Tag Archives: Kim Jong-il

LFNKR’s 2012 Annual Report

Annual Report Released at 15th General Meeting 10/8/2012

Attending LFNKR’s 15th Annual Meeting in Tokyo this year were five North Korean defectors who have settled in Japan. They talked about how they had managed to survive and how they made a living in North Korea. They also discussed some of the difficulties they endured before finally making it to Japan.

New Propaganda Boosting Kim-Jong-un

 

Onsong, North Korea – Feb. 16, 2012

To mark the celebration of Kim Jong-il’s birthday this year, one bottle of distilled spirits and one cake of soap were distributed to every household in Onsong county. In other counties or cities, the quantities and items reportedly varied. North Korean citizens have begun saying of Kim Jong-un that “another Kim Il-sung (his grandfather) is born.”

NK People Uncertain Over New Leader’s Status

  

Kim Jong-un Depends on Regency of Chang Sung-taek

People in Onsong are saying that the recent conditions in North Korea remind them of the “Arduous March” back in the late 1970s.  There was a serious shortage of food then too. On Jan. 23, which is New Year’s day on the old calendar, the People’s Committee of Onsong County issued an order to distribute one 450-ml bottle of Shochu (distilled 20% proof spirits) per household.  Some troops received food rations on Jan. 2.

Outflow of NK Refugees Resumes

 

Burglaries Rise, Food Shortage Worsens

LFNKR received a seventh flash update on January 9 from a local staff member operating in China. According to his report, the outflow of NK refugees along the Tumen River, which had temporarily ceased, has begun again. Although border security remains strict following the period of mourning that marked the death of Kim Jong-il, a growing number of North Korean refugees are being seen in villages along the Tumen River.

North Korean Public Voicing Complaints

 

News Update from Inside NK

LFNKR received a further update on January 11 from a local staff member operating in North Korea. He reports that the public has begun openly speaking less reverently of the country’s leadership and especially the ruling Kim family itself. North Korea recently enforced a special security period, which ended January 10. During that period, Kim Jong-un, who serves as Supreme Commander of the People’s Army, visited and inspected a tank corps for the New Year.

Turning Kim Jong-un into the New Leader

 

Following the death of Kim Jong-il, authorities have further tightened their control over citizens.

Along the Tumen and Yalu Rivers, which run along the border between China and North Korea, every available radio tracking instrument is being brought to bear in a round-the-clock crackdown on cellular phones.

Rice Priced Out of Reach in NK

 

Price of rice skyrockets after Kim Jong-il dies

On Dec. 24th we received another call from one of our LFNKR staff members in the Rason Special Economic Zone in North Hamgyong. This member told us about the current food situation. The already tight food availability is worsening, which may result in many victims during the mourning period. In Rason, rice now costs 4,800 to 5,000 won per kilogram. However, the average monthly wage of a typical worker is only 2,000 to 3,000 won. Clearly, an entire kilogram of rice costs more than one worker can earn in a month. 

NK Execs at State-run Businesses also Cold, Hungry

 

On Dec. 24th, LFNKR’s Tokyo office received a fifth flash report from one of our local staff members in Rason Special Economic Zone in North Hamgyong. According to the report, at noon on the 24th, the only vehicles lined up to go through China’s Quanhe customs gate into North Korea were about 20 coal trucks bound for Rajin Port in North Korea from Heilongjiang, China.

Infighting Among Kim Jong-il Sons Expected

 

The LFNKR office has continued to receive intermittent calls from our local staff member in North Korea. Even though that country remains on high alert, the following report was received on the 23rd. People in the Onsong area of North Hamgyong have already begun discussing who will succeed Kim Jong-il. A common remark is that “Kim Jong-un is too young to run the country.”

Mourn Not for Kim Jong-il

 

Mourn Instead for his Victims

On Dec. 28 in Pyongyang a funeral will be held for Kim Jong-il. As do most of those involved in the North Korean human rights issue, we at LFNKR strongly feel that this funeral should commemorate the victims of Kim Jong-il and his brutal regime. We call upon the world – mourn not for this dead dictator.

All Year-End Events Cancelled in NK

 

In the afternoon of Dec. 22, our office received another report from our local LFNKR staff member in North Korea. The authorities in that country are cracking down and tracking all cellular phone signals originating from made-in-China cell phones being used in North Korea. Thus, the conversation between the local staff member and our office was necessarily much shorter than usual.

LFNKR Annual Report Released

Introduction

When North Korea suddenly switched to a new currency in November 2009, the low limit for exchanges ensured that any savings accumulated in old currency by North Koreans largely vanished. This demonstrates that although the developing private market activity had only reached a rudimentary level, it was possible for people to accumulate new wealth. This growing segment of newly wealthy was dominating distribution and their voices began to be heard in their communities.

Prosecute Kim Jong-il through ICC for Crimes Against Humanity

According to recent media reports, Kim Jong-il, now suffering health difficulties, has selected his third son, Kim Jong-un, to succeed him. The North Korean regime is reportedly accelerating plans to become an important military power by 2012.  This may explain why the regime has conducted repeated missile launches and nuclear tests in defiance of UN resolutions on sanctions, despite escalating tensions in the world community.

First Hints of Free Journalism for North Korea

Japanese Language Magazine Reports from inside North Korea

North Korea is increasingly attracting world attention because of its recent missile launch and the issue of who will succeed Kim Jong-il.  These issues should motivate us to step up our efforts to discover what is happening inside North Korea and how the common people are doing there. 

The flood of news about the missile launch, which usually depends on official North Korean announcements, helps hide signs that the badly weakened Kim Jong-il regime cannot afford to feed its soldiers and that the majority of common people see their leader’s policies as failures.  I believe that, to deal with North Korea, it is increasingly urgent to focus on the real picture there, rather than possibly over- or under-estimating the regime.

North Korea suffers from a serious ailment.  All the neighboring countries in East Asia, as well as the US are very well aware that the country’s illness is critical, and they are willing to help North Korea. They hope for the nation to become a healthy, normal country as soon as possible.  However, none of the concerned countries has been able to identify the cause or locate the wound. Therefore, they have not yet been able to properly diagnose or treat the condition. 

Although the international community is very willing to find the cause of this serious illness, the patient, North Korea, will not disrobe, will not even allow its pulse to be taken.

The North Korean regime has confined itself inside a deep hole, with no sign that it wishes to come out.  The regime, completely isolated from international society, is unlikely to heal itself without outside help. 

What is needed first is a proper diagnosis of the illness.  This requires that highly accurate, reliable information on the internal condition of North Korea be consistently supplied to the outside world.  A diagnosis based on inaccurate or inadequate information could lead to a misdiagnosis, leading to a delayed cure or even a worsening of the illness. 

This is why I decided to plant the seeds of journalism in North Korea. 

North Korea is currently going through a dramatic change. During the past 15 years, the commercial transactions started by common people after the economical failure of the nation have enormously developed with a resultant rapid growth of market economy.

Concurrently with the growth of the market economy, more people are beginning to go for self-sustained living. More people think for themselves, make their own decisions and take action. In other words, the people’s way of thinking and their sense of values are significantly changing.

The magazine features comments from common people in North Korea collected by Rimjingang reporters living underground while in the country. The comments represent true public opinions of the people living under this tyranny.

These public opinions may help provide the materials to help reach a proper diagnosis of the serious illness of the North Korean society.

Report by Jiro Ishimaru
(Publisher of Rimjingang, Asiapress)

Go here to read a brief introduction of Mr. Jiro Ishimaru and the “Rimjingang” magazine.



LFNKR Comments:

Even while North Korea still has many helplessly starving people, a growing number of individuals have begun to take matters into their own hands, setting up to sell small goods along roadsides or under bridges. They are seeking a private income for survival in response to the collapse of the government’s economic policy.

To discourage the spread of private selling, the government has set up public markets for small merchants, such as the one shown below.

The owner of each 1-sq-meter booth sells food in a publicly-run market in Kang-dong, a suburb south of Pyongyang.  (Photo by Chang Jung-gil, a reporter with Rimjingang, the magazine published by Jiro Ishimaru, Asiaoress.)

The owner of each 1-sq-meter booth sells food in a publicly-run market in Kang-dong, a suburb south of Pyongyang. (Photo by Chang Jung-gil, a reporter with Rimjingang, the magazine published by Jiro Ishimaru, Asiaoress.)

 

 

2 Tons of Rice Distributed to Poor in Hamgyong

This report is by Kim Hong-son, one of LFNKR’s local staff members. He writes:

In February of this year, I passed through the Chinese customs office at Kosong and headed for North Korean customs. Passing through Chinese customs took a mere 30 minutes, but on the North Korean side it took over three hours. The reason for this is the North Korean customs inspection process, which begins with a verification of relatives living in North Korea, and involves a full-body search in addition to an inspection of the goods being brought into the country.

Third Annual NK Freedom Week in Washington DC

 April 22nd through 30th 2006 in Washington DC

The North Korea Freedom Coalition has organized an impressive list of activities for the week of April 22 through April 30 to express public support for the North Korean people suffering under the repressive regime of Kim Jong Il.

Film “Seoul Train” Screened

Film maker Jim Butterworth speaks about North Korean refugees

Jim Butterworth’s Documentary of Conscience

Thank you very much. First, I would like to thank the IPCNKR for this opportunity to show “Seoul Train” here today, but especially for your outstanding efforts to improve the human rights of North Koreans. It is indeed an honor to be here before such an esteemed audience and alongside other speakers that are truly heroes in this cause.

North Korea’s Vendetta

Kim Jong Il Retaliates Against Family Members of Public Accuser

FROM: The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea, A Japanese NGO

1. Six North Korean refugees
Six North Korean refugees who escaped from North Korea and were arrested in Shanghai, China were deported to North Korea. The six, who are in mortal danger, are the elder son, the second son and a niece of Mrs. Shin Jung Ae, as well as the second son’s wife and two children.