From The Korea Times:
From The Korea Times:
North Korea launched its own version of Facebook -- "Best Korea's Social Network" -- on Friday but shut it down soon after a Scottish teenager hacked into it.
According to CNN Money, Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis firm Dyn DNS, found the website on a North Korean server and told the media it was available to people outside the isolated country at www.starcon.net.kp.
But within hours of its launch, Scottish teenager Andrew McKean hacked the website by using "admin" and "password" for the login details.
He said he could "delete and suspend users, change the site's name, censor certain words, manage the ads and see everyone's emails."
The website not only looked like Facebook, but had similar functions such as uploading a cover photo and profile picture, finding friends, sending messages and posting a status message.
Madory said: "[I'm] not sure this was an official North Korean government project. But someone inside the country had to have done this."
He said the website was hosted in North Korea, unlike other North Korean websites, which were hosted in China.
The Pyongyang University of Technology (PUST) Facebook page posted the first video of what they plan to be a series of videos showcasing life at the university.
"PUST is inviting you to glimpse life at our university through a new video series, 'PUST Stories'.
"The first video in this monthly series introduces PUST from the perspective of a first-year (freshman) English student.
"June will bring another glimpse - this time of the PUST Dental Clinic, which is located on campus, and the Dental School, which is the first school to begin classes in PUST's Division of Medicine (DMS)" the post said.
Notably, the video features Kim Mi Hyang, a female freshman student at a school that was all male until April 2015.
Watch the short BBC report on PUST here.
I came across this fun looking product and had to share. The box does indeed say "brain activator glasses" on it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem these get shipped internationally. This is the actual product description:
Use of a medicine forcibly disconnects the neurotransmission functions of the brain, causing you to feel refreshing for a while. But, when the effect of the medicines expires, the symptom returns. Accordingly, you have to take the medicine again or want more doses. This further disturbs the rhythmic movement of the brain and lowers reaction to the medicine, resulting in liver disorder, failure of memory and addition to medicines.
Recently, Pyongyang Medical College of Kim Il Sung University has developed brain activator glasses, which can effectively deal with cerebral and mental disorders by recovering the damaged rhythms of the brain.
It has a remarkable effect on treating various kinds of headache including mental pain caused by insomnia. It also raises your cognition and relieves you of your mental and physical stress. It is good for students with headache and losing appetite caused by excessive thinking. It also frees you of mental and psychological disorders such as uneasiness and nervous breakdown, as well as geomagnetism-related troubles.
You may use the device either in a lying or sitting posture. It is more useful when you use listening to your favourite songs. The rays emitting from the apparatus cause no physical damage including eyesight trouble.
This is a March 16, 2016 report on the economy from The Pyongyang Times.
Industrial output grows rapidly thanks to the heightened revolutionary enthusiasm and creative spirit of selfreliance and self development of service personnel and people, who have risen up in the day and night march true to the call of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea for launching a 70day campaign of loyalty for the Seventh Party Congress, according to a report of the Korean Central News Agency on March 12.
The nation’s industrial production increased 1.2 times in the first ten days of March over the same period of last year.
The Pukchang and Pyongyang thermal power complexes and other thermal and hydropower stations across the country pressed on with power generation as scheduled, far exceeding the tenday targets set by the Party.
Coal mines in the western areas including Tokchon and Sunchon cut thousands of tons of coal more every day.
The Ministry of Coal Industry overfulfilled the tenday production plan by 13 per cent and the results of major and preliminary tunnelling far surpassed the plan, securing hundreds of reserve coalcutting faces.
The workers of the Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex doubled the Juche iron output over the same period of last year, and all metallurgical bases conducted a dynamic drive to increase iron and steel production.
Amidst the heated emulation and experiencesharing in iron ore mines in Musan, Unnyul, Thaethan and other areas, the Jaeryong Mine increased daily production over 1.5 times on average, thus taking the lead in the supply of concentrated iron ores to metallurgical factories.
The Ministry of Railways, all the railway bureaus and their branches commanded railway transport scrupulously and gave top priority to concentrated transport without accident to overfulfil the plan for main freight.
The increased production in the vanguard economic sectors injected a new lease of life into the overall major industrial sectors such as machinebuilding, chemical, building materials and mining industries and forestry.
The Taean Heavy Machine Complex completed the production of generating equipment till March 9 in a matter of two months and sent them to the construction site of Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 3 on March 10.
The workers of the large machinebuilding bases in Ragwon and Ryongsong and the Sungni Motor Complex speeded up the processing of products and increased the production of spare parts including various kinds of gears and speed reducers, a great contribution to a 1.5 times rise in the production of thermal power generating equipment of the Ministry of Machine Building Industry.
The workers of the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex hit the Juche fertilizer production target for the first ten days of March.
Cement production is also growing in the Sangwon Cement Complex whose workers and technicians have turned out to break the production record again this year after last year.
Many forestry and prop production stations carried out their first quarterly and yearly timber production quotas.
Farming preparations were brisk on the agricultural front, resulting in a 1.7 and 2.8 times growth in the securing of hukposan and microbial fertilizers and an over 1.3 times increase in the acreage of field carpeted with humus soil. Officials and fishermen carried out the plans of the Ministry of Fisheries for ten days 121 per cent.
Daily amount of catch increased rapidly and fishing results saw a leap in the fishery stations on the east and west coasts.
Hundreds of workers hit their targets for the first quarter and half of the year in the field of textile industry. Kumkhop, Pomhyanggi and Maebongsan and other popular brands saw a sharp rise in sales.
Many major construction projects progressed apace including those for Paektusan Hero Youth Power Station No. 3, reconstruction of Kim Il Sung Stadium, secondstage reconstruction of the Central Zoo, capacity builup of the Central Tree Nursery of the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection, the central class education hall and Wonsan Army People Power Station.
Many young people volunteered to work in labour consuming fields and hundreds of workers carried out their yearly plans
I remember buying bottles of Yanjing beer for what was then about $0.30 each (RMB2) from the little store on the ground floor of my Beijing apartment. When I returned to the States and got a hankerin' for a Yanjing, I paid $2.19 (about RMB14) for a bottle in a Chinese supermarket in Rowland Heights. I don't remember exactly what I've paid for beers in the various watering holes of Pyongyang I've been to, but anyway, this post from The Korea Times gave me a little chuckle. Especially the last line:
Korea take steps to abandon its nuclear program. Huge concessions given to Iran (and China in the US-China climate agreement) would seem to justify this view.
So, as Obama tours Cuba, Pyongyang is no doubt watching very closely, and in the weeks and days leading up to Obama's Cuba visit, DPRK media have been showcasing DPRK-Cuban relations in what is perhaps a subtle "me too!" gesture.
On March 9 "a meeting was held at the Taedonggang Diplomatic Club on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Fidel Castro Ruz’s visit to the DPRK. Present there on invitation were ambassador Jesus De Los Angeles Aise Sotolongo and staff members of the Cuban embassy in the DPRK" KCNA reported.
Kim Sung Du, chairman of the Educational Commission and chairman of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with Cuba "said in a speech that Fidel Castro Ruz’s visit to the DPRK was an important occasion that strikingly demonstrated the firm will of the parties and the peoples of the two countries to carry on the struggle for the victory of the socialist cause under the uplifted banner of independence against imperialism.
"He stressed that the Korean people will regard the Cuban people as the brothers and sisters of the same class and comrades-in-arms standing together on the forefront of the struggle against the imperialists and the US and will make all efforts to boost the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries."
That, or, trying to woo the imperialists into injecting some much needed capital into their economies.
On March 14 Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK met with "a delegation of the Centre of the Cuban Workers headed by General Secretary Ulises Guilarte De Nacimiento, who paid a courtesy call on him, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall."
The following day was the annual meeting of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with Cuba "attended by Kim Sung Du, chairman of the Education Commission who doubles as chairman of the above-said committee, So Ho Won, vice-chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, members of the solidarity committee, Jesus De Los Angeles Aise Sotolongo, Cuban ambassador to the DPRK, and staff members of his embassy."
According to KCNA, "The meeting reviewed last year’s work of the committee and discussed this year’s action program."
One can't help but wonder if as Pyongyang watches Havana and Tehran opening to Washington, there is a case of "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" going on.
KCNA - Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, first chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, declared the construction of Ryomyong Street and set forth the tasks for it on the spot, though he was very busy with his guidance over the 70-day campaign while disciplining the enemies' anti-DPRK moves in the Paektu attack spirit.
The street is to be built in an area between the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun and Ryonghung Crossroads in Pyongyang.
Seeing the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the sacred temple of Juche where President Kim Il Sung and leaderKim Jong Il lie in state, and Ryongnam Hill where the leader made a historic oath "O Korea, I Will Add Glory to Thee", Kim Jong Un named the street to be built "Ryomyong Street" in the meaning that it is a significant place from where the dawn breaks in the Korean revolution.
He examined a layout of the street, a map showing the bird's eye view of it and its model board and gave instructions for building the street into a monumental edifice strikingly displaying the WPK's idea of attaching importance to science and talents and the might of socialist Korea.
The essence of its construction is to splendidly build apartment houses for scientists and researchers including educators of Kim Il Sung University, nursery, kindergarten, laundry, post office and other public buildings and public service amenities, he said, stressing the need to push forward the construction of Building No. 3 of the university at the same time.
It is the Party's intention to turn Ryomyong Street into an energy-saving and green street in the 21st century, he said, adding that the designing and construction units should set it as a goal to ensure the lighting and heating systems for the houses and public buildings with solar panels, geothermal energy and natural lighting and build rooftop greenhouses to go green.
Saying that he would dispatch the solider-builders, who took part in the construction of Mirae Scientists Street, to the construction of Ryomyong Street on the order of the KPA Supreme Commander, he gave an instruction that the entire party, state and society should render positive assistance to the construction and the Cabinet, commissions, ministries and national institutions take the lead in this work.
As Curtis Melvin points out: “This is the sixth overhaul of a specific housing area in Pyongyang since the 2012 'Strong and Prosperous Nation (강성대국) Policy' was implemented. The successfully completed efforts are Mansuade Area 1, Mansudae Area 2, Unha Scientists Street (for employees at the Second Academy of Natural Sciences), Satellite Scientists Street in Unjong District (next to State Academy of Sciences and new SEZ), and finally the Mirae Scientist Street in Phyongchon District, which houses facilities for Kimchaek University, a health club, lots of shops and restaurants, and possibly the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry (address in Haeun-2 dong). There are still many housing units that were started in 2012, but never completed, particularly in Hyongjesan and Rakrang Districts."
Naenara - Two stamps were issued in the DPRK to mark the 70th anniversary of the birth of the first postage stamp in the country.
Seen on the upper parts of the stamps are letters “70th Anniv. of Issue of DPRK’s First Postage Stamp”.
One of them shows stamps and postcard, including “Samsonam” issued on March 12, Juche 35 (1946), and a peasant doing farm in his own land provided after the country’s liberation from Japan’s colonial rule and a woman peasant reading a letter in happiness.
The other shows a stamp depicting the flattering DPRK flag, the Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall and recently-issued stamps.
Prospecting corps under the Ministry of State Natural Resources Development in the DPRK have over-fulfilled their daily plan in the ongoing 70-day campaign.
Ri Kye Dong, vice-director of the ministry, said: The ministry set up targets to be hit for 15 days from the first day of the campaign and carried out the industrial output, one of the targets, by 20 percent.
The South Phyongan Provincial Prospecting Bureau secured several millions of tons of anthracite deposits in the area of Tokchon, while the Puksan Geological Survey Team topping its daily boring plan.
The Anbyon Geological Survey Team under the Kangwon Provincial Prospecting Bureau stroke a vein of high-grade magnetic iron ore.
The Poptong Geological Survey Team is carrying out detailed prospecting for ultra-anthracite deposits at the final stage after proving them. Experts say those deposits would be greatly conducive to the improvement of people’s living.
Prospecting corps in different parts of the country, including Inhung, Komdoksan, Ongjin and Jangbang, stroke lead, zinc and other mineral deposits and, on this basis, brought about good results in boring by operating all equipment at full capacity.
Meanwhile, big efforts have been made to upgrading prospecting equipment.