Het Verre Oosten

Even geleden was het Noord-Korea op The Big Picture: On the Spot with Kim Jong-il – hoe de Geliefde Leider zijn volk inspireert door ter plaatse af te stappen en met zijn Kamiel Kafka-berenmuts een beetje zurig te staan kijken.


Ik kwam vorige week zuiver toevallig, vraag me niet hoe precies, op een nieuwsbrief terecht: North Korea Today. Het is bijna onmogelijk om te verzinnen wat er tegenwoordig in Noord-Korea aan de hand is, als die nieuwsbrief te geloven is.

Epidemieën van griep en andere ziektes, bijvoorbeeld. Of ettelijke doden wegens ondervoeding en hongersnood—niet dat dat abnormaal is, maar wél dathet  buiten de gewoonlijke periode van hongersnood is:

In the beginning of year 2010, there has been continuous news about the starvation not only from the infertile provinces of North and South Hamgyong and Kangwon but also from the bread basket provinces of North and South Hwanghae and North and South Pyoungan. The news is more shocking because death by starvation is occurring outside the period of "bori gogae," critical period in spring when the stored grains run out and new crop of barley not yet harvested.

Of nog, in plaats gras te eten tussen mei en augustus, aten ze in de ander nochtans zeer vruchtbare Hwanghae-provincie tussen maart en november gras:

Last year, the farmers ate grass porridge from May until August. The situation this year has worsened and the farmers have been eating grass porridge since March, even in the midst of harvest season. During last spring’s lean season, many families could not work due to starvation and this year the situation has declined further. A farmer complained, “The army units took away the entire early harvests of potato and barley and left none for us. It’s going to be difficult for them to force absent farmers to work.” The collective farm mangers visited absent worker’s houses to talk to them about coming back to work. Once they witnessed and realized that the farmers only had a mixture of corn powder and grass porridge to eat, they were silenced.

Of, nog, die keer dat ze vorig jaar besloten om een nieuwe munt in te voeren. Goed idee: iedereen krijgt 500 won, en al het oude geld is, euh, niet meer geldig. En alles komt goed, echt waar beloofd, want de Geliefde Leider zegt het:

“The fundamental purpose of the currency exchange is to improve the lives of the laborers, office workers, and farm members from the current level to a higher level.” The explanations are as follows: “Due to the nationwide circumstances and various natural disasters, farming had been poor for several years. As there were problems in securing food for the residents and feeding them, the living standard had deteriorated for several years. The Great General’s desire is to open the gate to the Strong and Prosperous Nation, eliminate any shortage of food, and let people live happily in the Strong and Prosperous nation, lacking nothing. Our great leader, while he was alive, said that his greatest joy would be to have the people eat beef soup, wear silk cloths, and live in houses with tiled roof.” A Strong and Prosperous Nation is to be built by April 15, 2012 and people would live in enormous prosperity. The purpose of the currency exchange is clearly to build the Strong and Prosperous Nation. It was further explained that “Since our money were old and in poor shape, the new Finance Minister proposed the currency exchange measure. It’s also being done in order to improve the quality of the new currency to the global standard.

Oh, en alle fabrieken en zo liggen een week stil. En straffen voor wie het oude geld verbrandt of op een andere manier vernietigt:

Last December 5, a resident of Suwon 1 Dong was arrested and executed in public at Soonam Market in Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province. He was charged with burning the old currency. He was arrested on the spot when he burned about 18,500,000 Won which became obsolete due to currency exchange. To prevent any similar incidents, he was publically executed the next day for reactionary activity with no hearing or trial.

Alle bedrijven moeten kunnen aantonen dat ze voedsel importeren of ze worden gesloten:

The Cabinet Office instructed all trade companies in the country “not to import any commodities other than food.” It is spurring the purchase of food by delivering an ultimatum stating that a trade company that cannot import food will be dissolved. The Central Party directly instructed the customhouse as such: “Inflow of food is the foremost priority. There will be a preferential treatment for food, and any act that regulates or disrupts it will be severely punished.”

En vergis u niet, onder “voedsel” wordt eigenlijk “rijst” bedoeld, want fruit komt er ook niet in:

On February 7th, fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas that allegedly came in free of charge for February-16 holiday have been rejected on the bridgehead in Sinuiju. A security guard in customs authorities explained, “The instruction of the Central Party is to prohibit the entering of every commodity other than food. If a person allows in such commodities even if they are of free supports, he will be severely reprimanded. Until now, the goods purchased by the powerful organizations for their interest have been connived to be entered under the pretext of being free supports. This will not work anymore unless it is rice.”

Vreemde “spionageschandalen” ook: iemand die zijn vrouw belt in het buitenland, of die keer dat een verpleegster met een camera als pen vermomd beelden maakte van de levensomstandigheden in het hospitaal in Yusun-dong, en dat ze dan meteen zowat alle dokters en verpleging aan de deur gezet hebben en vervangen door mensen uit een andere stad.

Heoryong City, North Hamgyong Province is still reacting to November’s major espionage incident that involved a Primary Party Secretary and doctors at the People’s Hospital in Yusun-dong. Last November 10, a nurse working at Sanwon Hospital was caught at the Defense Security Command Checkpoint while carrying a fountain pen that was being used to videotape the harsh living conditions in major city markets and residents. As soon as her interrogation was finished, 60 people at the People’s Hospital in Yusun-dong were arrested, including the primary party secretary and six doctors that had possibly worked together with the perpetrator. There are over 20 people who fled as soon as the Primary Party Secretary at Yusun Hospital was arrested. The Province National Security Agency of North Hamgyong Province commanded lower level agencies to catch everyone who fled using all means and methods. The Province National Security Agency Investigation Bureau and Counter Intelligence Bureau announced, “We will penalize any spies who leaked the party’s and the country’s confidential information through infiltration of the party and government organizations during the period of reconversion for the Strong and Prosperous Nation.

Of dat de Geliefde Leider werkelijk alles kan controleren, ook de haarsnit vna zijn onderdanen:

November 11, 2009, Central Youth Union Committee ordered, “We need to criticize those who models after foreign styles instead of our own.” Accordingly, Youth Union officials were mobilized to crack down on young people’s hair style. They announced at the Informant Lecture, “at the end of September, our Beloved Leader was on his way to a site visit and expressed a concern when he sighted the hair style of a sales clerk at the Junseung store by saying, what is wrong with her hairstyle?; That is not our native hairstyle.” and added, “Is she really our own Korean woman? Why is she giving up our own traditional beauty and chose to model bad foreign habits of the capitalist? He immediately ordered that women should not wear skirt length above their knee, tight pants, flared pants or anything that shows the contour.” They also identified the traditional market seller’s name, age, and position and proclaimed, “Young people need to dress and do their hair in our traditional style.” Currently, Youth Union officials in Pyongyang and other cities and counties throughout the nation are taking the initiatives and cracking down on hairstyle of students and young women. Women are prohibited to have color dyed hair, twisted up hair style, short hair cuts, and loosened long hair style. Long hair has to be braided. Men are prohibited from having hair length that is perpendicular to ear, regent hair style that are long in the front and short in the back or regent hair style with short front and short back. They are also prohibiting any dress with writings on it.


Eén dezer decennia moet het daar eens breken, maar ik vraag me af wat voor wonden die periode ondertussen al geslagen heeft.

En of ze er even snel als China bovenop gaan raken – was het u ook opgevallen, het nieuwsbericht over de Chinese HST? Dat ze van plan zijn tussen nu en tien jaar een hogesneheidstrein te laten rijden tussen China en West-Europa, een trein die op twee dagen van de kust van China tot in Londen staat? En dat ze al met zeventien landen in onderhandeling zijn:

Reportedly, negotiations with the relevant 17 countries are already underway.

China would like to fund the whole project itself in exchange for natural resources it lacks. One of the senior consultants working on the project, Wang Mengshu, said, “We would actually prefer the other countries to pay in natural resources rather than make their own capital investment.”

Myanmar and Russia already have rail links planned and China is also in communication with Iran, Pakistan and India regarding development of the internal rail lines in each of those countries that would connect to the network.

Additionally, construction for the Southeast Asia link has started and Burma is about to begin building its portion of the link.

The central and eastern European portions of the network are moving forward as well. “We have also already carried out the prospecting and survey work for the European network, and central and eastern European countries are keen for us to start,” Wang said.

China wants to complete this network in 10 years.

It’s a brave new world, yep.

Doe mee met de conversatie

3 reacties

  1. Op CNN was er recentelijk een verslag te zien van Amerikaanse journalisten die een videocamera hadden binnen gesmokkeld. Nu weet ik wel niet of dat echt was. De beelden op zich leken me wel echt, maar ‘t risico lijkt me zo ongelooflijk groot dat ik me niet kan inbeelden dat iemand zo zot is om dat te proberen.

  2. Over N. Korea weten we zo goed als niks. Er kwam vorige augustus ( 2009) ineens iets boven toen Bill Clinton er de eerder afgesproeken vrijlating van twee US journalisten besprak.

    De HST China – London? Lijkt me een zoveelste voorbeeld van heruitgevonden imperial overstrech. Dit keer vanwege de chinezen. Toen ik voor de eerste keer in China was ( 1987) hing er in de luchthaven van Peking inderdaad een worldmap: China was het rijk van het midden. Pal in het centrum, zoals wij- insgelijks- zolang worldmaps uitgetekend hebben, met Europa in het midden. Onze scholieren leren nog altijd geografie op die basis.
    Die Chinese ambitie? Denk aan de zéér oude Poolse grap. De Polen waren / zijn voostander van een aanval van China op Europa. Waarom? Omdat zij, de chinezen, eerst Rusland moeten veroveren en neerhalen, nietwaar.Er zit – qua transport – een heel dik haar in de boter tussen China & EU.

    (De averechtse verkenning. Toen België in 1830 zijn onafhankelijkheid wilde uitroepen stuurde de tsaar troepen om dat neer te slaan. Wat gebeurde er? Die troepen zijn onderweg in Polen ingezet om daar een opstand te bedwingen. Ze hebben nooit België bereikt.)

  3. Ze gaan wel door, bevestiging:

    La ligne à grande vitesse entre Pékin et Shanghai va ouvrir dès 2011

    Avec une année d’avance sur le calendrier initial, la ligne ferroviaire à grande vitesse entre Pékin et Shanghai sera opérationnelle en 2011 selon le China Daily.
    Les travaux pour cette ligne avaient débuté en avril 2008 et avec un investissement prévu de 220, 9 Mds de yuans, soit plus de 23 Mds d’euros. La moitié de cet investissement aurait déjà été dépensée. Le quotidien chinois signale que cette ligne devrait permettre de doubler le trafic à 80 millions de passagers par an car les 1318 kms du trajet seront effectués en quatre heures au lieu de dix actuellement. Les officiels chinois font état de rames capables de rouler à 380 km/ heures, avec des vitesses de pointe pouvant même atteindre 420 Km/h.
    Source : Tourisme News International

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