave the way towards North Korea’s denuclearization and towards full-fledged discussions about lasting peace on the Peninsula.


Pence takes Korean War veterans’ children to repatriation ceremony in Hawaii (Yonhap News)

Hasil gambar untuk Pence takes Korean War veterans' children to repatriation ceremony in Hawaii

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence picked up two family members of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War as he travelled to Hawaii to attend a ceremony marking the return of U.S. troops’ alleged remains.Pence stopped in California en route to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where a ceremony will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday (local time) following the repatriation of 55 sets of remains from North Korea last week.

“As we travel to @JointBasePHH, Karen & I are honored to be joined by Diana Brown Sanfilippo & her husband Robert,” Pence tweeted early Wednesday. “Diana lost her father in the Korean War during a recon mission. We’re also honored to have Rick Downes, whose father was lost while operating radar on a B-26 bomber.”

This photo, captured from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s Twitter account, shows Pence (2nd from R) with his wife, Karen (R), and family members of U.S. troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)

Reporting from Hawaii, Fox News host Pete Hegseth, who traveled with Pence on Air Force 2, said Sanfilippo and Downes were three or four years old when their fathers were sent to fight in the Korean War.”They recalled to me and recalled in media reports that last hug and that last kiss to their father before they went to that war and ultimately never came home, both shot down, remains never found,” Hegseth said. “They dedicated their lives for the last 60 years finding out what happened to their fathers.”

North Korea delivered the remains last week as part of an agreement reached by its leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump at their historic summit in Singapore in June.

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On Friday a U.S. military aircraft transported the remains out of North Korea to Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. And following a ceremony at the base earlier Wednesday, the remains were flown to Hawaii for forensic identification.The U.S. estimates that the remains of some 5,300 American soldiers have yet to be recovered from North Korea.

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