Sedan Kim Jong Un besteg tronen 2011 har investeringarna ökat kraftigt – i nöjesparker, hockeyrinkar, badanläggningar, ridskolor och i en sprillans ny skidanläggning. Här handlar det inte om bröd och skådespel åt vanligt folk, utan om att försöka släcka törsten efter välstånd hos en framväxande ekonomisk överklass.

Tro mig, det kommer inte att räcka. Därför blir det inte landsbygdens fattiga och undernärda som kommer att revoltera mot ett system som inte förmår att leverera livets nödtorft. Det blir huvudstadens rika som kommer att förändra ett system som inte klarar av att leverera livets guldkant.

I was only in North Korea for five days, but that was more than enough to make it clear that North Korea is every bit as weird as I always thought it was.

The 342-page report warns of civil war, a humanitarian crisis or even war with China. That becomes an even more deadly concern because of the North’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

My North Korean name is Shin In-kun (South Korean name: Shin Dong-hyuk). I was born on 19 November 1982. I was a political prisoner at birth in North Korea.

Kim Han-sol interviewed by Elisabeth Rehn for Finnish television.

Kim Han-sol is the grandson of Kim Jong-il. He never met his grandfather. At the time of this interview in 2012, he was studying at United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Hertzegovina.

According to one source, who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity, the current plastic IDs will be replaced with cards containing circuit chips which store data about the cardholder, including address, family background, and record of travel.

“North Korean people will be made to bring the new ID cards when they travel so security officers can know everything about their trip, such as the person’s destination, when he or she has traveled, and how many times they have traveled,” the source said.

And remember, when North Korea does this, it's oppression. When Western countries do it, it's for your protection and perfectly harmless. You have nothing to hide, do you?

At the end of the 1990s, Korea developed its own encryption technology, SEED, with the aim of securing e-commerce. Users must supply a digital certificate, protected by a personal password, for any online transaction in order to prove their identity. For Web sites to be able to verify the certificates, the technology requires users to install a Microsoft ActiveX plug-in.


It forced consumers to use Internet Explorer because it was the only browser ActiveX plug-ins were compatible with. By default, Web developers optimized not only banking and shopping Web sites for Internet Explorer, but all Web sites.

Unsurprisingly, this later caused all sorts of problems. And this, kids, is why "standardizing" on a vendor-specific solution, as opposed to an actual open standard, is an idiotic idea.

Few people have the chance to watch a shy young man grow into a ruthless dictator -- and live to talk about it. But, for one North Korean professor, Kim Jong Il is much more than the man holding his country hostage. He's a former student.

How do you photograph one of the most secretive countries in the world?

For Charlie Crane the answer was simple, photograph what they want you to see. If there is no possibility of getting underneath the surface then the answer was to photograph the surface itself. This series is taken from a larger body of work in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea.

Although not commonly thought of as a holiday destination all these photographs have been taken at tourist sites throughout the city.

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