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South Korean mafia movies inspire gangland activity in the North

gangsterwife

Special to WorldTribune.com East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Gangster violence is increasingly rampant across North Korea, forcing leader Kim Jong-Un to order a crackdown campaign. “There has been a marked rise in violence and misconduct from gang members in North Korea,” South […]

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N. Korean banking official takes $5 million in ‘revolutionary funds’ and runs

Luxury cars parked in front of a Pyongyang hotel.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The defection of a senior North Korean banking official who managed slush funds for leader Kim Jong-Un was prompted by the fear of being purged, sources and analysts here said. Yun Tae-Hyong, the […]

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Lacking food and other basic needs, North Koreans are increasingly turning to drugs

Thai policemen with about 2 million methamphetamine pills produced in North Korea.  /AP/Sakchai Lalit

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — A growing number of North Koreans — from elite Party members in Pyongyang to farmers in remote areas — are involved in the lucrative drug smuggling routes to China. Many have become addicts […]

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Some in carefree Seoul worry about waging futuristic wars in the here and now

Downtown Seoul, South Korea.

By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — Star Wars is coming. Wait around long enough, and we’ll see missiles and interceptor projectiles knocking each other out in great blazes of flashing light hundreds of miles above from where we cower in […]

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‘Eternal president’ Kim Il-Sung’s image disappears from currency giving rise to conflicting explanations

North Korean currency

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea has dropped the image of its founding father Kim Il-Sung from new banknotes as grandson and new leader Kim Jong-Un struggles to assert his authority, sources and analysts said. The North’s […]

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Report: Kim Jong-Un increasingly estranged from key sectors of ruling elite

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits the construction site of what was said to be a resort for scientists in Pyongyang.  /Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is at odds with Pyongyang’s ruling elite, according to media reports and sources here. “Senior officials in the Workers’ Party and the military are increasingly objecting to policies […]

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Mini-wars and world wars: Some uncomfortable comparisons

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By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com Conflict between Israel and the Hamas bears some startling resemblances to that between North and South Korea. Think about it: Israel and North Korea are both essentially client states. Israel couldn’t fight anyone, could not exist […]

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N. Korea designates six more economic zones in push to revive its economy

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un is said to fear he could lose power “if he fails to show economic achievements this year.”  /The Rodong Sinmun

Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea has designated six more economic development zones as its leader Kim Jong-Un is increasingly feeling pressure to attract foreign investments and show economic achievements, officials and analysts here said. The North’s […]

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War without end: A dream come true for North Korea and arms merchants everywhere

A rocket is fired towards Israel from the northern Gaza Strip on July 11.  /Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com Rocketing, bombing and bloodshed in the Middle East from Gaza to Syria and Iraq provide a bonanza for the world’s arms-manufacturers, none more than the North Koreans and the Americans. For North Korea, […]

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N. Korea’s cash flow woes said to prompt application to join global money laundering group

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Special to WorldTribune.com By Lee Jong-Heon, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — North Korea’s decision to join an international body combating money laundering and terrorist financing is aimed at easing the sanctions that have jeopardized the destitute nation’s cash flow from abroad, government officials and […]

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