Arirang Festival Opens In North Korea, With A Small Twist

Arirang Festival 2013b
They don't really do it small for the annual Arirang Festival in Pyongyang, so the "small twist" in the headline is somewhat of a misnomer. Nonetheless, this year's Arirang -- a.k.a. the Mass Games -- that opened on Monday featured something new -- a slight, possibly noteworthy change for the tea leaf readers out there -- as one attendee told NK News.

Anonymous’s Attempt To Hack North Korea Failed Sadly

Anonymous tries to hack North Korea
North Korea Tech and Tech in Asia have a wonderful story about the perils of hacking -- you can end up hooking the wrong fish. On June 25 -- the anniversary of the Korean War -- affiliates of Anonymous sought to take down North Korea websites, but wound up spraying fire at friends. "Confusion at start of attack," writes North Korea Tech:

Dennis Rodman And Kim Jong-un’s Friendship Put To The Test Over American Detainee

Dennis Rodman
Kenneth Bae, a Korean American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for crimes against the state, will not be used as a bargaining chip, says the DPRK. “Some media of the U.S. said that the DPRK tried to use Bae’s case as a political bargaining chip. This is ridiculous and [a] wrong guess,” Korean Central News Agency reported, via Washington Post. But would the regime, you know, release him, just because, pretty please, if Dennis Rodman asked?

Gourmet Coffee Has Landed In Pyongyang

Third-wave coffeeshop in Pyongyang, North Korea
We know our friend Andray Abrahamian to be both a beer and coffee snob, so who better than he to discover an unnamed cafe in Pyongyang, next to the Pyongyang Hotel View Restaurant, that might well be North Korea’s first “third-wave coffeeshop.” (As Dray describes it: “For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘third wave’... Read more »

BBC Actually Aired This? John Sweeney’s Unethical, Horrible North Korea Hack Job

John Sweeney on his North Korea trip
Just about anyone not holding a select diplomatic or South Korean passport can travel to North Korea. All it takes is money, which you give to a tour agency. They’ll even take you to the countryside if that’s what you’re after. It’s only the hucksters who try to dress up their North Korean trip as... Read more »

Here’s North Korean Children Swearing Their Lives To Kim Jong-un

North Korean children swearing their lives for Kim Jong-un
Indoctrination sucks, and if you needed proof, watch this clip from North Korean TV showing a reported 18,423 children at a medal ceremony in Pyongyang paying obeisance to their country and Kim Jong-un. According to the Youku video description, the highest honors are reserved for those standing in the front rows: they're the ones who have volunteered to become suicide bombers in case of a war with the US.

North Korean Situation “A Tragedy,” Psy Says Before Performing His Newest Single, “Gentleman”

Psy - Gentleman
Psy unveiled his newest single, "Gentleman," at midnight on Thursday, then christened it on Saturday at a solo concert at Seoul's World Cup stadium in front of 50,000 fans. That should tell you exactly how worried the people of South Korea are about its neighbor's threats, and offers more context for the phrase "heightened tension." Before the concert, Psy, i.e. Park Jae-sang, was asked about the situation on the Korean peninsula.

The Daily Show Does China Segment After Jon Stewart Realizes 3 Million Chinese Watched Him Skewer Kim Jong-un

The Daily Show about China and Kim Jong-un
If you’re looking for analysis on why China loved Jon Stewart’s digs at Kim Jong-un (above), head over to the Washington Post, where Max Fisher writes: When the popular Chinese Web portal Sina posted an eight-minute segment from the show discussing the latest North Korean provocations, it racked up an astounding 2.8 million views and counting, as... Read more »

North Korea’s War Posturing Continues As Kaesong Plant Closes, Warning Issued To Foreigners In South Korea

North Korea increases rhetoric
North Korea now apparently cares about foreigners, if its recent warning to those in South Korea is any indication. Via Reuters: North Korea warned foreigners in South Koreaon Tuesday to quit the country because they were at risk in the event of conflict, the latest threat of war from Pyongyang. …”We do not wish harm on foreigners in... Read more »

At Least One Chinese Journalist Thinks The Country Should Abandon North Korea. He’s Been Suspended

Deng Yuwen suspended for Financial Times column
If you’re a Chinese journalist, writing in English won’t necessarily shield you from the petty decisionmakers and censors in the central organs of China’s bureucracy, as Deng Yuwen can tell you. Writing in the Financial Times on February 27, Deng, the deputy editor of Central Party School-affiliated Study Times, suggested that China should “re-evaluate its longstanding... Read more »

North Korea Cries Wolf Again, Enters “State Of War” With The South

North Korea fist-pumping GIF
According to AFP, North Korea issued a statement that read, “As of now, inter-Korea relations enter a state of war and all matters between the two Koreas will be handled according to wartime protocol.” North and South Korea, as everyone is quick to remind, have technically never been out of war since 1950 because no peace treaty was ever signed, but

This GIF Of North Koreans Pumping Their Fists

North Korean soldiers pump fist in Kim Il-sung square in Pyongyang
We GIFed this video for you, from today’s mass rally at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square, so you don’t have to. Look at the man in the middle. Once more, with enthusiasm! (Via BJC video producer Gabriel Clermont – here’s his previous GIF work – who’ll be around these parts every week starting this Sunday. Wait for it.)

Watch: Mass Rally In Pyongyang As Students Chant “Death To US Imperialists”

Mass rally at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang 2
The Associated Press has just published footage of today's 90-minute mass rally in Pyongyang, and it was very North Korean. Watch the weirdness that is thousands of troops on Kim Il Sung Square clapping while leaders on the rostrum clap back. Soldiers and students reportedly chanted, “Death to the US imperialists” and “Sweep away the US aggressors."

North Korea Wants You To Know It Has A Plan To Attack The US

North Korea plans to attack the US according to map in photo
A strategically published photo in the Korean paper Rodong purportedly shows Kim Jong-un, during an emergency meeting early this morning, signing off on a plan to attack the United States. NK News has the details: “He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on standby to fire so that they... Read more »