New posters have been produced to encourage service personnel in the 70-day campaign of loyalty to greet the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Built on a floor space of 20 397 square metres and an area of 106 600 square metres, the complex stands on Ssuk Islet in the Taedong River that meanders through the heart of Pyongyang. The building consists of four stories above and one under the ground.
The complex in the shape of a large atomic structure symbolic of the world of science is a large, comprehensive e-library as well as a multi-functional diffusion centre of advanced science and technology and social education which are divided into indoor and outdoor exhibition grounds.
A model carrier rocket is installed at the central lounge. With this lounge as an axis the complex is divided into e-reading rooms, children’s dream hall, sci-tech development history hall, hi-tech exhibition hall, basic sciences hall, applied sciences hall and scientific inquiry hall. Workers, farmers, officials, students and children, to say nothing of scientists and technicians can operate and experience various kinds of scientific models.
The visitors can also relax themselves watching the sci-tech materials on the TV screen installed in the stairway hall.
Each floor has an information service section engaged in the service of copy, print and processing of images, designs and documents.
You can have free access to desirable data at any place of the complex using borrowed computers.
The complex houses 20 000 foreign and domestic books and magazines. The complex also has a section exclusively for disabled persons. A wide selection of e-books and multimedia conducive to their health recovery and educational and cultural lives are available. In addition, the section has proper facilities for a phonetic system and program and seats for keepers.
The sci-tech development history hall is furnished with comprehensive and systematized data of digitized domestic and foreign scientific and technological hits according to historical principles. The 4-D simulation cinema, cinema for science films and virtual science lab are of unique design. The complex has halls that are designed to hold exhibitions, festivals and fairs. The underground floor is comprised of intellectual goods exchange hall, shop, restaurant, bookstore and parking lot.
The complex is a solar, geothermal and energy-saving green building with a high-end sewage purification system.
Around the complex are an open-air study site, fountain park, a tower symbolic of science and technology which is in the shape of a pen point and an exhibition grounds and lecture yard. It also has a hostel with 500 beds which goes well with the surrounding environment to provide visitors with full convenience.
A growing number of people visit the complex--5 000 on a daily average and 10 000 at the maximum. The online lecture room in the complex enables the scientific research sector, educational institutions, industrial establishments and families across the country to receive convenient services in real time through the local network and share necessary scientific and technological data with each other.
Naenara - Pyongyang University of Architecture is training talented designers and technical personnel while putting greater emphasis on developing construction science and technology in leaps and bounds so as to make the country’s architecture catch up with world standard.
It has competent teachers and researchers, who are chosen as members of designing teams for architectural structures to be built across the country. Involved in the designing projects are postgraduate and other students with substantial ability as well. The projects provide opportunities for them to develop their creative abilities.
The designing team of the university rendered remarkable services to glorifying the year Juche 102 (2013) as the significant year heralding a golden age in construction. Between April and May it presented scores of architectural designs including the formation plans for several gymnasiums to be reconstructed in the sports village on Chongchun Street.
The university’s researchers achieved many successes in scientific and technological study. Among them is the method of masonry on three-dimensional curved surface of the red flag of the monument, which was highly appreciated at the 12th national invention and new technology exhibition and won the prize and medal awarded to the best inventors by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Full of ambition of beating the world in the field of architectural design, the university teachers and researchers created distinctive designs and formation plans for the structures to be built or reconstructed. In Juche 103 (2014) they completed designs of the buildings for comprehensive service facilities to be erected in the Wisong Scientists Dwelling District, those of the Korean Revolution Museum, the livestock farming base in the Sepho area, Central Zoo, Pyongyang Folk Park, Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace, May Day Stadium and other structures. And they developed multifunctional finishing materials by relying on domestic resources, as well as the computer-controlled vibration tester of structures.
Last year, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, they greatly contributed to the construction of the Pyongyang Municipal Mushroom Farm and Jangchon Vegetable Cooperative Farm in Sadong District, Pyongyang, and carried out in good time huge tasks of designing indoor and outdoor exhibits in ten exhibition halls at the Sci-Tech Complex, the terminal at Pyongyang International Airport, Wonsan Baby Home and Wonsan Orphanage, Pyongyang Corn-processing Factory and other architectural structures representative of the present era.
All the university staff are making selfless efforts to accelerate the sci-tech development of the country, fully aware of their honourable mission of being the advance group in the building of a civilized socialist nation.
Naenara - After the decree of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly on establishing economic development zones in provinces was published on November 21, 2013, several projects for economic development zones have started. Now development projects are flourishing and invitation of foreign capital is gaining momentum.
Chongsu Tourism Development Zone
The project for the zone started on October 30, 2014. Situated in a favourable natural and geographical region on the shore of the Amnok River, it is a tourism-oriented development zone.
The zone will consist of a cultural and amusement area, folklore area and DPRK-China friendship area, as well as edible herb-processing factory, timber-processing factory, spring water factory and piscicultural technology study base.
The zone covers part of Pangsan-ri and Chongsong Workers’ District in Sakju County, North Phyongan Province. The area of the zone is 3 700 hectares, 1 400 hectares of which belong to Pangsan-ri and 2 300 hectares, to Chongsong Workers’ District. Its geology is composed of silica, biotite, calomorphic, sericite and other schists of the Lower Proterozoic. Its northeastern geological structure tilts to the northwest by 30-70 degrees with the direction of strata being at the angle of 40-60 degrees while the northwestern one to the southwest by 50-60 degrees with the northwestern direction of strata being at the angle of 310-330 degrees.
The zone is under the influence of continental climate. Its climate is affected also by Pangsan Reservoir and Lake Suphung.
The annual average temperature is 8.2°C and annual average precipitation is 1 072 mm. The freezing depth is 68 cm on average and 104 cm at most. Belonging to the water system of the Amnok, all the streams in the zone have features as mountainous stream.
Distributed in the area on a small scale are streams from the right bank of the Amnok and the Fourth Formation of the downstream area of valley and structural springs gushing out from the northeastward and northwestward aquifers.
Containing bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium, the underground water of the area is of relatively high quality. Its source is the Amnok.
There are several small-sized locally-run factories and a farm producing vegetables, meat, eggs and fruit in the area.
The second-grade Sinuiju-Kanggye road passes through the places of production and Chongsong Workers’ District.
As the zone is near the Thaephyongman Power Station built by Pangsan Reservoir and Suphung Power Station, it has favourable conditions for the supply of electricity, and irrigation, industrial and drinking water.
Sinuiju International Economic Zone
Located in a border area, the zone has a bright prospect for the development of water and marine transport. Its development area is 40 km2.
The zone is a flat area composed of deposits of organic fine sand in the mouth of the Amnok. The average height of ground inside the bank is 45 m, geomorphology is 0-0.7% and the average height above the sea level is up to 100 m.
Its annual average duration of sunshine is 2 427 hours, annual percentage of sunshine is 58% and annual average precipitation is 1 001.5 mm.
The first and second annual main winds are northeast and north winds, respectively. It has the northeast and north winds in winter and southwest wind in summer in the main.
The Sinuiju International Economic Zone will provide opportunity for bonded processing, bonded transportation, trade and financial business, tourism, hi-tech industry and various other business activities.
To this end, it is planned to develop the zone into a comprehensive economic zone with a large-sized latest IT industry area, competitive production area, exports processing area, cargo area, trade and financial area, public service area, tourist area and a bonded port, and into an international city with an airport and trade port.
Encompassing the whole of Sinuiju and two ri surrounding it, the zone is already furnished with infrastructure. However, it is necessary to upgrade the existing infrastructure and expand its capacity and build infrastructure in its suburbs on a preferential basis.
The items of the construction of infrastructure include port, airport, railways, roads, power station, heating and gas-supply system, telecommunications (international, domestic, mobile and computer network), and water-supply, sewage-treating and garbage-disposing systems.
As the zone has rich and good workforce whose education level is higher than secondary education, and many competitive heavy- and light-industry factories and enterprises around it, the investment by foreign businesses will be cost-effective and conducive to its development.
Legal Environment of the Development Zones
Corporate bodies, individuals and economic entities from foreign countries can invest in the economic development zones.
The DPRK provides the investors with special favour in such fields as land use, labour employment, tax payment and marketing.
It encourages investment in the construction of infrastructure, cutting-edge science and technology and the production of goods with high competitiveness at international markets.
In the economic zones investors’ property, legitimate income and rights are provided with legal protection and their property is exempt from nationalization or confiscation.
As the development plans and construction of infrastructure progress, development businesses shall have the right to transfer or lease the land and buildings they have developed, and set the price for them.
In the economic zones the development businesses can transfer, lease or mortgage their rights to land use and building ownership within the term of validity by the method of selling, exchange, donation or inheritance.
The business which has received the approval for establishing business in the economic zones becomes a corporate body of the DPRK.
In the economic zones businesses are entitled, subject to contract, to obtain raw and other materials and commodities necessary for their business activities or sell their products within the territory of the DPRK outside the economic zones.
In the economic zones the enterprise income tax rate is 14% of settled profits and that for the businesses in priority sectors is 10% of their settled profits, which is very low.
The enterprise income tax on the businesses which have operated for more than 10 years in the economic zones will be exempted or reduced.
Businesses in the economic zones are free to bring foreign currency in and out and remit legitimate profit and other returns out of the zones without limitation.
In the economic zones intellectual property rights are entitled to legal protection and such business activities as banking, insurance, accounting, legal counselling and weighing, as well as advertising and tourism, are permitted according to relevant regulations.
Foreigners and their transportation means can enter economic zones via designated routes visa-free, with passports or certificates equivalent to them.
The environment for investment in the economic zones in the DPRK will be steadily improved in the direction of enhancing their international competitiveness, thereby stimulating the willingness to invest in them on the international scale.
Naenara - Changgwang Shop, which opened in November 1983, was rebuilt in Mirae Scientists Street that sprang up last year on the bank of the picturesque Taedong River in Pyongyang.
Twice as large as the previous one, it has a total floor space of 7 200 square metres and greatly improved appearance. The building has five storeys and a basement, and some 20 counters for hard glassware, plastic vessels, children’s goods, electrical appliances, articles for cultural use, sporting goods and others. Lifts and escalators of a modern fashion are available for customers, as well as children’s playground and snack bar inside it. It has a geothermal heating and cooling system, and service facilities are amply provided to store and sell goods and offer best convenience to customers.
On display are a wide assortment of consumer goods many factories and institutions have made with locally available materials and their own technology, instilling great national pride in the customers.
From Xinhua today - Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed here on Thursday to sign two protocols on trade as well as scientific and technical development.
These documents were signed by the island's minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, and DPRK ambassador to Cuba, Pak Chang Yul.
The trade protocol established the exchange of goods between both parties through a barter agreement in favor of supplies for Cuba's Railway Union and the sugar industry.
The agreements will also support other sectors such as healthcare, higher education, culture, sports and agriculture, among others.
Both Malmierca and Pak agreed that there exists a strong political will between Havana and Pyongyang to develop their economic and science links.
Cuba and the DPRK established diplomatic relations on Aug. 28, 1960, and have maintained relations in trade and commerce while supporting each other in international political forums.
At present, the Caribbean island and the Asian country have ties in education, oil, agriculture and trade.
KBC has long supported sports as a means to building business contacts between the DPRK and the world. (See our 2006 golf event in Pyongyang.) So we were pleased to read this in Reuters:
A Canadian man behind a series of trips to North Korea by basketball hall of famer Dennis Rodman is organizing an ice hockey tournament that may draw former National Hockey League (NHL) players to the isolated country.
Read the rest here.
This comes at a time when Canada and North Korea are not on good terms, what with the sentencing of a Canadian pastor to a life sentence with hard labor recently being given. The game could be an opportunity for some high ranking official from Ottawa to fly over and bring the pastor back, as is the usual plan when Westerners are detained and sentenced to long prison sentences in the DPRK, but we're not holding our breath.
Yonhap -- Trade volume between South and North Korea reached an all-time high in 2015 despite strained inter-Korean ties over the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons, a trade association here said Thursday.
Trade between the two Koreas came to US$2.71 billion last year, up 15.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the data provided by the Korea International Trade Association. The figure was the largest ever on record.
South Korea's shipments to the North grew 11 percent on-year to $1.26 billion, while its imports from the communist country expanded 20.3 percent to $1.45 billion, the data showed.
Inter-Korean trade surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2005, when the industrial park built in the border city of Kaesong went into operation in full swing. The amount neared $2 billion in 2012.
The trade, however, has been swayed by the ups and downs in relations between the two countries, which technically remain at war after the 1950-53 war ended in a truce.
Recently, the North claimed that it has successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test, rocking relations with the South.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) announced Tuesday it will open a bureau in Pyongyang, becoming only the second global news agency to establish a permanent presence in the North Korean capital.
The newswire signed an agreement with the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Paris, which will allow AFP to open an office in the nation where few foreign news organisations maintain full-time operations.
"The establishment of an AFP bureau in Pyongyang in the near future will help expand the agency's international network," said AFP's chief executive and chairman Emmanuel Hoog.
"AFP needs to be present all over the world to fulfil its mission of reporting news as fully as possible, notably through the medium of images," he added.
AFP's global coverage is governed by the principles of objective, accurate and balanced reporting.
Its Pyongyang bureau, which will produce photo, video and also text news, will be operational by the middle of 2016.
The office will be composed of two permanent North Korean staff who will work under the supervision of AFP's Asia regional management and work closely with a team of AFP foreign correspondents who will be selected to carry out regular reporting trips to the northeast Asian nation.
AFP will join only a handful of foreign media organisations that have offices in the North Korean capital, including the Associated Press, Kyodo news agency of Japan and Beijing's Xinhua agency.
AFP, one of the world's three major news agencies and originally formed in 1835, operates more than 200 bureaus in some 150 countries around the world.
From Daily NK:
Recent reports have revealed that the practice of leasing portions of state-run enterprises out to the nouveau riche class, known as donju [literally, ‘money masters’], are thriving in North Korea. As more and more donju emerge, fueled by the rise in market activity in the North, state-run enterprises are increasingly renting out portions of factories in return for much-needed cash.